ROUND of 16 : Germany v Algeria
This game had a David and Goliath billing. European powerhouse Germany versus the last remaining African team Algeria. A fight it was, with the game needing to go to extra time to split them.
Maybe the Germans were over-confident or maybe the Algerians were desperate for a chance to take on their former colonial overlords France. Either way in the first half Algeria had the run of the play. The Germans seemed to be taking their time and were struggling to make passes in the final third stick. Whereas the Algerians looked threatening every time Feghouli and Slimani combined. Slimani even finding the back of the net in the 17th minute only to be ruled off-side.
The second half saw the return of Germany’s urgency and composure and they were more threatening going forward but they could not find a way past Rais Mbolhi’s imposing figure. Algeria kept with the formula that had served them so well in the first half but were continually thwarted by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s sweeping. So into extra time it went.
It only took two minutes of extra-time for the deadlock to be broken. A pinpoint Mueller pass found Schuerrle who flicked it off his back heel into the net. In the last minute Ozil appeared to have broken Algerian hearts as he scored the second and with two minutes injury time the game looked done and dusted. The Algerians, however, were not going to give up so easily and raced the ball down to the German goal and scored. The crowd was stunned, I was stunned. Could they do it again? Unfortunately not. Time ran out and Germany move on to face France in the quarter final.
(CC BY-SA 4.0)