Thomas Mueller; the difference for Germany

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 Thomas Mueller once again made the difference as Germany qualified as winners of Group G with victory over the United States, who also reached the last 16 at the World Cup.
Thomas Muller curls Germany into lead over USA
 The Bayern Munich forward scored his ninth World Cup goal in as many games to give Germany a routine win at a rain-soaked Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

The rate at which Mueller is scoring in World Cup games is matched only by Brazil legend Pele, who also found the net nine times in his first nine matches in the tournament.

Thomas Muller gives USA the lead
Thomas Mueller curls Germany into lead over USA

The 24-year-old German is now just six goals behind the all-time scoring record, which is jointly held by Mueller’s team-mate Miroslav Klose and former Brazilian striker Ronaldo.

This was a frustrating afternoon for the United States and their travelling army of fans. They failed to force Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a save of note but their qualification was assured by Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana in Brasilia.

The US will now travel to Salvador to take on the much-fancied Belgians on Tuesday. Germany will play the runners up of Group H in Porto Alegre on Monday.

Before the game, much had been made of the suggestion that both sides might play for a convenient draw that would take each of them through. But with US coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who previously managed Germany, facing off against his protege Joachim Low, neither team took a backward step from the first whistle.

Germany, playing their familiar passing game at a patient tempo, carved out a series of early chances.

Match facts

Benedikt Howedes received Germany’s first yellow card of the tournament. Germany are the last team to receive a booking in this World Cup.
Eight German players attempted more passes in this match than Michael Bradley’s 50 – the most by an American player.
Thomas Mueller has been involved in 13 of Germany’s last 23 World Cup goals.

On three occasions Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng found space wide on the right flank and fizzed fierce low crosses into the penalty area, while Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil came closest to scoring, stepping away from Matt Besler’s challenge to test United States goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Germany had to wait until the 55th minute to make the breakthrough, however, having seen Ozil and substitute Miroslav Klose go close.

It was a cross by the former that created the goal with Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker heading powerfully at goal and forcing Howard to push the ball into the path of Mueller.

Stewards attempt to clear water from the stand

Torrential rain in the Recife area meant many fans struggled to get to the stadium

Jermaine Jones reaches for a long ball

USA midfielder Jermaine Jones was playing against the country he represented in youth football and played three friendlies for

Jurgen Klinsmann and Joachim Low

Germany boss Low was Klinsmann’s assistant at Germany in the 2006 World Cup

USA celebrate reaching the last 16 for the second successive tournament

USA celebrate reaching the last 16 for the second successive tournament