1 July 2014

Algeria: Germany End Africa's World Cup Dream

Photo: Chris Ricco/Backpagepix
Philipp Lahm of Germany challenged by Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana (file photo).

Algeria fought hard but were found wanting in extra-time as they lost 2-0 to Germany to see Africa's last entrant tumble out of the World Cup in Porto Alegre.

The north African side were impressive as they held the Germans at bay until two minutes into extra-time when Andre Schurrle capitalised on an Algerian error to score.

As Algeria pushed forward in a desperate search for an equaliser after that, Mezut Ozil added a second for Germany to end their hopes.

At times Germany looked lackluster in the game, their famous "efficiency" replaced with nervousness and a lack of cutting edge.

Indeed, there were spells in the game where Algeria looked the more accomplished side and created enough opportunities to have got the win inside 90 minutes.

But having said that, Raïs M'Bolhi was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he produced a number of stunning saves to deny the European side.

M'Bolhi has been often criticized for errors that have cost his side, but in this game he was a real hero, thwarting the Germans with some, at times miraculous, stops.

The best from probably a fingertip save to deny Philip Lahm from long-ranger, but he brilliantly blocked a Thomas Mueller header and also saved from Mario Götze.

At the other end, Manuel Neuer was kept on his toes by the pacey Islam Slimani and at times had to act as a 'sweeper-keeper', racing off his line as Algeria constantly put balls behind the sluggish German defence.

The goal that had long been threatened finally came two minutes into the extra-time period when Aissa Mandi gifted possession to Muller, whose ball into the neat post was turned home by Schurrle.

Still Algeria had a magnificent chance to equalize as Mehdi Mostefa picked up the loose ball 12 yards from goal but fired wildly over.

But the next goal came from Germany as they exploited the now cavernous gaps in the Algerian defence as the African side pushed men further up the pitch in search of the equaliser.

Ozil and Schurrle exchanged passes before the latter's shot was cleared off the line and the former smashed home the reboud to break Algerian hearts.

Germany advance to play France in the quarterfinals on Friday night in Rio de Janeiro after the latter sealed their Last 8 place with victory over Nigeria earlier on Monday.


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