Ghana's draw a surprise but Black Stars match up well against Germany

Ghana picked up a vital 2-2 draw with an impressive display against Germany in what was a wildly open second half. The surprising result was the latest in what has been an unpredictable World Cup. After Ghana's opening match defeat to the USA, it looked like they'd be heading out early against the group favorite. But while the result was a bit of a surprise, the Ghanaians actually match up quite well against Germany.

Ghana is a side that prefers drawing the opposition out then using their gifted and pacey midfielders to break quickly on the counter attack. Against the USA, the Americans sat extremely deep after their early goal and forced Ghana to break down their compact defense. Ghana never had the space to run in behind and play on the counter. The US had just 36% possession and while that looks like a good thing on paper for Ghana, it meant the US never moved enough players into advanced attacking areas to allow themselves to become exposed at the back. Ghana had to be patient in possession rather than playing their preferred direct, vertical game.

Germany on the hand were a very different opposition. They prefer to control the game, maintaining possession high up the pitch. This meant Ghana could get into an organized defensive shape (which they did only in the opening half), wait to win back possession and then break quickly behind the German midfield 3 of Lahm, Kroos and Khedira and the fullbacks Boateng and Howedes. Germany left themselves incredibly open and were made to pay with Ghana's pace on the break. Ghana had just 37% possession but were a much more threatening side than they'd been against the US. They were guilty of leaving themselves far too exposed in the final 10 minutes as fatigue crept in, and were rescue by poor German finishing and a heroic Kwadwo Assamoah tackle on Muller, but in attack this was Ghana at their pacey, direct best.