Germany barely got by a speedy and fully game Algerian side for a 2-1 win in extra time in the teams’ Round of 16 clash on Monday at the FIFA World Cup.
André Schürrle scored in the 92nd minute to calm German nerves, while Mesut Özil netted Germany's second marker in the 120th minute, which would end up being the winner. Abdelmoumene Djabou gave Algeria a late consolation goal a minute later.
Even though Germany had the lion’s share of scoring chances, the side found it difficult dealing with underdog Algeria’s speedy counterattack game, and its defence was exposed on several occasions.
German hearts were racing until Schürrle got onto the end of Thomas Müller’s cross. Schürrle used a deft behind-the-leg flick to just direct the ball past keeper Rais M'Bolhi, putting the side on the front foot for extra time.
Man of the match
André Schürrle. Netted Germany's first goal, and was the side’s most dangerous threat when he subbed in at halftime.
Nine of the last 10 World Cup sides who have won in extra time went on to lose in the next round. Bad news for Germany, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
It was a good day for…
Learning how to play sweeper. If you didn’t know any better, you would’ve thought German keeper Manuel Neuer was a defender, considering the number of times he barrelled out of the box to contest an Algerian long pass.
They said it
"We had major problems in the first half to organize the way we played. Yes, we had our problems, but at the end we were better and had a lot of chances. The important thing is to advance." — Germany coach Joachim Loew.
"A goal in the first half would have helped us and we would have been more confident if we had scored because in the first half [we had] so many chances. We would have been more confident, we would have believed in ourselves even more and I think We believed in ourselves right until the end. We scored in injury time and showed when this team plays with its heart it can really succeed." — Algeria defender Madjid Bougherra
What this means
This is not the type of performance German fans were hoping for in the side’s first match of the knockout round. The German defence was badly exposed by the speedy Algerians, and the side very easily could’ve gone home if Algeria finished its chances. Next up is a marquee matchup with France in the quarter-finals on Friday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, Noon ET). If both teams play to their potential, we could be in for a classic.
Though the Algerians are out, they made history here in Brazil by getting to the knockout round for the first time ever, and they did it by playing attractive, attacking football. Algeria has made major strides in its development program over the past few years, so don’t be surprised if the side emerges as a major African football power in the near future.