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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup Player of the Day: Brilliant Neuer stands out for Germany

World Cup Player of the Day: Brilliant Neuer stands out for Germany

July 01, 2014 12:03 IST

World Cup Player of the Day: Brilliant Neuer stands out for Germany

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Germany have only their superior fitness and world-class goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to thank for scraping past Algeria 2-1 in extra time to move into the World Cup quarter-finals after doing almost everything wrong over 90 minutes.

PHOTOS: Germany beat Algeria to set up quarter-final with France

Coach Joachim Loew will no doubt be skipping any post-game celebrations as he rushes back to the drawing board to reshuffle his team ahead of their match against France if they are to confirm their status as genuine title contenders.

The absence of a clear striker in the starting lineup could have also proved costly against the North Africans with neither Mario Goetze nor Mesut Ozil nor Thomas Mueller able to convert any of the several chances they carved out in normal time.

His best forward, Miroslav Klose, meanwhile, was languishing on the bench, no doubt asking himself why he was not on the pitch to add to his 15 World Cup goals.

One position that Loew should have no concerns about is goalkeeper with Manuel Neuer delivering a stunning masterclass of modern goalkeeping, cleverly racing out of the box more times than anyone in recent memory and helping to launch quick counter attacks throughout the game against Algeria.

He repeatedly outsprinted and outsmarted quick Sofiane Feghouli and Islam Slimani when his backline was struggling, providing much needed confidence at the back.

The Germans' superior fitness in extra time then carried them past opponents who were running on empty, scoring twice to seal their first win over Algeria.

Complete coverage of the Football World Cup


Image: Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Germany gestures during their World Cup Round of 16 match against Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Monday
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images