Germany has snuck through to the quarter finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scoring in the second minute of extra time to beat a spirited Algeria 2-1 at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia this morning.
Progressing to the Round of 16 with relative ease, Germany completed a 4-0 thrashing of fellow European qualifiers Portugal in their campaign-opener on June 17th, and while held to a shock two-all draw with Ghana in their second pool match, sealed their position atop Group G with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the USA.
For Algeria, progression to their first Round of 16 was left to the very last minute after slumping to a 2-1 victory to eventual Group H champions Belgium first-up, before securing an impressive 4-2 over South Korea and confirming passage when drawing one-all with Russia on June 27th.
Needing to jump from the gates with intensity if any hope of overcoming the resounding favourites in Germany, Algeria immediately pressed forward into the German half and while unable to maintain possession, managed several impressive passages of play over the opening ten minutes.
Holding the ball through the midfield and dictating play, German ace Bastian Schweinsteiger was unlucky not to see his efforts finished off by an offence that appeared to lack the final touch.
Continuing to press hard approaching the break, Germany were unable to break the spirited Algerian wall and found themselves on a level pegging at 45 minutes.
Returning from half time in similarly impressive fashion to that exhibited at the game’s beginning, Algeria again took control and launched several raids on Manuel Neuer’s goal; sole striker Islam Slimani arguably offering his nation the best chance of breaking the deadlock with an agonisingly close effort early.
Once again withstanding the barrage and turning the run of play, Germany were noticeably sparked by the introduction of attacking mid Sami Khedira in the 70th minute who offered another exceptional element in attack, causing several headaches to the Algerian defence.
Throwing everything they had at the Dessert Warriors over the final few minutes of regular time, Germany were surprisingly unable to open their account and were forced into extra time.
Maintaining their supreme pressure from extra time’s opening whistle, it took just two minutes for Germany to deliver Algeria the inevitable blow, when Andre Schurrle delivered an exceptional back-heel to a pinpoint accurate Thomas Muller cross in the just the second minute.
Appearing to lose all focus, Algeria remained in their own half and launched only the occasional counter attack prior to the halfway point of extra time.
Returning in similar fashion through the second period, Algeria were dealt a killer blow when an initial save fell directly in the path of Mesut Ozil, who calmly slotted Germany’s second and sealed a path to the 2014 World Cup quarter finals.
Countering an scoring an impressive consolation in the final minute of injury time, Algeria were unable to recover and ended their best World Cup campaign to date 2-1 down to an impressive Germany.
Germany will now face France in the 2014 World Cup quarter finals after Les Bleus overcame a determined Nigeria 2-0 earlier this morning.