Late goals by Schuerrle, Ozil help Germany beat gutsy Algeria 2-1
Germany were pushed all the way by an inspired Algeria on Monday before Schuerrle and Ozil secured them a 2-1 extra-time victory to send them into a mouth-watering World Cup quarter-final meeting with France. France down Nigeria 2-0 | What could hurt Germany?india Updated: Jul 01, 2014 14:34 IST
Had Joachim Loew tried taking a taxi on a cold, wet Monday evening after the pre-quarter final here, the Germany coach would have got a feel of what his team went through.
You eventually get to your destination but it is only after a series of wrong turns caused by traffic snarls preceded by the inability to get a taxi in the first place.
Porto Alegre shuts down on World Cup match day like no other city this reporter has been to in over 22 days in Brazil. Roads leading to the stadium are closed from early morning meaning the taxi drops you off at a place that is a 45-minute walk to the Estadio Barra Rio.
And on your way out, such is the quagmire that getting to your hotel is like a challenge Germany faced from Algeria.
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Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring Germany's second goal (Reuters Photo)
For most of the match, Germany hoped something would give. It did eventually but by then the match was into extra-time.
Aissa Mandi lost the ball, perhaps due to tiredness, and Germany showed why they are a first world football nation, one with three World Cup titles, by pouncing on it.
Thomas Mueller’s cross was almost overrun by Andreas Schuerrle, but the Chelsea player managed to get a part of his leg on the delivery to avoid a tie-breaker.
Schuerrle celebrates after scoring the first goal for Germany (Reuters Photo)
Mesut Ozil’s somewhat elaborate build-up to the second goal paid off and by the time Algeria reduced through substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou, Germany had all but set up a quarter-final date with France.
Not just the goals, it was Loew’s team’s ability to find place for both Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the first time in this competition that should augur well for the 2016 European title.
It has been one for the other, both recovering from injuries. True, it happened because Shkodran Mustafi was injured.
Germany were better in the second half after being lucky to not have been punished by Algeria for a lackadaisical show in the first. They were also bailed out by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who played more like a sweeper than a shot-stopper.
The ball wasn’t going in till it did and when that happened, Germany scored again. Algeria were heartbroken but they should take satisfaction for their performance.