In what is known as the World Cup consolation game, Germany secured its second consecutive 3rd place in the World Cup by defeating Uruguay in an entertaining game 3-2, where the Europeans were playing without their stars, captain Phillip Lahm, strikers Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, and goalkeeper Manual Neuer.
Thomas Muller, returning from a one game suspension, opened the scoring in the 19th minute after rebounding on saved shot by captain Bastian Schwienstiger. Muller is now currently tied with David Villa, Diego Forlan and Wesley Sneijder with 5 goals for lead scorer in the tournament.
In less than ten minutes, the South Americans came back into the game after Luis Suarez set up Edinsin Cavani in the left corner with a perfect pass, with the latter shooting the ball past the substitute goalkeeper.
Shortly after the second half began, specifically the 51st minute, Diego Forlan also increased his goal tally in the tournament to five goals by scoring on a beautiful volley after a cross by teammate Egidio Arevalo, where the ball bounced past goalkeeper Butt, who stood and watched the ball go in to give Uruguay a 2-1 lead.
“La Celeste” ‘s lead barely lasted for 5 minutes, Jerome Boateng set up a cross into the box, where the Uruguayan goalkeeper made another mistake as he came out of his goal to save it but missed, and the ball came perfect on Marcell Jansen’s head as he headed it into an empty goal, tying the game at 2-2.
As the game seemed to be heading into overtime miserably, Germany’s Mesut Ozil;s corner kick caused confusion in the Uruguayan area where it led to Sami Khedira heading the winning goal, his first goal of the tournament, securing the bronze medal for the Mannschaft, which is what they least deserved in this World Cup.
This ensures that this would be the second World cup in a row where the medal teams would all be Europeans, where the top 2 would be decided in an exciting clash between the Netherlands and Spain.
Many football fans were excited about this game since this would be the supposedly last chance for Miroslav Klose, 14 goals, to break the all-time record for goals scored in World Cups, which is 15 set by Brazil’s Ronaldo. Yet due to a back injury, Klose missed the game and a chance to break that record, although it seems that another German is on the path to break that record, Muller. The 20 year old German so far has 5 goals and is expected to play in at least 3 World Cups, giving him a great chance for setting a new record.
The Germans, whose expectations weren’t that good considering the youth and inexperience of the team and absence of captain Michael Ballack due to injury, had a very stellar performance throughout this World Cup, where they thrashed the Australians in their first game 4-1. In their second game of group-play, Miroslav Klose received two yellow cards in the span of 24 minutes to leave the Mannschaft down to ten players, eventually leading them to lose surprisingly to Serbia on a lone goal, putting the Germans’ on the verge of being knocked out. In their last game in the 1st round, the Germans managed to muster a 1-0 win against a defensive-oriented Ghana, helping them top Group D and staging a 2nd Round clash with their hated rivals, England, whom were surprisingly routed by the Germans in that game 4 – 1. Then came the Argentian side in the quarter finals, who were favored to win the World Cup after their strong display in their four games; yet once again, Die Mannschaft knocked the Albeceleste out in the second consecutive quarterfinals, however this time squashing them with four goals to nothing. This win set them up with the heavily favored Spanish, who beat the Germans two years ago in the Euro 2008 final on a lone goal, where two years later, the score would repeat itself, as Carles Puyol netted a header to win the game.
On the other hand, the Uruguayan team started their World Cup run by playing a goalless draw with the French, then they routed the hosts South Africa 3-0, and come on top of their group by defeating Mexico with one goal to nothing. Topping their group led to a clash with the South Koreans, whom they defeated with a late goal, that led to a score of 2-1. The win set them up with Africa’s last hope in the tournament, Ghana. Easily the wildest game in this World Cup, this game will be remembered for Luis Suarez’s controversial handsball in the last minute of extra time that saved them from incurring a goal, eventually leading to a penalty for the Black Stars that was missed and penalty shootout that saw the Uruguayans proceed to their first semi finals in a long time, facing the Dutch. This semi final was unlike the other and full of goals, yet the Celeste’s surprising run would end here with a loss of three goals to two.
The Germans’ future seems to be bright after this World Cup, as their young team has gained the necessary experience and had arguably had the performance in the World Cup despite their frustrating loss to Spain in the semis. Uruguay on the other hand would not have their star Forlan, as he would turn 35 for the 2014 World Cup, but Luis Suarez would be the heart of the team as he would be expected to hit his prime.