News

U.S., Germany sail into ‘knockout’ round in Recife rain

U.S., Germany sail into ‘knockout’ round in Recife rain

WORLD CUP: United States' Omar Gonzalez celebrates after qualifying for the next World Cup round following their 1-0 loss to Germany during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26. Photo: Associated Press/Ricardo Mazalan

By Philip O’Connor

RECIFE Brazil (Reuters) – Thomas Mueller’s second-half goal saw Germany sail to a 1-0 victory over the United States in World Cup Group G on Thursday, a result that saw both teams progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Germany top the group and will face the runner-up in Group H while the United States finish second and will face Group H’s winner. Portugal who beat Ghana 2-1 are eliminated with the Africans.

The Germans dominated the game with Juergen Klinsmann’s team, with their backs against the wall, creating very few chances.

PHOTOS: U.S. loses to Germany, advances to ‘knockout’ roundU.S. tops Ghana in opening World Cup game | U.S., Portugal ends in draw | Americans love soccer 

The breakthrough came after 55 minutes when Tim Howard parried out a Per Mertesacker header but Mueller collected the loose ball on the edge of the area and superbly side-footed into the bottom corner.

“For once I scored a beautiful goal. If I don’t watch out I’ll become a legend? OK, I won’t watch out,” Mueller told ZDF Television after being told he had outscored Diego Maradona in World Cups.

“We are ready for the knockout stage. We keep working hard and we are full of team spirit.”

EXTRA: Today’s top tweets about the World Cup Klinsmann to U.S. soccer fans: Take the day offEveryone is tweeting about the World Cup | World Cup TV ratings are through the roof

The game had been threatened by a torrential downpour in the north-eastern city of Recife on Thursday morning but the heavy rain that hampered the preparations of fans and players alike eased to a drizzle as kickoff approached.

Despite the fact that both sides only needed a draw to qualify there was no shortage of attacking intent in the lively opening exchanges, with Mueller going close early on from Lukas Podolski’s low cross.

Both sides flew into challenges in the battle for supremacy in midfield, and U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann and his German counterpart Joachim Loew will be glad the referee didn’t wave the yellow card more often as they head for the knockout stages.

BANNED: Suarez banned for biting

Content to concede possession for long periods, the Americans put in a blue-collar defensive performance, breaking forward when the opportunity arose, but with their superior technique and ball movement, the Germans were always a threat.

The Americans had several chances of their own but lacked the pace and guile necessary to unduly worry German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

“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 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.”

(Editing by Nigel Hunt)

Recent Headlines

in Music

This week’s top rock tracks

Nickelback

LISTEN: This week's top rock tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

TLC cancels ‘Honey Boo Boo’

honeybooboo

The hit reality TV show is off the air after allegations family matriarch Mama June is dating a convicted sex offender.

in Entertainment

Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in new biopic

bale

The "Dark Knight" star will portray the late Apple Computer co-founder.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

Zack Galifianakis interviews Brad Pitt on ‘Between Two Ferns’

twoferns

The comic gets in some good digs at the "Fury" star in this hilariously awkward interview that's crashed by Louis C.K.

in Music

Jack White heading to Yale

jackwhite

The rocker will be part of a panel about legendary jazz and blues label Paramount Records.