Africa’s World Cup is over after Germany defeated Algeria 2-1 after extra time in their thrilling Last 16 clash in Porto Alegre.
The match ended 0-0 after the regulation 90 but there could have been plenty of goals given the scoring chances created by both teams and the end to end nature of the match.
It was German substitute Andre Schurrle who broke the deadlock with a deft touch in the second minute of extra time, a goal that looked to have ended Algeria and Africa’s World Cup.
But then Mesut Ozil added a second goal late in extra time before, and just moments later, Abdel Djabou pulled one back for Algeria and no sooner did the referee’s whistle blow for the end of the match.
Algeria had their moments and could have sent the Germans home early. Playing mainly on the break and set up in a 5-4-1 system, put up a strong fight and had plenty of chances to score during regulation time.
In the ninth minute Algeria showed their intent to hit Germany on the counter attack when Islam Slimani broke free and with Manuel Neuer way off his line, the goalkeeper ended up recovering well to block Slimani’s shot.
Five minutes later and Algeria gave Germany too much space in midfield, Bastian Schweinsteger let rip with a left footed drive from long range but it was saved well enough by Rais Mbholi.
A minute later and Sofiane Feghouli did well to cut inside from the right and find himself inside the German danger area, but instead of crossing to a teammate right in front of goal he tried to shoot from a tight angle and blasted his effort over the bar.
And moments later Algeria almost did take the lead when Faouzi Ghoulam made a good run into the danger area, picked up the ball and blazed his effort across goal but wide of the far post.
After 34 minutes, Germany came close to scoring when Mustafi hit a first time cross into the danger area and Thomas Muller got on the end of it, but could not get his header on target.
The final ten minutes of the opening half saw the ball swing from end to end with a few scoring chances coming from both sides. Germany headed into the break knowing that the Algerians have asked plenty of questions of them so far.
A bright start to the second half with two scoring chances for Germany. First, substitute Schurrle got into space and shot at goal, but his attempt was blocked and the deflection sailed just wide of goal. Then, Mustafi got a header on target from close range, but he hit it directly into the impressive Mbolhi’s hands.
In the 55th minute German skipper Philipp Lahm latched onto a shot from distance and Mbolhi just got a fingertip to the ball to keep it away from goal, when it looked as if it would nestle inside the top corner.
In the 75th minute Slimani tested Neuer from distance, but while there was powers in the shot, it was straight at the German number one.
With eleven minutes to go, Germany came close when Muller hit the byline and swung in an excellent cross, but Schweinsteiger could only glance his header across goal and wide of the post.
A minute later and Mbolhi made a stupendous save to keep out Muller’s close range header, and then Schurrle was denied on the rebound.
In the 90th minute, Schweinsteiger found himself unmarked but while he got his header on target there was not enough power to beat the Algerian goalkeeper.
The extra time period saw several players go down struggling with cramps. But the last 30 minutes will be remembered for Schurrle’s close range strike from Muller’s cross, and for Ozil’s second goal for Germany and finally Djabou’s close range finish in the dying seconds.