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Mueller strikes for Germany

Saturday, June 28, 2014

RECIFE, Brazil - Germany's Thomas Mueller scored his fourth goal of the World Cup in a 1-0 win against United States that gave his side top spot in Group G.

The goal sees Mueller join Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar as the tournament's leading scorers with four goals each.

The United States, coached by former Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann, also went through to the last 16 despite the defeat in rain-sodden Recife. Portugal's 2-1 victory against Ghana was not enough to overtake the Americans in second place.

"It's huge getting out of this group," said Klinsmann after the game as he hailed his side's World Cup performance so far.

"We knew it would be a tricky game because a tie would have been enough, so it wasn't easy to handle.

"But we have a very, very strong team and the players are so hungry to do well. The knockout stage is a completely different ball game," added Klinsmann.

"It's a good feeling, now we get to focus on that one specific opponent in the next game, not on what could happen in the group."

The lead-up to this match had focused on suspicions that Germany and the USA would be happy with a draw that would give both sides an easy path through to the next round.

Klinsmann's friendship with his former assistant, the Germany coach Joachim Loew, had reinforced the conspiracy theories. But Germany dominated the match in the washed-out Arena Pernambuco.

"We dominated the entire match. We were very well organised and until the last minute we didn't give them much chance to score," said Loew.

Asked what he thought about the US's achievement, Loew added: "I'm happy for the US. If you beat Ghana and you draw against Portugal, I think you deserve to get through to the last 16."

US goalkeeper Tim Howard repeatedly kept his side in the game for 55 minutes until Mueller broke the deadlock.

A well-worked corner saw Howard save from Per Mertesacker's header.

The rebound went to Mueller on the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistake with a powerful first-time shot that flew past the goalkeeper.

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