Soccer-Path to the final - Germany


July 11 (Reuters) - Following is a recap of Germany's six World Cup matches on the way to Sunday's final against Argentina:

Group G

June 16, Salvador, Germany 4 Portugal 0

Germany began the tournament as one of the favourites and a 4-0 thrashing of Portugal in their group opener left no one in any doubt about their title credentials.

Thomas Mueller netted a hat-trick and defender Mats Hummels added another as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal endured a day to forget. Adding insult to injury, Portugal centre back Pepe was sent off late in the first half for head-butting Mueller, and Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida both came off injured.

June 21, Fortaleza, Germany 2 Ghana 2

After their impressive opening win, the Germans were brought down to earth by an athletic Ghana side, surrendering the lead and needing a Miroslav Klose strike to rescue a 2-2 draw.

It was Klose's 15th World Cup goal and brought him level with former Brazil forward Ronaldo as the top marksman in the tournament's history. He later set a new best with his goal against Brazil in the last four.

June 26, Recife, United States 0 Germany 1

On a rain-lashed night in Recife, Germany's victory against a team coached by their former striker Juergen Klinsmann secured top spot in the group, with the Americans going through in second place after Portugal beat Ghana in the other match.

Mueller netted his fourth goal of the finals 10 minutes after halftime as Germany moved through to the knockout stages and a meeting with surprise package Algeria.

Round of 16

June 30, Porto Alegre, Germany 2 Algeria 1 (aet)

Germany were unable to break through a determined Algeria defence until extra time, when goals from Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil sealed a spot in the last eight.

Schuerrle's effort was one of the best of the tournament as he let the ball run between his legs and expertly flicked it into the net with his heel.

After Ozil had smashed in a close-range shot to make it 2-0, Algeria set German nerves jangling when they pulled a goal back but it came too late for the North Africans.


July 4, Rio de Janeiro, France 0 Germany 1

Hummels struck his second goal of the finals in the 13th minute before Germany comfortably held on against fellow European heavyweights France, who had played well in the group phase but turned in a toothless performance in Rio.

Germany should have extended their lead several times, Schuerrle squandering their best chance eight minutes from time, before goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a superb one-handed block in the dying moments to keep out a fierce Karim Benzema shot and preserve the German lead.


July 8, Belo Horizonte, Brazil 1 Germany 7

In one of the most incredible matches in World Cup history, Brazil fans watched in horror as Germany put five goals past the hosts before half an hour had been played at the Mineirao stadium.

The Brazil defence, missing suspended captain Thiago Silva, was in utter disarray as Mueller struck in the 11th minute before Klose, Toni Kroos (2) and Sami Khedira found the net in an astonishing six-minute spell to make it 5-0.

Schuerrle struck twice in the second half before Oscar finally pulled one back for Brazil in the 90th minute. (Compiled by Iain Rogers, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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