From a Ghana team that simply outplayed many’s favorite to win the tournament, to Miroslav Klose saving Germany and becoming the joint all-time top scorer of the World Cup and Thomas Muller finishing the match on his back with blood covering his face, the 2-2 draw was the best match we’ve seen in this tournament so far.
What made it so great? The four goals and the record moment from Klose, scoring a goal in his fourth World Cup, something no player has ever done, certainly helped. However, maybe for the first time, we saw two teams that have absolutely no intention of defending or basing their style on counter attacks. Both teams wanted possession, both teams kept playing in order to score goals. It might not be the most tactically sound approach you’ll ever see, but it certainly helps when it comes to fun football.
Ghana needed a point, something. A lot of what happens next depends on Portugal and the United States, but Ghana needed somehow to stay alive. If the Americans win against Portugal their hopes of qualifying to the round of 16 for a third consecutive time are over. If not, than it’s calculations time, but in any case, they’ll need to win the third match against Portugal to leave themselves some sort of chance.
Germany probably disappointed many who were watching. From the confident team that bulldozed Portugal into submission, we were left with some nice attacking combinations in the second half and mostly a tired group that looked slow and weak every time the Ghanaian team attacked with numbers. Maybe it was some sort of complacency, but as another match from the same day showed us, it might have been the African team handling the heat a lot better than their opponents.
Germany will be in the next round unless something quite remarkable happens. Miroslav Klose should have at least a couple of more opportunities to shatter Ronaldo’s record for good, something no one is actually doubting will happen. Ghana, as fun as they’ve been to watch, might have made their tactical adjustments one match too late, not to mention were short on luck in their opening match. If they do go home at the end of the group stage, at least they know they’ve been part of the best 45 minutes of this tournament. Not that it will bring them any consolation.