One year on: Ghana issue Germany a warning

Ghana played its best game ever in the game against Germany

It has been one year since that historic World Cup journey ? seven games in the summer of 2014 that brought so much happiness. It began in Salvador with a dream, and ended in Rio with that dream becoming a reality. One year after the triumph at the Maracana, DFB.de takes a look back at Germany?s seven games at the 2014 World Cup. It was 365 days ago, on 21st June 2014, when Die Mannschaft were held to a 2-2 draw with Ghana.

His front-flip was anything but perfect. Had judges been sitting on the sidelines, he would no doubt have been awarded poor marks for his effort. Miroslav Klose himself claimed that it was a failed attempt. ?I don?t really know what made me do the flip,? he said. ?It was pretty obvious that I hadn?t been practising it.?

Fortunately, his goalscoring-touch was as well-practiced as ever. Going into the game with Ghana, Klose had bagged 14 goals at World Cup finals, starting with his diving header against Saudi Arabia way back on 1st June 2002. He was just one shy of matching the 15-goal record haul of Brazil star Ronaldo.

Klose off the bench and into the record books

At first, it didn?t look as if Klose would get a chance to catch Ronaldo, as he started the game against Ghana in the dugout. The 36-year-old watched on for 69 minutes before Germany coach Joachim L?w produced a Midas touch, bringing off Mario G?tze and replacing him with Klose. The rest is history and best explained by the man himself: ?I came into the game and we won a corner relatively quickly. My first thought was that I should try and win the header, but something told me that I should go to the back post instead. Fortunately, my instinct was right and that?s where the ball ended up.?

Defensive all-rounder Benedikt H?wedes flicked Toni Kroos? corner on and Klose was left with an easy tap-in, claiming his 15th World Cup goal. ?You need to have a sort of sixth sense in terms of where the ball might end up,? explained Klose. ?Everything worked out perfectly in that situation. I knew where I had to position myself and was able to convert from close range.?

Ghana provide problems as expected

Klose?s goal was not only important from a historic viewpoint, however. After their spectacular 4-0 victory over Portugal in the opening group game, Germany struggled against Ghana. ?Our victory against Portugal was important and well executed, but now we have to make sure we kick on. A victory against Ghana would put us in a great position in our group,? said Joachim L?w prior to the game. But he was also aware that Ghana had everything to lose following their defeat against the United States in their opener and issued a warning to his players: ?It?s almost like a final for Ghana already. They will fight until they drop. Anything but a victory would make it very difficult for them to progress in this tournament.?

At first, the warning seemed to have the desired effect as Germany made the better start to the match as hoped. There might have been a lack of footballing brilliance, but Die Mannschaft were clinical and took a 1-0 lead through Mario G?tze after 51 minutes. The joy was short-lived though, as Ghana?s Andre Ayew equalised in the 54th minute, before Asamoah Gyan fired Ghana into the lead ten minutes later and put Germany on the brink of their first defeat.

That was until head coach L?w turned to veteran striker Klose, who quickly proved his worth by netting his 15th World Cup goal. On the way back to the halfway line, Klose had a clear mindset for the rest of the match after writing his name into the history books: ?I remember that I looked at the clock to see how much time was left as I was running back for kick-off. I was optimistic that we would still get a few chances to secure a victory. We did get those chances, but to be fair, Ghana also had opportunities to score another goal.?

?A true test of willpower?1
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It has been one year since that historic World Cup journey ? seven games in the summer of 2014 that brought so much happiness. It began in Salvador with a dream, and ended in Rio with that dream becoming a reality. One year after the triumph at the Maracana, DFB.de takes a look back at Germany?s seven games at the 2014 World Cup. It was 365 days ago, on 21st June 2014, when Die Mannschaft were held to a 2-2 draw with Ghana.

His front-flip was anything but perfect. Had judges been sitting on the sidelines, he would no doubt have been awarded poor marks for his effort. Miroslav Klose himself claimed that it was a failed attempt. ?I don?t really know what made me do the flip,? he said. ?It was pretty obvious that I hadn?t been practising it.?

Fortunately, his goalscoring-touch was as well-practiced as ever. Going into the game with Ghana, Klose had bagged 14 goals at World Cup finals, starting with his diving header against Saudi Arabia way back on 1st June 2002. He was just one shy of matching the 15-goal record haul of Brazil star Ronaldo.

Klose off the bench and into the record books

At first, it didn?t look as if Klose would get a chance to catch Ronaldo, as he started the game against Ghana in the dugout. The 36-year-old watched on for 69 minutes before Germany coach Joachim L?w produced a Midas touch, bringing off Mario G?tze and replacing him with Klose. The rest is history and best explained by the man himself: ?I came into the game and we won a corner relatively quickly. My first thought was that I should try and win the header, but something told me that I should go to the back post instead. Fortunately, my instinct was right and that?s where the ball ended up.?

Defensive all-rounder Benedikt H?wedes flicked Toni Kroos? corner on and Klose was left with an easy tap-in, claiming his 15th World Cup goal. ?You need to have a sort of sixth sense in terms of where the ball might end up,? explained Klose. ?Everything worked out perfectly in that situation. I knew where I had to position myself and was able to convert from close range.?

Ghana provide problems as expected

Klose?s goal was not only important from a historic viewpoint, however. After their spectacular 4-0 victory over Portugal in the opening group game, Germany struggled against Ghana. ?Our victory against Portugal was important and well executed, but now we have to make sure we kick on. A victory against Ghana would put us in a great position in our group,? said Joachim L?w prior to the game. But he was also aware that Ghana had everything to lose following their defeat against the United States in their opener and issued a warning to his players: ?It?s almost like a final for Ghana already. They will fight until they drop. Anything but a victory would make it very difficult for them to progress in this tournament.?

At first, the warning seemed to have the desired effect as Germany made the better start to the match as hoped. There might have been a lack of footballing brilliance, but Die Mannschaft were clinical and took a 1-0 lead through Mario G?tze after 51 minutes. The joy was short-lived though, as Ghana?s Andre Ayew equalised in the 54th minute, before Asamoah Gyan fired Ghana into the lead ten minutes later and put Germany on the brink of their first defeat.

That was until head coach L?w turned to veteran striker Klose, who quickly proved his worth by netting his 15th World Cup goal. On the way back to the halfway line, Klose had a clear mindset for the rest of the match after writing his name into the history books: ?I remember that I looked at the clock to see how much time was left as I was running back for kick-off. I was optimistic that we would still get a few chances to secure a victory. We did get those chances, but to be fair, Ghana also had opportunities to score another goal.?

?A true test of willpower?

Neither side managed another goal though, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Germany?s players were not overly disheartened by the result, however, as they began their trip back to Campo Bahia. Having collected four points from two games, they still had everything in their own hands before their final group-stage encounter with J?rgen Klinsmann?s USA team. DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach was satisfied with the performance and took to the on-board microphone during their flight back to issue a few encouraging words to the players and coaching staff. ?It was a great World Cup game; a real treat for the spectators. Most of all though, it was a true test of willpower. You can really be proud of yourselves,? Niersbach emphasised.

Two players deserved a special recognition that evening: Per Mertesacker, who had made his 100th appearance for Germany in the match against Ghana, and of course Miroslav Klose. ?Never has there been a player who has scored more goals at a World Cup,? said Niersbach. Klose himself was able to appreciate his achievement a day later, saying: ?15 goals in 20 games isn?t all that bad.? The understatement of the tournament? Plus, no one really cares whether he landed that flip or not anyway.

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