RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — Joachim Loew and Jurgen Klinsmann shook hands, smiled and patted each on the shoulders, like the two good friends they are. The two coaches had every reason to be pleased: both of their teams advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup.
Loew's Germany beat Klinsmann's United States 1-0 thanks to Thomas Mueller's fourth goal of the tournament and the outcome allowed both teams to advance. Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in the other Group G match but both were eliminated.
A draw would have been enough as well, and it had been the matter of much conjecture before Thursday's match at the rain drenched Arena Pernambuco. But neither team held back and both attacked, although Germany was clearly in control.
"Well, first I asked him (Klinsmann) for the result of the other match. I didn't know that and he also told me they advanced and I told him, I'm happy," Loew said.
"That is a tough group and the Americans were a bit the outsiders. Everybody considered Portugal a favorite to make it. ... (The Americans) really have qualities, they fight, they can run and they really are tough on the opponent. If you beat Ghana, play a draw against Portugal, I think you deserve to make it to the next round."
Germany, a three-time champion, now travels to Porto Alegre to play Algeria, the runner-up in Group H, on June 30. The Americans play group winners Belgium on July 1 in Salvador.
Belgium beat South Korea 1-0 and Algeria finished second in the group with a 1-1 draw against Russia.
"It's a good feeling because now it's really just a clear picture for everyone. Just focus on that one opponent you have for that next game. ... We'll just talk about one team to beat at a time and this is why I'm really excited" about this next phase, Klinsmann said.
Klinsmann was Loew's predecessor and made him his assistant, until Klinsmann quit following Germany's third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup at home. Loew then took over and is still looking for his first major title.
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