It oynly took until the third day of competition for the scoring to get out of hand in one game. After a series of one- and two-goal games, we had our first massacre after some mismatches failed to materialize. However, the two African sides were in close games and hoping to give the local crowds something to cheer for.
Algeria 0 vs. Slovenia 1 – After England and America drew on Saturday night, top spot and a big advantage in Group C was up for grabs between the two underdogs. The game involved a lot of feeling each other out and a lot of play in the midfield rather than attacking. In total, there were about 6 shots on goal. It wasn’t until the second half that the Slovenians were able to find the mark. Algerian substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off after less than 15 minutes on the pitch. The ten-men Algerians weren’t able to stop Robert Koren who skipped a low shot in for a goal which was all the Slovenians needed to earn their first World Cup victory.
Serbia 0 vs. Ghana 1 – The first penalty kick of the tournament yielded an expected goal. Zdravko Kuzmanovic knocked down a cross inside his own box with his right hand which meant an automatic penalty kick. Asamoah Gyan, who hit the post just minutes earlier, made no mistake to lead the Black Stars to victory. Gyan could easily have scored a hat trick in the second half. In addition to the post early in the second half, Gyan hit the post in stoppage which would have certainly ended it. Though the Beli Orlovi shot themselves in the foot when Aleksandar Lukovic was dismissed for a pair of yellow cards. Serbia controlled the early part of the match but the late implosion prevented them from salvaging anything for their effort.
Germany 4 vs. Australia 0 – This wasn’t a soccer game. It’s was training camp for both teams. For the Germans, it was a warmup for the rest of the tournament. For the Australians, it was a lesson in how to play soccer. Even without captain Michael Ballack, the Germans are a strong contender for the World Cup. Lucas Podolski opened the scoring for Die Mannschaft with an absolute screamer that powered through Aussie keeper Mark Schwarzer. Goals were also poured in by Miroslav Klose, Thomas Mueller and Cacau. As if things weren’t bad enough for the Socceroos, defender Tim Cahill was sent off in the 56th minute on a straight red card. On the plus side, Schwarzer made six saves on the day and kept this match from being over in the first half.
Man of the Day: Lucas Podolski (Germany) – 1 goal, 1 assist
Group C Standings
1. Slovenia 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
2. England 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
3. United States 0-1-0, 1 Pts.
4. Algeria 0-0-1, 0 Pts.
Group D Standings
1. Germany 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
2. Ghana 1-0-0, 3 Pts.
3. Serbia 0-0-1, 0 Pts.
4. Australia 0-0-1, 0 Pts.
Group E: Netherlands vs. Denmark
Group E: Japan vs. Cameroon
Group F: Italy vs. Paraguay