World Cup - Germany beat USA, both progress to last 16

World Cup, Group G, Arena Pernambuco, Recife – Germany 1 (Mueller 55) USA 0

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World Cup - Germany beat USA, both progress to last 16
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Germany's Thomas Mueller (L) celebrates his goal against the U.S. with his teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match at the Pernambuco arena in Recife June 26, 2014 (Reuters)

Both Germany and the USA have progressed to the second round of the World Cup after a solitary second-half Thomas Mueller goal settled matters in Recife.

And with Portugal defeating Ghana 2-1 in Brasilia Germany went through as group winners with USA in second place.

The result means that Germany are likely to play Algeria with USA given a tougher second round draw against Belgium depending on later results.

There had been fears prior to the match that old friends Joachim Loew and Juergen Klinsmann may both play for the draw that would see both sides progress.

But those fears were quickly allayed as both sides set about the match with attacking verve. Germany had much the better of the opening quarter, a combination of excellent defending and wasteful passes somehow keeping the scores level.

But ten minutes into the second half, Germany finally broke through, Mueller smashing an unstoppable shot past the diving Tim Howard after the keeper had done well to save Per Mertesacker’s initial header.

Germany created enough chances to win by more than just the solitary goal but USA nearly pinched an equaliser at the death as sub Alejandro Bedoya saw his shot well blocked before Clint Dempsey headed just wide.

KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH: Torrential rain hit Recife hours before kick-off with as much as 8 inches of water causing widespread flooding but the match goes ahead. Brad Davis comes in for Alejandro Bedoya and Omar Gonzales replaces Geoff Cameron. Bastian Schweinsteiger gets his first start of the World Cup and Lukas Podolski comes in for Mario Goetze.

2’ – CHANCE GERMANY: It’s a great ball in from Boateng but Mueller catches thin air with his attempted scissor kick.

8’ – GOOD KEEPING HOWARD: It’s a good ball from Mueller with Podolski lurking but Howard it out really well to claim.

10’ – CHANCE GERMANY: Corner played short for Ozil and he forges into the box but Mertesacker gets in his way with Howedes in a great position.

15’ – GREAT CHALLENGE GONZALEZ: Schweinsteiger has just the defender to beat but it’s a great challenge.

21’ – ZUSI JUST OVER: It’s a wicked shot from outside the box that dips just over.

35’ – HOWARD SAVES: Mueller passes to Ozil and his shot skips off the slick surface and Howard shovels it away.

46’ – GREAT DEFENDING GONZALEZ: He’s at it again as he gets in front of Ozil to prevent the midfielder heading home.

52’ – GREAT CHANCE KLOSE: Schweinsteiger picks him out but he nods wide with the goal at his mercy.

55’ – GOAL GERMANY: It’s a thunderbolt from Mueller, who curls a fierce shot past Howard for his 8th World Cup goal.

90+3’ – USA CLOSE: Yedlin finds Bedoya and he looks to have scored but for Lahm’s excellent block.

90+4’ – USA CLOSE: Dempsey heads just over at the far post.

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KEY STATS

Benedikt Höwedes received Germany’s first yellow card of the tournament. Germany are the last team to receive a booking in this World Cup.

Germany have kept six clean sheets in their last eight World Cup group stage matches.

Thomas Müller has been involved in 13 of Germany's last 23 World Cup goals.

Thomas Müller has scored nine goals in nine World Cup appearances – the same number Pelé scored in his first nine World Cup appearances.

USA became the second team to fail to have a shot on target in a match in this tournament (also Australia, against Spain).

Eight German players attempted more passes in this match than Michael Bradley’s 50 – the most by an American player.

In this game Philipp Lahm (125) and Toni Kroos (122) recorded two of the three highest ball touch totals in a match in this tournament. Kroos made 125 touches in Germany’s fixture against Ghana.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

TALKING POINT

Conspiracy theories allayed but how good are Germany? Many wondered if the sides would engineer the draw they needed but the match was free-flowing and the only surprise was that there were not more goals. The Germans have been billed as potential winners but have flattered to deceive against both Ghana and now the USA and will need to improve in the knockout stages.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Omar Gonzalez (USA): Had it not been for the defender, the USA may well have been on the way home with goal difference a consideration. Three superb defensive blocks prevented German goals and his teammates owe him a beer. Any other day and Mueller was the man.

PLAYER RATINGS

USA: Howard 7; Johnson 7, Gonzalez 9, Besler 6, Beasley 6; Beckerman 7, Jones 7; Zusi 6, Bradley 6, Davis 6; Dempsey 6. Subs: Yedlin 6, Bedoya 7.

Germany: Neuer 6, Howedes 6, Hummels 6, Schweinsteiger 6, Ozil 7, Podolski 6, Muller 8, Lahm 6, Mertesacker 7, Kroos 6, Boateng 7. Subs: Schurrle 6, Klose 6, Gotze 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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