Sunday, June 22, 2014

World cup 2014 : Germany vs Ghana 2-2

Its been a spate of good hard fought matches of late, which is a delight for all soccer fans like us across the globe......& most of these matches have been between a Champion side or a tournament favourite vs a rookie or a minnow....& it has been heartening to see the underdogs come up in the big stage....a very encouraging sight for the World of Football.
Today's match was between the clinical Germany vs African power house Ghana.
Both team were earnest in their efforts & the game as expected was pacy form the beginning. Interestingly, the Boateng brothers were playing against each other....Jerome donning German colours, having taken German nationality, & Kevin Prince representing Ghana.....both brothers play in Bundesliga, Germany.
1st half was more on testing each other & going for the kill cautiously....& it was goal less at the lemon break....the afternoon heat slackening the pace of the game.
2nd half was more purposeful, & it was Germany that went ahead in the 51st minute....from Lahm to Mueller, who sent in a perfect pass inside the box, & the lurking Mario Goetze fumbled but managed the ball to hit his knee, bounce off his face & go past a flailing Fatawu Dauda, the Ghanaian goalkeeper... 1-0. Not the best of the finishes, but effective enough to take the lead. Ghana substituted Prince Boateng with Jordan Ayew, who made his presence felt immediately after. Pressing hard for an equaliser, Harrison Afful sent in a beautiful cross from the right flank & Ayew jumped in from the edge of the six yard box to head powerfully past the full stretched German Goalkeeper Neuer. It was on. The pressure on the German defense was now intense & this resulted in another lapse by the normally dependable Lahm in the midfield. Sulley Muntari picked up the ball from there & threaded a beautiful pass past Hummels & Howedes to Asamoah Gyan, who fired the ball into goal, as a hapless Neuer could only collect the ball from the net.....It was Ghana ahead now at 2-1. German coach Joachim Low quickly made two changes bringing in Miroslav Klose for Goetze & Schweinsteiger for Khedira to add more sting in the attack. This paid off almost immediately as Kroos whips neatly into the box from a corner & Howedes heads from a melee towards the goal,..... but its the ever lurking, goal hungry Klose who toes in to make it 2-2 & also becomes the joint highest scorer in World Cup with his 15th goal....along with Ronaldo of Brazil. He now has a realistic chance to go ahead & take the pole spot for himself. The flip jump after the goal was customary of Klose as celebrations broke in a much relieved German camp.
The end score remained at 2-2 for a very entertaining match, especially the 2nd half which was breathtaking.
As it stands for the Group, USA needs to win against Portugal to assure of a place in last 16, while Ghana has a complicated option of having to defeat Portugal in their final match & hope USA could topple Germans !!!... tough call indeed. Germans on the other hand need just a draw from their final game to move up. Portugal too has a mathematical possibility, having to win both the matches left, but I dont see them come around, especially with Ronaldo injured & not in the best of his form.