Germany and Ghana faced off in a well-played World Cup game, enjoyable to watch. Both teams fought honorably and, in my opinion, their draw was earned: A victory for either team simply would not have been fair to the other.
Though no goals were scored in the first half, there were many attempts made to score. Worth noting is the German shot, 21 minutes in, taken by midfielder Thomas Muller after receiving a cross from fellow midfielder Mesut Ozil, and saved by Ghanaian defender John Boyle. Just as exhilarating was Ghanian midfielder Sulley Muntari’s power-packed shot from 35 yards away, stopped by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer just in time. When all was said and done, Germany had taken 11 shots, and Ghana had taken 20. The two held the ball for roughly the same amount of time, and for that reason, the first half was a deadlock. There were few times in which a German midfielder or forward could make it near the goal without Ghana defenders hot on their heels and a very capable goalie awaiting. Similarly, although they made several striking counter-attacks when they got their foot on the ball, the Black Stars could not score either.
When the second half began, so too did the substitutions and the goals that kept the entire audience’s hearts pounding just as hard as the players pounded the field. Muller’s cross, sailing between Ghanaian defenders, reached German midfielder Mario Gotze just before the goal, and a lucky bump of his knee brought the score 1-0. The German lead, and subsequent celebration, would not last long. Three minutes later, Ghanian midfielder Andrew Ayer’s header made it past a tight German defense to tie up the score. Even more surprising, the next man to score would not be a German, but a Ghanaian: Forward, and team captain, Asamoah Gyan. Shortly after the goal, Gotze exited the game to be replaced by striker Miroslav Klose, and midfielder Sami Khedira was replaced by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. Two minutes later, Klose touched the ball for the first time, equalizing the score with a corner kick. It ws the 15th World Cup goal for Klose, making him one of only two people to have scored so many. However, no other goals followed, though the shots continued until the final whistle.
This game was a pleasure to watch, clean and well fought. But what does this draw mean? The fate of Group G, arguably one of the most competitive groups in the Cup, is still up in the air. Battling through high heat and humidity, the two teams have shown that they are certainly worthy of advancing to the next round, although the two games to be played this Thursday will be the only way of knowing who will actually advance from this killer group.
Final Score: 2 (Germany) — 2 (Ghana)
Mario Gotze (GER) — 51st minute
Andre Ayew (GHA) — 54th minute
Asamoah Gyan (GHA) — 63rd minute
Miroslav Klose (GER) — 71st minute