Saturday, in Fortaleza, Brazil, the Ghanaian National Football Team and their German opposite played to a thrilling 2-2 draw in Group G of the World Cup. The match was a great back and forth contest that could have gone either way. Mercifully it was decided on merits and did not hinge on an officiating mistake.
The game began with a tough first half that saw both teams take the measure of each other but with a decided Ghana tilt. The Germans seemed more affected by the weather which was played in the mid-eighties Fahrenheit and the Ghanaians seemed to be every bit as physical as their opponents. The half ended with both sides seemingly content with the scoreless result despite opportunities on either side.
The second half exploded early. At the 51st minute a streaking Mario Gotze managed to get his nose, literally, ahead of his marker and in so doing redirected the ball onto his knee and the bounce took the ball into the goal for the opening score. Germany 1, Ghana 0.
But the African side was not psychologically affected by the score and the Germans seemed more relieved than energized. With a long expected substitution, of Kevin-Prince Boateng for Andre Ayew, Ghana seemed to get a little jolt of energy. At the 54th minute a long cross found A. Ayew’s perfect header redirecting the ball well past Manuel Neuer’s diving grasp for the score.
With the game tied both sides seemed to get more purposeful as Germany did not fancy a loss while Ghana felt their hopes to progress were being given a huge lift.
It was Ghana who reacted first as their captain, Asamoah Gyan, was given a through pass at the 63rd minute, off an interception in the German half, which left him with little opposition between himself and the German goal. The experienced striker wasted no time in bearing down on Neuer and blasting a right to left shot from close in for the go ahead score—Ghana 2, Germany 1.
But Joachim Low had the right tonic on tap. Within seven minutes of the Ghana goal, and with his team not reacting strongly enough, he brought Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose in. Substituting for Sami Khedira and Gotze at the 70th minute, the midfielder and striker picked up the German’s spirits.
Then, a minute after coming in Klose paid dividends. At the 71st minute a corner kick cross was redirected by Benedikt Howedes toward the far post. Klose followed the play and pounced on the ball to flick it into the unguarded goal for the score.
That would be Klose’s 15th World Cup goal bringing him level with Brazil’s Ronaldo for the most goals scored overall in the tournament. Klose is playing in his fourth World Cup.
The game continued with a handful of opportunities for either side but none materialized as the ref blew the whistle.
The draw leaves Germany with four points, the USA with three, Ghana one, and Portugal zero. The Iberians will have to win their next two matches to progress while the USA can move on with a victory and a tie and Ghana would need to beat Portugal, and then hope the USA falters, in order to advance.