A header from Sami Khedira meant Europe has the top three teams in the world. It earned Germany third place with a 3-2 victory over Uruguay at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth last night.
With Miroslav Klose on the bench nursing a virus alongside Lukas Podolski, Thomas Müller returned from suspension and slipped straight back into goalscoring mode. Müller pounced when Fernando Muslera failed to hold a long-range drive by Bastian Schweinsteiger after 18 minutes to sidefoot in the opening goal.
Schweinsteiger made an unhappy contribution to Uruguay's equaliser 10 minutes later, losing the ball in an aggressive challenge by Diego Perez. Luis Suarez, back from suspension after his notorious handball against Ghana, swept the ball forward to Edinson Cavani, who came in from the left to beat Hans-Jörg Butt, deputising for Manuel Neuer in the German goal.
If Müller was chasing the Golden Boot as leading scorer, Diego Forlan was challenging him. He finished a flowing Uruguayan move six minutes into the second half with a sharp shot on the turn from Egidio Arevalo's cross to match the German's five goals.
Uruguay's lead lasted five minutes before Jerome Boateng lifted in a cross from the right for Marcell Jansen to head home with Muslera again at fault.
Almost everyone at the back for Uruguay was at fault for the decisive goal by Khedira. Mesut Ozil swung in a corner from the right that generated a bout of head tennis, ending with Khedira measuring his looped header into the far corner.
"Obviously it's something spectacular to be among the top four," Forlan said afterwards. "If someone would've asked us at the beginning, we would've liked it. It's something positive."
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico)
Man of the match: Forlan
Match rating: 7/10