USA Close In On Qualification

Thomas Muller - Soccer Championships
Can Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller add to his opening day hat-trick for Germany? Image courtesy of rte.ie

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Germany v USA



Pernambuco Arena, Recife
Friday June 27 – 2:00 AM (AEST)



Locked on four points a piece, Germany  and the USA  will have their eyes on finishing atop of their group at the World Cup.  

After crushing Portugal 4-0 in their opening match, Germany looked out of sorts in a draw against Ghana. The Germans showed there are cracks in their defence, but they also dug deep to grind out the match to ensure they’re in pole position to top Group G. Thomas Muller was unable to add to his opening-match hat-trick, instead it was Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze, and veteran striker Miroslav Klose, who headed Germany’s scoring. All Germany need is a draw to progress as Group G winners, the same result would also guarantee qualification for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. German coach, Joachim Low, was an assistant under his opposite Klinsmann in 2006, and took over when he departed. There’s no doubt the pair know a lot about each other, and their tactics, an element that makes this clash that little bit more intriguing.

Had it not been for a last minute equaliser from Portugese substitute Silvestre Varela, the USA would be sitting pretty on top of the group, with a spot in the round of 16 already guaranteed. But as it stands, they need to at least draw to guarantee their longevity in Brazil. US captain, Clint Dempsey, suffered a broken nose in his side’s opening win against Ghana, but he was on hand to steer the US against Cristiano Ronaldo and co, grabbing what he thought was the winning goal late in the match. Despite his injury, the former Fulham striker will play on throughout the tournament, and may even need a mask later on.

The fight and determination in this USA side is undeniable. They managed to hold strong to beat Ghana and were unlucky not to beat a highly rated Portugal side. Germany are expected to go far in this competition and will look to seal top spot with a win. The Germans, despite only drawing against Ghana, should beat the US, but if Jurgen Klinsmann’s players hold their form, we could be in for an upset.

At the same time, Portugal will be hoping they can notch up a healthy score against Ghana to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive. The Portugese will need Germany to beat USA, and they themselves take care of Ghana handsomely (they have a five goal deficit). Ghana, surprisingly, have a better chance than Portugal of qualifying. A win by a couple of goals would be enough. Group G is set for an intriguing end, with all four teams still in with a chance of progressing or packing their bags.
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