Germany’s Thomas Mueller (C) celebrates between Toni Kroos (R) and Benedikt Hoewedes after scoring against the US at the Pernambuco arena in Recife yesterday.
Germany’s Thomas Mueller scored his fourth World Cup goal to pull level with Lionel Messi and Neymar in a 1-0 win over United States yesterday that gave his side top spot in Group G.
The United States, coached by former German boss Jurgen Klinsmann, also went through to the last 16 despite the defeat in rain-sodden Recife. Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana was not enough to overtake the Americans in second place.
“It’s huge getting out of this group,” said Klinsmann after the game as he hailed his side’s World Cup performance so far. The lead-up to this match had focused on suspicions that the Germans and Americans would be happy with a draw that would give both sides an easy path through to the next round.
Klinsmann’s friendship with his former assistant German coach Joachim Loew had reinforced the conspiracy theories. But Germany dominated the match in the washed-out Arena Pernambuco. US goalkeeper Tim Howard repeatedly kept his side in the game for 55 minutes until Mueller broke the deadlock.
A well-worked corner saw Howard save from Per Mertesacker’s header.
The rebound went to Mueller on the edge of the penalty area who made no mistake with a powerful first-time shot that flew past the flying goalkeeper into his left corner. Germany could have had several goals in an entertaining first half in which Howard played the key role.
Mueller, playing as a lone striker, had several chances to score including a flying bicycle kick from a cross on the right after just two minutes.
Lukas Podolski was given his first start of the tournament and after latching on to Mesut Ozil’s ball on eight minutes he whipped in a drive for Mueller, who just failed to connect as Howard dived low to collect.
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