World Cup 2010 – Day Three – Germany Saved Me From A Terrible Day Of Soccer

Posted: June 14, 2010 by The Mark in Soccer
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After a great day of soccer on Saturday, the first two games on Sunday tried their hardest to set the game of soccer back.  Luckily, Germany were their usual, machine self and brought a nice end to the day’s matches.  Algeria – Slovenia and Serbia – Ghana weren’t gonna bring any new fans to the sport and most likely strengthened the argument against soccer.  This argument only takes place in the USA because the rest of the world is already on board.

The horns are still annoying but not just because of the constant buzzing sound throughout the game.  Those damn Vuvuzelas completely drown out the crowd noise so you can’t hear the supporters in the stands when something big happens.  The crowd reaction and atmosphere are a big part of my enjoyment and I’m getting none of it.  Luckily, the Korean announcers on SBS are very energetic and exciteable or else I might as well watch the game with the sound off.  There’s word that the World Cup organizing committee would consider banning the vuvuzela from inside the stadiums but only if necessary.  It’s so necessary.

On to the games:

Algeria – Slovenia (0-1)

Goal – Koren (SVN) 79’

Red Card – Ghezzal (ALG) 73’, two yellows

This game was pretty much bad from start to finish.  The game was loose and sloppy from the first minute.  I thought both these teams would be better but I was wrong.  This game had tie written all over it but some shoddy defending and goalkeeping by the Algerians gave Slovenia the win and now Slovenia sits atop Group C.  Go figure.  I did like the green Charlie Brown jerseys worn by Slovenia.

Like Slovenia's jerseys, except green

Algeria started the game in a 4-5-1 which hardly ever works since your forward is all alone in the middle of the field waiting for service.  Neither team was in a rush to score and passes were being missed all over the place.  Algeria did a lot of complaining throughout the match.  Both teams were physical and I wrote in my notebook at 36’ that there would be a red card in this game.  At minute 73, Abdelkadar Ghezzal (Siena) decides that since the pass is over his head maybe he should stick his arm out and try to stop it.  Maybe nobody will notice.  The referee did and it was a yellow for Ghezzal.  Too bad it was his second yellow since coming on for Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens) at 59’.  Ghezzal came into the game and immediately got a yellow for a rough tackle.  Nice!

At 79’ Robert Koren (West Bromwich Albion) gets the ball outside the box, to the left and since the defenders decided not to make a move on him, he dribbled to the top of the box before anyone closed in on him and took an average shot that bounced and went into the net.  The goalie looked real bad.  Maybe he was screened or maybe the Jubulani World Cup ball really does suck.  The Jabulani has been flying and taking some odd bounces this entire tournament.  Maybe the players are right, this ball does suck.

Bad ball or bad goalkeeping. How about both?

Serbia – Ghana (0-1)

Goal – Gyan (GHA) 85′ penalty

Red Card – Lukovic (SRB) 74′, two yellows

I was surprised at the Ghana lineup when I noticed both Sulley Muntari (Inter) and Stephen Appiah (Bologna) were being left out.  Appiah came on at 73′ but Muntari was never used.  Luckily, Ghana did just fine without them in the starting lineup.  Not that Ghana played that well but neither did Serbia and a late penalty was all Ghana needed to win this game.

What was wrong with Serbia?  The lineup looked good on paper but that’s it.  With Marko Pantelic (Ajax) and the 6 foot 7 Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) up front I thought Serbia could cause problems and score a few goals.  I was way off.  I don’t know exactly where Zigic was playing.  He spent a lot of time around the midfield circle and even got a yellow for a challenge near Serbia’s defense.  Why would a tall, gifted forward be anywhere but in or around the Ghana third of the field.  Since Zigic was strolling around the pitch, Pantelic was left all alone up on the right front trying to catch up to bad Serbian passes and crosses.  Milos Krasic (CSKA Moscow) did his best in the midfield but he too was on the right.  The first half was all played on the right side.  Mix it up a little, there were other players on the left.

Zigic, tall forwards shouldn't be anywhere near the midfield

In the second half, Zigic decided that he was a forward and played more in the attacking zone but the passes still were off.  Both teams played some pretty bad soccer.  Aleksandar Lukovic (Udinese) was shown red  at 74′ after getting his second yellow and Serbia were down to ten men.  Ghana started to put pressure from this point on and it paid off at 82′ when they were awarded a penalty after Zdravko Kuzmanovic (VfB Stuttgart) decided to reach out and touch a cross from Ghana’s Andre Ayew (Arles).  Silly play.  Asamoah Gyan (Rennes) converted and that was it.  Gyan was by far the best player on the field.  Hopefully both teams can tighten things up and play better in the next game.

Germany – Australia (4-0)

Goals – Podolski (GER) 8′, Klose (GER) 26′, Mueller (GER) 68′, Cacau (GER) 70′

Red Card – Cahill (AUS) 56′

Not much to say here except that Germany OWNED Australia.  They put on a clinic.  Australia had an early chance at 3′ but Richard Garcia (Hull City) had his shot cleared by Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich).  It was all Germany after that.  Australia could not keep up with the constant German pressure.  Then, Tim Cahill (Everton) gets himself sent off after a rough challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).  Cahill actually looked surprised when he was shown the red.  Tim, if you come in on a player from the side with your knees, you’re gonna see red.  Plus Schweinsteiger didn’t even have the ball at that point.  Nice play Tim.

Different game, same outcome for Cahill

If Germany can keep up this attacking pace, not scoring pace, they will be hard to beat.  In my preview I told you not to expect too much from Australia.  I still stand by that.  No Cahill against Ghana, no chance.  Germany is by far the best team to have played so far.  Solid in every part of the game.

Standings

Team (points)

Group A:

South Africa (1), Mexico (1), Uruguay (1), France (1)

Group B:

South Korea (3), Argentina (3), Nigeria (0), Greece (0)

Group C:

Slovenia (3), USA (1), England (1), Algeria (0)

Group D:

Germany (3), Ghana (3), Serbia (0), Australia (0)

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