With a convincing victory in their opening round match against Australia, Germany seemed well on their way to advancing through to the knockout phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In what was a breathtaking display of attacking football, the youthful exuberance of the Germans would win out. With deft through balls and clever runs, the Germans would lay siege to the Australian goal, their efforts culminating with a landslide 4-0 victory.
Days later, German jubilation was replaced with heartbreak, as Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium played host to yet another upset.
In a highly anticipated match, the scrappy Serbians managed a gutsy 1-0 victory. Offering the German attack little of the time and space it had enjoyed in it’s previous match, the Serbians remained committed to their defensive effort. The proof was in the pudding.
Not much went right after veteran striker Miroslav Klose was sent off after earning his second yellow card of the match. The Serbians would quickly capitalize on their man advantage as a well struck Krasic cross would eventually be hammered home by Jovanovic.
But perhaps the most critical moment of the match was a missed penalty by Lucas Podolski. Podolski who had been off target all day, placed a marginal spot kick into the outstretched arms of Serbian keeper Stojkavic.
Chalk it up to poor officiating, blame it on a dubious decision my manager Joachim Loew to nominate Podolski to take the penalty, but the fact of the matter is, the Germans have no one but themselves to blame.
They responded poorly to the sending off of Klose and almost looked lost in the 10 minutes or so immediately following his red card. They generated a bevy of quality scoring opportunities but the quality of finish was anything but world class.
Despite all this they could still manage to finish atop the Group D with a win over the Black Stars.
Klose will be missed, but the second half performance of the Germans proves they are capable of playing without him. They have the quickness needed to match the pace of Ghana and superior talent.
Expect a quality match and a close one. But don’t count on the Germans letting anymore points slip through their finger tips.
Prediction: 2-1 Germany
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