PORTO SEGURO, Brazil (AP) — A free kick that provided one of the most comical moments of the World Cup when Germany's Thomas Mueller stumbled before stepping over the ball was a rehearsed trick that went wrong.
Germany earned a free kick in the 88th minute of second-round match against Algeria on Monday. After a huddle, Bastian Schweinsteiger ran and stepped over the ball. Mueller followed but stumbled, then got up and ran over the ball and behind the Algerian wall. Toni Kroos then tried to chip the ball to him but it was low and easily cleared.
A smiling Mueller told German television, "it almost worked," and did not rule out trying it again.
Kroos told German television the move had worked in training, "but it looks awful when it doesn't work."