by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (June 21st 2014)
Kwesi Appiahʼs Black Stars fell just short in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Germany. Mario Götze put Germany ahead after 51 minutes after a thrilling move where Ghana could not get a touch. Three minutes later Marseilles midfielder André Ayew headed Ghana level. Almost ten minutes later Asamoah Gyan put Ghana ahead.
Joachim Löw brought Miroslav Klose on. The German striker was tied with former record holder for goals in the World Cup Finals with German legend Gerd Müller on 14, one behind Brasilʼs Ronaldo (Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima). With 20 minutes remaining Klose equalled the record from inches out.
A Thrilling Display
Ghana didnʼt get a look in as Germany moved the ball from left to right five minutes into the second half. Thomas Müllerʼs cross was headed onto his knee and past Fatawu Dauda by Götze to give the lead. Löwʼs team were not allowed to settle.
Three minutes Esperanceʼs Harrison Afful overlapping on the right wing, cut back and crossed. It was met with a powerful angled header by André Ayew that gave the German keeper no chance. Nine minutes later German captain Phillip Lahm gave possession away to Sulley Muntari, whose pass found Gyan on the right of the area. He shot across Neuer to give Ghana a deserved lead.
This was not in Löwʼs script. Klose was introduced. With 20 minutes left a corner was headed on by Benedikt Höwedes. Klose slid in to tap-in – the fourth World Cup Finals that he had scored in. Only two others have matched that feat.
Ghana should have gone 3-1 up moments earlier, but substitute Jordan Ayew saw his name in the headlines. Racing down the left flank he had opportunities to pass to a better placed Gyan. He spurned both and shot tamely at Neuer. Ten minutes later Jordan Ayew repeated his error.
Müller had just been denied by a superb last ditch tackle by Juventusʼ Kwadmo Asamoah. John Boye also performed heroics in defence and a promising 3 on 2 attack was wasted when substitute Mubarak Wakaso was caught off-side. A draw was a fair result, but Ghana will be observing tomorrowʼs match between the USA and Portugal carefully.
Compared to the second half the first was largely forgettable. Christian Atsu crossed for Asamoah Gyan up to shoot after 7 minutes, but the Al-Ain striker shot over. The 35 yard pass by Sulley Muntari to find Atsu was sumptuous.
There were few other clear chances in the first half, although Gyan seemed to be looking for penalty just over half an hour into the match. There was no contact from Germanyʼs goal-keeper Manuel Neuer as Gyan miss-controlled for a goal-kick. He seemed to be looking for contact and a penalty that never came.