Saturday, 21 June 2014

Brazil WC 2014 - Germany vs Ghana, LIVE COMMENTARY:

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post - another LIVE Commentary on this Saturday evening, this time from Group G as Germany play against Ghana. 

Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 last week; while Ghana were unlucky to lose 2-1 against USA.

IF Ghana lose today, they are virtually out of the World Cup, while the Germans can improve on their emphatic performance against the Portuguese with a dominant display against African side Ghana.

Here are the team line-ups for the match - 

Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes, Lahm, Khedira, Kroos, Gotze, Ozil and Muller.

Subs: Zieler, Weidenfeller, Grosskreutz, Ginter, Schweinsteiger, Schurrle, Podolski, Klose, Draxler, Durm, Mustafi and Kramer.

Ghana: Dauda, Afful, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah, Muntari, Rabiu, Atsu, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew and Gyan.

Subs: Adams, Kwarasey, Inkoom, Opare, Essien, Acquah, Agyemang-Badu, Jordan Ayew, Adomah, Sumaila, Majeed-Waris and Wakaso.

20:00 - The referee blows his whistle to start the action in Fortaleza, after the pre-match national anthems and handshakes are observed.

1: An unchanged German side from the team that beat Portugal in their opening match, and Boateng-brothers (Kevin-Prince and Jerome) are up against each other today.

2: Today also marks the 100th international cap of Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, who will be expected to stay rock solid at the back against a pacy Ghana side.

5: Germany passing the ball well in the early stages, looking for space to exploit in the Ghana half. No real chances as of yet though.

6: Half-chance for Ghana goes begging. A long diagonal ball across towards the pitch by Muntari is controlled well by Schalke midfielder Boateng.

He then runs down the flank before firing in a good, low ball into the box which is unfortunately scuffed high and wide over Neuer's goal by striker Asamoah Gyan.

7: Germany know that no match is easy in the World Cup; on paper the game looks like a mis-match but the Ghanians were under-rated this time in 2010 and proved doubters wrong, can they do so again this year? 

10: Good passing move by Germany almost ends with a shot on target from the Germans; good movement into the box by Ozil who drifts inside the area and passes the ball across towards Muller, who lays-off the shot into the path of Kroos - who has a resulting effort blocked by Ghana.

12: Good save by Neuer, who dives to his right to parry clear a fizzing shot by Chelsea forward (on-loan at Vitesse) Christian Atsu, just outside the area.

17: CHANCE! Another promising run down the flank by Mesut Ozil, as Ghana lose possession in midfield and Germany counter. 

The Arsenal creative midfielder looks up and passes the ball across the box towards the path of Real Madrid defensive-midfielder Sami Khedira, who has a shot on-goal, but goalkeeper Dauda is not troubled by the strike and dives to his left to smother the shot.

20: Ozil causing havoc for the Ghana defence yet again, with another good run down the flank before passing the ball towards Muller, who is charged down by defender John Boye and the ball trails out for a goal-kick.

22: Ghana need to keep tight at the back and mark the runs of Ozil and Muller; both of those players are key for Germany and look dangerous whenever they get forward with the ball.

24: Long-range effort by Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is narrowly over the crossbar as Germany look in search of the opener. 

26: Germany free-kick as Gyan is ruled offside by the linesman on the far side; Mertesacker was the last defender and the defensive-line was well-organised as Ghana struggle to get forward.

28: Cameras show former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is sitting on the substitutes' bench for Ghana today - he looks unhappy that he isn't on currently.

29: Germany corner, and it could have easily spelt 1-0 to the Germans. Gotze gets in-behind the Ghana defence but good tracking back by defender John Boye (again) to clear the ball out of play with a last-ditch challenge. 

30: 15 minutes of the first-half remain, and both sides look as if they have goals in them. Still 0-0 though at the moment.

32: CHANCE! Ghana go forward and almost make it count! A lay-off by a lack of a clearance from the German defence tees up AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari who hits the ball first-time with a vicious drive towards goal from 25 yards out. Neuer sees the strike all the way and is able to punch the ball away.

34: Quick reactions off-his-line by Neuer as he forces Gyan to poke the ball behind for a goal-kick as the striker runs down the flank from a long ball down the wing.

35: Germany have had the majority of the possession, almost double the passes completed and their passing accuracy is better than their opponents today; but Ghana are doing well to make for an interesting contest so far.

37: Ghana head the ball clear as Germany get forward with pace and purpose.

40: Great through ball by Thomas Muller into the area, towards the path of Gotze who attempts to latch onto the delivery but can only watch as the ball accelerates past him before going out of play.

41: Muller watches in dispair as he wishes that he was in the area to latch onto that type of ball into the area. The kind of passes that he thrives on as a centre-forward.

45: The referee blows his whistle to signal the end of the first-half, 0-0 scoreline at the break. 

Germany 0 Ghana 0

Ghana got off to a good start but have not had many clear-cut chances so far, and need to make sure that they mark their men.

Germany have got in-behind the Ghanaian defence a few times, thanks to good attacking runs by Ozil and Kroos - but are yet to score as they have not had many goal-scoring opportunities so far, which is largely due to the credit of some last-ditch defending by Ghana.

It's been relatively even, but Germany have dominated possession and passing-wise so far.

As the game continues, Germany will be expected to take advantage of a more tired, less experienced Ghana side, who are more likely to make more mistakes. 

