RECIFE, Brazil – So much for a gentleman’s agreement. On a day that both teams could have eased into the Round of 16 with a draw, the United States and Germany battled fiercely and physically for first place in the Group of Death. The Americans got through to the next round, although surely not how they had planned after a 1-0 loss to Germany.
With a win, a tie and a loss, the Americans got through to the knockout round on goal differential as Portugal beat Ghana 2-1. The U.S. and Portugal both finished with four points in the group, but the Americans had a better goal differential (0) to Portugal’s minus three.
After 23 combined fouls and three shared yellow cards, Germany left Arena Pernambuco with the win and a first-place finish in Group G. The U.S. finished second in the group and will play the first-place team from Group H, likely Belgium, on Tuesday in Salvador. Germany plays the second-place team from Group H on Monday in Porto Alegre.
After the skies opened, the streets flooded, Germany also poured it on. In the first half, the German’s dominated possession, 65% to 35%. After conjecture about a tie between friends – a tie would send both teams through to the Round of 16 – German showed there would be no such détente.
The Germans attacked from the start, only the continual heroics of Tim Howard kept a scoreless tie at the half.
Thomas Muller found the far corner of the net on a strike off his right foot early in the 55th minute to give Germany the lead.
Germany battered the U.S. for the first 20 minutes of the match, coming close to finding the back of the net on several occasions.