In Saturday’s thrilling Germany 2-2 Ghana match, German striker Miroslav Klose made history when his 71st minute goal helped him equal the all-time World Cup goalscoring record that he now shares with Brazil’s Ronaldo. His come-off-the-bench goal was classic Klose to keep Germany in contention to qualify for the next round of the World Cup.
Watch the highlights of Klose’s call here:
In the game itself, Germany was right in not anticipating a cakewalk against Ghana. The African outfit performed admirably against the Germans in a game that has seen the so called “Group of Death” grow increasingly interesting.
As expected, the Ghanaians didn’t see nearly as much of the ball against the Germans as they did against the Americans. Instead, the African side looked to allow Germany a majority of the possession and counter with the pacy duo of Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew.
And it was through Atsu that Ghana sent an early warning to the German defense. Sulley Muntari’s searching cross field pass in the 7th minute found Atsu, whose driven cross from the right wing was drilled over by Asamoah Gyan. That chance, as well as Atsu’s long range strike that tested Manuel Neuer in the 13th minute, showed that Ghana possessed a genuine offensive threat.
Meanwhile, Germany maintained in the first half the impressive passing that saw them demolish Portugal. The interchange from Germany’s forward trio of Mario Gotze, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller frequently led to half chances for the forwards, who were well marked by the Ghanaian center backs.
Gotze and Ozil found themselves momentarily free in the attacking third in the 21st and 29th minutes respectively, only for their intended low crosses towards Muller to be dealt with by Ghana’s impressive center back pairing.
However, neither team had to wait long to get a goal following the half time interval. First, Germany was rewarded for its stellar possession play in the most unlikely of fashions. Gotze, not known for his heading ability, found himself getting on the end of Muller’s searching cross in the 51st minute. The finish was clumsy, but sufficed in giving the Germans the 1-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, Ghana responded almost immediately with a goal that was similar to the one its opposition had scored. Harrison Afful’s dangerous lofted ball was met by Andre Ayew, who nodded home expertly to level the score in the 54th minute.
The Ghanaians had their tails up following the leveler. The central midfield pair of Muntari and Rabiu seemed to step up a gear as they pressed German midfield with a greater ferocity.
The aforementioned pressing directly led to Ghana’s second goal in the 63th minute. Sulley Muntari nicked the ball off a sluggish Sami Khedira in the center of the park and moments later slipped it through to Asamoah Gyan. Gyan slotted past a helpless Neuer, and of course, celebrated with a choreographed team dance.
The Germans, who many now have as favorites to win the entire tournament following Spain’s poor performances, looked stifled for the first time. German coach Joachim Low, hoping to have his side avoid what would’ve been a shock defeat, brought on the experienced Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger in place of Gotze and Khedira in the 69th minute.
The move paid off. Having been on for a minute, Klose found the net with his first touch. Ozil’s corner in the 70th minute was headed on by German left back Benedikt Howedes before falling to the feet of a sliding Klose. The goal was Klose’s 15th World Cup goal, putting him level with Brazil’s Ronaldo for most career World Cup goals.
Both teams continued to have chances following Klose’s leveler. Muller perhaps should’ve done better when he momentarily found himself clear in on goal in the 84th minute. A moment of indecisiveness allowed Kwado Asamoah the chance to tackle both Muller and the ball.
Ultimately, the game ended as a stalemate. Ghana will rue the fact that they did not perform this well against the United States in their first match. From the American perspective, a win tomorrow secures qualification into the Round of 16. Of course, the Americans will now more than likely face a full strength German side that will be bullish following this relatively poor performance.