Germany take third place with 3-2 victory against Uruguay (Second Lead)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

PORT ELIZABETH - Germany finished third at the World Cup Saturday after beating Uruguay 3-2 in the play-off in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Thomas Mueller in the first half and goals in the second half by Marcel Jansen and Sami Khedira gave Germany the win against the South Americans, for whom Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan scored.

Both coaches made several changes for the rematch of the 1970 play-off, which Germany won 1-0.

Joachim Loew brought in five new players, including Mueller, who was suspended for the semi-final which Germany lost 1-0 against Spain.

The coach also gave a rare start to 36-year-old goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt, who took the place of Manuel Neuer.

Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabarez brought in Luis Suarez and Jorge Fucile, who were both suspended during the 3-2 semi-final defeat against the Netherlands, as well as Diego Lugano.

Germany had the ball in the back of the net after just four minutes, but Mueller was judged to have been offside.

Just two minutes later Uruguay star striker Forlan had the opportunity to open the scoring for his side when he had two free-kicks from just outside the area within the space of a minute. The Atletico Madrid striker put the second one wide though after Cacau had blocked the first with his hand.

Arne Friedrich then came close for Germany with a header that crashed against the crossbar. Mueller’s header from the rebound was blocked by a Uruguayan defender.

Mueller broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when he ran onto a long-range shot from stand-in captain Bastian Schweinsteiger that goalkeeper Fernando Muslera failed to hold onto.

It was Schweinsteiger who gifted the South Americans an equalizer though in the 28th minute when the Bayern Munich midfielder lost the ball to Diego Perez, who passed to Suarez. His through-ball found Cavani, who gave Butt no chance from close range.

Uruguay could have taken the lead shortly after the restart when Butt pulled off two magnificent saves within a few minutes, first blocking a shot from Cavani and then pushing a shot from Suarez away for a corner.

He could do nothing though in the 51st minute when a wonderful volley from Forlan beat him to give Uruguay the lead. It was Forlan’s fifth goal for the tournament to put him on par with Mueller and Spain’s David Villa and Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, who both have a chance to add to their score in Sunday’s final.

Their lead lasted just five minutes though when defender Jansen scored with a header after Muslera failed to hold onto a cross from Jerome Boateng.

Germany took the lead for the second time in the match eight minutes from the end after a Mesut Oezil corner, which bounced against Lugano’s foot and onto the head of Sami Khedira, who headed home.

Forlan nearly took the game to extra-time when he put his free-kick from the edge of the area against the crossbar with the last kick of the game.

The miss made sure that octopus Paul’s 100 percent record was maintained as he had predicted that Germany win.

The victory sees Germany repeat their 2006 finish and gain their fourth third place overall, while Uruguay lost a third-place play-off for the third time.

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