Germany vs Ghana final score: Miroslav Klose saves Germany's blushes with historic strike
Löw’s team come from behind to top Group G after dynamic Africans give them a major scare
Saturday 21 June 2014
The young pretender had his fun against an imploding Portugal but when Germany needed an old dog for the hard road, Joachim Löw released Miroslav Klose, the joint top-scorer in World Cup history.
This was a very hard road the world’s No 2 ranked team were walking against a Ghana side fighting for their World Cup lives. In a hot and sticky Fortaleza, Germany, led by Thomas Müller, the hat-trick hero against Portugal, were in danger of coming unstuck.
They had gone ahead early in the second half through Mario Götze only to concede two goals in nine minutes to the Black Stars, first Andre Ayew then Asamoah Gyan threatening to upset Germany.
But enter Klose, the only conventional striker in the German squad, to nudge home his 15th World Cup goal to join former Brazil striker Ronaldo at the pinnacle of World Cup scorers. In truth he should have had his 16th in the 90th minute of an absorbing match but he dragged a right-foot shot wide from 18 yards when unmarked.
The draw means Germany are on top of Group G with four points going into their final match on Thursday against USA, who play Portugal this evening.
Other than an estimated 12,000 Germans, the crowd were very much behind the Ghanaians, and they expressed their disapproval of Germany’s long, early spells of possession with catcalls and whistles.
Löw’s side were playing in swift triangular patterns, looking to release a player running from deep, but while Götze and Mesut Özil were almost found on the surge, the first real chance fell to Ghana.
Kwadwo Asamoah spread a long ball across the field to Christian Atsu, who cut the ball back for Gyan, but the Ghana captain’s shot from seven yards was well off target.
Ghana’s high line was always going to present opportunities for Germany’s nippy attackers but John Boye and Jonathan Mensah were performing heroics to protect new goalkeeper Fatau Dauda’s goal.
Vorsprung durch Klose: Germany’s veteran striker Miroslav Klose does a flying somersault to celebrate his equaliser The influential Toni Kroos had a shot blocked after being teed up by a clever Müller backheel, Boye was doing a fine line in last ditch interventions and Mensah performed one flying overhead interception to cut out a Kroos through ball.
Most of these chances were stemming from the Ghanaian left flank where Juventus winger Asamoah was a little too casual in possession and too lax in his marshalling of the interchanging Özil and Götze.
However, by the time Götze managed Germany’s first shot on target in the 38th minute, a 20-yard effort straight at Dauda, Ghana had forced Manuel Neuer in the German goal into two sharp saves – first from Chelsea winger Atsu and then former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari from outside the area.
The interval upset the rhythm of the Ghanaian defence, however, and within six minutes of the restart Germany were ahead, Götze evading the marking of Harrison Afful to bundle a Müller cross home via his head and then his knee.
After his brother and German full-back Jerome was substituted at the break, former German Under-21 international Kevin-Prince Boateng followed him off the field soon after the restart. The game’s quota of brothers was maintained by his replacement Jordan Ayew, younger sibling to Andre – who equalised for Ghana three minutes later. The Marseille attacker rose above Boateng’s replacement Shrokdan Mustafi to head home Afful’s cross.
Ghana, cheered on by a partisan local majority, were well in the ascendancy now and when Germany lost possession in midfield, Muntari released the to-that-point ineffective Gyan, who smashed a right-foot shot over the shoulder of Neuer. It should have been three or four but first Jordan Ayew failed to square to Gyan after a great run and then his older brother missed a free header.
They should have known they would be punished and that old fox in the box Klose, introduced moments earlier for Götze, stabbed home Benedikt Höwedes’ flick on from a corner.
Ghana had several chances to take the three points that would have put them in a healthier position before their final game against Portugal, but the best chance of all in a frantic finish fell to Müller, whose shot was blocked by Asamoah.
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng (Mustafi, 45), Hummels, Mertesacker, Höwedes; Lahm, Khedira (Schweinsteiger, 70); Özil, Kroos, Götze (Klose, 69); Müller.
Ghana (4-2-3-1): Dauda; Afful, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah; Muntari, Rabiu (Badu, 78); Atsu (Wakaso, 71), Boateng (J Ayew, 52), A Ayew; Gyan.
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
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