The Group of Death is set for a very lively finish in Brazil.
The 2014 World Cup has been marked by a bevy of goals, surprising results and unpredictable finishes and Group G is poised for more of the same. June 26 will see all four teams – Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States – in action with none having secured their spots in the round of 16.
Late heroics from Miroslav Klose last weekend keeps the Germans as frontrunners with four points. Klose now has 14 World Cup goals, tied for the all-time record with Ronaldo of Brazil, and Die Mannschaft might just need more brilliance from Klose to get by the Americans, who also have four points. The Stars and Stripes – who will square off with Germany on Thursday – have been one of the big surprises in the competition, as their rugged midfield play and sharpness in front of goal from the likes of Clint Dempsey has minimized weaknesses in defense.
Another shocker has been the play of Portugal, who look far from world beaters. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has lacked his typical pizzazz in attack and there are still doubts about his health and match fitness. Yet the Portuguese find themselves a possible win away from advancing.
Ghana figure to be anything but easy for Portugal with their athleticism and flair. The African giants have leaned on inspired play up front from danger man Asamoah Gyan. While they have tactical flaws, the Black Stars still have enough firepower to progress.
Group H will also close out on Thursday with South Korea facing Belgium and Algeria taking on Russia. The Belgians are already assured a spot in the next stage and the Koreans would need an upset and help to advance. A win for either the Russians or Algerians would see them through.