A Loew day af­ter red card, fluffed penalty

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

SER­BIA stunned Ger­many with a 1-0 win af­ter Miroslav Klose was sent off and Lukas Podol­ski missed a penalty in Group D yes­ter­day to se­cure their first World Cup vic­tory as an in­de­pen­dent nation.

Mi­lan Jo­vanovic grabbed the win­ner in the 38th minute with Ger­many in dis­ar­ray mo­ments af­ter striker Klose was sent off for a foul that landed him with a sec­ond yel­low card.

Ger­many should have equalised in the 61st when Ne­manja Vidic need­lessly han­dled in the area but goal­keeper Vladimir Sto­jkovic dived to his left to save Podol­ski’s spot kick.

The re­sult takes the shine off a young Ger­man side that came into the match high on con­fi­dence af­ter ham­mer­ing Aus­tralia 4-0 in their opener and gives World Cup new­com­ers Ser­bia a chance to reach the sec­ond round af­ter they lost 1-0 to Ghana.

Ger­many still lead Group D with three points from two games, ahead of Ghana and Ser­bia, also on three, and Aus­tralia on none.

Ghana and Aus­tralia meet to­day in their sec­ond game.

“I be­lieved my play­ers could do this,” said Ser­bia coach Radomir An­tic. “If this is the re­turn of the fight­ers I don’t know but we have to re­main pos­i­tive about our­selves.

“We’ve a great op­por­tu­nity where we de­pend only on our­selves in the next match. This is a very im­por­tant win for our peo­ple.”

At the 2006 World Cup in Ger­many Ser­bia & Mon­tene­gro had lost all three group matches, con­ced­ing 10 goals, be­fore they be­gan com­pet­ing as sep­a­rate coun­tries.

“We had eight yel­low cards and (a sec­ond) yel­low (for Klose), I think this was not nec­es­sary,” said dis­ap­pointed Ger­many coach Joachim Loew.

“There were a cou­ple of tack­les where I felt the yel­low cards were jus­ti­fied but there were many ... given for tack­les that weren’t ma­li­cious at all and could have been avoided.”

Un­til Klose’s dis­missal the Ger­mans had been in con­trol of the match, play­ing with at­tack­ing flair, fast breaks and fluid move­ment off the ball that left Ser­bia on the back foot.

The three-time World Cup win­ners’ bright start saw them cre­ate a chance af­ter three min­utes when Sami Khedira found space and volleyed over af­ter a neat cross by Thomas Mueller.

They kept up the pres­sure and came close again four min­utes later, when Mueller’s dan­ger­ous cross was par­tially cleared by Vidic and volleyed just wide by Podol­ski.

The Serbs squan­dered their first chance af­ter 12 min­utes when Mi­los Ninkovic found him­self with time and space but blasted Mi­los Kra­sic’s inch-per­fect cross over the bar.

Mueller and Klose al­ways looked threat­en­ing for Ger­many but the lat­ter’s frus­tra­tions mounted af­ter he missed chances and had a goal ruled out for off­side on the half-hour mark.

The game was turned up­side down seven min­utes later when the Ger­man for­ward was given his march­ing or­ders af­ter re­ceiv­ing a sec­ond book­ing for bring­ing down Mi­los Kra­sic.

With the Ger­mans stunned, Ser­bia took full ad­van­tage and snatched the lead a minute later with a su­perb team ef­fort that cul­mi­nated in Jo­vanovic’s close-range strike.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic slid the ball into the path of Kra­sic, who de­liv­ered a de­light­ful cross that was headed to the un­marked Jo­vanovic, who chested down and con­verted on the turn.

Ger­many quickly tried to level the score and burst for­ward, with Khedira seiz­ing on Sto­jkovic’s punched clear­ance to un­leash a fierce long-range shot that can­noned off the bar.

They came out fight­ing again af­ter the break and Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger twice went close with an im­pres­sive solo run and pow­er­ful strike from out­side the box that stung the palms of Sto­jkovic.

Podol­ski al­most equalised af­ter 56 min­utes when he chased Khedira’s long pass and struck the ball wide un­der threat from the on­rush­ing Vidic.

The pres­sure paid off three min­utes later when Ger­many were awarded a penalty for hand­ball by Vidic but Podol­ski’s poorly struck spot-kick was turned away by Sto­jkovic, who was later named man of the match.

“I’m usu­ally a se­cure penalty taker but the goal­keeper saved the ball well,” said Podol­ski. “In the sec­ond half, we ap­plied a lot of pres-

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