Germany 1-0 USA
USA’s previous match against Portugal broke records as it became the most watched football match in the US history.
Given the magnitude of the final match against Germany, even President Obama tuned in via Air Force One
Before kick-off, the sceptics were adamant both sides would play out a draw, given that a share of the points would have guaranteed both teams progressing to the last 16.
In reality, it was a contest which was anything but tame. The US did sit back, knowing a point would be enough but that approach also invited significant German pressure. Die Mannschaft created numerous opportunities in the first-half but were frustratingly thwarted.
Less than 10 minutes after half-time, US goalkeeper Tim Howard saved Per Mertesacker’s header, but in doing so, pushed the ball straight into the path of Germany’s top scorer —Thomas Mueller. His first time curling finish meant the Bayern Munich midfielder has become the youngest ever scorer of nine World Cup goals and increased his tally to four for the tournament.
Despite the defeat, Portugal’s narrow win over Ghana meant the Americans advance to the second round.
Portugal 2-1 Ghana
Ghana’s hopes of making it to the second round were dealt a huge blow before the match as Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince-Boateng were sent home in disgrace due to fall-outs over appearance money.
With hindsight, given Germany beat the USA 1-0, a 2-1 Ghana win would have been enough to see them progress but this outcome appeared unlikely given the internal strife among the African camp.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo being involved in much of the play, his niggling injuries meant he was a shadow of the galloping thoroughbred who won the 2013 Ballon d’Or.
That said he did score the winner in this match but given Portugal’s heavy defeat in their opening match to Germany, Selecção’s adverse goal difference was always going to be a huge hurdle to overcome.
The silver lining for Ghana’s campaign was that their key marksman and skipper, Asamoah Gyan, created history when he equalised Ghana defender John Boye had scored an own-goal.
Both sides now go home.
FINAL GROUP G STANDINGS:
SECOND ROUND FIXTURES
– Germany vs Algeria—Monday 30th June (9pm GMT)
– Belgium vs USA—Tuesday 1st July (9pm GMT)
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