At the intersection of writing and life with the author of the Cameron Ballack mysteries

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Match of the Day: Double-G Rematch

What is it about Ghana that they seem to run into rematches?

The Black Stars faced the Americans for the third straight World Cup in their 2-1 loss to the USMNT last week, and now there is no rest for the weary. In a group rematch from 2010, today's game at 2 pm CT features Ghana taking on world number-two (and Davis family number-one favorite) Germany.

In 2010, it was Germany facing a must-win situation. The Mannschaft had suffered a stunning 1-0 loss against Serbia the game before (thanks to a red card on scoring machine Miroslav Klose and a blown PK by Lukas Podolski). With a win over Ghana, the Germans would advance to a knockout round of 16 game against England, and they did by the narrowest of margins. A 1-0 squeaker, thanks to a bullet from beyond the arc by Mesut "Bugsy" Ozil, got the Germans over the line.

Now it's Ghana on the edge and you can bet that German coach Joachim Loew will set out a lineup he knows can crunch down on the flow of the Black Stars' offense. The one wildcard will be who Loew puts in at striker. Ghana coach James Appiah has to be concerned how he will break Germany's defense, especially given how Portugal was frustrated in the Mannschaft's 4-0 demolition last week.

There is very little to say here other than Ghana is in a must-win situation and is facing a short history with Germany that is still lopsided in Prussian favor (two games, two wins, 7-1 scoring differential). But Germany, who dearly wants a World Cup title, views every game as must win, and the talent and Vaterland determination should be enough to give Germany a decisive win.

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