Miroslav Klose rescued a point for Germany, and equaled the World Cup scoring record in the process.
Germany was held to an entertaining 2-2 draw by Ghana on Saturday and needed Klose’s second-half equalizer to avoid another second-game letdown that has plagued the team in recent tournaments.
Klose now has 15 career World Cup goals, equaling the mark set by former Brazil star Ronaldo. He celebrated the goal with his trademark summersault.
“It wasn’t perfect, but I can’t remember the last time I did it,” Klose said. “Still, 15 goals in 20 matches, that’s not bad.”
Just like in 2010, Germany won its opening game of the World Cup 4-0 but struggled in its second game. Four years ago, it was beaten 1-0 by Serbia, and the Germans were on the verge of losing again on Saturday. The draw was good news for the United States, however, as the Americans would advance from the group if they beats Portugal on Sunday.
“Ghana really threw everything they had at us. It was a very animated match. Both teams had many chances, and many counterattacks,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “That’s not how the match was planned, but that’s how it turned out.”
Klose scored the equalizer in the 71st minute, less than two minutes after coming on as a substitute, when a corner by Toni Kroos was flicked to the far post by Benedikt Hoewedes and the striker slid in to knock the ball into the roof of the net.
Ronaldo reacted with a tweet: “Welcome to the club (hashtag)klose. I can imagine your happiness!!!! What a great Cup!!!?”
Mario Goetze had put Germany ahead in the 51st, but Ghana equalized three minutes later through Andre Ayew.
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan then put the Africans ahead in the 63rd, only to see Klose cancel out his goal.
The 36-year-old Klose is in his fourth World Cup and had been level with former Germany striker Gerd Mueller on 14 goals. Ronaldo also scored his 15th against Ghana, in a 3-0 win in 2006 in Germany.
Argentina 1, Iran 0: Lionel Messi scored a superb goal in stoppage time to give Argentina a 1-0 victory over Iran on Saturday and secure his team’s place in the second round of the World Cup.
Iran had defended solidly throughout the game and also took the match to Argentina in the second half, creating several chances to win the Group F match and cause a tournament sensation.
But Iran was punished for those missed chances when Messi picked up the ball about 20 yards (meters) out and curled a shot into the left hand corner.
Nigeria 1, Bosnia-Herzegovina 0: Nigeria eliminated Bosnia-Herzegovina from World Cup contention with a 1-0 win over the tournament newcomers, with Peter Odemwingie’s first-half goal putting the African champions close to the knockout stage.
Odemwingie sealed Nigeria’s first victory at a World Cup since 1998 spanning 10 matches by finishing from close range in the 29th minute after one of a string of powerful runs by fellow striker Emmanuel Emenike.