(CNN) - Germany defeated the USA 1-0 in World Cup action, but the USA advances to the knockout round as the No. 2 team in Group G.
The Americans got an assist from Portugal, which beat Ghana 2-1 on a dramatic second-half goal by Ronaldo. The Ghanans missed a free kick with seconds left in extra time.
After a brilliant first half, U.S. goalie Tim Howard finally allowed a goal to Germany's Thomas Müller, who followed with a perfectly placed second-half goal after another Howard save.
Germany is ranked second in the world, a roster filled with stars. Both teams only need a tie to advance to the next round.
And the coaches Juergen Klinsmann for the U.S. and Joachim Loew of the German squad are old pals.
Still, Klinsmann shot down rumors the two might conspire, to make sure the game ends in a draw.
"We think alike. We come from the same region in southern Germany," Klinsmann said. "And we always stay in contact. Now to this world cup, obviously, everybody is doing the best he can do."
Klinsmann was Loew's boss leading Germany's National Team in the 2006 World Cup.
Together they introduced new training methods, many hailed as revolutionary.
Methods Klinsmann brought to Team USA when he took over the head-coaching job in 2011.
"Our relationship as always been great over the years," Loew said Loew. "We worked together very closely, we trust each other, we complimented each other well. That friendship will not suffer."
But even though they are very close, it doesn't mean they operate the same way.
Klinsmann and Loew are very good friends, but they have very different coaching styles.
On the one hand the great motivator Klinsmann, on the other Loew is more reserved, a cool tactician. But both of them say, they are on this game to win.
Team USA certainly has the Germans' respect with their physical and passionate play.
"We know how dangerous team USA can be if we only play at 90 per cent and not take them seriously," said Mesut Oezil, Germany player. "But if we focus on our game and do what the coach says, we will beat the U.S."
Germany against the USA is a match with many powerful story lines: David versus Goliath, the master against the apprentice, passion and determination versus skill and precision.
A game that has all the ingredients of an exciting football fest.
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