FORTALEZA РGp G: Germany 2, Ghana 2  

—- Germany became the latest of the highly-rated contenders to find that this World Cup is no respecter of persons or teams, however many times they have won the prize.

After thrashing Portugal in their opening match Joachim Low’s men took a second-half lead over a competitive Ghanaian team, conceded two goals in quick succession and then needed a rescuing leveller from record man Miroslav Klose.

The first half saw a balanced exchange of attacks in what was the 800th tie in World Cup history and a 100th cap for German defender Per Mertesacker.

Toni Kroos had a drive blocked and Sami Khedira a shot saved while Andrew Ayew twice tested Manuel Neuer.

Ghana ended the first half on the attack but, after the interval, it was Germany who claimed the lead.

Mario Gotze, one of the shortest men on the pitch, sneaked between two ball-watching Ghanaian defenders to head the Germans in front in the 51st minute.

Goals exchange

Three minutes later Ayew marked his 50th international with a superb headed equaliser then Gyan Asamoah broke through on the right to snatch the lead.

Germany failed to generate the essential attacking penetration so Low sent on veterans Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Klose had been on the pitch 112 seconds when he darted in at the back post to jab Germany back on terms at 2-2 with what his German record 70th international goal. That strike, with his first touch of the game, also brought him level with old Brazilian hero Ronaldo as the World Cup’s overall joint leading marksmen with 15 goals.

The last 20 minutes brought an excitingly hectic exchange of attacking assaults at both ends of the pitch – and a draw which was ¬†worthy reward for both teams’ contribution to the latest dramatic in this World Cup.