Germany and USA succumb to draws in the second round, effectively delaying their World Cup dreams of a spot in the R16. There’s everything to play for in the final round, with both fixtures set to define Group G.
Germany tested by Ghana
A vigorous Ghana gave Germany a serious run for their money in the second round, testing Die Mannschafts’ merit as the favourite to win Group G, now up from -200 to -1200 to win outright. A dull first half, which ended on a scoreless draw, belied what was to come: a right thrilling 45 minutes of outright war. Caution thrown to the wind, both teams burst out of the gates in the second half. Mario Gotze scored first, lifting Germany to a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute. Before German fans even finished their celebrations, however, Ayew headed one past Manuel Neuer three minutes later to send their supporters into frenzy.
With the score delicately posed 1-1, Ghana continued their adventurous ways. The ambition, determination and courage they showed against one of the tournament’s top favourites reaching a climax ten minutes later through a delightful strike by Gyan that whizzed by Neuer. Up 2-1 against Germany, the Black Stars celebrated with an impromptu shuffle-dance by the corner flag. Ghana fans could barely contain their excitement: for a moment their World Cup dreams were gloriously realised. Of course, this was Germany; not for nothing, one of the top favourites in the competition proper, which they summarily proved when Miroslav Klose converted a corner kick into a pivotal equaliser that rescued Germany from almost certain defeat. The score: 2-2 at the final whistle. However, a point for Germany meant a tenuous grip on top spot all of a sudden, as USA were gearing up to take on Portugal later that day with the opportunity to top the table handed to them on a silver platter.
Ronald snuffs USA hopes
When USA were dubbed as the Group G underdogs at +1200 to win outright, few predicted they would be in a position to actually accomplish the feat. Yet, they are exactly in such a position, matched at +800 to accomplish the feat. It’s down to USA or Germany to win Group G.
In fact, USA were in a position to accomplish the feat going into their second round match with Portugal. The door left open on the heels of Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana. The real shocker, they were 60 seconds away from not only topping the Group but also securing their berth in the R16. That is until Ronaldo’s adventurous cross, deep into stoppage time, found Varela advancing on the net, eager foot at the ready to stab it past the keeper. Portugal got their desperate equaliser, thereby salvaging their slim hopes. USA were robbed of the 2-1 victory that would have all but assured their progress into the R16.
Group G odds: What’s at stake?
Germany and USA are set to collide in a Group G decider. A draw will suffice to send both teams through to the knockouts, but both Jurgen Klinsmann and Joachim Low have maintained their sides will be playing to win. According to odds makers, Germany are in full control of Group G at -1200 to win outright, as well as the hot favourites to beat USA at -150. USA, meanwhile, are a tempting +800 bet to turn the table on Germany in Group Betting and the fancied -400 favourites to simply advance.
A defeat by USA could prove costly to their campaign. If both Germany and Ghana win on the final day of action, it’s quite possible that Ghana would advance instead of USA, a feat that can be backed at +500. In this scenario, the pair would be tied on four points each and goal-difference would be the first tiebreaker to determine which advances.
Portugal, matched at +900 to advance, are faced with a tough ask. If they are to come through on their odds, they’d need to a) beat a tough Ghana by many goals, and b) a Germany win, preferably a big win.
World Cup Free Picks: Germany and USA to advance in that order for your soccer picks.