European heavyweights France and Germany to do battle

EUROPEAN heavyweights France and Germany will meet in a blockbuster World Cup quarter-final on Saturday morning in Brazil after snuffing out the African challenge yesterday.

France needed late goals to see off Nigeria 2-0 while Germany secured its 2-1 win over Algeria in extra-time.

It was the first time two African teams had reached the last 16, but both went out within hours of each other.

With the score 0-all after 90 minutes of play in Porto Alegre, German substitute Andre Schuerrle found the back of the net after flicking in a low cross, before superstar teammate Mesut Ozil added a second goal in the last minute.

Abdelmoumene Djabou scored a consolation goal for the Algerians.

The result kept Germany's record of reaching at least the quarter-finals in every World Cup it has played in since 1938.

Germany coach Joachim Loew said his side would have to be "better" against France.

"We gave up the ball too much, especially in the first half ... at the end of the day it was a victory of will, our strength of will," he told German television.

After failing to reach the second round in 2010 in South Africa, France scored twice in the last 11 minutes in Brasilia. The first came from a header by Paul Pogba, the second an own goal from Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo.

French coach Didier Deschamps said the win will have his side battle-hardened for the clash with Germany, which it holds an 11-8 win-loss record against, in Rio.

"That'll make us even stronger," he said. "We had a very good group stage and finished first, but every match is decisive now. To be one of the eight teams left in the quarter-finals makes me very proud. My players deserve it."

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