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Germany, USA advance to final 16 of World Cup

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-02

The United States lost to Germany 1-0 on Thursday but both teams progress to the knockout stage of the tournament. Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 but both are eliminated.

Portugal finished level on four points with the United States but the Americans advanced because they had a better goal difference.

The Germans dominated the game against Juergen Klinsmann's US team but the breakthrough came after 55 minutes when Tim Howard parried a Per Mertesacker header but Thomas Mueller collected the loose ball on the edge of the area and superbly side-footed into the bottom corner.

"For once I scored a beautiful goal. If I don't watch out I'll become a legend? OK, I won't watch out," Mueller told interviewers on the field after being told he had outscored Diego Maradona in World Cups.

"We are ready for the knockout stage. We keep working hard and we are full of team spirit."

The game had been threatened by a torrential downpour in the northeastern city of Recife on Thursday morning but as kickoff approached, the rain eased to a drizzle.

Despite the fact that both sides only needed a draw to qualify there was no shortage of attacking intent in the lively opening exchanges, with Mueller going close early on from Lukas Podolski's low cross.

Both sides flew into challenges and US coach Klinsmann and his German counterpart Joachim Loew will be glad the referee didn't wave the yellow card more often as they head for the knockout stages.

Germans a threat

Content to concede possession for long periods, the Americans put in a blue-collar defensive performance, breaking forward when the opportunity arose, but the Germans, with their superior technique and ball movement, were always a threat.

Although the Americans had a few chances of their own, they lacked the pace and guile to worry German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"Everyone said we had no chance, but we took the chance and we move on and now we really want to prove a point," US coach Klinsmann said.

"The commitment was great, I wish we had more possession and created more chances but maybe we are saving that for the next one.

In Brasilia, Ghana defender John Boye's first-half own goal summed up a match that disappointed for long spells.

The Ghanaians improved after the break and striker Asamoah Gyan headed them level in the 57th minute.

But Ronaldo smashed Portugal ahead again in the 80th minute after Ghana goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda flapped at a high ball.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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Live Blog WORLD CUP 2014 LIVE: Germany-USA
 

Date created : 2014-06-26

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