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WORLD CUP: Germany need extra-time as Algeria exit

World Cup Round 16 Germany 2-1 Algeria AET Schürrle 92, Ozil 119 Djabou 120 Germany needed extra time before finally overcoming the resistance of battling Algeria to triumph 2-1 and set up a quarter final meeting with France.

Another marvellous game saw brave Algeria more than match their illustrious opponents for long periods but as the game progressed Germany began to impose themselves and probably should have decided the tie in normal time.

Certainly Algeria, who were playing in the knockout stage for the first time, will look back on missed chances in the first half when they had the German's rattled. The Desert Foxes were happy to sit back knowing they could break with pace and cause the German defence problems.

Four times Germany keeper Manuel Neuer played the role of sweeper by dashing from his goal to thwart the Algerians, whilst Faouzi Ghoulam, Islam Slimani and Sofiane Feghouli all had opportunities in a breathless first 45 minutes to put the Algerians ahead.

Only as the half ended did Germany begin to look like one of the favourites of the tournament and served notice of what they are capable of when Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze forced a fine double save from Rais Mbolhi.

Germany increased the tempo after the break and Andre Schurrle and Shkodran Mustafi went close only for Algeria to hit back and have Neur scrambling to retrieve the ball following a corner.

But gradually the Germans began to dominate as the Desert Foxes sat deep and whilst not having the same impact as earlier they still looked dangerous on the break. Yet it was Germany with three good chances in the final eight minutes who should have prevented the need for extra time.

Both Thomas Muller and Sebastien Schweinsteiger had headers saved and the former also shot wide from close range. But within two minutes of the start of extra time the European outfit finally took the lead.

Muller took advantage of slack defending out wide to cross and substitute Andre Schurrle with a cheeky back heel completed the formalities.

With Algeria visibly tiring Germany looked certain to increase their lead yet it was the Desert Foxes who blew their only chance to level. A corner fell kindly for Mehdi Mostefa, but he dragged his shot wide from 12 yards.

Germany finally settled the contest with two minutes remaining as Ozil took advantage of a ragged Algerian rearguard to hammer home after pinball inside the penalty area.

There was still time for one last twist to an entertaining game as substitute Djabou scored a deserved consolation for the African nation, and in the dying seconds Madjid Bougherra almost gained an unlikely equaliser, but his weak header was easily saved.

Germany have now only once failed to reach the last eight in their 18 World Cup appearances but they certainly suffered a scare in this encounter before finally booking a quarter final appearance.

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Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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