PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Germany considers itself warned.
The three-time champion has seen the challenges that Brazil and the Netherlands have already faced from opponents with lesser pedigrees in the Round of 16 at the World Cup — and the surprises from Costa Rica in the group phase.
"We don't want to have the problems that others have had — going to extra time or a shootout," Germany captain Philipp Lahm said Sunday, a day before facing unheralded Algeria. "The supposedly small football countries have shown what they are capable of. We have been warned and we want to do it in 90 minutes."
Still, neither Lahm nor Germany coach Joachim Loew would venture into naming a single player on Algeria's squad — "because I don't want to pronounce them wrongly," the defender said.
"But we have definitely studied the opponent with video analysis," Lahm added. "We know that this team is deservedly in the round of 16. We know what's in store for us. This is a squad that defends together, doesn't want to concede a single goal and doesn't want to lose a single duel. It's an unpleasant squad to play against."
The 30-year-old Lahm belongs to a generation of Germany players who have shown great potential and gone deep into several tournaments but which is yet to win a major trophy.
Germany opened with an emphatic 4-0 win over Portugal then was held 2-2 by Ghana in its next match before beating the United States 1-0 to win Group G, considered the tournament's toughest.
"We can't play like we did against Ghana without much tactics and class," Lahm said. "We have to play aggressively like we did against the United States. ... I think we're a better team tactically but we have to prove that on the pitch.
"We have to unleash our (strength), defend aggressively, attack aggressively and show our class," added Lahm, who is usually a fullback but has been used as a defensive midfielder in this tournament.