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Germany vs. Uruguay: Match for third place had it all

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Gero Breloer/AP

(Read caption) Germany's Sami Khedira, center, celebrates with teammate Germany's Per Mertesacker after scoring his side's third goal during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Germany and Uruguay Saturday. Germany won 3-2. At right is Uruguay's Martin Caceres.

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Germany beat Uruguay 3-2 to secure third place in the World Cup in one of the games of the tournament Saturday in Port Elizabeth.

This contest featured everything that has too often been lacking during the last month. There were end-to-end attacks, thrilling goals and defensive howlers, and a lead that switched back and forward throughout a game with a dramatic finale. It had it all, except much meaning for players still hurting from mid-week elimination from the game that matters.

Germany made clear their disdain for having to compete in football’s saddest kick-about for the second World Cup in a row. They started their third choice goalkeeper Butt and captain Lahm gave himself the day off. Up front Klose failed to shake off a back injury and so lost his final chance to try and overtake Ronaldo as the World Cup’s greatest hit-man. Muller was back, partnered up front by the limited Brazilian Cacau, in for Podolski.

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Uruguay was back at full strength, following the suspensions and injuries that handicapped them against the Dutch. Even so Germany started brighter, with central defender Friedrich heading against the bar in the opening minutes. Then just as Uruguay was slowly playing itself into the game Germany scored in the 18th minute. Muslera, who had a game to forget in Uruguay’s goal, could not hold a swerving Schweinsteiger shot from distance, and Muller pounced to knock in the loose ball for his fifth goal of the competition.


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