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Merrimack Valley

July 1, 2014

World Cup Belgium puts Hazard in front of the U.S.

(Continued)

Compounding the difficulties for the U.S. defense should be the inclusion of creative midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who has been close to Hazard all through Belgium’s youth ranks. He also was rested for the final group game, when Belgium already had qualified.

Germany survives

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil scored in extra time Monday to lead Germany to a 2-1 win over Algeria and into a World Cup quarterfinal match against France.

The second-round match ended 0-0 after regulation time, forcing two periods of extra time.

And Schuerrle scored two minutes in, dragging his left leg and backheeling a cross from Thomas Mueller into the far corner of the net.

Ozil added the second in the 120th, and substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back for Algeria in stoppage time.

Three-time champion Germany, which has now advanced past the second round at nine consecutive World Cups, will face 1998 winner France on Friday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

With the temperature a chilly 14 Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) and a light rain falling at times, the pace was high at the Estadio Beira-Rio but the goals didn’t come until the end.

Ozil thought he had put the result beyond doubt when he pounded in a rebound after a shot from Schuerrle was cleared off the line by defender Esseid Belkalem, but Djabou’s well-timed volley a minute later kept the game alive until the last seconds.

Perhaps inspired by the “Disgrace of Gijon” at the 1982 World Cup, when Germany and Austria supposedly conspired to oust Algeria in the group stage, the northern African nation outmatched Germany’s intensity for long stretches.

France solves Nigeria

BRASILIA, Brazil — Paul Pogba scored with a late header to finally break Nigeria’s stubborn resistance and Joseph Yobo added an own-goal as France advanced to a World Cup quarterfinal against Germany.

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