Germany proved why they are favourites to win FIFA World Cup 2014. They needed a draw against USA but came out winners to top Group G. USA though advance too as despite their win 2-1 against Ghana, giants Portugal crashed out. Here are the highlights from both matches. (Germany vs USA matchcentre | Portugal vs Ghana matchcentre | Full standings | Complete coverage)
2327 hrs IST: Did you know? This is the second consecutive time that USA have made it to the final 16 of FIFA World Cup - their best performance was in 1930 when they finished third. That's all from the Group G actions!
2323 hrs IST: Final whistle! Germany top Group G. USA advance as the second team. Portugal crash out despite win against Ghana.
2318 hrs IST: Four minutes of additional time in Germany vs USA. Same duration stipulated in Portugal vs Ghana match.
2311 hrs IST: Zusi is replaced by Yedlin in the American side. It is still 1-0 in favour of Germans after 82'.
2308 hrs IST: GOAL! Portugal back in lead against Ghana. Cristiano Ronaldo scores for his team in the 81st minute and gets a wonderful applause from fans. USA fans too cheer and can breathe easier now.
2254 hrs IST: As per current scorelines - Germany (1) vs USA (0); Portugal (1) vs Ghana (1) - the Americans will advance. If Ghana score once again though and Germans win, it's farewell for Jurgen Klinnsman's team.
2244 hrs IST: Almost simultaneous goals in both matches! Mueller scores for Germany - his thunderous strike crashes into the USA goal in the 55th minute. In the other match, Ghana's Asamoah Gyan brings cheer against Portugal in the 57th.
2233 hrs IST: Germany bring in Klose for Podolski as second half of both matches start. Portugal and Ghana field same players.
2217 hrs IST: End of first half - Germany and USA tied in goalless stalemate. Portugal lead Ghana 1-0.
2210 hrs IST: USA's Gonzales shown yellow for kicking Schweinsteiger. It's 1-1 in terms of yellow cards shown in Germany vs USA match.
2202 hrs IST: After 31 minutes, there is a breakthrough as an OWN GOAL from John Boye of Ghana helps Portugal take 1-0 lead. Did you know? This is the fourth own goal this World Cup. The most in a World Cup was six in 1998. Germany and USA still in goalless tussle.
2151 hrs IST: Portugal vs Ghana - 19' Ronaldo denied once again, this time by the Ghana goalkeeper, who makes a great save!
2147 hrs IST: After 14 minutes of play, Germany have had 67% possession against USA. Yellow card came out in the 12th minute against Germany's Hoewedes for an illegal tackle.
2140 hrs IST: Germany vs USA - Germans attack USA in the early minutes. While the Americans survive without taking any damage, the intent here is clear - no draw whatsoever.
Portugal vs Ghana: 6' Cristiano Ronaldo hits the ball on the top of the bar, so close to going inside.
0930 hrs IST: KICKOFF! Four teams, four dreams, two matches and only two spots in final 16 up for grabs. Germany vs USA and Portugal vs Ghana gets underway!
Germany: 1-Manuel Neuer; 20-Jerome Boateng, 5-Mats Hummels, 17-Per Mertesacker, 4-Benedikt Hoewedes; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 16-Philip Lahm; 18-Toni Kroos, 8-Mesut Ozil, 10-Lukas Podolski; 13-Thomas Mueller
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 3-Omar Gonzalez, 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 15-Kyle Beckerman, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones, 19-Graham Zusi, 14-Brad Davis; 8-Clint Dempsey
This group had been called the Group of Death even before the World Cup started. And it has lived up to its rather notorious reputation with all four competing teams with a chance to advance till their final league matches.
The equations simplified:
1) Germany and USA advance if both teams draw against each other.
2) If either Germany or USA lose against each other, Ghana - playing simultaneously - will need to win and erase a two-goal difference. In this scenario, the African side will eliminate the loser from the former match
3) Portugal have a mathematical chance. If Germany vs USA match has a result, Portugal must win and erase a mighty goal difference - five if Germany win, eight if USA win.
The above is of course a very broad perspective as, according to a report in USA Today, there are 209 equations that can come into play at the end of the two matches.
Germany vs USA: It has been pouring in Rio de Janeiro but a FIFA spokesperson confirmed to reporters that the match will take place as per schedule.
Portugal vs Ghana: It is bright and sunny in Brasilia with the mercury hovering around the 25C mark.
Coach, Quotes 'n' Confidence:
Joachim Loew, Germany coach: When you want to draw, it never works. It's impossible. Always, the aim is to win the match.
Jurgen Klinsman, USA coach: My family will be a little bit split - the folks in Germany and my folks in the U.S.