|Miroslav Klose scores against Ghana, in Fortaleza, on Saturday. (Reuters)
Fortaleza: Coach Joachim Loew was delighted by Germany’s fight-back in their 2-2 World Cup draw against Ghana despite their below-par performance.
Miroslav Klose equalled Brazilian legend Ronaldo’s record of 15 World Cup goals after coming off the bench to spare Germany’s blushes with the equaliser.
Mario Goetze had given Germany the lead before goals from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan threatened to cause a major upset for the Black Stars in Fortaleza.
“I’m actually quite pleased with the boys because we showed great moral to come back from 2-1 down in these temperatures,” said Loew about the tropical conditions.
“We took the lead, then conceded two goals from nothing. The players are completely exhausted, but in the end we had a few good chances against a good, combative and skillful team.”
“The first half was a well organised match. In the second half, suddenly you saw a terrific pace by both teams. It was an open exchange of punches as it were. Ghana had possibilities, we had possibilities,” Loew said.
From Loew’s words, it seems that he enjoyed the thriller. “For the spectators it must have been terribly fascinating seeing such an intense and fast game, having two teams just running.
“An unconditional drive for the victory. For a coach, it’s just the same, up and down, the seesaw just as it is for the spectators,” he said.
Despite letting a 1-0 lead slip in the game, Loew said the draw left his Germany side, who are one of the tournament favourites, in a decent position to progress to the last 16. “I believe for the last match, we have a good position. One further point and we will make it to the next round,” he said.
Manuel Neuer told the media that the draw was a sobering one after the show-stopping defeat of Portugal.
“We let Ghana back into the game through mistakes. We gifted them goals. You can’t allow that in the World Cup. The result against Portugal was too beautiful, we’ve got our feet back on the ground now.”
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah praised his side’s never-say-die spirit. “I always believed in us, because we fight until the end,” said Appiah, whose side play Portugal in Brasilia on Thursday.
“It was a really good, competitive game. Germany, at the end of the day, are among the best in the whole world and playing against them was going to be difficult,” he added.
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng (Shkodran Mustafi, 46), Per Mertesacker, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Howedes, Sami Khedira (Bastian Schweinsteiger, 70), Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller, Mario Gotze (Miroslav Klose, 69)
Ghana: Fatau Dauda, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Kwadwo Asamoah, Sulley Muntari, Mohammed Rabiu (Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, 78), Christian Atsu (Mubarak Wakaso, 72nd), Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng (Jordan Ayew, 52), Asamoah Gyan
Man of the Match: Mario Goetze
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)