7M SPORTS Favorites 
Germany 0 Serbia 1
18/06/2010  by Telegraph.co.uk
Text size: A A A

Read a full match report of the World Cup 2010 Group D game between Germany and Serbia at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on Friday June 18 2010.

This Germany team really is something very different. On Sunday, we saw flair, adventure and the sort of carefree approach to football that only a team brimmed with youthful exuberance could possibly produce.

Today, however, we also got the sort of daft and self-defeating indiscipline that was the product of inexperience and would have been unthinkable in past Germany teams. What’s more, from the most devastating nation in world football from 12 yards, there was even a missed penalty. Lukasz Podolski was the culprit and, amazingly, it was the first miss outside of a shoot-out from a German player since Uli Hoeness way back in 1974. Earlier, Miroslav Klose had become the first German player to be sent off for 18 years following two bookable offences.

It all added up to a most unlikely 1-0 win for Serbia, with Milan Jovanovic scoring the goal that also raises the prospect of England facing Germany in the last 16. The respective winners and runners up of World Cup Groups C and D must play one another in the first knockout round next weekend.

After such a convincing start to their World Cup against Australia, there was no great surprise in an unchanged Germany team as, once again, they began with a verve and expansive style that belied their previous outlook.

After beginning with defeat against Ghana, there was rather less self-confidence but still plenty of common-sense in the decision of Serbia coach Radomir Antic to reinforce his midfield. With Nikola Zigic left on his own up-front, Zdravko Kuzmanovic was used in a holding role at the base of the midfield and, alongside Dejan Stankovic, charged with nullifying the marauding talents of Mesut Ozil. It was not an easy job.

Constantly on the move in the channel between the midfield and attack, there is something of Lionel Messi in the way Ozil pulls defenders out of positions and is perpetually searching for the most incisive pass or run into space.

He immediately drifted out to the right and lifted a delicate ball into the path of Sami Khedira, who just failed to make sufficient contact to test Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

Germany then had another half-chance when Nemanja Vidic’s headed clearance was volleyed narrowly wide by Lukasz Podolski. It required huge discipline and considerable energy but, for the remainder of the first-half, Serbia largely succeeding in stifling Germany and the supply to Miroslav Klose. The frustration manifested itself in a succession of niggling fouls.

Philippe Lahm and Sami Khedira had already been cautioned by referee Alberto Undiano when Klose, Germany’s second highest-ever goalscorer, committed the second of two mistimed but hardly malicious bookable challenges. Both occurred as he attempted to chase back. The first was nothing more than a brush of Branislav Ivanovic’s heel but, with Undiano having set the benchmark so low for a yellow card, it was daft of Klose to then even attempt a tackle from behind on Stankovic.

Until then, Serbia had provided only a sporadic threat but, within just a minute of the sending-off, they capitalised on the collective state of German shock.

Milso Krasic, who had been outstanding on the right-wing, outpaced Holger Badstuber and delivered a looping cross which was headed down by Zigic and into the path of Jovanovic. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Meuer was still well positioned but seemed to take evasive action and virtually jumped out of the way of Jovanovic’s scissor-kick finish.

The celebration was equally spectacular, with Jovanovic, who will join Liverpool after the World Cup, hurdling the side barriers so that he could be mobbed by the Serbia supporters.

Germany responded strongly and had two clear opportunities to equalise on the stroke of half-time. First Khedira wobbled the bottom of the crossbar with a powerful shot and then Muller’s overhead kick was cleared off the line by Alex Kolorav.

Despite their numerical disadvantage and having to play with Ozil as a makeshift striker, Germany also created a flurry of chances at the beginning of the second-half. Muller cleverly crossed for Bastian Schweinsteiger whose shot was fumbled by Stojkovic and then Podolski got behind the Serbia defence but wasted an excellent chance following another wonderful Ozil pass.

Ozil, yet again, also deftly dissected the Serbia back-line only for Podolski to blast into the side-netting. With 39 goals in 74 internationals, Podolski has been one of the most reliable international strikers in world football over the past five years but suddenly seemed frozen by uncertainty.

It was, therefore, questionable that he should step forward to take the Germany penalty after Nemanja Vidic had inexplicably committed a diving handball. Podolski’s penalty was weak and easily saved by Stojkovic.

It summed up Germany’s afternoon and, having received so many plaudits for their win against Australia, it is now time for some perspective.

Hot Topic
Lastest Comments
Cities & Venues
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
    Notice: Please subject to GMT+0800 if there are no other time zones marking in our info.
    Copyright © 2003 - Power By www.7msport.com All Rights Reserved.