Germany pip Uruguay for third

  • Last Updated: July 10 2010, 22:59 BST

Thomas Muller staked his claim for the Golden Boot award as the World Cup's top scorer as Germany secured the third-place consolation prize with a 3-2 victory over Uruguay.

Thomas Muller celebrates his goal.

The 20-year-old midfielder currently leads the race after his fifth goal of the tournament - the same as Diego Forlan, David Villa and Wesley Sneijder but with more 'assists'.

Villa and Sneijder play in Sunday's final but Muller, the outstanding young player of the tournament, has set the target.

Muller opened the scoring in a rain-soaked Port Elizabeth before Edinson Cavani equalised for Uruguay, then Diego Forlan volleyed the South Americans in front before a goalkeeping error allowed Marcell Jansen to equalise.

A thrilling game - the most open contest of the World Cup - was finally decided when Sami Khedira headed home to give Germany their second third-place finish in consecutive tournaments.

Germany coach Joachim Low said: "In the second half, when we were forced to dig deep, we saw the mental strength the team had to resist and then snatch victory.

"I'm pleased with that, the team deserves it. Altogether, what we've achieved, we never would have expected it eight or nine months ago."

Khedira said: "It's a tribute not just to the team but to all 23 players here that we were able to give a good performance and keep the quality high.

"We've done well here but next time we want to get to the next level."

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said: "We showed our purpose and intentions, on a level playing field against a great opponent.

"The match was contested by two teams who really wanted to finish in third place, by two teams who gave everything.

"We showed we can play any team in the world, there's nothing above this. We lost, but we could have won."

Forlan said: "We wanted to reach the final, it wasn't possible, but we did our best in every game. Now it's time for a rest.

"Finishing among the top four teams is spectacular.

"At the beginning we never thought we'd taste a moment like this. We wanted to finish third, but we'll remember the positives."