The 2010 FIFA World Cup is beginning to throw surprise results this week, and today’s early match saw another as last week’s impressive winners Germany were defeated 1-0 by Serbia.
The match turned in a crazy couple of minutes which saw Miroslav Klose sent off for a second bookable offence, after which Jovanovic hammered the ball into the Germany goal almost immediately.
The sending off was a game changer, but Germany were thrown a late life-line – which they refused to grab – when they were awarded a penalty in the 59th minute. Podolski, who had already missed two or three excellent chances, missed Germany’s first World Cup penalty in normal time since 1974 as Stojkovic dived to his left and made a fine save.
Germany would not be able to work a better opportunity in the remainder of the second half, and so the match would finish.
This result means that Group D is wide open, with three sides currently on 3 points and Australia due to play Ghana tomorrow. If the Aussies win that one, it will be three points all around, setting up a thrilling final round of Group games.
Germany will rightly feel hugely aggrieved at the two decisions which resulted in Klose’s sending off – both yellow cards were such that another referee might have turned a blind eye to, and there seemed to be little or no malice in the challenge which produced the second card.
Serbia are back in the tournament, though they will need to stop giving away strange penalties – for the second match in succession a centre back handled in the area after having misjudged the flight of the ball, this time it was Vidic – if they are to get far in this World Cup.
Germany should have enough to deal with Ghana, though there was already going to be some mettle in that one due to Kevin-Prince Boateng’s role in Ballack’s injury (not to mention his having played for Germany as a youngster) – now it may well be a must-win – for both sides. Mouthwatering stuff to come in Group D.