September 25, 2017

Player Ratings: Germany vs Ghana

In arguably the best game of the tournament so far, Germany came from behind to draw a resilient and powerful Ghana 2-2. Goals from Mario Götze and Miroslav Klose preserved an important point in the so called Group of Death.  After falling behind 2-1, Miroslav Klose scored within a minute to draw Germany level and to equal Ronaldo’s all-time World Cup goalscoring record.

Using kicker’s tried and trusted system, here are the Bundesliga Fanatic Player Ratings for an action-packed match:

Manuel Neuer: 1.5 – Neuer was arguably the most consistent performer on the field for Germany. He saved everything he could and even had a great moment for the highlight reel with this goalkeeper clearance. It could have easily ended with three points for Ghana were it not for Neuer’s controlled and dominant performance in goal.

Jerome Boateng: 3 – It was only 45 minutes of football for Germany’s right-back as he had to be replaced at half-time due to muscular problems. In the first half Boateng was defensively solid but was not very much involved going forward. He held his line well and made some good clearances. Nothing spectacular but nothing memorable either.

Per Mertesacker: 3 – Solid but not spectacular from the tall center-back. He won the team’s most clearances and moved the ball out of the back without any issue. He failed to make any real impact on set pieces though and could have been in a better position on Ghana’s second goal.

Mats Hummels: 3 – Like Mertesacker, Hummels did little wrong and was constrained by the pressure of the Ghanian forwards. Unlike the first game, he was also unable to make an impact on set pieces but was calm under pressure and made some crucial interceptions as legs tired in the second half.

Benedikt Höwedes: 3 – In the first half Höwedes was specifically targeted by Ghana with a lot of the space opening up there but the left side stabilized as the game wore on and as everyone’s legs got tired, Höwedes remained disciplined and was always quick to make a tackle or interception.

Philipp Lahm: 3 – Not the best performance from the Germany captain.  Most notably his misspass kickstarted Ghana’s attack for the 2-1. Overall he kept possession of the ball well but had little influence on the game given Ghana’s quick and physically strong performance. Was outmuscled a bit too easy at times.

Sami Khedira: 3.5 – Far removed from his good performance against Portugal. The game seemed a bit too fast for Khedira at times and he was eventually pulled by Löw who said he reached his physical limits in the second half. There are still some questions about just how fit Khedira is and if he can compete with physical teams like Ghana.

Toni Kroos: 2.5 – Germany’s best and most consistent central midfielder. He contested the most duels, had the most passes and the best passing accuracy of any midfielder on the pitch. He worked hard until the end and played the most balls into the final third. He was also proactive by taking the most shots and alleviate pressure form his teammates.

Mesut Özil: 2 – One of Germany’s best and most proactive players. He was the team’s lone creative hub in a difficult game with little room and space to operate. He set up his teammates with the best chances and worked hard to recover the ball.  He also worked hard defensively and impressively lasted for all 90 minutes.

Mario Götze: 3 – He got the important first goal of the game and started well but drifted quickly as the game progressed and was eventually taken off. It raised the question of whether Götze can go the full 90 under the conditions in Brazil.

Thomas Müller: 3 – Not quite as effective as he was against Portugal but still as lively as ever and always willing to risk himself for the greater good of the team. He switched to the right after Klose came on and was the most active of the attackers out there.

Substitutes

Shkodran Mustafi: 3.5 – Mustafi shares a large part of the blame for Ghana’s equalizer after failing to challenge Ayew in the air. He wasn’t nearly as active going forward as Boateng was in the first half but defended solidly after the equalizer.

Bastian Schweinsteiger: 2.5 – A very good impact sub from Löw. Schweinsteiger infused Germany with new momentum after he came on for Khedira and was an important part of creating the equalizer. After this game it is very likely that he will start against the US.

Miroslav Klose: 2 – What more do you want from your substitute? Just a minute on the field and Klose scores the goal that ties him with Ronaldo in the all-time scoring charts. It was also the second fastest ever goal scored by a German at the World Cup. 36 and still as effective as ever.

Ghana

Fatau Dauda: 2.5 –  The replacement goalkeeper cannot be blamed for any of the goals he conceded. He manned his goal well and communicated effectively with his backline.

Harrison Afful 3.5 – Another new face in the lineup. Afful’s performance faded with time. He started with a lot of time on the ball and won all his tackles but had little impact going forward in the second half.

Jonathan Mensah: 2.5 – Mensah was one of the standout players on the pitch. He won nearly every ball in the air and didn’t let Germany’s interchangeable attack pull him out of position.

John Boye: 3 – Like Mensah, Boye was solid from start to finish. He was not as pronounced as Mensah but his timing to get on the end of clearances was good and stayed mistake-free for the whole game.

Kwadwo Asamoah: 3.5 – Many said that Asamoah was wasted at left-back in the first game and you could say the same against Germany. He made some crucial interceptions and forward runs but he was not in the game offensively as much as Ghana would have liked.

Christian Atsu: 3 – Not quite as dangerous as he was against the US but his speed caused Germany issues in the first half. He was a bigger threat outside the box with his shooting than anything else.

Sulley Muntari: 1.5 – Ghana’s best player by far. Muntari will miss the third group stage game due to card accumulation but he can be proud of being Ghana’s driving force and an inspirational figure. The most important player in getting the result against Germany.

Mohammed Rabiu: 3.5 – An industrial display from the central midfielder. He contested the second-most duels but only won about 30% of them. He was eventually replaced late in the game.

Kevin-Prince Boateng: 4.5 – Ghana’s weakest performer in the first half. He was the least involved player on the pitch and did not link up particularly well with his teammates. He was promptly substituted shortly after the break.

Andrew Ayew: 3 – Ayew’s goal woke up Ghana and gave them the momentum to eventually take the lead. He was dangerous cutting in from the left and moved very well off the ball.

Asamoah Gyan: 3 – He became the all-time leading African goalscorer at the World Cup with his goal against Germany. Most importantly, it eventually won them the point and kept them alive in the World Cup.

Substitutes

Mubarak Wakaso: 3 – A like-for-like sub with Atsu, the winger brought pace and power to Ghana and kickstarted many dangerous counter attacks for his side at the end of the second half.

Jordan Ayew: 3 – Much better than the player he replaced. Ayew was more involved in the attack than Boateng and allowed his brother and Asamoah to exert more pressure on Germany’s defenders.

Emmanuel Badu: 3.5 – Brought on for fresh legs with 12 minutes to go Badu didn’t really impose himself on the game but helped the team preserve the all important draw.

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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