FORTALEZA: Miroslav Klose hit a World Cup record-equalling 15th goal as Germany fought back to claim a 2-2 draw with Ghana on Saturday. In other matches, a moment of individual brilliance from Argentina captain Lionel Messi steered his team into the last 16 in a victory over Iran, while Bosnia were knocked out after a controversial 1-0 loss to Nigeria. Klose had only been on the pitch as a substitute for two minutes in Fortaleza when he jabbed home Germany’s equaliser and joined Brazilian great Ronaldo on top of the all-time scoring charts.
The 36-year-old Lazio struck in the 71st minute of a thrilling Group G game at the Castelao Stadium after goals from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan had fired Ghana into a 2-1 lead. Mario Gotze had given Germany the lead, heading in off his own knee on 51 minutes after a goalless first half. But Ghana struck back brilliantly, levelling through Ayew’s 54th minute header before Asamoah fired the Black Stars into the lead. The result left the Germans, who beat Portugal 4-0 in their opening match, on top of Group G with four points. Ghana, beaten by the United States in their first game, have one point heading into their final match with Portugal next week.
In the late Group F game in Cuiaba, Nigeria remained firmly in contention for a last 16 place following a 1-0 win over Bosnia, which eliminated the European side. Nigeria now need only a draw against Argentina on Wednesday to advance to the knockout rounds for the first time since 1998. But Bosnia were furious after two key decisions went against them in the opening 45 minutes. First striker Edin Dzeko had a legitimate goal wrongly ruled offside. Then, moments later, Nigeria scored through Peter Odemwingie. Bosnia’s players claimed Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike had fouled Bosnia captain Emir Spahic in the build-up, but the goal stood.
Bosnia coach Safet Susic said afterward his team had been robbed of a goal by New Zealand referee Peter O’Leary. “I was told there was no offside but it’s not the first or last time a referee has made a bad decision at this World Cup and it won’t be the last,” said the 59-year-old. “We lost to a good side, Nigeria played better than against Iran.”
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