The duo had been expected to finish second in their respective groups, but if this World Cup has offered anything, it is the ability of the underdogs to surprise.
And it was the States - where football barely registers as a major sport - who throw an almighty spanner in the works by topping Group C to meet their African rivals, knocking England off the perch so many had expected them to cling to.
Ghana stuck more rigidly to the script and saw Germany take their pre-empted place as group winners following their 1-0 reverse at the hands of Joachim Low's side.
The Ghanaians were in fact owing a debt of gratitude to their European counterparts, who steam-rolled Australia 4-0 in their opening game to ensure goal difference separated the two nations finishing on four points.
Nevertheless, Milovan Rajevac has guided his team through without the presence of lynchpin midfielder Michael Essien, the Chelsea man's absence leading many to scorn Ghana's chances in navigating a difficult group.
Ironically, it was Ghana who knocked out Saturday's opponents in the last World Cup in Germany - their first ever - so Bob Bradley and his team will not be underestimating the eleven man lining up against them in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
The States group campaign finished in elation thanks to their last-gasp win over Algeria, where Landon Donovan's stoppage time strike sent the stock of 'soccer' in his homeland soaring.
The importance of the game is even more profound for Ghana given they are likely to be the solitary African nation to make the knockout phase.
Bradley will welcome the return of Robbie Findley from suspension after he missed the Algeria victory thanks to two yellow cards picked up in the opening two matches.
Replacing Findley in attack for the game in Pretoria was Herculez Gomez, however his place could under threat after being withdrawn at half-time.
DaMarcus Beasley was brought on his place, meanwhile Edson Buddle provides an alternative option, leaving Bradley will have plenty to ponder as to who will partner Jozy Altidore.
Maurice Edu is likely to retain a starting berth after coming in for Jose Francisco Torres.
Ghana could be without centre-back Isaac Vorsah for the knockout encounter as the defender struggles to win his fitness battle.
Vorsah missed the draw against Australia through injury and was hoping to be in contention for the loss to Germany, however Rajevac was forced to start him on the bench.
There was better news for fellow first-choice John Mensah, who also returned from the sidelines to complete 90 minutes, meaning Ghana may field an unchanged starting XI.
Questions had been raised over the participation of Sulley Muntari in the tournament after he had a reported bust-up with the Serbian coach.
Contrary to reports, the Inter Milan man had not been sent home but was started on the bench for the Germany date. The midfielder may come in for Prince Tagoe, though, should Rajevac tinker with his system.
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