Serbia upset 10-man GermanyBy DPA, IANS
Friday, June 18, 2010
PORT ELIZABETH - Serbia brought high-flying Germany back to ground Friday with a sensational 1-0 upset victory over the former champions to keep alive their hopes in Group D of World Cup football.
Coming off a 4-0 win in their opening game against Australia, Germany went a man down in the 37th minute when Miroslav Klose was sent off for a second yellow card.
Midfielder Milan Jovanovic took advantage of the situation a minute later to give Serbia the lead with the only goal of the game.
Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic saved a penalty from Lukas Podolski in the 60th minute and was later named Man of the Match.
The Serbs struck the woodwork twice in the final 23 minutes at Port Elizabeth stadium.
Serbia remained in the hunt for the Round of 16 with three points, the same number as Germany, who have a better goal difference. Ghana, also on three, take on winless Australia in Rustenberg Saturday.
German coach Joachim Loew made no changes to the starting line-up against Australia.
After a 1-0 loss to Ghana, Serbian boss Radomir Anitc had to take out suspended defender Aleksandar Lukovic, replacing him with Neven Subotic. In addition, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Milos Ninkovic entered for Nenad Milijas and Marko Pantelic.
The game early on was stuck in the midfield as Serbia used brute force against the German creativity, resulting in yellow cards for both Serbia exterior defenders Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanovic within the opening 19 minutes.
The Germans however could not find their way through the compact Serb back line. And they went a man down in the 37th minute when Klose - Germany’s only striker in the line-up - was given his marching orders for his second yellow card by Spanish referee Alberto Undiano, who wound up handing out nine yellow cards.
And Serbia used the advantage immediately to grab the lead in the 38th minute. Milos Krasic rushed down the right wing and crossed to the far post where Serbia’s giant 2.02m tall forward Nikola Zigic headed into the path of Jovanovic, who side-volleyed home.
Germany nearly equalised just before the break but Sami Khedira’s hammer blasted off the crossbar and Kolarov cleared off the goal line Thomas Mueller’s bicycle kick off the rebound.
Serbia stood just as solid in the second half though Bastian Schweinsteiger did have a strong shot but right at Serb keeper Stojkovic in the 54th minute.
Podolski was just wide of the far right post in the 57th minute after a fine pass by Mesut Oezil as the Germans finally found their passing game. Podolski struck the outer netting two minutes later.
Germany were rewarded a penalty in the 60th minute as Nemanja Vidic handled a ball in the area. But Stojkovic guessed the correct corner on Podolski’s left-foot shot to the lower right post to keep the Germans off the scoreboard.
Jovanovic nearly doubled his tally and the lead seven minutes later but he struck the left post from 14 metres. And Zigic found the framework in the 74th minute with his header off the crossbar.
Germany pushed forward with all their might looking for the equaliser but could not overcome the Serbs.