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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