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Draw with Ghana

Götze on target but Germans drop points

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Germany still have work to do if they are to book a place in the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil after a determined and powerful Ghana team held Joachim Löw’s men to a 2–2 draw on Saturday night. Mario Götze opened the scoring in the 51st minute, but André Ayew (53) and Asamoah Gyan (63) turned the game on its head for the Black Stars. Substitute Miroslav Klose salvaged a point for the Europeans 20 minutes from time.

“Overall we can't be satisfied," said captain Philipp Lahm “those were 90 very demanding minutes." Löw made no changes to his starting line-up from the 4–0 victory over Portugal, so the team included Manuel Neuer, Lahm, Toni Kroos, Götze, Thomas Müller and Jérôme Boateng, although the big defender was substituted at half-time with a pulled muscle. Bastian Schweinsteiger came on for his tournament debut after 69 minutes.

In the 29°C heat and 61 percent humidity of Fortaleza, Germany struggled for rhythm in the first half as the Ghanaians closed down the space, tackled accurately and energetically, and broke at speed in search of a goal themselves. Neither side created a clear-cut chance before the break and the teams turned round with the match deadlocked.

“We'll take the points against USA”

Both sides upped the pace after half-time and the game developed into an enthralling spectacle. Götze converted Müller's 51st minute cross, but Ayew headed home just two minutes later to level the scores. The Africans had the bit between their teeth now and Gyan produced a clinical finish after an error in the Europeans’ build up play. Löw’s team showed great resilience and poured forward in search of an equaliser, with Klose tapping home after a 71st-minute corner. “That was a wake-up call," reflected Neuer, “we know we have to keep both feet on the ground. We've achieved nothing yet.“

In their final group match against USA on Thursday a draw would be enough for the Germans to secure a place in the knockout stages. Götze, who was named Man of the Match afterwards, was in upbeat spirits: “We'll regenerate now, prepare well and then take the points against USA.“