Three-time World Champions Germany needed two goals from Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Oezil during extra-time to beat a heroically stubborn Algerian side in their Round of 16 clash.
Set in Porto Alegre, the German-stronghold of Brazil, Germany were determined to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals without a hitch as many football fans expected a walk-over against a relatively unknown Algerian side.
However, it was anything but and already within the opening phase of the match it was clear that the Germans would have their work cut out. Three chances in the first few minutes for Algeria and then a goal by striker Islam Slimani disallowed for offside resulted in a shocked German outfit as they struggled to gather any momentum.
Coach Joachim Loew looked just as stunned on the sideline and when neither his nor the side from North Africa could grab a goal in the standard 90 minutes, extra-time was needed to decide who would become the hero or the villain. Evidently, it was German substitute Andre Schuerrle. Scoring with a delicate backheel flick, relief was clear on the exhausted European faces and Mesut Oezil added another in the 119th minute.
However, Algeria weren’t finished yet.
Known as the “Algerian Ronaldo”, Abdel Djabou managed to pull one back in the 120th minute and the unbelievable seemed possible all over again. However, it was a case of them being too little, too late as the Algerians bowed out of the World Cup with a few sensational performances behind them. Arguably, it is hardest to play a team that is largely an unknown proportion.
Now that Germany has done so, is this a sign that they will be holding the World Cup trophy come the Final on the 13th of July?
Final Result: 2-1
Man of the Match: Rais Mbohli (Algeria)