Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ghana 2 - Germany 2

Photo by Laurence Griffiths
Ghana needed some sort of result against Group G favorites Germany in Fortaleza today in order to revive their flagging hopes. For the second consecutive FIFA World Cup finals, the Boateng brothers faced off on different sides of the ball. Germany were having a jolly good time passing the ball through the slightest of openings in the Ghanaian backline, and after a series where more than half the team touched the ball, Toni Kroos had a shot set up directly by a backheel no-look pass from Thomas Muller. However, Jonathan Mensah was able to block the shot. Christian Atsu was able to get onto his favored left foot form the half-circle, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was up to the challenge on the diving save. Asamoah Gyan was the focal point for the Ghanaian attack. He received a ball in the box, forcing Philipp Lahm to toe poke it upfield. Sulley Muntari gathered the rebound and belted a line drive that Neuer punched backupfield. Neither team was able to breach the goal line in the first period, and they leave the pitch tied at 0-0.

Five minutes into the half, just as it seemed the game ha calmed down considerably. Mario Gotze mad a spectacular run across the front of Ghanaian right back Harrison Afful to get open at the penalty spot. Gotze headed the cross from ?? off his own knee and into the Ghanaian net to give Die Mannschaft a 1-0 lead. But three minutes later, Andre Ayew had his second equalizing goal in as many matches. The defense sagged off the cross of Afful from the right flank, so he played a brilliant ball into the danger area. Ayew got goalside of his marker ? Mustafi and nodded into the net for 1-1. Muntari stripped a ball in the attacking third for Ghana. He immediately released a pass forward for Gyan. Gyan got his shot off before Per Mertesacker made up the ground, beating Neuer with a curling shot into the far side netting to put the Black Stars ahead 2-1. Jordan Ayew made a magnificent run up the left side of the pitch and skipped two German tackles at midfield. He completed his run of over sixty yards inside the German box with a cut back, but his shot was not worthy of the buildup. Germany made a double substitution to put more men in the attack. These men were Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose. Mesut Ozil (picture, white) chipped a ball to Schweinsteiger short of the near post. Schweinsteiger flicked a header toward goal, but Ghanaian centerback John Bye ws there to pop the ball out for a corner kick. From that very corner kick, Germany drew level. Benedikt Howedes headed from the near post to the far post, and Klose was the only player to react quickly enough as he tapped in at the back post to become Germany's all-time top goal scorer. Germany seemed very intent on finding a way to win this match, and Ghana no longer looked to be protagonists in this match. Ozil hit a ball across the face of goal that beat the goalkeeper, but Mensah was able to clear the ball before Muller could tap in for the winner. In stoppage time, Germany commited too many numbers forward on a set piece, and Ghana had a three-on-two breakaway for the victory. Unfortunately, they played themselves into an offsides position. In the final moment, Muntari drew a yellow card, meaning he will be suspended for Ghana's third match of the tournament. The two teams play to a 2-2 draw, a fair result given all the action on the pitch.

Germany 4 pts +4
USA 3 pts +1
Ghana 1 pts -1
Portugal 0 pts -4

Mario Gotze 51
Miroslav Klose 71

Andre Ayew 54
Asamoah Gyan 63

Match Reports:


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