In the second round for the first time, can the Desert Foxes upset three-time champions Germany?
IT’S OVER TO Porto Alegre for tonight’s World Cup game.
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AFTER FRANCE OVERCAME Nigeria with a 2-0 victory earlier on, another European outfit take on African opposition tonight.
Germany go into the tie as heavy favourites but Algeria, in the knockout rounds for the first time, impressed in Group H to go through ahead of Russia and South Korea.
Here are the team line-ups:
Germany: Neuer Mustafi, Mertesacker, Boateng, Howedes, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Kroos, Gotze, Muller.
Algeria: Mbolhi, Ghoulam, Belkalem, Halliche, Lacen, Feghouli, Slimani, Soudani, Taider, Mandi, Mostefa.
Germany coach Joachim Löw has sprung a surprise as left-back Shkodran Mustafi wins only his fourth cap.
The 22-year-old Sampdoria defender only received a World Cup call-up after winger Marco Reus was injured and he makes the starting line up at the Beira-Rio Stadium ahead of Benedikt Hoewedes.
Mario Goetze is included on the left wing for Lukas Podolski, who has a thigh strain.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is again included in the defensive midfield having made his first World Cup start in the 1-0 group stage win over the USA last Thursday in Recife.
Miroslav Klose, who is just one short of a record-breaking 16th World Cup finals goal, starts on the bench with Thomas Müller who has claimed four goals at Brazil 2014.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilodzic made five changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Russia in the final group stage match to reach the World Cup’s last 16 for the first time.
Midfielder Yacine Brahimi failed to make the starting line-up despite some good performances while forward Abdelmoumene Djabou and defender Madjid Bougherra also miss out.
Striker Islam Slimani starts up front having scored their crucial equaliser against Russia.
The last time these two played at the World Cup back in 1982, European champions West Germay suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in the group stages and Algeria looked set to progress before Germany beat Austria 1-0 meaning the neighbours went through.
“I cannot imagine that you are unable to repeat the feat of your predecessors,” Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in a statement.
Algeria’s progress to the knockout stages “is just a first step (which) calls for other lines to be crossed to snatch the final victory and raise the colours of your country in the Brazilian sky”, he added.
The anthems are out of the way and we’re all set to get going.
Is it just me or does this young German fan look slightly possessed?
Lahm slots Mustafi in behind the Algerian defence but the referee’s assistant (wrongly) flags for offside.
It has been all Germany in the opening minutes with much of the emphasis down their right side – Mustafi getting forward at every opportunity and Ozil coming in off the wing.
Germany put a nice move together with Muller and Ozil involved but Mustafi’s cross is poor and he’s then dispossessed.
Algeria break immediately and an inch-perfect diagonal ball frees Slimani in an advanced position but Neuer is out off his line quick to make a vital tackle. Playing the sweeper role expertly there.
Schweinsteiger launches a left-footed shot at goal but Rais M’Bolhi palms up into the air then catches at the second attempt.
Sofiane Fehouli shows great feet to drive into the German box but fails to get his head up and pick out a team-mate from an acute angle. The Valencia midfielder skies a shot over the bar instead.
GOAL DISALLOWED FOR ALGERIA! Slimani heads in from Ghoulam’s excellent deep cross but the flag goes up and rightly so. Still, a warning for Germany.
That was close. Left full-back Ghoulan makes up a huge amount of ground to pick up a pass from Soudani before flashing a shot across the goal and wide.
Germany are really out of sorts here and need to wake up as their passing has been sloppy and Algeria are growing in confidence as the game goes on.
Ozil forces M’Bolhi into tipping his over-hit cross out for a corner and Kroos’ delivery is volleyed away by Mostefa.
Mertesacker makes a mess of his clearance and, for the second time, Neuer has to storm out of his box and intercept with a slide tackle.
Algeria have a free-kick in a promising position after Gotze’s foul 25 yards out. Feghouli to take…
He attempts to curl it up and over the wall but fails to bring the ball back down.
Muller arrives late to get ahead of his man and head Mustafi’s cross a few yards wide of the goal.
Chances at both ends! A long throw-in is headed as far as Mostefi and his drive from distance comes off Mustafi and goes out.
M’Bolhi then has to pull off two solids stops to keep out Schweinsteiger and Gotze.
Half-time: Germany 0-0 Algeria
The second half has kicked off but, more importantly, this just happened on ITV:
Germany, who have brought Mario Gortze off for Andre Schurrle, have started much more brightly and M’Bolhi looks relieved that Mustafi’s header is straight into his arms.
Algeria respond with an attack of their own but Feghouli is unable to reach a cross and Germany are out of danger for now.
Another fine save from M’Bolhi… this time tipping over from Lahm.
Schurrle has injected some much-needed energy into the the game.
Mustafi seems to have injured himself while making a clearance. He’s coming off for Sami Khedira with Lahm slotting back into right full-back.
For the umpteenth time tonight, Neuer is out like a light to head clear. So far, his timing has been impeccably.
Algeria have come back into it with Feghouli firing just wide and Slimani then driving a shot straight at the German stopper.
Algeri have taken Taider off with Yacine Brahimi of Granada being introduced.
Brilliant save from M’Bohli. Khedira’s cross is a superb one and Muller makes decent contact but the goalkeeper is equal to the header.
Moments later, Muller picks a ball out of the sky, turns inside his man, and shoots with the outside of his boot but misses the target.
Germany free-kick with Ozil, Schweinsteiger and Kroos all standing over it.
Oh God, was that the worst free-kick routine ever? I think so.
Manuel Neuer is having some game. By my reckoning, the Baynern Munich goalkeeper has been Germany’s best centre-half tonight!
Schurrle curls a cross into the box where it’s put behind for a corner with Lalm waiting to pounce. M’Bohli out to collect and that appears to be about it.
Full-time: Germany 0-0 Algeria
Don’t go anywhere, we’ve got another 30 minutes of football to be played.
And we’re back.
GOAL! Germany 1-0 Algeria (Andre Schurrle)
And there’s the deadlock broken. Great work from Muller on the wing before he drives the ball across goal and Schurrle flicks it past M’Bolhi.
Feghouli whips a cross to the back post but there’s too much on it for a player in green to get a touch. Muller then shoots wide down the other end.
On a separate note, this is some hat for a photographer to be wearing.
Bad miss from Algeria. Mostefa thrashes at the ball and puts it well wide.
They have also made two substitutions in recent minutes with Abdelmoumene Djabou and Madjid Bougherra replacing Halliche and Soudani.
Half-time extra-time: Germany 1-0 Algeria
Christoph Kramer of Borussia Mönchengladbach is Germany’s final substitution — on for Schweinsteiger.
Algeria still pushing hard to pull one back but it’s just not falling for them in the right places.
Germany looking the more likely to score. Kramer’s low shot is saved by the foot of M’Bohli, then Muller pulls the ball back just behind Schurrle.
Slimani appears to be through on goal after a cracking pass but Boetang makes a great challenge.
GOAL! Germany 2-0 Algeria (Mesut Ozil)
That’s it then. Ozil is picked out but opts to square to Schurrle. The ball comes back to him and he blasts home.
GOAL! Germany 2-1 Algeria (Abdelmoumene Djabou)
They pull one back… but it’s too little too late, surely.
Full-time extra-time: Germany 2-1 Algeria
They didn’t have it all their way but Germany move on into the quarters, where France await. Algeria and their Bosnian manager Vahid Halilhodzic have done themselves proud but come up just short.