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Uruguay vs Germany. FIFA World Cup 3rd/4th Play-Off.

Nelson Mandela Bay StadiumAttendance36,007.

Uruguay 2

  • E Cavani (28th minute)
  • D Forlan (51st minute)

Germany 3

  • T Müller (18th minute)
  • M Jansen (56th minute)
  • S Khedira (82nd minute)

Germany secure third place

Jamie Casey

Saturday 10 July 2010 21:45, UK

Sami Khedira heads the winner for Germany on 83 minutes
Image: Khedira: Celebrates winner for Germany

A late header from Sami Khedira ensured Germany finished third in the World Cup with a 3-2 win over Uruguay.

Joachim Low's side edge playoff thriller with late winner

A late header from Sami Khedira ensured Germany finished third in the World Cup with a 3-2 win over Uruguay. The two beaten semi-finalists played out an entertaining game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the penultimate match of the finals. Thomas Mueller became joint-top scorer as he opened the scoring on 18 minutes before Edinson Cavani levelled for Uruguay before the break. The South Americans took the lead for the first time early in the second half through the impressive Diego Forlan but Marcell Jansen equalised for Germany within five minutes. The open encounter seemed destined for extra-time before Stuttgart midfielder Khedira nodded Germany in front again with just eight minutes remaining to seal the bronze prize.

Fortunate

Germany made the brighter start but Dennis Aogo was fortunate to get away with just a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Uruguay's Diego Perez with just five minutes on the clock. Five minutes later, the three-time World Cup winners were almost ahead as Arne Friedrich's header from a Mesut Ozil corner crashed against the crossbar. It took Joachim Low's side just 19 minutes to break the deadlock and it came courtesy of one of Germany's key performers of an impressive tournament in Mueller. A speculative long range shot from Bastian Schweinsteiger was carelessly parried by Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal, inviting Mueller to tap into an unguarded net from around 12 yards. The goal put the Bayern Munich midfielder on five goals for the tournament and level with Spain's David Villa and Holland's Wesley Sneijder in the race for the golden boot. The Germans, who have become renowned for clinically punishing opposition's mistakes at this World Cup, were worthy of their lead and continued to dominate possession. Despite seeing much of the ball, though, Germany found themselves pegged back on 28 minutes as Cavani levelled for Uruguay against the run of play. A brilliantly timed, determined tackle from Perez dispossessed Schweinsteiger in the centre of the field and ignited a counter attack which saw Cavani slip through on goal. The Palermo striker had just Hans-Jorg Butt to beat after collecting Luis Suarez's pass and he duly tucked his effort into the bottom corner to even up the tie. The goal reignited belief in the Uruguay team as they began to take the game to Germany, who reverted to their favoured counter-attacking tactics. Suarez wasted a glorious chance to put Oscar Tabarez's men into the lead three minutes before the break as he collected a through ball from Diego Forlan before dragging his shot wide of the far post.
Second-half
Uruguay started the second period with greater urgency and they almost took the lead just three minutes after the restart as Forlan set Cavani through on goal. Cavani won a race to the ball with Butt in Germany's goal, before cutting the ball back for Suarez, who could only steer his shot into the path of the grounded Butt, who tipped wide heroically. Uruguay didn't have long to wait for their second goal, however, and it came in the 51st minute through the inspirational Forlan, who volleyed an Egidio Arevalo cross into the ground and into the top corner. The goal also moved Forlan onto five goals in the tournament in one of the closest battles for top scorer in recent World Cup history. Germany ensured the third-place play-off lived up to its reputation as an entertaining, pre-final send off by levelling up the contest once more just five minutes after falling behind. Jerome Boateng found space on the right flank and produced one of the crosses of the tournament to find Jansen in the centre, who won the header to nod past the committed Muslera. The game remained an open affair and both sides threatened to score again in the aftermath of the Germany equaliser with Ozil and Suarez in the thick of the action for either side. Butt was having an impressive game and coach Low had his keeper to thank for keeping Germany level as he denied Forlan a second goal when rushing off his line to deny the Atletico striker. Eight minutes from time, the Germans found another way through and it came via the head of Khedira, who nodded home a kind bounce from an Ozil corner on 82 minutes. Substitute Stefan Kiessling blew an opportunity to add gloss to Germany's win as he lashed wide at the end of a fine passing move in 88th minute, but a fourth would have been harsh on the South Americans. Diego Forlan almost took the game into extra-time as his injury-time free-kick struck the Germany crossbar with the last kick of the game in an exciting finale. It was a cruel end to Uruguay's eventful tournament but they will leave South Africa with an enhanced reputation while the German's have finished third for the second successive World Cup.