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WORLD CUP - Group G: Germany edge USA to top group

Germany have finished top of Group G courtesy of a 1-0 victory over the USA at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Die Mannschaft edged the Americans in a tight affair in very wet conditions in Recife to progress to the Round of 16 where they will take on the Group H runner-up in Porto Alegre on June 30.

Germany's goal came in fine fashion ten minutes into the second half when Thomas Muller fired home his fourth of the tournament.

Per Mertesacker had forced a save from Tim Howard with his headed effort from Mesut Ozil's short corner but the Everton keeper could only knock the ball into the path of a waiting Muller.

The 24-year old Bayern Munich star needed no second invitation to fire home a sumptuous first-time half-volley from the edge of the area to take his World Cup scoring tally to nine goals from nine outings.

Earlier, Germany started promisingly but the US defence continued to slide in at the right moments to snuff out their forward forays particularly when Omar Gonzalez timed his tackle to perfection when Muller was through on goal in the 15th minute.

Graham Zusi wasn't too far off when he sent a curling effort just over the crossbar which had Manuel Neuer stretching just after the 20-minute mark before Germany were close to opening their account on the day.

In the 35th minute, Mesut Ozil beat his marker before shooting through the legs of Matt Besler but Howard was able to get low and deny the chance.

Seven minutes into the second half, German substitute Miroslav Klose almost had an immediate impact but his header from Bastian Schweinsteiger's floated cross slipped wide of the mark.

USA, who had basically come to defend in order to get a draw which would see them progress, had some late chances but Alejandro Bedoya's effort was snuffed out by Philipp Lahm before Clint Dempsey popped his header from a bouncing ball just over the bar.

Nevertheless, Juergen Klinsmann's US side managed to find their way through to the Round of 16, ahead of Portugal on goal difference, while Joachim Low's Germany topped the standings as expected.

As stated before, Germany will meet the second-placed Group H side - currently Algeria - in the next phase while the US will take on the winners of that group, expected to be Belgium, in Salvador on July 1.

2014 FIFA World Cup - Group G

USA: 0 Germany: 1 (Thomas Muller 55')

Arena Pernambucano, Recife - 41,876

Yellow cards:USA - Omar Gonzalez 38', Kyle Beckerman 62' GER - Benedikt Howedes 11'

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Andrew Slevison
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