Day 3 in South Africa finally saw the 2010 FIFA World Cup come to life as an exuberant, young German squad easily brushed aside a static Australia.
The Nationalmannschaft entered the tournament without the services of captain Michael Ballack and first choice goalkeeper Rene Adler. However, German manager Joachim Loew did what many managers failed to do, and mixed the young with the old as the likes of Ozil, Muller and Badstuber jelled well with the older heads of Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Podolski and Klose.
The Germans belied their national stereotype as they won the game playing fast, fluid patterns that easily dissected the overwhelmed Australians, who were caught trying to play the offside trap all too often.
Loew's side was ahead after just eight minutes when the superb Mesut Ozil sent a ball into space down the right for Thomas Muller who pulled the ball back for Lukas Podolski to send an unstoppable strike into the back of a helpless Matt Schwarzer's net.
The 21-year-old Ozil starred throughout for Germany, as he picked out some lovely passes and created space for teammates despite dimming his shine early by getting booked for a dive.
Germany should have been up 2-0 in the 24th minute but Miroslav Klose contrived to miss from inside the box when it looked easy to score. However, the Bayern Munich man made up for it minutes later as he got between Schwarzer and the Australian defender to head home.
The Germans were dominant, while the Australians played a fool's game in trying to play the offside trap. The Socceroos were too static all over the field, allowing the Germans to play some beautiful patterns which could have seen them add more before half time. As it was the Germans went into the break up 2-0.
The Aussies emerged from the dressing room with more determination and streamed forward in search of a goal to get back into the game.
They had a shout for a penalty when Per Mertersacker seemed to block the ball with his hand in the penalty area, but the referee deemed it unintentional.
As if Australia hadn't felt defeated enough by then, they certainly did ten minutes later as Everton midfielder Tim Cahill was controversially sent off. It seemed as if Cahill had pulled out of the tackle, but referee Marco Rodriguez deemed he went through the back of Bastian Schweinsteiger and sent off Australia's highest profile player.
With their backs to the wall, the Aussies went 3-0 down on a 68th minute goal, when Thomas Mueller scored his first international goal on the biggest stage of them all. Mueller was fed a through ball by Podolski, turned Scott Chipperfield around and slotted the ball in off the post.
Game, Set, Three Points!
The icing on the German cake came in the 70th minute as Cacau—who was only on the field two minutes—slotted home from eight yards with his first touch of the ball.
With Germany content with four goals and Australia unable to give any more, the game petered out.
This game saw the Germans finally bring some much needed spark to the 2010 World Cup, which has been somewhat flat thus far.
They will not be favourites but have caught the world's eye, and as they say—don't ever rule out the Germans.
A star may have been born in Werder Bremen play-maker Mesut Ozil while Michael Ballack was hardly missed.
As for the Australians, they now have a long hill to climb. They were easily defeated by a young German side. Must they play the next game without Cahill, they must surely hope that the group isn't decided on goal difference.
Of the "big boys" Germany have thrown down the gauntlet, how will Holland and Italy react?
Tomorrow will tell all.