Day 8 Recap

June 18, 2010 - 06055026 date 18 06 2010 Copyright imago Color Sports Football 2010 FIFA World Cup England vs Algeria England s Gareth Barry is fouled by Karim Matmour of Algeria AT Green Point Stage Cape Town PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxPOLxUSAxONLY Cape Town Football men World Cup National team international match Action shot Vdig xub 2010 vertical premiumd.

Germany 0 – Serbia 1

In a harbinger of USA decisions to come, the referee of Germany-Serbia displayed poor judgment throughout the first half, hurting Germany’s chances of advancing.  In a 20 minute stretch (12th- 32nd minutes), the official issued five yellow cards – three to Germany and two to the Serbs – on challenges that were, for the most part, innocuous. German wunder-striker Miroslav Klose, one of the unfortunate recipients, then put in a questionable 37th minute tackle and received another yellow and the consequent red. While his second challenge deserved a card, his first may have been the most harmless of the bunch, leaving the Germans furious.

Their obsession with the referee cost them, as Serbian midfielder Milan Jovanovic was unmarked a minute later when a headed pass fell to him in front of goal. Serbia then attempted to replicate Switzerland’s 1-0 upset of Spain by similarly absorbing pressure.

The referee did his part to make up for his mistakes, cleanly officiating the second period and awarding Germany a just penalty in the 59th. Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, attempting to stop a harmless German cross, made, in the words of the announcer, “a fantastic save, but he’s not a goalkeeper.” Lucas Podolski, normally a one-man scoring machine, had his penalty stopped, and though Germany spent the rest of the match attacking so relentlessly it appeared Serbia were the side a man down, they were unable to find an equalizer.

Both squads sit on three points, with Ghana (also 3) and Australia (0) set to play their second match tomorrow.

USA 2 – Slovenia 2

See Blake Owen’s detailed analysis.

England 0 – Algeria 0

In what can only be diagnosed as a case of the “Frenchies,” the Premier League all-star squad that is the English National Team failed to gel yet again and were held scoreless by a resilient and doggedly determined Algerian side. Lampard, Rooney and Gerrard et al managed to muster a few decent shots on keeper Rais M Bolhi, but the Algerian backline closed gaps and cleared balls with a sense of devotion.

Algeria, lining up in a fortress-like 4-5-1 formation, relied on solid and consistent performances from Bougherra, Ziani and others–not that they tested English keeper James much (in for the dishonored Green), but they exuded a level of confidence and control that gave the game a feel of 50/50 odds, not one of the “Three Lions” being held back by the North African “mice.”

Today’s results leave Group C in the most interesting of situations. See Blake Owen’s algebra-like analysis of scenarios. Next Wednesday, find a way to watch both games, which will be played simultaneously. It could be one of those days that lives long in our futbol memory.

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