Surprise addendum

The surprise continued in the second game, as Germany faced Ghana.  Ghana was in red, this time, with Germany again in white with red trim.

With Germany ranked in the top four, and Ghana down at 37th, this was not expected to be a terribly competitive game.

Germany started out very conservatively, taking the ball and feeling their way around the edges for a while.  In fact, Ghana got the first real chance in the sixth minute on a counterattack.  Seven minutes later, Ghana managed a bit of sustained pressure, but the goalie was able to get across to get their one really good chance.

In the 28th, Germany finally tried to go over the top, and made a good run, though the only result was a corner kick.  And the goaltender caught the cross on that corner.

In the 32nd, they had another decent chance.  It was a long shot, from outside the box, but it was still a tough save for the keeper.  In the next few minutes, the Germans got Oezil and Goetze behind the defense, but neither one was able to get a good shot off.

At the end of the half, it looked inevitable that the Germans would score, probably in buckets, but nobody had yet managed it.

In the second half, it seemed that the Ghanaians were pressuring much deeper, perhaps to make it more difficult to get those long shots over the top.

But it didn't work all that well, as it only took six minutes for the Germans to take the lead.  There was a long cross to the middle of the field, where Goetze was charging in from the left, and he headed it in calmly.

It didn't take long for the Africans to equalize, though.  And they did it on a very similar cross to the German one, except that there were three targets waiting, and the third, Ayew, put it in.  It was interesting, though, as all three were tightly covered; so much for the German height.

In the 62nd minute, Ghana shocked everyone by taking the lead.  It was a really terrible turnover by the German defense, leading to an easy score by Gyan.

Five minutes later, the Germans showed some desperation, bringing in Schweinsteiger and Klose for more scoring punch.

And that worked almost immediately, as Klose scored off a corner kick.  But not with his normal header; he was waiting at the far post as Hoewedes flicked it on to him, and Klose tapped it in for his fifteenth career World Cup goal.  It was also his fourth World Cup in which he scored.  Both put him among the leaders, all-time.  Kudos to Miroslav, and Poland (he's an ethnic Pole, and where he was born was part of Poland, prior to WWII).

One bit of weirdness in the 76th minute; the Germans had a free kick about ten yards outside the box, and they had three people run over the ball before Schweinsteiger finally kicked it over the net.

The Germans almost scored again in the 86th, but Oezil's cross to Mueller was deflected just before getting to him.

For the last few minutes, both teams were looking very tired, and that was the end of the close chances.

Ghana put up quite a showing, and probably got rid of any chance of German complacency.  It also gave the US a pretty good chance to move on, as long as they could beat Portugal.  It does mean that Germany needs a result against the US to be assured of moving on (and would win the group with a draw).

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