The Group D entered the 2010 FIFA World Cup today with Ghana and Germany winning their opening matches in contrasting styles.
(to be updated after the second game)
Serbia 0-1 (0-0) Ghana
Goals: 0-1 Asamoah Gyan (84', penalty)
Ghana scored an important 1-0 win against Serbia in their quest for a pre-quarterfinal spot from Group D, while the men from the Balkans were nowhere near to their capabilities.
There is nothing much to write about the first 45 minutes as both teams looked tense and nervous going into this World Cup, but things changed after the breather as Ghana got into the game which also gave the Serbs space to create some build-ups. Ghana out have gone ahead in the 60th minute when Asamoah Gyan placed a long throw-in from John Paintsil just wide of the goal. Serbia were reduced to ten men when Aleksandar Lukovic was send off by the referee Hector Walter Baldassi for a second bookable offence in the 74th minute. This gave Ghana more space in attack and then Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled the ball in the area which Asamoah Gyan slotted home easily. Serbia tried their best to equalise, but Ghana had the better chances to go ahead 2-0, but still the match ended 1-0 for Ghana.
Germany 4-0 (2-0) Australia
Goals: 1-0 Lukas Podolski (8'), 2-0 Miroslav Klose (27'), 3-0 Thomas Mueller (68'), 4-0 Cacau (70').
Germany opened their 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign in style with a 4-0 trashing of helpless Australia at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. After tonight's performance Germany will surely be named amongst the top favourites especially keeping their track record in mind.
But the Aussies had the first chance of the match through Richard Garcia's shot, which was jointly blocked by Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm in the 3rd minute, but thereafter it was mainly one way traffic towards Mark Schwarzer. Miroslav Klose could have given Germany the lead in the 7th minute, but his shot went wide. Only a minute later Lukas Podolski gave his team the lead through a typical left-footed shot which Schwarzer got his hands to but couldn't keep out of the goal. Klose had another chance before he finally scored in the 27th minute through a trademark header of a Philipp Lahm cross. It was Klose's 11th goal in a World Cup match. It stayed this way until the break.
One expected Australia to come and try something to get back into the match, but it just didn't happen. Germany were fine with the result and reduced their work rate. And they were further helped when Tim Cahill saw a straight red card for a foul on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 56th minute. Germany got their third through youngster Thomas Mueller in the 68th minute of a lovely goal off a Podolski pass, while substitute Cacau scored only two minutes later of a Mesut Oezil pass. Germany could have added a goal more, but overall it was a perfect evening for team and fans.
Expectations have now risen and the young team will have to deliver. Maybe once more they will ride on the wave which took them to the 2006 FIFA World Cup third place and the second place at Euro2008.