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Germany, Ghana share spoils in Fortaleza thriller

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Germany 2, Ghana 2

Germany and Ghana were forced to settle for a share of the points after their back-and-forth thriller in Fortaleza finished 2-2. All the goals came in the second-half of the Group G contest as strikers Miroslav Klose and Asamoah Gyan both equaled World Cup scoring records.

The Africans had the first chance of the game at the Estadio Castelao. Lively winger Christian Atsu raced up the right and crossed low and dangerously through the area, where Asamoah Gyan was only able to slam the ball over the bar with a sliding effort. Not long after, in the 13th minute, Kwadwo Asamoah stretched Manuel Neuer with a swinging shot from the edge of the box.

It soon became clear that Ghana would be a far tougher proposition for the Germans than Portugal were in their first game. The Africans’ speed and agility caused the Europeans problems throughout the first-half. But Thomas Muller, hat-trick hero from their opening game, continued to look dangerous in attack for the Mannschaft. Near the half-hour mark Sulley Muntari tested Neuer again with a pile-driver from well outside the area that had the German No1 scrambling to punch clear.

Mario Gotze had a snap-shot saved ten minutes from the break. Most of the German attacks up to then fizzled out before any serious danger was caused, slid away by a highly elastic Ghanaian central defensive pairing, who stretched and dove to keep the score-sheet clean.

German coach Joachim Low must have figured things out at the half, because it took his side only six second-half minutes to open the scoring. Gotze snuck in between the -backs and hit home a Muller cross from the right with his thigh. The early cross was the secret weapon to unlocking the Ghanaians.

Ghana’s response, however, was immediate and similar. An early cross from the right picked out Andre Ayew, who headed home brilliantly to the back post just seconds after seeing his side go behind. Ghana were suddenly in the mood and Gyan made it 2-1 to the Africans, tying the immortal Roger Milla of Cameroon as the top-scoring African in World Cup history. Muntari picked off a slack pass in midfield and laid on a righteous ball for the racing Gyan, who fired inside the back post to send the Ghanaian fans into ecstasy.

But the Germans weren’t done yet and second-half substitute Miroslav Klose slid home a flicked-on corner- in the 71st minute to level the score again. It was the striker’s 15th World Cup goal, bringing him level with Ronaldo as the top marksman in World Cup history. There were chances at either end as the clock wound down, but 2-2 it was to stay.

Germany close out their section against USA on the northern coast in Recife on 26 June, the same Ghana face Portugal.

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