Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Group D's second round of games

Serbia 1-0 Germany

Serbia managed a famous victory to throw Group D wide open. The main talking point was the red card to Klose - it was a very harsh red card, both for yellows that could so easily have been free kicks and nothing more. The sending off must have had an immediate psychological affect as within a couple of minutes Serbia were in the lead. It was a nice move, rounded off expertly by Jovanovic but the marking on him was non existent and enabled what was ultimately an easy route to goal.

However just because Serbia had a one man advantage didn't mean that Germany didn't have chances or weren't able to exert pressure. Khedira, who got through a mountain of solid graft and passing in the middle of the park struck the bar with a good shot from inside the penalty box. Germany were also justifiably awarded a penalty in the second half - Podolski's shot was saved. Very unlike the Germans to lose a football match by virtue of missing a penalty.

Serbia looked good. Krasic showed why he is rated highly as a winger and Subotic thwarted many German attacks, upstaging his more venerated team-mates Vidic and Ivanovic.

Ghana 1-1 Austalia

The match started in a positive manner but there was little in the way of chances for either side. Kewell felt he had been tripped by keeper Kingson - it would have been a soft penalty to concede but it could have been given. Australia took an early lead after Kingson spilled a Bresciano free-kick and Hollman tucked the ball away.

Later in the half Jonathan Mensah fired a strong shot on goal only for the referee to adjudge that Harry Kewell had handled on the line - awarded a penalty and sent Kewell off. The Australians were livid but I felt it was justified. Kewell may not have been standing there with the intention to handle but the fact remains his arms were not stuck to his sides, they were extended. He had done nothing to prevent the ball hitting his arm - he had stood on the line and hoped for the best. The penalty was definitely correct, some may argue about the red card but you will hear no complaints from me.

The second half saw lots of effort from the Ghanaians to produce the elusive winner. But by the same token Australia not only defended valiantly but created opportunities of their own. Scott Chipperfield headed over from close range, Wilkshire had a shot saved. Ghana lacked incision and penetration and their shooting was off target but they were, for the most part, the most dangerous of the two sides. However in the closing stages it was Australia who looked most likely to score. 1-1 was a fair result.

Ghana will be pleased that having rested centre-backs John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah (due to injury) that Lee Addy and Jonathan Mensah came through unscathed. Expect the first choice pairing to return for the Germany match.

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