Germany beat Ghana 1-0, both teams in last 16

08:01, June 24, 2010      

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Germany's Arne Friedrich (R) vies with Ghana's Kevin Prince Boateng during the 2010 World Cup Group D match in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 23, 2010. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

Germany nipped Ghana 1-0 in their last World Cup Group D game, a result which sent both teams into the last 16.

Germany garnered six points to top the group and Ghana had four points and a better goal difference over Australia, who also collected four points after beating Serbia 2-1 the same day.

Ghana attacked straight from the whistle and their second minute move ended with Andre Ayew firing wide.

Germany responded quickly as Cacau broke down the right, only to send his volley into Richard Kingson's arms.

The Black Stars nearly gifted the Germans an early lead when defender Johathan Mensah tried to clear a German cross out of the area and instead he turned it goalwards. Kingston was quick enough to palm out the ball.

Ghana had a superb chance in the 25th minute when Ayew broke through two German defenders to face keeper Manuel Neuer, who bravely collected the ball at Ayew's feet.

The three-time champions reacted with Mesut Oezil's one-on-one meeting with Kingson, who blocked the Werder Bremen forward's fierce shot.

As the clocked ticked down to halftime, Kingson pushed out Bastian Schweinsteiger's free kick.

Seven minutes after the restart, Ghana's Kwadwo Asamoah broke down from the middle and with just Neuer to beat, he fired into the keeper's legs.

A draw would send the two sides into the second round but neither looked like playing for a tie.

The deadlock was broken in the 62nd minute as Oezil smashed a left-footed shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of box.

Ghana then went all out for an equalizer and they almost did it when Ayew burst into the box and shot from a close range, but Philip Lahm's legs deflected it over the bar.

The South African fans in Soccer City Stadium were obviously on Ghana's side. Whenever Ghana were on offensive, the cheers went up. They hoped to see an African team in the last 16 after the elimination of the host team, Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria.

Germany, who have never failed to move beyond the first group round of the tournament, will next take on old foes England.

Germany coach Joachim Loew admitted England would be a handful but he believed his side would emerge winners.

"England are stronger than Ghana but I believe we will beat them," he said.


Special Report: World Cup 2010

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