Germany suffered more than anyone expected to advance to the quarterfinals of the Brazil 2014 World Cup beating Algeria 2-1 in extra time at the Beira Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre. Algeria put the three-time World Cup champions in a hurry challenging them both physically and technically during 120 minutes of intense play.
A lucky strike from Andre Schurrle early in extra time gave Germany the lead after a frustrating 90 minutes in which Algeria tested the German squad to the limit. With one minute left in extra time and when both teams had run out of gas, a final effort from the German attack was concluded by Mesut Ozil. Algeria added a bit of drama responding to Ozil's goal a minute later.
Germany settled on the field first as it appeared the Algerians were planning to hold back. But Algeria soon found their rhythm and took control of the game during the first half hour claiming the most dangerous opportunities.
Eight minutes in, Islam Slimani outsped the entire German defense for a through ball forcing Manuel Neuer to leave his 18-yard box. Slimani cut the German goalie left and attempted a long shot from a tough angle that was blocked by Neuer's monumental slide tackle. Neuer was forced to sprint out of his box five more times during the game, timing his runs perfectly and clearing the ball rightly on every occasion.
Algeria knocked on Neuer's door twice more in the first thirty minutes. First, Sofiane Feghouli reached the endline on the right after cutting his defender inside the box, but sent a cross too high for anyone to connect. Minutes later, Faouzi Ghoulam threatened on the left side getting a clean look on goal, but crossed his left-footed shot wide of Neuer's net.
While Algeria's confidence grew after each attacking opportunity, Germany appeared intimidated by their opponent, causing them to miss passes they would normally complete.
Germany continued spreading the field to the wings and insisted through low hard crosses that the Algerian defense cleared repeatedly.
In the 37th minute, Mesut Ozil, fired low from 20 yards out. Algerian keeper, Rais M'Bohli, mishandled the ball, but was able to recover it. Three minutes later, Toni Kroos followed with another low shot. Again Rais couldn't hold on to the ball and left it dead for Mario Gotze whose effort impacted the Algerian keeper who got back on his feet quickly.
For the second half, Joachim Low sent Andre Schurrle in for Mario Gotze. From the get-go, Germany looked much more determined than they did in the entire first half.
Germany came at Rais' goal from all angles. Low and high crosses were threatening to break the tie as well as long and short distance shots.
The two most dangerous plays for the Germans in the second half came courtesy of Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller. First, through Lahm who placed a shot to the keeper's right corner, but Rais flew in the air to block the attempt.
With ten minutes left in the clock, Muller threatened twice in a two-minute span. Rais deflected Muller's header into the feet of Schurrle, whose shot was cleared on the line by a defender. Then, the Bayern Munich striker controlled a ball with his back against the goal majestically, but wasted his shot wide.
Germany came closer in the final minutes, but thanks to a disciplined effort from the Algerian backline and a bit of luck, the African team was able to send the game to extra time.
Algeria's defensive effort came up short in extra time. Muller sent one more low cross from the left that Schurrle was finally able to put behind Rais.
But the Algerians were not ready to give up just yet. The Desert Foxes gave it their all throughout the remainder of the thirty minutes of extra time.
With time expiring, both teams exchanged goals adding a bit of drama to an already dramatic game.
First, Ozil for Germany appeared to have finished off the game when he concluded a counter attack lead by Schurrle whose shot was stopped on the line. The deflection ended up on the feet of Ozil, who put the ball away.
However, Algeria came back through Abdelmoumene Djabou's sliding shot connecting a cross from the right side to put the crowd on their feet. But Algeria's tremendous physical effort was not enough to beat the experienced German squad.
With this result, Germany will now face France on Friday July 4th (12pm ET) at the mythical Maracana stadium for a ticket to the semifinals.
Source: Leigh Teschner / Soccerly.com