Miroslav Klose became the joint record scorer in World Cup history as he rescued Germany a point from a breathless and dramatic game with Ghana at Estadio Castelao.
The 36-year-old Lazio striker scored with his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute as the Germans came from behind to snatch a draw.
The goal, scored from a yard out, means Klose is now level with former Brazil striker Ronaldo on 15 goals.
Germany were, however, fortunate to escape with a point.
Having taken a fortuitous lead through Mario Gotze’s unorthodox header, Ghana came roaring back to score twice in nine minutes through Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan, to the huge delight of the vast majority of the crowd.
Joachim Low, the Germany coach, turned to the experience of Klose and the veteran did not disappoint as he prodded in to keep his side top of Group G.
The result means Germany, who move on to four points, have still only won their second game of a World Cup once since 1994. At Euro 2008, and at the 2010 World Cup, they followed up opening wins with defeats.
Ghana keep alive their chances of qualification for the last 16 but will have to beat Portugal in their final game to have a chance.
With temperatures in excess of 30C at the start, the tempo was understandably slow for much of the first half.
A series of pinball passing movements between Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze threatened to create an opening for Germany.
But in the stifling heat of Fortaleza, Ghana restricted their most celebrated opponents to half chances and blocked shots in an underwhelming opening 45 minutes.
Ghana had won over the neutrals by the interval by creating arguably the best chances but, within six minutes of the re-start, Germany were in front.
Muller found a yard of space, looked up and picked out Gotze’s run. The Bayern Munich forward did not make clean contact, heading the ball on to his knee, but the ball still deflected beyond Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda.
Ghana rose to find hope and purpose. Three minutes later they levelled to send Estadio Castelao into raptures, Andre Ayew leaping to head home Harrison Afful’s wonderful right-wing cross.
More drama was to come nine minutes later, as Ghana went ahead with a goal that stemmed from a rare mistake by Philipp Lahm.
Muntari pounced on the loose ball and slipped an inch-perfect ball through for Gyan, who fired firmly beyond goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Germany turned to the experience of Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger to stem the flow, with Ghana sensing an upset.
It was a move that paid off almost immediately as Klose scored with his first touch to equal the World Cup scoring record and bring Germany level.
Benedikt Howedes headed a corner towards the net and, just as it was about to cross the line, Klose prodded in to breathe life into Germany’s hopes.
Ghana began to tire as Germany pushed on. Toni Kroos found Muller but a brave block by Ayew denied him. Jonathan Mensah threw his body on the line soon after as Germany poured forward but Ghana went close themselves through Christian Atsu and Gyan.
Neither team deserved to lose but both might have had more than a point.