Ghana 0-1 Germany

Mesut Oezil booked Germany an intriguing second round clash with old rivals England while the Black Stars sneak through the group too


Despite Oezil's spectacular strike condemning Ghana to their first defeat at South Africa 2010 the Black Stars also made it through to an encounter with USA, after finishing Group D with a superior goal difference to Australia.

But the tie between Germany and England is certain to be one of the most eagerly awaited of the knockout phase as the bitter foes prepare to face each other for the first time since Fabio Capello guided the Three Lions to a 2-1 friendly win in November 2008. It will also be their first meeting in a major competition since Euro 2000, when Alan Shearer headed Kevin Keegan's England to a famous 1-0 victory.

Werder Bremen midfielder Oezil's first name is translated as 'happy' in Turkey, his original place of birth, and that Loew will have felt that emotion is an understatement.

Joachim Loew was faced with the prospect of becoming the first Germany coach to miss out on qualification for the first time since 1938.

But Oezil, who has been hailed as the German equivalent of Lionel Messi by legend Franz Beckenbauer, saved his country from a surprise exit and enhanced his own burgeoning reputation with a wonderful match winner.

Loew must have felt like tightening his scarf around his neck in frustration in the first half, however, as Germany wasted a string of chances.

Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah nearly turned Lukas Podolski's cross into his own net but Richard Kingson was alert. And Kingson was required to pull off an excellent save in the 25th minute when he denied Oezil.

Ghana nearly stunned the Germans shortly after when Philipp Lahm cleared Asamoah Gyan's header off the line - with TV replays clearly showing it was the Germany captain's arm that prevented a goal.

But Oezil eased the growing tension with an unstoppable missle on the hour that flashed past Kingson into the top corner.

Ghana piled on the pressure to find an equaliser but slipped to their first defeat - but will be delighted to have the opportunity to take on USA on Saturday night.

Ghana (4-5-1): Kingson; Pantsil, John Mensah, Jonathan Mensah, Sarpei; Tagoe (Muntari 64), Annan, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Asamoah, Andre Ayew (Adiya 90); Gyan (Amoah 82).
Subs (not used): Agyei, Ahorlu, Inkoom, Vorsah, Addy, Derek Boateng, Appiah, IbrahimAyew, Owusu-Abeyie.

Germany (4-5-1): Neuer; Lahm, Mertesacker, Friedrich, Jerome Boateng (Jansen 73); Muller (Trochowski 68), Khedira, Schweinsteiger (Kroos 81), Oezil, Podolski; Cacau.
Subs (not used): Wiese, Butt, Tasci, Badstuber, Aogo, Marin, Kiessling, Gomez.

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