Day 3 Recap

June 13, 2010 - Durban, South Africa - epa02200197 Germany's Lukas Podolski celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group D preliminary round match between Germany and Australia at the Durban stadium, Durban, South Africa, 13 June 2010.

Algeria 0 – Slovenia 1 (Group C)

USA’s Group C opponents staged another match demonstrating the value of good goalkeeping. Algeria, playing a unique 3-5-2 (look for a full FFG preview when they play the US), were the aggressors but never cracked Samir Handanovic’s goal. At the other end, Faouzi Chaouchi made one mistake that doomed Algeria’s chances of grabbing a crucial point. Slovenia’s captain Robert Koren, after being given a slight opening by lax defending, curled a 79th minute shot that Chaouchi looked to have covered. The Algerian keeper slightly misjudged the arc and ended up helping the ball on its course. With England up next, Algeria might not have any points heading into their final group stage match against the USA. Plus, second half substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal picked up two cheap yellow cards and will miss their England clash.

Slovenia top the group going into Friday’s match with the US, but they’ll have to perform better to break down the Americans.

Ghana 1 – Serbia 0 (Group D)

Serbia, a trendy pick to top the group, took a large blow in their quest to advance to the knockout round. Ghana generated more chances throughout the match and Serbia missed a gilt-edged opportunity when Nikola Zigic somehow failed to tap in a cross from only a few yards out. The European squad would rue the missed opportunity when Aleksandar Lukovic picked up his second yellow (74th) and subsequently received the second red card of the day. Asamoah Gyan had no difficulty putting away the penalty, and the result was a just reward for Ghana’s attacking efforts.

Former US U-17 international Neven Subotic made his World Cup debut, coming on to provide defensive muscle after Lukovic was sent off.

Germany 4 – Australia 0 (Group D)

Poor finishing early in the match was not, in fact, a sign of times to come. Following a shocking 7th minute miss from Miroslav Klose (currently 5th on the list of top World Cup goalscorers), Germany netted four tallies, with Lucas Podolski, Klose, Thomas Mueller, and Cacau conspiring to put away the Aussies.

Germany exhibited more than just clinical finishing, putting on the tournament’s most efficient tactical display. Jogi Lowe’s flexible 4-2-3-1 was well-planned. Bastian Schweinsteiger, a former outside midfielder, functioned as the midfield muscle (imagine Clint Dempsey lining up in Ricardo Clark’s spot), while his partner, Sami Kadira, had license to go forward and join center forward Mesut Ozil, left winger Podolski, and right winger Mueller (the three attackers switched places as they saw fit). Ahead of all four was Klose, and when the wingers created space, the fullbacks were able to join the party as well.  If the US faces Germany in the knockout round, the Americans will be hard-pressed to garner a win, needing a better offensive performance than Saturday’s draw with England.

Australia, whose best scoring opportunity came absurdly early in the 3rd minute, will struggle to progress now that Tim Cahill, their best attacking player, will miss their next match after picking up an undeserved red card.

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. AG says:

    It is really a shame for Algeria that they lost. Technically, they looked much better and had a much superior 1/2/3 touch game.

    • Blake Owen says:

      They looked pretty good going forward. The US will hope that Donovan’s runs on the right limit Belhadj’s ability to get forward, as Algeria’s left back was outstanding yesterday.

  2. AG says:

    In regards to the Cahill card, I feel like the referee was noticing, as I, some much harsher play from Australia than in the the first half. To me, it seemed like a strategy to get Germany frustrated and to spark something on the Aussie side. I think the ref was putting an early stop to that.

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