Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ghana hope to overcome mighty Germans

When Ghana takes on Germany in a few minutes time in their World Cup Group G fixture at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza they will have a mountain to climb.

Having lost their opening match to the USA by a 2-1 margin, a red-hot German outfit is the last team the African side would want to be facing at this point.

The teams face each other twice before in international matches with Germany winning both encounters, scoring a combined seven goals while conceding just one. Ghana, however, can take some confidence from just losing to their opponent by a 1-0 margin in their Group D encounter at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Playing in their third consecutive World Cup after appearances in 2006 and 2010, Ghana would have arrived at the tournament counting on bettering their quarterfinal showing in 2010 after losing out to Uruguay 4-2 in a penalty shootout. Had they won that match they would have become the first African nation to have progressed to the semifinals of the World Cup.

However, the loss to the US leaves them facing an uphill task if they are to survive beyond the first round and the Germans will not be looking to do them any favours.

Germany is one of the most successful teams at the World Cup having won the tournament three times with four runner-up placings. Competing in their 18th World Cup they have failed to reach the quarterfinals on just one occasion.

And with talismanic midfielder Thomas Muller in goalscoring form they will be expecting nothing less than three points.

Muller scored the first hattrick at this World Cup in the game against Portugal to take his tally to eight in seven World Cup matches. In his World Cup debut in 2010 he scored a leading five goals in seven matches to cop both the Golden Boot and Best Young Player awards in Germany´s third place performance. He certainly will be looking forward to becoming the first player to win consecutive Golden Boot awards.

A win for Germany will literally assure them of a round of 16 spot and leave Ghana in the precarious position of facing an early exit while a draw will be a positive results for the African side and a win, a blessing.