JOHANNESBURG, June 24 (IANS): Three-time world champions Germany advanced to the Round of 16 by surviving a strong Ghana side 1-0 to win Group D and join the Africans in the knockout stage.
In front of 83,391 spectators at Soweto's Soccer City Stadium, Mesut Oezil - named FIFA Man of the Match - scored the winner in the 60th minute for the 1954, 1974 and 1990 title-winners Germany, who avoided getting bounced from the first round of the World Cup - which would have been the first time in their history.
Germany finished Group D in first place with six points and will take on England in the Round of 16 while Ghana will play the Group C winners United States after claiming second place with four points.
Ghana, who lost to Brazil in the Round of 16 at Germany 2006, became just the second African nation to advance out of the World Cup first phase twice, following Nigeria in 1994 and 1998.
And Milovan Rajevac's Ghanaians became the first African nation to advance to the Round of 16 at the first African World Cup after hosts South Africa as well as Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria all were eliminated.