FIFA World Cup: Germany 1, USA 0
Müller scores the winner
Germany defeated the United States 1-0 in the teams’ final Group G match at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on a very rainy day in Recife on Thursday.
Thomas Müller scored the winner in the 55th minute, powering a shot past Tim Howard to tie Lionel Messi and Neymar for the scoring lead, with four goals each.
Both teams advanced to the Round of 16, thanks to the 2-1 victory by Portugal over Ghana in the other Group G match. Germany won the group and the Americans finished second.
All the talk before the match was whether the teams would sit on the ball in a repeat of the disgraceful Germany-Austria World Cup match in 1982. The U.S. and Germany needed just a draw to seal progression to the Round of 16.
But neither side played that way in what turned into a very testy game.
Müller continued his strong play by putting a fantastic shot by Howard for the match-winner.
Man of the match
Thomas Müller. He remains a serious threat to become the first player in World Cup history to repeat as the Golden Boot winner.
It was a good day for…
Playing hooky. U.S. manager Jürgen Klinsmann had a bit of fun before the match, writing a stock permission letter for any American who wanted to get out of work to watch the game.
It was a bad day for…
An impromptu shower. It was very, very, very wet in Recife. The city was flooded with two feet of water, making it a nightmare for commuters to get to the match. Poor field conditions were the main culprit behind the low-scoring affair.
This is the first time in World Cup history that three nations from CONCACAF have reached the Round of 16 (United States, Mexico, Costa Rica).
They said it
"We are ready for the knockout stage. We keep working hard and we are full of team spirit," said Thomas Müller.
"Everyone said we had no chance, but we took the chance and we move on and now we really want to prove a point," U.S. coach Jürgen 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. It is huge, huge step and now we can't wait for the round of 16."
What this means
Full marks to the Germans in this match, who were relentless in attack when all they needed to do was pass the ball around for 90 minutes. They’ve been pegged as a World Cup contender, and they are looking the part, strong on both sides of the pitch. Next up is the runner-up in Group H in the Round of 16, likely Algeria or Russia on Monday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, 4 p.m. ET).
It wasn’t their best showing so far at the World Cup, but the Americans won’t care, as they’re in the Round of 16 and shouldn’t be taken lightly by any side. Next up is the Group H winner, likely Belgium on Tuesday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, 4 p.m. ET), and the U.S. has to like its chances against that underperforming squad.