Germany striker Miroslav Klose came off the bench to score a record-equalling 15th World Cup goal and salvage a 2-2 draw against Ghana in a pulsating Group G game on Sunday morning (AEST).
Klose, with his first touch of the game, poked home at the back post from a corner in the 71st minute to move level with former Brazil striker Ronaldo.
Ghana, who trailed to Mario Gotze’s goal early after the break, stormed back to level through Andre Ayew and take the lead when Asamoah Gyan lashed home but Klose secured a point to leave Germany top of the group on four points from two games.
“Twenty (World Cup) matches and 15 goals is not bad at all,” said Klose, 36, who celebrated his goal with a somersault.
It marked Mertesacker’s 100th German cap and also saw the Boateng half-brothers face each other for the second World Cup in a row.
Meanwhile, there is Messi. Brilliant? Sure. Being pegged and pinned by the opposition? No Doubt. But where is the soccer for two thirds of the game?
A stunning injury time strike from Lionel Messi spared Argentina’s blushes as they qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over Iran in Belo Horizonte.
Argentina had been thankful to three fine second-half saves from goalkeeper Sergio Romero just to be level heading into stoppage time, while Iran had also had a strong penalty appeal waved away when Pablo Zabaleta appeared to foul Ashkan Dejagah inside the area.
However, despite having endured a quiet game by his standards, Messi produced a moment of magic when his side needed it most to register his second goal of the tournament.
In the 91st minute – after another drab performance which had much more in common with his season at Barcelona than with what Argentina expect of him – Lionel Messi picked up the ball.
Taking it on the right-hand corner of the area, beat an opponent, and fired off a shot which beat Haghighi’s dive to rescue two points which the ‘Albiceleste’ had given up for lost.
However, the number 10’s second great goal in Brazil 2014 does not mask the reality of what happened in the preceding 90 minutes.
The team and their star have yet to get out of the blocks, and this will continue to fuel discussions over the next few days on both Argentina’s formation and Messi’s true state of form.
Clearly orchestrated by the Barcelona player – who said outright that he feels more comfortable with three forwards accompanying him up front – the 4-3-3 showed signs of failing to have an impact on the numerous, determined and organised defence of Iran.