“I wanted to show we could play football and that’s what we did.”
Thomas Muller scored the only goal as Germany beat USA 2-1 in their final Group G game at the FIFA World Cup 2014. Regardless of the result, both teams have gone through to round 16.
Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup, despite defeating Ghana in Brasilia. Cristiano Ronaldo’s winning goal against Ghana meant that the African side could not catch USA and Germany in Group G.
France qualified as winners of Group E after a goalless draw against a weak ten-man Ecuador team. Switzerland confirmed their place in the next round with a hat-trick from the talented Xherdan Shaqiri in a comfortable 3-0 win over Honduras.
Uruguayan star, Luis Suarez was handed a ban of four months and nine matches for biting Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini.
GROUP E: Ecuador 0 France 0 – 9pm (BST) KO, Estadio do Marcana, Rio de Janeiro – Wednesday
France finished winners of Group E as they played out a 0-0 draw with Ecuador. With this result, the South Americans were eliminated from the World Cup.
The French were in complete control of the game for large periods with Karim Benzema and Loic Remy coming close. Later missed chances from Paul Pogba and Moussa Sissoko left France frustrated.
Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia was sent off for a late tackle on Lucas Digne, giving France the opportunity to win the game.
A draw was not the result that Didier Deschamps and his French team were hoping for, but nevertheless they can take many positives from the previous two games into the next round.
Pleased with their performance so far, French Coach Deschamps said: “I’m very satisfied; we finished first in our group and have qualified for the next round.”
GROUP E: Honduras 0 Switzerland 3 – 9pm (BST) KO, Arena Amazonia, Manaus – Wednesday
An incredible hat-trick from Xherdan Shaqiri earned Switzerland a place in the last sixteen with a 3-0 win over Honduras.
Switzerland took an early lead in the first half after Shaqiri fired in a powerful strike from outside the box after six minutes. The Swiss added to their lead after half an hour when Josip Drmic squared a ball to an unmarked Shaqiri who converted calmly.
The Bayern Munich winger completed his hat-trick when he was set up once again by Drmic on the edge of the box as he cleanly finished past Honduras goalkeeper, Noel Valladares.
Shaqiri, 22, has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool and Manchester United next season. Both teams must have been pleased with his stunning performance against Honduras.
Speaking to the media, Man of the Match, Xherdan Shaqiri said:“I wanted to show we could play football and that’s what we did.”
GROUP G: Portugal 2 Ghana 1 – 5pm (BST) KO, Estadio Nacional, Brasilia – Thursday
Portugal recorded a 2-1 win over Ghana in their final Group G game in Brasilia. Both teams have been knocked out of the 2014 FIFA the World Cup, following the first round of group games.
The Portuguese team will be very disappointed as they were eliminated from the competition due to a huge goal difference with USA.
Portugal took the lead after thirty-one minutes, courtesy of an own goal from Ghana’s John Boye. His diving header deflected into the back of his own net.
Ghana equalised in the 57th minute after a soaring ball from Jordan Ayew found Asamoah Gyan at the back post. The Ghanaian forward became the leading African goal scorer at the World Cup, netting his sixth in the finals.
Ronaldo had three great opportunities to seal the victory, yet squandered all of them until the 80th minute when he slotted home from eighteen yards. Commenting on Portugal’s elimination, DESI reader Danny Pardu tweeted:
“Don’t understand why people are feeling sorry for Ronaldo. You don’t need a team of world class players to do well.”
GROUP G: USA 0 Germany 1 – 5pm (BST) KO, Arena Pernambuco, Recife – Thursday
Thomas Muller secured a 1-0 win against the Americans to help Germany finish top of Group G.
The game was anticipated to be a thrilling one, fuelled by a lot of history between the two nations. After a tense first half, Germany seemed to be in control of the game with the majority of chances falling to the Europeans.
Shortly after the restart, Muller scored a beautiful curling shot past Tim Howard into the bottom corner, handing a 1-0 victory to Germany
Both Germany and USA qualified for the last 16, after Ghana’s defeat to Portugal. Post-match, German coach, Joachim Low said: “We didn’t give the opponent a real chance to score until the very last moment.”
Ten-man Belgium finished top of Group H after Jan Vertonghen’s goal gave them a 1-0 win against South Korea. Algeria advanced to the knockout rounds for the first time ever after a 1-1 draw with Russia in Group H.
All the group games have been completed with round 16 matches starting on 28 June 2014. The teams featuring in knockout stages include: Brazil vs Chile, Columbia vs Uruguay, Netherlands vs Mexico, Costa Rica vs Greece, France vs Nigeria, Germany vs Algeria, Argentina vs Switzerland and Belgium vs USA.
The other big news from the World Cup is that Luis Suarez has been banned by FIFA for nine matches, plus any football related activity for four months. He was banned for biting Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini during their final Group D game.
Uruguay confirmed that they will appeal against the FIFA ban handed out to Suarez.