Germany booked their place into the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, after an end-to-end game they won 2-1, in extra time against Algeria. Andre Schurrle who came on for Mario Gotze back-heeled a low Thomas Mueller cross before Mesut Ozil blasted in a second. The Desert Foxes of Algeria netted a consolation goal with just seconds remaining on the clock as Abdelmoumene Djabou jabbed the ball in at the far post.
Germany played a 4-3-3 with four centre-backs spread across the right with Shkodran Mustafi playing on the right and Jerome Boateng replacing the ill Matt Hummels in the middle. Algeria matched Germany’s formation with one noticeable change being made to the starting line-up, Yacine Brahimi being dropped.
Joachim Low’s men started off identically as they did against the USA. A slow build up that allowed the right full-back to creep up before receiving the ball to deliver a low hard cross for Mueller to try latch onto at the near post. It almost paid dividend as Lahm had a goal from such a delivery incorrectly ruled out.
Neur: Super shot-stopping-sweeper-keepr
Algeria to counter the great possession football the Germans play, placed eight people behind the ball at all times and when they did win the ball off their opponents, they broke with venom. Their counter attacking football came mainly in the form of long balls behind the back for. Algeria made the most of their pace against the back four of centre-backs which has come under scrutiny lately. Unfortunately for Algeria, they had not factored in Manuel Neur’s ability to play sweeper-keeper, a role he is undisputedly the best in the world at. Neur made a range of vital interceptions, tackles, headers, you name it. The Germany shot-stoppers heat map has been a point of much discussion after their game.
Mustafi who to be fair had been the weak link in The Germany back four, was forced off with an injury. The reshuffle saw the Germany skipper Lahm go back to his original position at right full back. For the last 10 minutes of normal time and the entire 30 of extra time, Germany were the better side. They began overloading areas of the pitch and utilising great movement to flummox Algeria’s defensive line. Schurrle and Ozil’s goals proving to be the culmination of pressure as the German’s avoided the dreaded penalty shoot-out and continued their record that stands from 138, of qualifying for the quarter-finals of a World Cup tournament.