Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Germany and Ghana go through past Serbia and Australia

Finally an African nation goes through! Very glad about Ghana getting out of the group stages considering the Bafana Bafana couldn't. I'll certainly be looking forward to USA - Ghana and England - Germany...

SOCCER/FUTBOL WORLD CUP 2010 AUSTRALIA VS SERBIA Action photo of Brett Holman Australia celebrating a goal, during World Cup 2010 game held at the Mbombela Stadium of Nelspruit, South Africa./Foto de accion de Brett Holman de Australia, durante juego de la Copa del Mundo 2010 celebrado en el estadio Mbombela de Nelspruit, Sudafrica. 23 June 2010 MEXSPORT Photo via Newscom
Holman celebrating his goal for Australia
Australia - Serbia
Australia and Serbia were both eliminated from the World Cup despite the Socceroos going out with a 2-1 victory over Serbia, but Serbia started well with an early drive by Milos Krasic which signaled their intentions to get out of the group. Krasic had another chance in the 12th minute as he was 1 on 1 with Australia goal-keeper Mark Schwarzer, but the shot flew wide as Schwarzer came off of his line. The Serbians were the best side in the first half but missed plenty of chances Nikola Zigic heading wide with nowhere near him inside the penalty area.
In the second half, it was Australia that came out to win it as in the 69th minute, the Aussies broke through with Luke Wilkshire's long right-wing cross finding the head of Tim Cahill for the pinpoint finish inside the post. Four minutes later, Australia had hope of advancing when Brett Holman's long-range drive beat Vladimir Stojkovic to the right-hand post for a 2-0 lead. But Australia's hopes faded as Marko Pantelic pounced on a rebound after Schwarzer spilled a shot by Tosic in the six-yard box to make the final score 2-1 for Australia.

Germany's (L to R) Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger acknowledge the crowd after their 2010 World Cup Group D soccer match against Ghana at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 23, 2010. Germany and Ghana advanced to the second round of the World Cup finals on Wednesday as Australia and Serbia made their exits.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Ozil celebrating his wonderstrike
Ghana - Germany

Germany are up for an epic clash against England after they secured the top position in their group. Die Mannschaft beat Ghana 1-0 which was also enough for the Africans, who saw how Australia beat their main competitors Serbia 2-1. The Black Stars will now face the USA in the next round. Germany started well as they knew they had to win to avoid elimination. They should've taken the lead when Mesut Özil escaped the offside trap and came 1 on 1 with Ghana goalie Richard Kingson. His shot was right at the goal-keeper and was blocked by the African goalie leaving the Germans in despair.
At the other end, Asamoah Gyan came close to scoring when he headed the ball past Manuel Neuer only to see Philipp Lahm clear the ball off the line. An even contest developed and this continued in the second half. Only difference came on the hour mark when Özil placed a beautiful shot in the left hand corner out of Kingson's reach to give Germany the lead.
The match came to an uninspiring end but Germany will now prepare for a match that's very inspiring. Joachim Löw's men will face England on Sunday.

USA and England both go through with 1-0 wins

Epic, truly epic,  with tears in my eyes I write these reports having just seen Landon Donovan score USA's last gasp goal. 
Here's how group C stands after the two results:

USA           (5)
England     (5)
Slovenia     (4)
Algeria      (1)

USA - Algeria
United States' Landon Donovan scores a goal during a 2010 World Cup Group C soccer match against Algeria at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria June 23, 2010.  REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Donovan's epic tap-in

What can I say, the USA have done it again, an epic comeback after having a goal (wrongly) disallowed. It was USA all the way as they piled on the pressure against Algeria, constantly making chances which somehow didn't end up in the back of the net. And then, when the goal was disallowed, I thought conspiracy, but if there's a team which can fight past anything, it's the US of A! After the 90 minutes the USA have hit posts and the goalie too many times, it's injury time and the USA are still pushing for the winner. Donovan follows up on a goal-mouth scramble and scores, an epic win to say the least.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Port Elizabeth World Cup 2010 Match 37 23/06/10 Jermain Defoe (ENG) scores first goal Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Slovenia - England

Just like Capello said, this England team finally clicked, the shackles were off, and they played with freedom. They found the back of the net with Defoe in the 23rd, cross swung in, Defoe anticipates and taps the ball with his foot past the goal-keeper. England did not play a pretty game, while they started off well, it was a boring game, I wouldn't have watched it if it was between any two other teams. England almost created another goal after their first, but Handanovic did well, and Defoe also wasted a good opportunity. Rooney hit the post in the second half as his run of poor form continues and Slovenia almost got the equalizer. England were the better team no doubt and I'm glad they've gone through.


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