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RIO DE JANEIRO, June 22, /ITAR-TASS/. Forward Miroslav Klose who saved the German national squad from defeat in the second match of group stage against Ghana became the hero the Soccer World Cup’s tenth day. The match ended with a draw 2:2.
It was a narrow escape for the German national squad. The Africans were on their way to sensational victory over one of the World Cup’s favourites. The Germans opened the score on the 51st minute. Then, Ghana scored twice and took the lead 2:1. The Germans were losing control over the situation when forward Miroslav Klose appeared on the field. He scored on the 71st minute and brought the match with Ghana to a draw (2:2).
Klose’s goal was heaven-set for Germany. Besides, the bombardier set his own personal record. He caught up with legendary Ronaldo (Brazil) by the number of goals scored at Soccer World Cups. Ronaldo congratulated the German with his success in Twitter.
As a result, the German team scored four points after two matches; the United States has three points (1); Ghana has one point (2). Portugal has no points (1).
Another hot favourite to win the Soccer World Cup - the national squad of Argentina - had problems in defeating Iran in the first match of the day. The team’s captain, Lionel Messi sent a powerful goal into the Iranian gates at the very end of the match thus taking his team to victory (1:0). Messi was named the match’s best player.
In another group match, Nigeria defeated Bosnia & Herzegovina 1:0 depriving the Bosnians of a chance to get into playoffs.
The detention of 19 Argentine fans right on the stadium during the match was certainly the past day’s highlight, which was not directly linked to football. The fans were suspected of illegally entering Brazil. The detainees are believed to be members of a very aggressive fan group called Barra-Brava. The Argentine police must have handed over their names to Brazilian colleagues. Hooligans from this blacklist are banned from entering Brazil.
The Brazilian police had to work hard to freeze out a group of fans who were trying to make their way to a bus that had brought the Argentine team prior to its match vs. Iran. As a result, four Brazilian, three Argentine and one Columbian fan were slightly injured.
Meanwhile, the national teams of Belgium and Russia will meet in the second match of the group stage at the Soccer World Cup on Sunday, June 22. The game will start at 20:00 Moscow time at the Maracana stadium. If Belgians win, they will definitely qualify for the last 16. Any other result will leave good chances for both teams to participate in the 1/8 of the final.
The Red Devils from Belgium confirmed their class in the opening match of the group stage. They outplayed Algiers 2:1 while the Russian squad drew a match with South Koreans. The second match of the tournament will really be crucial for the Russian squad. A defeat will practically crush all hopes even though the final matches will decide everything on June 27 with any results of the second match of the group round.
Both Belgium and Russia missed the 2002 World Cups. However, Russia’s 2014 squad consists only of players of national tournaments who are little known to average foreign fans. On the contrary, Belgium’s coach Marc Milmots has gathered players from leading European clubs.
The national squads of Russia and Belgium have met each other eight times. The rivalry started with two victories by the Soviet team in 1970 (4:1) and 1982 (1:0). In 1986, the two squads met in the last 16 at the Soccer World Cup in Leon, Mexico. That was one of the most memorable matches, which the Soviet team lost. The last time the Belgians lost to the Russian (Soviet) national team was 32 years ago.
Most experts consider the Belgians to be the favourites for the June 22 match. How the Russians played vs. South Koreans could hardly impress anybody.
The Russian national squad arrived in Rio de Janeiro from Itu (Sao Paulo) on Saturday.
The Russian national squad’s head coach, Fabio Capello, said that goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev will continue defending the Russian’s team’s gates in a match against Belgium despite a gross mistake in the first match against South Korea (1:1). Capello still considers Akinfeyev to be one of the world’s best goalkeepers.
One of Belgium’s top players, Manchester United’s backer Vincent Kompany will most likely appear on the field despite groin problems. On Saturday, Kompnay said that he felt well and was ready to play.
The match will take place at the famous Maracana stadium. The Belgian Royal couple -King Philippe and Queen Matilda - is expected to be present at the game. About 75,000 tickets have been sold for the match, including 10,000-11,000 tickets bought by Russian fans.