World Cup: Germany vs. Australia: Matchday Commentary

World Cup: Germany vs. Australia: Matchday Commentary

World Cup 2010

World Cup: Germany vs. Australia: Matchday Commentary

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Australia Germany

Good afternoon everyone. The final action World Cup action is set to get started as Germany and Australia (ABC, 2:30pm) wrap up Group D's opening round of games.

Germany seems to always enter a World Cup as one of the favorites, but a young, injury-hit team might be vulnerable this time around.. However, despite having to replace players like Michael Ballack in the starting lineup, there is still plenty of experience.

On the other hand, Australia is one of the tournament's oldest sides, and are seen by many as favorites to finish at the bottom of a competitive Group D. They'll rely on Everton midfielder Tim Cahill for offense and hope that Mark Schwarzer can keep together a vulnerable defense.

This is Travis Clark, and I'll be providing live commentary of today's matchup. Leave any thoughts, comments or analysis after the jump. Enjoy the match.

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FINAL– That's all from me today. Be sure to follow along at SBI as we take you through the next week of World Cup action. Enjoy your Sunday.

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FINAL– Certainly the best performance of the tournament to this point, with the Germans emphatically thumping Australia. Could have been worse, if not for some misses in the first half. The Socceroos aren't going anywhere if they keep this up, especially without Cahill for at least the next match.

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FINAL– Germany 4, Australia 0. Couldn't ask for a better way to start a tournament for the Germans, who got four goals from four different players. Australia was as bad as Germany was good, looking old, sluggish, and toothless in attack before Cahill was sent off somewhat questionably.

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93rd minute– Cacau gets a yellow for a dive. Second on the Germans who have looked like a South American side in all aspects of the game.

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92nd minute– Australia earn a couple of late corners, trying to get a consolation, but Germany clears both attempts and looks to counter.

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90th minute– Three minutes of injury time. Unnecessary, really.

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88th minute– Both sides have more or less stopped playing. Result well in the books, as Germany have sent a message to the rest of the field.

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85th minute– Five minutes to go, not a whole lot else to say about this one. Australia fans surely heading to the exits.

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83rd minute– Neuer takes an easy save after an Australian ball comes in from the left and is harmlessly deflected on goal.

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81st minute– Podolski gets pulled in favor of Marko Marin, another talented young midfielder. Australia have seen enough of those today.

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80th minute– Wilkshire fires well wide with a bit of power. Any more goals in this one?

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78th minute– Absolutely no ideas from Australia offensively. For a club reliant on defense to succeed, conceding four goals is a nightmarish way to start a World Cup campaign.

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76th minute– Germany venturing forward at their leisure, looking for a fifth goal. Bad day for Australia, to say the least. Though in 2006, Ukraine lost 4-0 to Spain and still made the knockout stages. Some hope?

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74th minute– Mario Gomez comes in for Ozil. Great World Cup debut for the talented midfielder.

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72nd minute– One of the biggest criticisms about the Australians was there lack of speed in defense. Germany has exploited that, and then same, with some speed, but more importantly, movement in the midfield. Ozil, Podolski, both impressive.

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71st minuteGOAL Germany. Cacau gets in on the scoring after his substitution. Perfect cross from Ozil to set up that one. Germany 4, Australia 0.

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70th minute– Twenty minutes to go, and it's all about Australia salvaging goal difference and trying to get at least a goal. Down to ten men, that's no easy task.

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68th minuteGOAL Muller. No one marks the midfielder on a run down the center of the field, and Podolski finds him, cuts back past a sliding Australia defender and hits it off the post and in. Germany 3, Australia 0.

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66th minute– Klose miss. Podolski returns a one-two in the box to Klose, but Podolski's pass was too hard and it ricochets off of Klose's shin and out for a goal kick.

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64th minute– Another hard tackle in on Schweinsteiger by Valeri. Most of the action in the midfield now. Germany don't look all that fussed to attack and pad their lead.

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62nd minute– Socceroos maintaining a good spell of possession in spite of being a man down. Can't seem to get anything out of it. Nikita Rukavytsa is set to come on, replacing Richard Garcia.

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60th minute– Another miss. Klose stopped by Schwarzer, grabs the rebound, tries to find Khedira who is muscled down by Moore. No penalty.

