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Germany edges Uruguay in goal-filled third place match-up

Germany defeats Uruguay 3-2 in Saturday's third place World Cup match-up in South Africa.

German midfielder Thomas Mueller

Mueller scored the game's first goal, giving Germany a fleeting lead

In a game marked by constant scoring on both sides, Germany edged Uruguay 3-2 in the World Cup's third place match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Saturday.

Ten minutes into a rainy first half, Germany missed a chance at an early goal as Arne Friedrich tried to head the ball into the net off a corner kick from Mesut Oezil. The ball rattled the crossbar, rebounding to give midfielder Thomas Mueller a second chance, though he too was thwarted.

But Germany took the early lead at 19 minutes as Mueller sunk the ball into Uruguay's net, past goalie Fernando Muslera. Not 10 minutes later, Uruguay answered with a goal of their own as Edinson Cavanni scored the equalizer for the South Americans.

Uruguay takes, and loses, lead

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who recovered from a thigh injury in time to assume a starting rule in Saturday's game, scored six minutes into the second half to take Uruguay into the lead, 2-1.

But only five minutes later, Germany's Marcell Jansen, replacing striker Lukas Podolski, scored the Europeans' second goal.

At 82 minutes, a corner from Oezil could not be cleared by the Uruguayan defense as Sami Khedira headed the ball into the Uruguay end, swinging the lead back to Germany and ultimately giving them the game.

Uruguay's Diego Forlan, left, scores a goal past Germany goalkeeper Joerg Butt

Forlan, left, scores a goal past Germany goalkeeper Joerg Butt

Sidelined stars

Germany went into the game with a slew of sidelined top players. Watching the game from the bench were Podolski and team captain Philipp Lahm, both taken out by a nasty flu virus after Wednesday's semifinal loss to Spain.

Defensive midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger stepped in for Lahm as captain, with Jerome Boateng filling in for Lahm on right defense.

Klose out with back trouble

Suffering from continued back trouble, Miroslav Klose also sat out Germany's final game and was replaced by Cacau. With 14 career goals in the World Cup finals, the game against Uruguay was his last chance to break the goalscoring record held by Brazil's Ronaldo. At 32, Klose is unlikely to be back on the national team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Before the tournament, Klose had said his goal was to score five goals, a total that would equal his hauls at his two previous World Cups and put him level on the all-time list. Due to the injury, he has to settle for four.

In Germany's goal, Manuel Neuer was replaced by Joerg Butt. Defender Dennis Aogo made his World Cup debut on Saturday.

In Sunday’s final match at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium, an estimated 500 million viewers from around the world will watch Spain and the Netherlands battle it out for the World Cup title.

Author: Martin Kuebler (AFP/dpa/Reuters)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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