By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Germany striker Miroslav Klose came off the bench last night to score the equalizer in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Ghana at the Arena Castelão in Fortaleza. The goal means that the 36-year-old has drawn level with Brazilian idol Ronaldo Fenômeno on fifteen goals, the joint highest number in the history of the tournament.
The stalemate means Group G will remain open until the final round. Germany have four points after beating Portugal 4-0 last week and the draw was Ghana’s first following defeat to the USA last week.
After an uneventful first half, the second sparked into life. After scoring a hat-trick against Portugal, forward Thomas Muller was effectively marked out of the game by the Ghana defense and failed to have the same impact on proceedings.
Germany negated to use the flanks to build attacks, instead trying to force their way through the middle where Ghana were well marshaled. The ploy didn’t work and at half-time German coach Joachim Low changed approach. Nevertheless, Germany went ahead in fortuitous circumstances on 51 minutes. Trying to head the ball, it cannoned off his knee to the surprise of everyone and into the net.
It took Ghana less than two minutes to draw level. A cross from Afful was converted by André Ayew. The stadium erupted. Most of the Brazilians present were supporting Ghana. hoping against hope Klose would not come on for Germany to threaten Ronaldo’s record.
Then just after the hour mark the Africans went ahead. Sulley Muntari robbed Phillip Lahm and teed up Asamoah Gyan to bury the chance and make it 2-1. That was the cue for Klose. Sent on, less than two minutes later he had brought Germany level in the game and himself level with Ronaldo in the history books.
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