Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Germany, France advance in World Cup

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — When it comes to the knockout stages of the World Cup, wins are worth more than style.

That was on full display Monday when Germany labored to a 2-1 extra-time win over an aggressive Algeria side to reach the tournament's quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive time.

"You don't have to play fantastic every match," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "You have to win."

All three goals came in extra time after Algeria dominated for long stretches during the opening 90 minutes. Germany substitute Andre Schuerrle scored in the 92nd minute and Mesut Ozil made it 2-0 in the 120th before substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back in injury time for Algeria.

Three-time champion Germany next faces 1998 winner France on Friday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

"It was a victory of will power," Loew said. "We had major problems in the first half to organize the way we played. We made simple mistakes, which invited the opponents to start counterattacks."

Germany finally took the lead when Thomas Mueller provided a cross from the left flank that was slightly behind Schuerrle. The German forward dragged his left leg and backheeled the ball into the far corner, leaving goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi with no chance.

With the temperature a chilly 57 degrees and periodic light rain, the pace was high at the Estadio Beira-Rio but the goals didn't come until the end.

"Yes, we had our problems, but at the end we were better and had a lot of chances," Loew said. "The important thing is to advance. Past champions also did not play well every match. You cannot play fantastic every match of the tournament."

Algerian coach Vahid Halilhodzic embraced each of his exhausted players as they walked off afterward. Just reaching the second round had earned Halilhodzic and his squad a place in Algerian history, but there are questions about Halilhodzic's future.

He refused to attend a post-match news conference, contravening tournament regulations. Asked why, Algerian Football Association official Karder Berdja declined to comment.

france 2, nigeria 0: Paul Pogba finally delivered the big-game goal that France needed from its most exciting young talent, his late header helping France reach the quarterfinals in Brasilia, Brazil. Pogba, 21, had been feeling the pressure at the World Cup, and that looked to continue when he rushed a chance to put France ahead in a tightly contested first half. But in the 79th minute, showing the poise that France counted on him to provide, Pogba peeled slightly off a packed defense to give himself a yard to attack the loose ball after goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama fumbled a corner. "We had the whole country behind us," Pogba said. "It's one of the proudest moments of my life. I was man of the match but if I could give it to all the players I would. We know we're capable of playing our best and playing our worst, but today we were good. We are the French national team, and we are not afraid of anyone." 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.

neymar update: Neymar will be fit to play in Friday's quarterfinal against Colombia despite left thigh and right knee injuries sustained against Chile, Brazil's football confederation said.

ratings up: With 10.4 million viewers on Univision, Sunday's match between Mexico and the Netherlands was the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast in U.S. history. The previous record was 9.4 million for a 2010 World Cup match between Mexico and Argentina. The Mexico-Netherlands game was seen by 6.6 million people on ESPN, the most-watched soccer game for an English-language station in the United States that did not involve the U.S. team.

Round of 16QuarterfinalsSemifinalsFinalSemifinalsQuarterfinalsRound of 16
A1Brazil 1Netherlands 2 B1
(Brazil advances 3-2 on PKs)Brazil (FIFA rank: 3)
Netherlands (15)
Netherlands (15)
B2Chile 1Mexico 1 A2
4 Friday, Fortaleza, ESPN4 Saturday, Salvador, ESPN
C1Colombia 2Costa Rica D1
Colombia (8)
Costa Rica (28)
Costa Rica (28)
(Costa Rica advances 5-3 on PKs)
D2Uruguay 0Greece C2
4 July 8, Belo Horizonte, ESPN3 July 13, Rio, Ch. 284 July 9, Sao Paulo, ESPN
E1France 2Argentina (FIFA rank: 5)F1
France (17)Noon today, Sao Paulo, ESPN
F2NigeriaSwitzerland (FIFA rank: 6)E2
Noon Friday, Rio, ESPN2Noon Saturday, Brasilia, Ch. 28
G1Germany 2 Belgium (FIFA rank: 11)H1
Germany (2)4 today, Salvador, ESPN
H2Algeria 1United States (FIFA rank: 13)G2
FIFA rank: world ranking as of June 5 Third-place match: semifinal losers, 4 July 12, Brasilia, ESPN

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