Germans Signal Intent After Thrashing Sorry Australia
Monday, 14th June 2010 at 09:44am
Joachim Loew's Germany side got its World Cup campaign off to a flying start on Sunday as they ran out 4-0 winners over Australia who had Tim Cahill harshly dismissed for a clumsly second half challenge.
Germany was two nil up thanks to goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski when Cahill was shown the red card and cruised to a comfortable victory with two further goals from Thomas Mueller and substitute Cacau.
Australia should have had a penalty when Per Mertesacker handled the ball in the penalty area but Pim Verbeek's side could have no complaints about the result as the Socceroos were thoroughly outplayed.
In Group D's other fixture, Ghana beat Serbia by a goal to nil thanks to an 85th minute penalty from Asamoah Gyan after Zdravko Kuzmanovic conceded a penalty for handball.
The European side struggled to cope with the Ghanaian midfield and ended the match with just 10 men after Aleksandar Lukovic was sent off for two bookable offences.
In the tournament's first game on Friday, June 11, host nation South Africa came within 12 minutes of making a dream start to the tournament.
After a poor first half, Bafana Bafana started the second 45 minutes brightly and was rewarded when Siphiwe Tshabalala smashed the ball past Mexican 'keeper Perez to round off an excellent counter attack.
South Africa pushed forward for a second and could have had a penalty but the home team was punished when poor defending left Rafael Marquez unmarked at the far post and the Barcelona man had time to control the ball and fire past Khune in the South African goal.
The hosts had one final chance to take all three points but Katlego Mphela saw his shot hit the post and bounce wide with Perez beaten.
In the second fixture in Group A, Uruguay and France shared the points following a drab 0-0 draw in which the South Americans finished the game with just 10 men after Lodeiro was sent off.
In Group B, Diego Maradona's Argentina got off to a winning start with a 1-0 win against the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Former Manchester United and Real Madrid player Gabriel Heinze scored the only goal of the game but the score line didn't reflect Argentina's dominance as Nigeria had goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to think for keeping them in the match.
The Nigerian stopper made several great saves from Lionel Messi and the Super Eagles almost capitalised on Argentine profligacy but Taye Taiwo and Kala Uche were unable to convert good chances late on.
Earlier in the day, Korea beat a very poor Greek side as the former European champions put in a woeful performance on its return to the World Cup stage.
Goals from Lee Jung-soo and Manchester United's Park Ji-sung were enough to secure all three points against Otto Rehagel's side which only created two clear chances.
Both of the matches in Group C were determined by similar goalkeeping errors as England's Robert Green and Faouzi Chaouchi of Algeria both allowed speculative shots from distance to squirm past them and into the net.
Newly promoted captain Steven Gerrard gave England a dream start in Rustenberg when he ran onto a clever reverse pass from Emile Heskey and fired past Tim Howard after just four minutes.
The US slowly got back into the match and were gifted an equaliser when Green allowed Clint Dempsey's tame shot from 25 yards past him before half time.
In the second half, England improved and Heskey missed two good chances before being replaced by Peter Crouch, but it was the US that could have snatched victory through Jozy Altidore when his shot was pushed onto the post by Green.
In Sunday's early kick off, Robert Koren secured a first ever World Cup win for Slovenia, when his long-range shot slipped through Chaouchi's grasp and into the back of the net.