Germans Eliminate Algeria
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) – Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil scored in extra time Monday to lead Germany to a 2-1 victory against Algeria and into a World Cup quarterfinal match against France.
The second-round match ended 0-0 after regulation time, forcing two periods of extra time.
And Schuerrle scored two minutes in, dragging his left leg and backheeling a cross from Thomas Mueller into the far corner of the net.
Ozil added the second in the 120th, and substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back for Algeria in stoppage time.
Three-time champion Germany, which has now advanced past the second round at nine consecutive World Cups, will face 1998 winner France on Friday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
With the temperature a chilly 14 Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) and a light rain falling at times, the pace was high at the Estadio Beira-Rio but the goals didn’t come until the end.
Ozil thought he had put the result beyond doubt when he pounded in a rebound after a shot from Schuerrle was cleared off the line by defender Esseid Belkalem, but Djabou’s well-timed volley a minute later kept the game alive until the last seconds.
Perhaps inspired by the “Disgrace of Gijon” at the 1982 World Cup, when Germany and Austria supposedly conspired to oust Algeria in the group stage, the northern African nation outmatched Germany’s intensity for long stretches.
Algeria was playing in the second round of the World Cup for the first time and dominated early on. A goal from Islam Slimani was waved off for offside in the 17th, one of many opportunities for the Algeria striker.
In the 88th, Germany’s inability to find the target turned theatrical for a moment when Mueller appeared to fall during a free kick.
FRANCE 2, NIGERIA 0
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Paul Pogba scored with a late header to finally break Nigeria’s stubborn resistance and Joseph Yobo added an own-goal as France advanced to a World Cup quarterfinal against Germany.
Four years ago, the French squad crashed out of the group stage, shamed a nation by going on strike and was jeered by its own fans and lambasted by politicians in the fallout from an embarrassing tournament.
“I’m proud of my players because we’re coming back from very far. I think we’ve given a lot of pleasure back to our fans,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “I think there were 5,000 here and millions back home who will feel proud.”
Pogba’s crucial goal came after Nigeria’s best spell of the match.
Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama had just made a superb save to tip over Karim Benzema’s header, but he flapped at the ball from the ensuing corner and Pogba pounced in the 79th minute to nod in his first goal of the tournament.
That atoned for a scrappy first half in which he gave the ball away carelessly and placed a volley too close to Enyeama.
Yobo, who announced his international retirement after the game, turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time under pressure from France substitute Antoine Griezmann.
“We had the whole country behind us. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life,” Pogba said. “We know we’re capable of playing our best match and playing the worst, but today we were good. We stuck together and I’m very happy.”