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US, Germany Advance in World Cup

United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard is unable to stop a shot by Thomas Mueller, scoring Germany's first goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany in Recife, Brazil, June 26, 2014.

Thomas Mueller nailed home a 55th minute goal to send Germany to a 1-0 victory over the United States Thursday and send the Germans onto the World Cup's do-or-die knockout round.

Despite the loss, the Americans also advanced after Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1 in the other Group G match.

With Germany topping the group, the U.S. and Portugal both finished with four points. But the U.S. allowed fewer goals during its three group games than the Portuguese, who were pounded by Germany in their opening match.

Ghana finished last in the group with one point.

Torrential rains in Recife, Brazil, caused problems for spectators trying to get U.S.-Germany match, and soaked the field.

Group H

In Group H games later Thursday, Belgium beat Korea 1-0 while Algeria settled for a 1-1 draw with Russia to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

Ghana Players, Suarez Punished

Ahead of its game with Portugal, Ghana's football association approved the coach's decision to suspend two players. Kevin-Prince Boateng was suspended indefinitely for insulting his coach. Sulley Muntari was also suspended indefinitely, but was ineligible for Thursday's game anyway after earning two yellow cards.

Earlier, soccer governing body FIFA banned Uruguayan player Luis Suarez for nine international matches and four months for biting an Italian player during Tuesday's World Cup match. He was also fined $112,000 for the incident.

Television replays show Suarez biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. Officials have suspended Suarez twice before in club play for biting opposing players.

The Round of 16 elimination round begins Saturday.

Switzerland, France and Nigeria claimed their spots on Wednesday.