Germans see off Ghana's challenge
© Foto-net

Germany defeated Ghana 3-2 in Christchurch to become the first team to advance to the New Zealand 2008 quarter-finals. But the Europeans were made to earn their victory as Ghana fought back impressively in the second half.

Ghana had learnt the lessons of the Germans' game against Costa Rica, and opted for a five-man defence to contain Germany's attacking talent. However, after only five minutes the Ghanaian back-line was breached, when Tabea Kemme was fouled by Linda Eshun inside the box. Dzsenifer Marozsan expertly slotted home the penalty.

Ghana reacted well, with Florence Dadson, Deborah Afriyie and Juliet Acheampong all having chances in the following minutes, only to find Valeria Kleiner in defiant mood in the German defence. On 35 minutes, however, Germany went further ahead when the irrepressible Marozsan scored her fourth goal of the tournament, from a corner.

The second half was a thrilling, end-to-end affair. Germany's Alexandra Popp twice struck the bar in the 50th minute, before having another shot saved by Ghanaian keeper Patricia Mantey. It was Ghana who scored the first goal of the half, however, with German keeper Anna Sarholz fumbling Isha Fordjour's left-wing cross into the path of Dadson.

Leonie Maier restored the Germans' two-goal cushion with a surging run down the right and a powerful shot which eluded Mantey. But another misjudgement from Sarholz gave Fordjour a goal four minutes from the close, and the Germans saved the three points by the skin of their teeth.