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Germany digs deep to beat the Desert Warriors

Germany are the clear favourites to go through in this second round match against Algeria but the Algerians, from their showing in this tournament would be a tough test for Die Manschaft, who had lost to Algeria in two previous meetings.

The game started with Germany controlling play and looking for an early lead. Mustafi is freed by on Ozil pass on the 3rd minute but the offside flag went up for a tight call. Islam Slimani was proving dangerous with his pace and Neuer does well to dash out, close him down and clear the ball for a corner, with his defence outpaced. Risky business by the German keeper who is playing as a sweeper to compensate for the lack of pace of his defenders.

Slimani again threatened on the 11th minute, beating Boateng but Mertesacker does well to repel the attack. M’Bholi saves from Schweinsteiger on the 13th minute and Feghouli shoots over after some fine work, at the opposite end. Ghoulam’s excellent cross is headed in by Slimani on the 17th minute but the flag went up for offside to save German blushes. Algeria is dominating play and would count themselves unlucky not to be ahead.

Ozil’s cross on the 22nd minute found Muller but he heads over, under pressure. M’Bohli tips Ozil’s inventive chip over the post, setting up a corner for the Germans. Soudani and Slimani combine to outwit Mertesacker on the 29th minute, but Neuer dashes out to clear. Brave defending by the German keeper, whose anticipation and pace has kept his team in it.

Germany had a rare attack with Muller setting up Ozil before Belkalem’s block. At the other end, Feghouli’s free kick went over. After a good moment of play, Mustafi finds Muller on the 35th minute but his header flashes wide. Algeria is looking organised and solid in defence as the Germans started getting into the game. Mostefa’s shot on the 41st minute is blocked by Boateng and Neuer steps up to sweep, bailing out his defence twice.

M’Bholi pulls off a double save in the 42nd minute to deny Ozil and Muller. Halliche picks up the first caution of the game for a foul on Schweinsteiger. Kroos’ belter on the 44th minute went slightly over the top corner. In the closing minute of the first half, Mustafi does well to win a high ball ahead of Ghoulam. Inspired performances by the two keepers who have successfully kept this game barren.

The second half started with Germany bringing on Schurrle for Mario Gotze as they sought to get their noses in front. On the 47th minute, Schurrle looked to cause panic in the Algerian box, with his direct running but his shot was deflected for a corner. M’Bohli does well to save from the corner.

Khedira replaces Mustafi in the 69th minute due to injury. Germany are calmly passing the ball and looking for an opening. Slimani’s pace causes Germany problems again but Neuer comes quickly off his line to head out. Schurrle’s shot on the 70th minute is saved by M’Bholi. Feghouli turns and shoots on the 74th minute but it went slightly off target. Slimani shoots from distance straight at Neuer as their personal battle continues. Boateng clears as Soudani tries to find Slimani in the box.

Schweinsteiger flashes his header wide from a Muller cross. Khedira comes on for Mustafi in the 70th minute and Lahm moves back to right back. Fine work from Khedira to cross for Muller but M’Bholi saves brilliantly and Belkalem blocks off a Schurrle rebound. Brahimi comes on for Taider on the 78th minute. Muller controls in the box and stabs his shot wide in the 79th minute.

Nuer comes off his line again to clear from Feghouli on the 88th minute. M’Bohli saves from a Schweinsteiger header shortly after. We head into the four minutes added time after which extra time will start, if we don’t have a winner here. Schurrle’s cross is stabbed out by Halliche for a corner. The fascinating game ends goalless and we head into extra time.

90 seconds of extra time and Muller does well to cross for Schurrle who drags the ball in for the first goal of the match. Ozil breaks away into the box but Halliche does well to clear but goes down with cramps and is replaced by Bougherra. Muller’s strike for goal from outside the box goes wide as Algeria brings on Djabou for Soudani. Khedira’s misplaced clearance from a corner falls kindly for Mostefa who stabs wide. The first half of extra time comes to an end, with Germany ahead.

Second half of extra time resumes with Algeria threatening through Brahimi, whose kick after a foul by Lahm is saved by Nuer. The German Captain picks up a caution for his efforts. Kramer replaces Schweinsteiger as Germany look to hold on to their hard fought lead. Muller rounds the keeper but Mandi clears the danger. The energetic Muller has shown amazing graft in this game and with the pace of Schurrle and Kramer, Germany is looking more dangerous in attack.

Schurrle and Ozil exchange passes on the counter. Schurrle’s shot is blocked but Ozil makes no mistake and drives home to make it 2:0 for Germany. The brave Algerians pull one back through Djabou. Bhougherra’s effort in the closing minutes is calmly saved by Neuer, as Germany wins 2:1 on the night.

A tale of two brilliant keepers, whose dramatic saves lit up the night. Algeria pushed Germany all the way, but their wayward finishing cost them while Die Manschaft’s squad depth proved vital in securing their progress into the quarter finals.


About Kene Okoye

A creative writer, banker, pianist, composer and music promoter, Kene documents events and presents his viewpoint in compelling narratives. He sets out to create vivid pictures with his intelligent use of words and seeks to engage, thrill, educate and inspire the reader. Come on and enjoy yourself.

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