It was going to take a heroic feat for Germany to score on Algeria goalkeeper Rais M’Bohli, and Andre Schurrle did just that.
Thomas Muller found Schurrle 90 seconds into extra time, and the first goal of the game was equal parts beautiful and decisive. Schurrle used his back foot to flick the ball behind his body and past M’Bohli for the game’s first lead in what would finish 2-1 in Porto Alegre.
Germany’s second came in the 119th minute, and it took even more work to beat M’Bohli and an exhausted Algeria. Mesut Ozil and Schurrle each had shots before Ozil sent a rebound home.
Algeria added a Abdelmoumene Djabou goal in the 121st minute, but it’ll be Germany and France in the quarterfinals on Friday at Noon ET.
Germany outshot Algeria 28-10 and held 58 percent possession.
Algeria’s first half was something to watch, as the Desert Foxes continually provided counterattacks and probing balls past Germany’s defense. The Germans looked slow, white trees in a storm of green flashes.
Here’s what we were saying at halftime.
Germany held sway in the second half, but needed to find that final ball. Algeria goalkeeper Rais M’Bohli, a back-up in club soccer but likely not for long, made save after save against the heavy favorites.
The 81st minute saw Germany restore a bit of order, as Andre Schurrle’s brilliant cross was strongly headed by Thomas Muller, but M’Bohli was there to punch it away.
A minute later, Muller juggled around Belkalem put his shot with the outside of his foot went wide of the goal. The drama was being dished out in heaping doses, but still no goals.
M’Bohli, who is a No. 2 to Tomas Cerny as Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, was an absolute all-star. So, to be fair, was Germany’s high-profile backstop Manuel Neuer, who was forced to come flying out of his 18 on multiple occasions to save his team.
And so we went to extra time. Would Algeria have the horses to find a goal, or even carry this to penalty kicks?
We didn’t have to wait long to find out:
The second period of extra time featured a foul on Brahimi that tore his shorts and allowed Algeria a free kick from 28 yards out. A brilliant kick from Algeria bounced once in front of Neuer before he collected it, as the Desert Foxes couldn’t get there.
The questions will be whether Germany had too much taken out of them by this grueling match, as well as if they truly are favorites against a France team that has looked at ease for much of the tournament.
Germany: Neuer; Mustafi (Khedira, 69′), Mertesacker, Boateng, Höwedes; Lahm (C), Schweinsteiger (Kramer, 109′), Özil, Kroos, Götze (Schurrle, 46′), Müller
Goals: Schurrle (91′), Ozil (119′)
Algeria: M’Bolhi, Mandi, Belkalem, Halliche (Bougherra, 97′), Ghoulam, Feghouli, Lacen, Taider (Brahimi, 78′), Mahrez, Soudani (Djabou, 100′), Slimani
Goal: Djabou (120’+1)