FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Miroslav Klose rescued a point for Germany, and tied the World Cup scoring record in the process.
Germany was held to a 2-2 draw by Ghana on Saturday, needing Klose’s equalizer in the 71st minute to avoid another second-game letdown that has plagued the team in recent tournaments.
Klose now has 15 World Cup goals in four tournaments, equaling the mark set by former Brazil star Ronaldo. He celebrated the goal with his trademark summersault.
“It was complete, but I can’t remember the last time I did it,” said Klose, who scored less than two minutes after entering the game as a substitute. “Still, 15 goals in 20 matches, that’s not bad.”
Just like in 2010, Germany won its opening game of the World Cup 4-0 but struggled in its second game. Four years ago, it was beaten 1-0 by Serbia, and the Germans were on the verge of losing again on Saturday. The draw was good news for the United States — the Americans can advance from the group if they beat Portugal on Sunday.
Mario Goetze had put Germany ahead in the 51st, but Ghana equalized three minutes later through Andre Ayew.
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan then put the Africans ahead in the 63rd, only to see Klose cancel out his goal.
ARGENTINA 1, IRAN 0
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Lionel Messi finally found a way through Iran’s defensive wall with a superb goal in stoppage time to give Argentina a narrow victory and a place in the World Cup knockout stages.
Iran had defended solidly throughout the game and also took the match to Argentina in the second half, creating several chances to win the Group F match and cause a tournament sensation.
But Iran was punished for those missed chances when Messi collected the ball about 20 yards (meters) out and curled a shot into the left hand corner.
“In the first half, we had four or five clear chances to score a goal and in the second half, they complicated things for us with counterattacks,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. “But having Messi resolved everything.”
It was a moment of individual brilliance, and showed why Messi has been voted world player of the year no fewer than four times.
Until that point, he had been kept quiet by Iran’s stoic defending, while Argentina had at times been exposed to counterattacks.
Iran had several chances to score, especially in the second half. The best of those opportunities came in the 67th minute, when midfielder Ashkan Dejagah’s powerful header from close range was tipped just over the bar by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
NIGERIA 1, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 0
CUIABA, Brazil (AP) — Peter Odemwingie’s first-half goal sealed Nigeria’s first victory in a World Cup match since 1998 and eliminated tournament newcomer Bosnia-Herzegovina from contention.
Odemwingie finished from close range in the 29th minute after one of a string of powerful runs by fellow striker Emmanuel Emenike.
Bosnia faded after a bright start, during which star striker Edin Dzeko had a goal contentiously disallowed for offside, and is still without a point in Group F following a 2-1 defeat to Argentina in its opener.
A draw would have given the Bosnians something to play for in its last group match, against Iran, but Dzeko had a shot tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in the final few seconds, ending their hopes.
Nigeria needs a point against Argentina on Wednesday to be guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16 — and a surprise win would secure top spot in the group.