Match Report: Germany, Ghana play the best tie of the World Cup to date
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Sometimes, a tie is the only fair result.
Germany and Ghana could not have been more evenly matched, trading goals and heart-stopping attempts throughout the second half to end in a 2-2 tie. It was a match neither side deserved to lose, and neither did. The draw means that if the United States beats Portugal on Sunday, or ties on both Sunday and next Thursday, it will advance out of group play.
[Slideshow: Germany vs. Ghana ]
The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first half, Germany's precision unable to evade Ghana's brute force ... and vice versa. But then came the second half, and everything changed. In the 51st minute, Germany's Mario Goetze headed a ball off his own knee and into the Ghanaian goal. Minutes later, Andre Ayew headed in a goal of his own. Ghana took a 2-1 lead courtesy of Asamoah Gyan, but German soccer icon Miroslav Klose toed in a game-tying, record-tying shot with about 20 minutes remaining in the match. Tension abounded in the final minutes, but neither team could gain the decisive advantage.
[Related: Klose equals World Cup record as Germany draw 2-2 with Ghana ]
The match demonstrated that Ghana was in no way as vulnerable as a loss would make them seem, while Germany have work to do in order to shore up their championship credentials. If one of these teams is eliminated from the Group of Death, and a berth in the round of 16 is not assured for either of them, it'll be a shame indeed.
Man of the Match
Miroslav Klose entered the game midway through the second half with Germany down a goal. One minute later, Klose's tap-in marked his 15th World Cup goal, matching the career total of Brazilian legend Ronaldo.
Ghana's celebration following their second goal was joy personified.
Germany can't win the World Cup with this leaky defence
— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) June 21, 2014
The draw leaves all four teams in Group G very much alive. Ghana gained an all-important point, meaning that they cannot be eliminated by any result of the Portugal-United States match on Sunday. Similarly, however, Germany will not automatically advance to the round of 16 based on Sunday's result. On Thursday, Ghana will play Portugal with the scenarios yet to be determined, and Germany will face the United States with a potential must-win situation to advance.
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.