Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ghana and Slovenia both grab wins

The World Cup continues, it's the third day of the tournament and there have been nine goals and two keeper errors. While these are some pretty negative statistics, it's very possible that the goals will start flowing in much more with the upcoming Germany vs Australia game.

June 13, 2010 - Polokwane, South Africa - epa02199533 Abdelkader Ghezzal of Algeria is sent off after being booked for his second yellow card by the referee following a hand ball near the goal during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group C preliminary round match between Algeria and Slovenia at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane, South Africa, 13 June 2010.
Algeria - Slovenia

Algeria seemed to be controlling much of the first half, they created most of the chances with a dangerous Belhadj free kick which Handanovic had to tip over the bar and Halliche coming close with a header from a corner. Slovenia also had a good opportunity before the half with Birsa's long range dipping shot which Chaouchi managed to save.

It was in the second half that things took a turn for the worse for Algeria, in the 73rd minute, substitute Ghezzal blatantly handles the ball, earning himself a second yellow card which resulted in his expulsion. It was only five minutes later that Slovenia scored, Koren with a low weak curling shot from outside the box which snuck it's way past Chaouchi. The Algerian keeper making a mess of the shot with his hands held as if he wanted to catch the ball instead of push it out, the ball just bounced off of his arms and into the goal, winning the match for Slovenia

Right now, Group C is poised in a very delicate position for all the teams except Slovenia, the USA and England need to win their next games if they want to get out of this group without Slovenia stealing their spot.

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

Serbia - Ghana

This match was also decided because of a handball and a sending off, the game started slowly with both teams reluctant to push out of their half except for occasional counter-attacking bursts from Ghana. The game seemed truly deadlocked, while Serbia seemed slow in executing their ideas, Ghana's speed wasn't that useful against the tough Serbian defence. There was only one shot on target the first half, and Serbia only came close with long-range free-kicks, a very disappointing half.

Jan. 24, 2010 - Lubango, ANGOLA - epa02003892 Asamoah Gyan of Ghana celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal soccer match between Angola and Ghana at Luanda, Angola, 24 January 2010. Ghana won 1-0.
In the second half, things only loosened up with a few subs, Lazovic and Kuzmanovic were brought on, providing a bit more speed and fight into the Serbia attack and midfield. Ghana also began to attack more convincingly, Asamoah Gyan hit the outside of the post with a good header as the Black Stars began to rise more up the field. In the 73th minute, Serbia's Lukovic gets his second yellow for a stupid foul, being sent off and allowing Ghana to press up the field more. But Serbia fought back, Lazovic slipped a neat ball through to Pantelic right in front of goal who whiffed it, leaving it for Krasic right behind him who rifles it right below Kingson bar, but the Ghana keeper did well to save the effort.

In the 83rd minute, Serbia's substitute Kuzmanovic unluckily handballs the ball in the area, resulting in a Ghana penalty which Gyan tucked away calmly. Ghana's scorer could've gotten another goal, Gyan was released 1 on 1 with the Serbia keeper and Gyan hit the inside of the post with a curling finish. It was Ghana's pace and determination which won the game, while Serbia was tough on defence, they were very slow and lethargic moving forward.

Ghana tops Group D with three important points and Germany and Australia still have to play later today, be sure to check back on SWU for a full match report on that game as well.

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