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World Cup PHOTOS: US lose to Germany but win last 16 spot

Last updated on: June 27, 2014 01:17 IST

World Cup PHOTOS: US lose to Germany but win last 16 spot

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Germany edged past a gritty United States 1-0 in the World Cup Group G match in Refice, but the Americans also advanced to the last 16 after Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in the other match in the group on Thursday.

Germany topped the group and will face the runner-up in Group H, while the United States finished second and will face Group H's winner.

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Image: Omar Gonzalez (L) and Nick Rimando of the United States celebrate after the match
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

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Germany's Mueller scored the winner in the 55th minute

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Germany's Thomas Mueller scored the only goal of the match in the 55th minute.

US goalkeeper Tim Howard parried out a Per Mertesacker header but Mueller collected the loose ball on the edge of the area and superbly side-footed it into the bottom corner.

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Image: Germany's Thomas Mueller celebrates after scoring the goal
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Mueller's fourth goal for Germany in this tournament

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Mueller, who hit his fourth goal for Germany in this tournament, is the joint top scorer in the 2014 World Cup along with Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar.

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Image: Germany's players celebrate after Thomas Mueller (right) scored the goal.
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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The Americans put in a blue-collar defensive performance

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Content to concede possession for long periods, the Americans put in a blue-collar defensive performance, breaking forward when the opportunity arose, but with their superior technique and ball movement, the Germans were always a threat.

The Germans dominated the game with Juergen Klinsmann's team, with their backs against the wall, creating very few chances.

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Image: Clint Dempsey (centre) of the US competes tries to get the ball past the German defenders
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Klinsmann's 'doctor's note'

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Even US President Barack Obama was glued to the match aboard Air Force One and was delighted with the US making it through to the next round despite their defeat.

Earlier, US head coach Juergen Klinsmann had produced a cheeky hand-written letter for American fans who want to skip work on Thursday in order to watch the match.

In the style of a 'doctor's note', Klinsmann addresses employers and asks them to forgive their staff for their absence.

The letter was distributed on social networks by the US Soccer.

"I understand that this absence may reduce the productivity of your workplace, but I can assure you that it is for an important cause," wrote Klinsmann.

"The #USMNT (U.S. Men's National Team) has a critical World Cup game vs Germany and we will need the full support of the nation if we are to advance to the next round.

"By the way, you should act like a good leader and take the day off as well. Go USA! Signed Jurgen Klinsmann, Head Coach, U.S. National team".

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Image: Head coaches Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States (left) and Joachim Loew of Germany shake hands after the match
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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