GHANA kept their World Cup hopes alive by denying Germany in Fortaleza in a 2-2 draw which saw Miroslav Klose become the joint leading World Cup goalscorer.
Scorers: Germany; Mario Gotze, Miroslav Klose, Ghana; Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan
After Mario Gotze put Germany in front early in the second half, it looked like Joachim Low’s men were set for a second straight win after defeating Portugal 4-0 in their opening fixture, but Ghana responded bravely.
Andre Ayew headed them level before Asamoah Gyan completed a sensational turnaround.
It was Germany’s turn to respond, and they did with Klose netting a historic 15th goal in World Cup finals with his first touch of the tournament so far, and that proved enough to earn Germany a point.
They face the USA in their final group game still needing a positive result to reach the last 16 while Ghana will need to beat Portugal no matter what if they are to make it through.
Confident after beating Portugal in such emphatic fashion, Germany set about breaking down Ghana with their usual flowing attacking football in Fortaleza.
Gotze and Thomas Muller both threatened to put Low’s men in front as Ghana sat back and invited the pressure on them, showing moments of danger on the break.
Sulley Muntari tested Manuel Neuer’s alertness in the Germany goal, but the Bayern Munich custodian, a pre-tournament doubt with a shoulder injury, showed no signs of any lingering injury worries.
The game then came to life in the second half when Ghana allowed their guard to drop once, and Gotze pounced, heading the ball down against his knee and I to give them a 51st-minute lead.
With their 4-0 victory over Portugal still fresh in the minds, questions may have been asked as to how many Ghana might ship, but James Appiah’s men had different ideas.
Knowing their World Cup future depended on it, they chose to attack a Germany defence which remains their Achilles heel, succeeding in levelling the match after just three minutes.
A sweeping cross from the right was met by the committed Ayew, who beat German substitute Shkodran Mustafi in the air and guided the ball beyond the reach of Neuer.
Ghana continued to push men forwards, catching Germany somewhat by surprise, and taking a deserved lead in the 63rd minute.
AC Milan midfielder Muntari bisected the Germany defence with a killer pass into the path of Gyan, who raced through and provided a composed finish into the far corner of Neuer’s goal.
Germany were forced to chase the game, and who better than Klose to come on and level matters, like he did in the 71st minute when he stretched to ensure Benedikt Howedes’ goalbound header found the back of the net.
It was the 15th World Cup goal for Klose, taking him level with Brazil’s Ronaldo in the all-time World Cup scoring charts and onto a record-breaking 70 for his country.
It was also enough to earn Germany a point with some near misses at both ends late on.