Under heavy rain, Germany ensure the quality of their squad prevailed and beat the US by 1-0 at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife. With the result, the Europeans ended Group H in the lead with seven points and now face Algeria, second in Group H, for the round of sixteen. The United States will challenge Belgium.
Striker Müller, who reached his fourth goal in three games, was responsible for setting the score at the 54th minute.
Even with the defeat, the North Americans (coached by German Jürgen Klinsmann) still managed to qualify for the knockout stage as second in the group after Ghana’s loss (1-2) to Portugal in the Brasília National Stadium. The result left both teams with 4 points in the group, but the US had the advantage on goal difference and thus got to move ahead. Which explains why both sides of the 41,876 fans in attendance (a record-breaking one for the arena) were celebrating at the end of the match, even with a defeat.
The German goal came from a corner kick at the 54th minute. After the cross, Mertesacker headed for a beautiful save by keeper Howard. The ball rebounded at the foot of Müller, who nudged an indefensible shot in the left corner of Howard's goalpost.
With four goals, Müller now divides the World Cup top scorer position with Neymar, from Brazil, and Lionel Messi, from Argentina.