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 last night.
The veteran striker poked home at the back post from a corner in the 71st minute with his first touch of the game to move level with former Brazil striker Ronaldo.
Famous for performing mid-air somersaults to celebrate scoring important goals earlier in his career, he changed to mostly raising a clenched fist and giving a quick smile before putting his serious game face back on and getting back to work. But last night the sommersault was back after he scored the equaliser from close range with his first touch less than two minutes after coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw in Group G.
"I don't know how long it's been since I did a sommersault. but at least it worked out," he said after the match.
In truth, it wasn't his best effort, not that he will be worried by that. His goal moved him one ahead in the World Cup scoring list of compatriot Gerd Mueller, who led West Germany to the 1974 World Cup title.
Klose had shared second place with Mueller since scoring twice in a 4-0 quarter-final win over Argentina on July 3, 2010.The best German striker of his generation, Klose is also his country's all-time leading scorer with 70 goals in 133 games, and he displayed the kind of predatory instincts the Africans were missing as they spurned a number of gilt-edged chances top win thge game.
Ghana, who trailed to Mario Goetze's goal early after the break, had stormed back to level through Andre Ayew and then take the lead when Asamoah Gyan lashed home, but Klose's strike secured a point to leave Germany top of the group on four points from two games.
After an evenly-balanced first half, the match came alive in the 51st minute with Goezte putting the Germans ahead with a downward header that came off his knee before beating Fatawu Dauda in the Ghanaian goal.
But the Africans hit straight back, Andre Ayew outleaping Per Mertesacker to head his side level on 54. Nine minutes later, Ghana took the lead with Gyan breaching the German back line and firing a right foot shot past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Germany coach Joachim Low turned to experience, throwing on Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger and it proved an inspired switch with Klose netting the goal that keeps the Germans in contention to reach the second round for a 16th consecutive World Cup.
Ghana sit third in the group on one point with the United States, who have three points, playing bottom side Portugal today. This was the 800th match in the history of the World Cup and also marked Mertesacker's 100th cap.
It also saw the Boateng half-brothers face each other for the second World Cup in a row. Jerome played the first half for Germany while Kevin-Prince played for Ghana.