Tuesday July 1 2014

Africa world cup hopes snatched by Germany and France

Germany and Algeria at Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre

Germany's forward Andre Schuerrle (C) celebrates scoring during a Round of 16 football match between Germany and Algeria at Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO  

By Agencies


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Germany posted an extra-time victory over Algeria while France defeated Nigeria to extinguish Africa's World Cup hopes on Monday and set up a titanic quarter-final showdown between the European rivals.

A sublime flicked finish by Chelsea's Andre Schuerrle and a late Mesut Ozil strike gave Germany a 2-1 win over the Algerians in Porto Alegre to put Joachim Loew's side into the last eight.

The Germans will meet European rivals France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on Friday after Les Bleus ended Nigeria's campaign with a 2-0 win in Brasilia. Germany were pushed all the way by a physical but limited Algerian side, playing in the last 16 for the first time.

Schuerrle put Germany ahead in the second minute of extra time after the match finished deadlocked at 0-0 after 90 minutes. Thomas Mueller skipped clear down the left and whipped in a low cross, and Schuerrle steered the ball into the net with a deft flick of his heel.

Ozil added a second on 120 minutes to put Germany 2-0 up before Abdelmoumene Djabou snatched a late consolation in the dying seconds of stoppage time. It means Germany now face France for the first time at a World Cup finals since the 1986 semi-final - the last time the French lost in normal time in a World Cup finals knockout match.

"We must be better for the match against the French," admitted Germany's Loew. "Today was a victory of the will. During the first half we were poor, we gave away a lot of ball, which invited Algeria to counter-attack us."

France had clinched their place in the last eight courtesy of a late Paul Pogba header and a Joseph Yobo own goal. Juventus star Pogba made the key breakthrough for France 11 minutes from time, punishing a rare mistake by Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. In the closing minutes, a low cross from Mathieu Valbuena was turned in by Yobo as he came under pressure from Antoine Griezmann.

The defeat was hard on France-based Nigeria keeper Enyeama, who had kept Les Bleus at bay with a series of fine saves. But the win was no less than Didier Deschamps' France deserved after dominating the contest and enjoying the better of the chances throughout.