So Germany is human after all?  Serbia did just enough to frustrate Germany.  Slovenia let the USA off the hook and with England unable to score against Algeria, everyone in Group C is still alive going into the final games of the group play.

On to the games:

Germany – Serbia (0-1)
Goal – Jovanovic (SRB) 38′
Red Card – Klose (GER) 33′

I was skeptical when I saw that Serbian coach Radomir Antic decided to start midfielder Milos Ninkovic (Dynamo Kyiv) in place of forward Marko Pantelic (Ajax) and basically go 4-5-1.  Terrible idea because that makes Nikola Zigic (Birmingham City) your only forward and I’m not sold on him to be the workhorse up front.  Well, Serbia won so all is forgotten right?  Not exactly.  Zigic did play better this time and stayed in position which helps but he needed help up front and Pantelic played a pretty good game against Ghana.  I really didn’t notice Ninkovic until he was replaced by Gojko Kacar (Hertha Berlin) at 70′.

Germany didn’t look bad in this game but being a man down for over an hour didn’t help.  Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich) was silly to get even one yellow let alone two.  Not very smart by the usually heady Germans.  Germany had a ton of chances, even a man down but just couldn’t finish.  Serbia keeper, Vladimir Stojkovic (Wigan) was everywhere and was rightfully named Man of the Match.  Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne) missed a second half penalty and the writing was on the wall for the Germans.  I can’t really find any problems with this lineup but Germany should’ve handled Serbia without much difficulty.  The Serbian goal came on a cross from the right that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04) simply overplayed.  He got spun around and was unable to block Jovanovic, who was right in front of him.

Valdimir Stojkovic or Antonio Banderas

Now, Serbia, Germany and Ghana are all on three points going into the final games of round one.  Germany is lucky that they scored four against Australia but Ghana could go top of the group by beating the Aussies.  They should have no problem doing that.

What was up with the referee?  He was giving out yellow cards like they were going out of style.  The game was a bit physical but not nine yellow cards worth.

Slovenia – USA (2-2)
Goals – Birsal (SVN) 13′, Ljubijankic (SVN) 42′, Donovan (USA) 48′, Bradley (USA) 82′

This was a game of two halves.  The USA played well in both halves but Slovenia was more dangerous in the first and looked like they were ready to book their place in the second round.  Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) got a a goal back for the Americans just after half-time and the game was now in the balance.  USA did a great job fighting back to tie this game and the result was right, maybe.

USA played very well but I still don't care

You know I’m not a fan but the USA got robbed on that free-kick.  There was no offsides or fouls and that should’ve been a goal.  That being said, can the USA fans please shut the hell up!  This team isn’t going anywhere and they’ll never win the World Cup.  They’re here to make up the numbers but no one who knows anything about soccer thinks they have a legitimate shot at even making a semi-final.  I can’t wait until they’re eliminated so fans can go back to not caring about soccer and leave the rest of the world alone.

England – Algeria (0-0)

How does England not win this game?  Why can’t Michael Carrick (Manchester United) find a place on this struggling team?  How does Algeria end the game with the edge in time of possession?  As I ask these questions, England has two points and scored one goal in two games.  A spot in round two is not certain for this team that everyone, including me, had high hopes for.  Algeria has just as much of a chance to make the second round as England.  Terrible!!!  England had the better of the chances but just couldn’t get the ball in the net.

The good, Aaron Lennon (Tottenham) is having a hell of a tournament and he’s only twenty-three years old.  Ashley Cole (Chelsea) is doing a great job and is probably England’s best player through two games.  Fabio Capello came to his senses and replaced keeper Robert Green (West Ham) with veteran David James (Portsmouth).  I don’t think we’ll be seeing Mr. Green playing for England anytime soon, if ever.

With players like Aaron Lennon, the future looks brighter for England

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) looks frustrated by defenses in the first two games.  How can that be?  He dominated the EPL and Champion’s League all season and now he’s having trouble with the defenses of the USA and Algeria?

Yes, a couple of lucky bounces and England is in better shape but that can be said of most teams in this tournament.  Every team has his posts throughout this tournament.  England needs to score early next game to get some confidence because the longer the games goes without goals, the more frustrated England get.

Standings

Team (points)

Group A:

Uruguay (4), Mexico (4),  France (1), South Africa (1)

Group B:

Argentina (6), South Korea (3), Greece (3), Nigeria (0)

Group C:

Slovenia (4), USA (2), England (2), Algeria (1)

Group D:

Germany (3), Serbia (3), Ghana (3), Australia (0) – Ghana/Australia still to play

Group E:

Netherlands (3), Japan (3), Cameroon (0), Denmark (0)

Group F:

Paraguay (1), Italy (1), New Zealand (1), Slovakia (1)

Group G

Brazil (3), Ivory Coast (1), Portugal (1), North Korea (0)

Group H

Chile (3), Switzerland (3), Spain (0), Honduras (0)

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