With all of the first group games now in the books, it is fairly safe to say no one enjoyed the first set of games more than the Germans.
Germany's 4-0 thumping of Australia was as impressive on the pitch as it was on the scoreboard. They left poor Australia as a shaken team that somehow must find a way to recover, and recover quickly.
The German's spread the wealth, getting two first half goals and two second half goals by four different players. Those who found the back of the net were Lukas Podolski, Miorslav Klose, Thomas Muller and Cacau.
Serbia, meanwhile, had their hearts broken in their 0-1 loss to Ghana. Asamoah Gyan scored on a PK in the eighty-fourth minute. Zdravko Kuzmanovic foolishly handled a ball in the area, resulting in the penalty kick being given.
Serbia also made a mental mistake when Aleksander Lukovic was sent off in the seventy-fourth minute following his second yellow.
The Serbs did look pretty good in the first two-thirds of the game.
They also had a great chance by Milos Krasic near the end that was brilliantly saved by Richard Kingson.
An interesting stat: Serbia now holds the record for most World Cup goals allowed on PK's without having stopped a single one. They are 0-for-7.
So, on to the showdown between Serbia and Germany.
As far as Serbia is concerned, it is almost a have-to-win situation. If Ghana defeats Australia in the other Group D game, Serbia will have to win this game. A Ghana draw with the Aussies, and Serbia would have to at least draw. Serbia could stay alive with a loss to the Germans if Ghana loses.
Nemanja Vidic told ESPN Soccernet that Serbia does not fear the German squad.
“People say they are the favorites to win this group,” he said, “but I know we have quality as well. We believe in ourselves and we are not afraid of them.”
One should point out Vidic made this comment before the first game. So maybe he has a “slight” fear now?
Serbia is being careful not to get into a war of words with the Germans. Tim Cahill of Australia let himself get involved in that before their game with Germany, saying, “When you throw stones you need to make sure they hit, and if it they don’t hit, it may hurt them in the end.”
As Tim no doubt found out, the stones hit. They hit him especially hard, as he was shown off the pitch with a red card.
The Germans had called the Aussies defensive and boring, and had shown them little to no respect, which had prompted Cahill’s response.
The same war of words doesn’t seem to be going on before the match between Germany and Serbia. One could be led to assume that perhaps the Germans have a bit more respect for Serbia than they did for Australia.
Serbia must continue to play strong defensively, as they did for the most part versus Ghana, but they are also going to have to show more of an attacking side if they have any hope of winning this game—which, they have to do.
Ghana and Australia do not play until Saturday, so Serbia will not know if they are facing a must win when they take the pitch on Friday versus Germany. Meaning, they better just go out and win the game and not worry about it.
Easier said than done against this German team.
Germany will be looking to bury the Serbs in a similar fashion they did to Australia. They would love nothing more than to cruise the group stage and start thinking about the next round.