FORTALEZA, Brazil – 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-match letdown that has plagued the team in recent tournaments.
Klose has 15 career World Cup goals, tying the record set by former Brazil standout Ronaldo. Klose celebrated the goal with his trademark somersault.
“It wasn’t perfect, but I can’t remember the last time I did it,” said Klose, 36. “Still, 15 goals in 20 matches, that’s not bad.”
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Just as in 2010, Germany won its opening game of the World Cup 4-0 but struggled in its second match. Four years ago, it was beaten 1-0 by Serbia, and the Germans were on the verge of losing again Saturday. The draw was good news for the United States, as the Americans are assured of advancing from Group G if they beat 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.
Messi delivers in clutch
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Lionel Messi only needed a few seconds to shoot Argentina into the second round of the World Cup.
Kept out for 90 minutes by Iran’s stubborn defense, Messi finally struck in injury time with a curling, left-foot shot from 20 yards that gave Argentina its second far-from-convincing victory in Brazil, beating Iran 1-0 in Group F. In its opener, Argentina edged Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella conceded Iran gave his team a tough time in the second half, “But having Messi resolved everything.”
Messi appeared to have won a battle with his coach over which formation to use, as Argentina started with three forwards in a 4-3-3 system instead of again using a 5-3-2.
CUIABA, Brazil – Nigeria ended a 16-year wait for a victory in a World Cup match, beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 courtesy of Peter Odemwingie’s first-half goal and eliminating the World Cup newcomers.
Only a point is needed by Nigeria from its last Group F match — against already-qualified Argentina — to reach the knockout stage after Odemwingie finished from close range in the 29th minute following one of many powerful runs by his strike partner, Emmanuel Emenike.