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World Cup Daily Recap: Germany squeaks by Uruguay for third place

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It was a ball off the cross bar that helped Uruguay advance so far in the World Cup and in the end, it was a cross bar that kept them from glory.

In a match that saw a pair of lead changes, Germany defeated Uruguay, 3-2 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. A late goal by Sami Khedira sealed an impressive comeback for the Germans who battled back from down 2-1 thanks to second half goals by Khedira and Marcell Jansen, ending Uruguay's impressive run. 

Uruguay were presented with one final chance to come back in the 92nd minute when Luis Suarez earned the side a dangerous free kick just outside the penalty area. Diego Forlan stepped up to take the kick with a chance to work his magic for a final time, but the striker fired it into the cross bar as time expired.

Forlan put the Chaurras up 2-1 in the 51st minute with a shot off a volley that hit the ground and then bounced over the head of Germany defender Per Mertesacker. The first half saw an open match as Germany and Uruguay traded goals. The Germans went up in the 19th minute thanks to Thomas Muller's 5th goal of the tournament and with Uruguay's Edinson Cavani equalizing in the 28th minute.

Germany has now finished in third for the second consecutive World Cup. The finish for the Charruas is the best for Uruguay since 1970, when they were defeated by West Germany in the third place match. 

Here are highlights from the match:


  1. Exactly. Look out for this sqaud at Euro 2012 and in Brazil in 2014. The Germans are loaded with young talent, and most German fans realize that the best is yet to come.

  2. they did the same thing in 2006

    i guess like you jeff said the 3rd place isn’t that important for germany and it is a nice way to thank the ‘benchwarmers’ i read that except the 3rd goalie every german player now got at least some minutes playing time at the world cup

  3. My guess is that Germany are satisfied- they are a young team, lost their keeper and then their captain, and weren’t picked to fininsh in top 5.

  4. I don’t think anyone has meant more to their team than Diego Forlan. He had one of the greatest tournaments in terms of leadership, scoring (fantastic goals) and being the focal point of the attack.

    I hope some of the youngsters in America took notice. That is how you show up to perform at this tournament.

  5. I thought it was interesting that Germany fielded a large number of bench warmers whereas Uruguay kept most of the starters. I can imagine another third place finish seems rather hollow to Germany but Uruguay are bound to return home as heros.

  6. My comment was not about the effort that the players put in, but rather the entertainment value in a (for all intents and purposes) meaningless game. Effort doesn’t always equal an exciting game – the Spain/Germany semi showed that. My point was that as a fan with no rooting interest in the game either way, I was thoroughly entertained.

  7. I continue to be confused by comments like “can’t ask for more in a third-place game”. I’ve never seen anyone act shocked when teams play hard in, say, the bronze medal game in Olympic basketball. Everyone wants to win that, desperately, so they can say they medaled at the Olympics instead of coming away with nothing.

    FIFA clearly isn’t spinning things the right way. I don’t know if the IOC somehow has some chokehold on the term “bronze-medal game”– they clearly don’t have a chokehold on literal bronze medals, since FIFA gives those out to the third-place team– but assuming they don’t, rebranding the game as The Bronze Medal Game (thus making it about WINNING something tangible) would do a ton to increase interest and competitive edge.

    Sometimes things really are all about one’s perspective.

  8. A good, open, attacking game, neither team mailed it in, and a dramatic finish. Can’t ask for more in a third-place game. Uruguay showed that they were the real deal, and Forlan was absolutely ridiculous throughout the tournament. You have to wonder how the semi-finals would have played out if Suarez and Muller had been allowed to play (and obviously the latter should have been able to).


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