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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

June 27, 2014 08:58 IST

World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

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Thomas Mueller's netted his fourth goal in three World Cup games in a 1-0 win over the USA to give Germany top spot in Group G and send them into knockout stages full of confidence following a dominant display at the Pernambuco arena in Recife.

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Deployed at center forward by Germany coach Joachim Loew, Mueller was a constant thorn in the side of the Americans with his clever running and incisive passing, before popping up on the edge of the area just before the hour mark to decide the game.

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

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World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

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Mueller's goal means Germany top the group and will face the runner-up in Group H while the United States finish second and will face Group H's winner. Portugal, who beat Ghana 2-1, are eliminated along with the Africans.

The game in the north-eastern city of Recife had been threatened by a torrential downpour on Thursday morning, and outside the arena the city's street sellers did a roaring trade in rain ponchos as drenched fans sought a little protection from the incessant rain.

Germany's breakthrough came after 55 minutes when Tim Howard parried out a Per Mertesacker header, but Mueller collected the loose ball on the edge of the area and superbly side-footed into the bottom corner.

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Image: Thomas Mueller celebrates scoring for Germany against the United States
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

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"Thomas is a player that doesn't need two chances. If he gets one he puts it in the net," U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann told a media conference after the game.

"He is fine with one, he puts it in the net."

Germany coach Joachim Loew was also full of praise for man of the match Mueller in his post-game comments.

"He is very difficult for any opponent to figure out. It's difficult to stand up to him, he's very smart and always finds a way into he area. You get them impression it’s so easy for him," Loew said.

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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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World Cup Player of the Day: Masterful Mueller makes the difference

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Only 24, Mueller now has eight goals from his two World Cups and if teammate Miroslav Klose, who has 15 to his name, does become the tournament's all-time top scorer in Brazil, his reign may well be short-lived.

"I just hope we can go as far as possible, and perhaps achieve our ultimate goal," a beaming Mueller said.


Image: Thomas Mueller of Germany acknowledges the fans
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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