Jumat, 18 Juni 2010

Group D: Serbia shock Germany, Aussies hold Ghana

Group D enters an interesting stage

(to be updated after the second game)

Germany 0-1 (0-1) Serbia
Goals: 0-1 Milan Jovanovic (38').

Serbia shocked Germany with a 1-0 win at the Port Elizabeth Stadium to bring the Germans back crashing down to earth. Germany played for over 50 minutes with ten men as striker Miroslav Klose given marching orders early and just thereafter Jovanovic scored the winner for the Serbs.

The Germans had expected that this match would be much tougher then their opening game against Australia. And it came that way as the Serbs tried to block all German efforts to move forward blocking all potential open space. But Germany had their first chance through Lukas Podolski whose shot went wide today unlike in the opening game where he had scored from a similar chance, while the Serbs had their first chance through a Ninkovic volley in the 11th minute. Thereafter it was mainly midfield action, a number of yellow cards on both sides and it looked evident that this match couldn't finish with 22 players at the rate the referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco was pulling out cards. After the half hour mark the match gained some pace, but Germany would be down to ten men when Klose received his second yellow card for a foul from behind in the middle, a card which would need not be shown. And a disaster often doesn't come alone, only a minute later Milan Jovanovic would scored the winner off a Zigic header. But Germany wasn't beaten yet as in the first half injury time a Sami Khedira shot would hit the crossbar.

After the break the match would mainly be played in the Serbian half who pulled back a little allowing Germany more space to build-up and they were able to use this space. First Bastian Schweinsteiger and then Podolksi twice failed in a short span of time. Then Serbia star Nemanja Vidic would handle the ball in the area, penalty for Germany but Podolski's rather weak shot would be saved by the Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic. It just wasn't Germany's day as they thereafter looked shocked as Serbia got back into the match as Jovanovic hit the post in the 67th minute and Zigic's header landed on the crossbar a little while later. Germany brought on Cacau, Marko Marin and Mario Gomez; but it wouldn't help as once more the luckless Podolski would have the last chance for Germany. Serbia looked tired towards the end, but they didn't give the Germans the necessary space.

Ghana 1-1 (1-1) Australia
Goals: 0-1 Brett Holman (11'), 1-1 Asamoah Gyan (25', penalty).

Ghana and Australia played out an entertaining one-all draw at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg which leaves Group D wide open.

Australia took a surprise lead in the 11th minute. Ghana keeper Richard Kingston couldn't push the ball away properly from a Marco Bresciano free kick and Brett Holman is there to put the ball in. Australia after taking the lead pull back and that would haunt them. In the 25th minute Andrè Ayew gets past two defenders on the right plays the ball back, where Jonathan Mensah fires the ball goalwards. The ball is cleared off the line by Harry Kewell by his chest and arm. Italian referee Roberto Rosetti points to the dreaded spot and shows Kewell the red card, another debatable decision. Like against Serbia Asamoah Gyan took the penalty and blasted another one into the Aussie goal. Thereafter Ghana was in control as the Aussies looked shocked, while the Africans pressure on them but couldn't use their advantage.

The match continued after the break in the same way with Ghana in control, but keeper Mark Schwarzer denied Ghana on a couple of occasions. Australia then brought on Scott Chipperfield and Joshua Kennedy in the middle of the second session and suddenly the complexion of the game changed with suddenly Australia the team pushing for the lead. And Ghana looked impressed by the 10 Australians, who had their best chance through Luke Wilshire in the 72nd minute who has only keeper Richard Kingston to beat, but the Ghanian keeper deflects the ball away. Towards end both sides looked tired and didn't really have chances to win the match.

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