World Cup Soccer
 
          === Khedira's late goal helps Germany claim third place ===
 
 Port  Elizabeth, South  Africa (Sports  Network) -  Sami Khedira's  goal eight
 minutes  from  time capped a  3-2 Germany win  over Uruguay in the third-place
 match of the FIFA World Cup at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
 
 "The  last  match at a  tournament is always  important, because it shapes the
 feelings  you take  home  with you,"  German coach  Joachim  Low said.  "After
 tonight,  we're not going home empty-handed. My team deserved to win, based on
 the  second half  alone. We played well and fought hard. Taking the tournament
 as  a whole, my team has been magnificent. Just looking at the way they've put
 a  bitter  defeat to  Spain behind them,  their performance as  a whole at the
 finals,  and the number  of goals they?ve scored, you have to be delighted. We
 can go home now feeling justifiably proud."
 
 Khedira broke a 2-2 deadlock in the 82nd minute with a close-range header from
 a  corner  kick, but  Uruguay had a  20-yard free kick  right before the final
 whistle, and Diego Forlan watched it crash off the crossbar.
 
 The  Germans  took the  lead after  19 minutes through  Thomas Muller, but his
 opener was canceled out nine minutes later by Uruguay's Edinson Cavani.
 
 Forlan  put Uruguay  ahead six  minutes into  the second  half, while  Marcell
 Jansen  leveled the match five minutes later for Germany before Khedira's goal
 settled things.
 
 This  is  the second successive World  Cup where Germany has finished in third
 place, while Uruguay's fourth-place finish in their best since 1970.
 
 Both  teams threatened  the goal in the  opening 10 minutes as Forlan curled a
 20-yard  free  kick wide of the  upper-left corner of the net, while Germany's
 Arne Friedrich had his header come back off the crossbar.
 
 The Germans seized the lead in the 18th minute when a tricky long-range effort
 from  Bastian  Schweinsteiger  wasn't  held  by  Uruguay  goalkeeper  Fernando
 Muslera, leaving a simple tap in for Muller.
 
 However,  Schweinsteiger  turned the ball  over in midfield nine minutes later
 and  it led  to the equalizer as Luis  Suarez laid a pass off to Cavani on the
 left and he did well to roll the ball inside the far post.
 
 Suarez  went close with a low shot from inside the penalty area shortly before
 halftime,  but Forlan tallied his fifth goal of the tournament with a splendid
 volley from the top of the box in the 51st minute.
 
 Muslera  was at  fault again  five minutes  later as  a right-wing  cross from
 Jerome  Boateng  should have been dealt  with. But the keeper missed the ball,
 which allowed Jansen to head home the equalizer.
 
 Suarez  forced  a good  save  from  German  goalkeeper Hans-Jorg  Butt,  while
 substitute  Stefan Kiessling shot straight at Muslera after making a nice move
 inside the area.
 
 However,  some  sloppy defending inside the  box by Uruguay allowed Khedira to
 put his team in front before Forlan nearly sent the match into extra time.
 
 "We've  proved  we can  hold our own  against any side  in the world," Uruguay
 coach  Oscar  Tabarez said. "These teams  are the best around and Germany have
 played  as well as  anyone at this tournament. Sadly we made a lot of mistakes
 in  both areas today and you pay for that in football. That said, I thought we
 dominated the match at various times tonight. After all, we couldn't just come
 here and play defensively. We took risks and we lost but we gave a really good
 account  of  ourselves in  doing  so.  The  most  important thing  about  this
 tournament is that we?ve realised we're not that far away and that we can come
 back and try to do even better in the future."
 
 07/10 19:07:19 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.

Sports Plus - Ruidoso News