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World Cup Recap - Ghana vs. Germany

(Wednesday, June 23)

Final Score: Germany 1, Ghana 0

Johannesburg, South Africa (Sports Network) - Germany clinched the top spot in Group D on Wednesday at Soccer City as Mesut Ozil's goal in the 60th minute was enough to give the Germans a 1-0 win over Ghana, which still advanced on goal difference ahead of Australia.

Germany finishes with six points from its three games and will play England on Sunday in the round of 16, while Ghana will meet the United States on Saturday after the Americans finished on top of Group C.

Serbia would have advanced had it beaten Australia in the other match in the group, but the Socceroos claimed a 2-1 win.

The Black Stars nearly put themselves behind in the ninth minute when a low cross from Lukas Podolski was redirected by Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah toward his own goal.

However, the quick reaction of goalkeeper Richard Kingson allowed him to tip the ball past the post.

Ozil missed out on a great chance midway through the opening half when Cacau played him in on goal but he shot the ball straight into the goalie.

A corner kick allowed Ghana to threaten one minute later as Asamoah Gyan's header was cleared off the goal line by Germany's Philipp Lahm, while a Bastian Schweinsteiger free kick skipped through the penalty area and nearly found its way inside the right post before halftime.

"We rode our luck at times. The pressure was on, but we coped," Lahm said. "It was a big game for us, because we were utterly determined to make the last 16, and we're there. Any meeting with England is huge, and we're really looking forward to it. We're looking ahead with confidence, although we know there are things we have to do better."

Ghana had a great opportunity when Gyan tracked down a long ball inside the German box and had only goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to beat, but he shot right at the keeper.

The goal finally arrived on the hour mark as Thomas Muller slid a pass to Ozil at the edge of the area and he drove a well-placed shot into the upper-left corner of the net.

Prince Tagoe had a dangerous header at the back post blocked by the foot of Jerome Boateng as Ghana pressed forward for an equalizer, while a last-ditch tackle from Lahm five minutes later denied Andre Ayew a free shot on goal from 12 yards after a nice backheel from Gyan.

Germany defended well over the final 20 minutes as Ghana failed to seriously threaten Neuer's net.

"It was a very difficult game for us, but we battled away to the end," Ayew said. "It wasn't quite enough for a draw, but it was good enough to make the next round. We failed to take our chances today, and there were plenty of chances we could have taken. The vital thing was to qualify."

06/23 19:55:23 ET

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