It's still all to play for in this group after Germany and Ghana drew 2-2 and Portugal and USA came up with the same scoreline. Our blogger Adrian Demack sorts through the various permutations to uncover the Top Five things we learned from Group G.
1. Some things never change
Like trying to predict an African team at the World Cup. Even now with most of the players plying their trade across Europe, something about the national teams is still combustible. There are flops (Cameroon) and surprises (Algeria) in equally unpredictable measure. And it’ll be Ghana’s final group game that will be the difference. They played very well against Germany and will have every confidence of getting three points against Portugal.
2. You should always have a plan B
And what a Plan B Miroslav Klose is for Joachim Low. The German front three didn’t have as much success against the Ghanaians as they did in the first game. Sulley Mutari and Mohammed Rabiu were quick to hassle and made it hard for the Germans to bring their midfielders into the attacks. But when your plan B striker is the highest goal scorer in World Cup history, it’s not a bad gamble to bring him on with 20 minutes to play.
3. Keeping up with the Jones’s
Well we expected an electrifying shot or two in this game, but not from an American scoring his third international goal. Jermaine Jones let fly with a gorgeous curler from outside the box, leaving the Portugese keeper rooted and giving the States the breakthrough goal. The goal changed the game, opening it up dramatically. Maybe he can give Cristiano a few pointers.
4. Just pretend you’re in a cartoon
I’ve seen Ronaldo hit a freekick from the car park blindfolded. Didn’t bat an eye. The Nike animators have really made a rod for his back and in this tournament he’s managed very few moments of brilliance. His cross to keep Portugal alive was exquisite, now he needs to lace up his shooting boots to justify the tantrums.
5. We’re all alive, and that’s what matters
Anyone can still qualify! Germany could still get knocked out! USA could top the group! Ronaldo could actually hit a shot properly! Okay, so they’re unlikely scenarios, but it’s still all mathematically possible in Group G. A draw in the USA v Germany game would put both teams through and render the other fixture moot, but only a cynic would think that was the likely outcome. Right?