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Ghana vs. Germany
John J. Raspanti
Surprise leaders of Group D Ghana face their toughest test when they tangle with a German team that is still coming to grips with its heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the scrappy Serbians. Ghana is still on a roll despite a bit of a disappointment in their most recent game a 1-1 tie with Australia. The Germans had looked unstoppable after hammering Australia 4-0, then were shocked by Serbia. Germany needs a win to assure advancing following their loss, while Ghana sits pretty with a total of 4 points followed by Germany and Serbia with three apiece and Australia one heading into the final day. Despite losing their last game the Germans are a strong and determined bunch. If anything they are not lacking in confidence, remaining very optimistic despite an unconvincing display against Serbia. Coach Joachim Loew and Captain Philipp Lahm have both said Germany will advance "100 per cent"
The question is what German team will show up? The three-time champions have never gone home after the group stage. A desperate team, feeling the pressure can sometimes produce two possible performances. They can be tight and make silly mistakes or...they rise to the occasion and perform admirably. Expect this from the proud Germans.
The game also has a different kind of drama connected to it as half brothers Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng go head to head. Revenge could also be a trigger as Ghana's Boateng figure's to be targeted since it was his tackle in the FA Cup final with Portsmouth that knocked Germany captain Michael Ballack out of the World Cup with an injured ankle.
Ghana knows a tie gets them to the next round, so one has to wonder if their desire to win will be as high as Germany. Regardless expect them to be scrappy as always and fight the Germans tooth and nail. The Black Stars received some good news before their tie that John Mensah and Issac Vorsah are healthy enough to return to their positions in the back four. The Ghanaians will also be looking to get their attack untracked, having yet to score from open play.
The only previous meeting between these nations came in a 1993 friendly. Germany did all its scoring in the second half of a 6-1 victory.
The Germans have history on there side, while Ghana has youthful exuberance and energy. Look for a tactical and highly competitive game, with the more desperate Germans finding a way to squeeze out a victory.
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