Germany set up England date
Ozil screamer settles issue as Germany and Ghana go through
Last Updated: 23/06/10 10:24pm
Ozil celebrates scoring the only goal
Germany set up a last 16 showdown with England after clinching top spot in Group D courtesy of a 1-0 win over Ghana in Johannesburg.
Mesut Ozil's thumping effort on the hour mark was enough for Joachim Low's side to finish first in the group and the result also enabled Ghana to become the first African team to reach the knockout phase after Serbia lost to Australia.
A lively clash at Soccer City saw Germany try to rediscover the verve which had crushed Australia in their opening game as Ghana sought to continue to fly the flag for the host continent, who had already seen four nations fall by the wayside.
Ozil, who had so impressed in the demolition of Australia, should have put Germany ahead in the first half before Philipp Lahm was forced to survive a penalty shout for handball.
Following Ozil's excellent strike in the second half, the pace of the game dropped as Ghana anxiously awaited news from Nelspruit where Serbia were beaten 2-1 by Australia.
Ghana will now face the USA on Saturday, while Germany head to Bloemfontein on Sunday for a date with old rivals England.
Short on chances
Cacau, who replaced the suspended Miroslav Klose in Germany's starting line-up, had the first shot in anger on three minutes as he drove straight at Richard Kingson from the corner of the penalty area.
An open encounter was bereft of chances during the early stages, although Kingson had to be alert to push the ball away after Lukas Podolski's cross had deflected off Jonathan Mensah.
At the opposite end, Bastian Schweinsteiger got back in the nick of time to prevent Asamoah Gyan firing at goal before Germany created the best opening of the first half.
Cacau played Ozil in behind the Ghanaian defence, but Kingson was out quickly to prevent the Werder Bremen playmaker from opening the scoring.
Ghana responded with their best chance of the half as Gyan glanced on a corner which was halted on the line by Lahm, with a suspicion of handball over the German captain's block.
Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sami Khedira both saw headers drift off target before Germany called Kingson into action again four minutes prior to half-time.
Schweinsteiger's free-kick into the area eluded everybody to prompt a reaction parry out of Kingson and the rebound from Ozil was blocked by a Ghanaian defender.
Ghana spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead six minutes after half-time when Gyan's flick sent Kojo Asamoah clear, but his scuffed shot was saved by Manuel Neuer.
And within 10 minutes Ghana were behind as Ozil took a touch to control Thomas Muller's pass on the edge of the box before smashing a stunning left-foot effort beyond a helpless Kingson.
The Black Stars were quick to respond to falling behind as Prince Tagoe's last contribution before being substituted was to see his attempt to head the ball back across goal bounce just wide off Jerome Boateng, who was lining up opposite his brother Kevin-Prince.
Last-ditch German defending denied Ghana again on 66 minutes as Gyan's clever flick teed up Andre Ayew, but his shot was deflected over the bar by Lahm.
Cacau mis-hit one opportunity from inside the area and then saw a long-range drive pushed out by Kingson as the match drifted towards its conclusion.
Ghana did endure a nervy finish to the match after Serbia pulled a goal back against Australia, but Milovan Rajevac's home country were unable to find an equaliser to deny the Black Stars' coach a place in the last 16.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||5|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
FIFA World Cup Group A
FIFA World Cup Group B
FIFA World Cup Group C
FIFA World Cup Group D
FIFA World Cup Group E
FIFA World Cup Group F
FIFA World Cup Group G
|4||United States of America||0||0|
FIFA World Cup Group H