21:03 - The second-half has begun, the scoreline still 0-0. 

45: One substitution to report at the break, for Germany - 
Jerome Boateng OFF
Skhodran Mustafi ON

47: Ghana are preparing a substitution, with Marseille striker Jordan Ayew reportedly ready to come on in the next few minutes as they look to break the deadlock.

48: Even though it is never advisable to play for a draw, Germany could do just that. 3 points already, Ghana are yet to register any points in the group after their 2-1 loss to USA. 

I don't think they will play for a draw though, that's just not the German way.

50: GOAL! Germany in-front, and it was coming! A glorious ball into the box by Muller is finished off from close range by Bayern young midfielder Mario Gotze.

51: Gotze is clutching his face after his goal, the replays show that the ball bounced off his face, hit his knee and went into the net. Can't take anything away from the goal though.

52: FACT - Mario Gotze scores his 10th goal for Germany, on his 31st appearance for the side. Recently turned 22 years old.

53: Ghana SUB - 
Kevin-Prince Boateng OFF
Jordan Ayew ON

54: GOAL! Ghana equalise! A header from close range, courtesy of winger Andre Ayew who leaped above the German defence to level the scoring with a bottom corner of the net strike which evaded the diving stretch of Neuer.

60: Germany stunned, and Ghana are fired up now! They know that they need a win, after their opening defeat against the USA - and a passionate celebration from Ayew proves what it means to the Ghanaians. 

61: Cameras show that Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is getting ready to come on for Germany; 1-1 and manager Joachim Low needs to do something!

62: GOAL! Ghana ahead now, thanks to a curled strike into the bottom corner of the net by striker Asamoah Gyan.
Cool finish: Gyan makes it 2-1 with a slotted finish into the bottom corner of the net
Time to dance: Gyan celebrates his finish with his team-mates, giving Ghana a 2-1 lead
FACT: Gyan's goal has equalled Cameroon striker Roger Milla's record for the most amount of goals for an African player in World Cup history, with 5.

63: 1-0 down, 2-1 up and Ghana are 25 minutes or so away from a shock victory..

65: Ghana supporters in the crowd are fired up, they can't believe what they are seeing.. Germany are surely going to react to going behind now?! 

66: Half-chance for Andre Ayew; he gets on the ball from the wing, sprints forward down the line but is slowed down by the approaching challenge from Hummels and his resulting effort is comfortably held by Neuer.

68: Germany with a double-substitution - 
Mario Gotze OFF
Sami Khedira OFF
Miroslav Klose ON
Bastian Schweinsteiger ON

69: Despite being lively, Gotze is replaced by Klose while Schweinsteiger replaces the quiet Khedira for the last 20 minutes. 

70: Lofted ball into the box by Ozil on the flank is headed clear for a corner after Schweinsteiger attempts to head towards goal.

71: GOAL! Germany make it 2-2! And it's experienced striker Miroslav Klose with his record 15th World Cup goal! 

The corner is whipped into the box, Schalke defender Howedes with a flick-on towards goal, Klose stretches to tap into the back of the net. Game on!

Goalmouth scramble: Klose stretches forward to tap past Dauda into the net
74: The momentum has shifted, now it is Germany who are dominating again and they have regained their confidence, thanks to those influential substitutions from manager Joachim Low.

75: Germany with a free-kick from 30 yards out or so, with Ozil, Kroos, Muller and Schweinsteiger all talking about who will take the set-piece.

76: Lay-off by the three midfielders, as Schweinsteiger takes a shot on-goal and his effort curls over the bar. 

77: Ghana SUB - 
Mohammed Rabiu OFF
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu ON

80: Last 10 minutes or so, as it stands Germany will top Group G with Portugal vs USA to play tomorrow night.

Ghana are in 3rd place with a point, based on the current scoreline - they will be hoping for a draw in the other game of the group.

81: A cute lay-off by Lahm does not work out, as goalkeeper Dauda comes out and smothers the ball after Ozil's pass unlocks the Ghanaian defence.

83: Good defending by Asamoah to track back quickly enough and slide in cleanly on Muller as he runs towards goal with the ball at his feet, and block the attempted shot.

86: More warrior-like defending from Ghana, Ozil with a silky low ball into the box and the danger is cleared with a sliding challenge in the area.

87: A half-chance for striker Jordan Ayew is well held by Neuer, who dives to his right and comfortably holds onto the shot. 

88: Gyan with a shot dragged wide from just outside the area, as he pushes Schweinsteiger back into the box to find space to strike towards goal. Goal-kick.

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on, at the end of an interesting game of two-halves.

90+2: Germany seem as though they will take a draw now, as Ghana are desperate to go on the counter attack.

90+3: Ozil with a pass across towards Kroos, he is brought down cynically by Muntari who gets the first yellow card of the match. Free-kick, the last chance of the match...

90+4: Ghana hoof the ball clear, as the referee blows his whistle to end the match. 

Some end-of-game injury blow for both teams; as Muller and Boye are both down on the ground injured. 

Muller's face is covered in blood - but he is being treated by the physio who rush onto the pitch. Boye has hit his shoulder blade, but he looks like he is okay. 

Germany 2 Ghana 2 - 
A significantly better and more intriguing watch in the second-half as Germany come from behind to equalise thanks to striker Miroslav Klose's header in a goalmouth scramble.

Germany top the group, and Ghana win a point but it could have easily been 3. 

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