21 June 2014

Ghana, Germany Draw in Thrilling Clash

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Asamoah Gyan celebrates his and Ghana's only goal in the match with Brazil.

Miroslav Klose scored a record-equalling 15th World Cup goal as Ghana let a second half lead slip to draw 2-2 with Germany in their thrilling World Cup Group G clash in Fortaleza on Saturday.

In one of the matches of the tournament so far, Klose's goal matches the top mark held by Brazilian legend Ronaldo and spared the blushes of the Germans, who were second-best at times against a much-improved Black Stars side.

After a goalless first half, Ghana fell behind to a goal from Mario Gotze, but hit back with a quick-fire double from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan.

They held that lead with 20 minutes remaining, before substitute Klose poked the ball home at the back post.

Ghana brought Kevin-Prince Boateng into their starting line-up, meaning he featured against half-brother Jerome Boateng who was playing for Germany.

Goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, who made just two appearances at South African top-flight side Orlando Pirates last season was also preferred in goal to Adam Kwarasey, who started in the 2-1 loss to USA.

The opening half was lively, but devoid of clear-cut chances as both sides battled to find the right final pass in the opponents' defensive third.

The second half was a different story though and it was Germany who struck first with a goal that had some good fortune about it.

Thomas Muller, who was not on the scoresheet in this game following his hat-trick against Portugal last time out, was nonetheless playing some delightful balls into teammate.

It was his pass that set Gotze away on goal on 51 minutes. As the Bayern Munich star tried to head the ball, he instead deflected it down onto his knee, but it still fizzed past a helpless Dauda.

Germany's lead, however, lasted just three minutes as the Black Stars found a quick response.

Harrison Afful swung in a cross from the right and Ayew, who had netted against the USA as well, rose highest to head the ball home.

The Black Stars, now with their tails up and full of confidence, were taking the game to the Germans and they took the lead just past the hour-mark.

Sulley Muntari's brilliant through-ball set Gyan free and he blasted the ball past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The celebrations on the pitch, as well as in the stands from the Brazilian supporters, were spectacular as the stadium erupted.

Ghana had looked susceptible all game against set-pieces and Germany finally took advantage. Benedikt Howedes' flicked on Toni Kroos's corner and Klose was on hand to poke the ball home at the back post as the Black Stars defence stood static.

Ghana's best chance came as they broke late on with three players against two scrambling defenders, but ended up with an offside rather than a shot at goal.

The only real disappointment on the night for the west Africans was a second yellow card of the tournament for Muntari, who now misses the must-win clash with Portugal on Thursday.

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