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58th minute– Game is fairly subdued after that. Australia in need of a miracle at this point.

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56th minuteRED CARD Australia. Tim Cahill is sent off, lunging out with a nasty tackle from behind. A yellow for sure, perhaps not a red. He looked to pull out of the challenge, though went in with two feet. That surely not only dooms this game, but perhaps Australia's entire tournament.

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53rd minute– Muller fires high after another attractive set of passes and movement involving Lahm getting forward. Poor finish from the midfielder.

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51st minute– Holman gets a shot on goal, wide of the mark but Neuer is at full stretch. Good show of intention early on for Australia in half number two.

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49th minute– Germany can't get comfortable, even with their lead. They need another goal, and Australia pressuring early with a couple of corners.

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47th minute– Australia holding the ball in the start of the second half, Trying to make something happen. A goal for the Socceroos would change things massively. Shouts for a hand ball on Germany turned down.

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45th minute– Brett Holman on for Vince Grella as the second half starts in Durban. He's playing a bit further up than Grella, who was in more of a holding role.

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HALFTIME– It looked as though Verbeek was getting ready to make a substitution before the half, so don't be surprised to see a change at the half. The Germans have easily had the best half of any nation through the three days of the World Cup, and will kill the game off with a third goal.

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HALFTIME– The referee blows for halftime, much to the delight of Australia's fans. Klose and Podolski have the Germans in good position. Australia have had a few half chances, but in reality this could be a four or five goal lead.

What can Australia do? Hope and pray that someone can find a goal somewhere — a set piece, a fluke goal, or a long shot. It's not looking good for the Socceroos. If you woke up at 4:30 am in Australia for this, it's been a dreadful half.

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45th minute– One added minute. A third German goal would kill this game off.

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44th minute– Into the final minutes of the first half. Australia lumping balls forward to Cahill, and it's nothing doing against Germany's defense.

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42nd minute– Australia hope to hold on to the deficit. Germany looking extremely dangerous.

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40th minute– Germany should be up to by at least 7. Ozil gets an incredible through ball from Podolski, tries to round Schwarzer, but is unsettled enough by the 'keeper and the ball rolls out of play.

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39th minute– Another German miss. Great interplay by Lahm and Ozil. The captain finds space in Australia's box, but Khedira heads over. Not a great finish.

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38th minute– A short corner is taken between Muller and Podolski, but it's harmlessly cleared.

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36th minute– Ozil making dangerous runs down the middle of the Australian defense, nearly gets behind once again. Youngster is living up to the hype.

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33rd minute– Germany continues to keep the ball, knocking it around. Australia seem to have little idea how to trouble the German defense.

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31st minute– NEAR MISS! Ozil beats the offside trap, takes too big of a touch, chips Schwarzer, but Neill brilliantly saves a third goal from going in. All Germany, all the time. Could be 5-0.

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30th minute– So does this mean Germany is better than anticipated or is Australia worse than was thought? Can't see the Socceroos getting back into this one without a true striker on the field.

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27th minute– Klose has both Schwarzer and Lahm to thank on that one, but he buried the goal with confidence he lacked just two minutes ago. Klose now at 11 goals all time in the World Cup, trying to chase down Ronaldo's record.

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26th minute– GOAL KLOSE! A brilliant cross from Lahm, Schwarzer comes out, doesn't get it, and Klose buries it into the empty net. Schwarzer came out, and didn't a touch.

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25th minute– German miss! Ozil pass finds Podolski open on the left flank, he crosses to Klose in the middle, but the Bayern Munich striker misses the target. Should have put Germany up 2-0.

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23rd minute– Another close call. Muller fires in a low cross from the right side after a quick restart, but Podolski can't get to it.

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22nd minute– Will Verbeek be able to call on Kewell? Not sure if it will matter. Garcia appears to have moved up a bit higher to support Cahill.

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20th minute– Garcia takes a ball in space, but fires it too high. Australia looking decent in response, but need to get shots on frame, as we've seen what this ball does.

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19th minute– Half chance for Culina who heads way over from a decent cross. Lahm did well to contest the the chance.

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18th minute– Podolski puts in a cross that Schwarzer grabs. Three Germans were waiting behind him to finish if he didn't grab that.

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16th minute– Not a lot going on. Germany content to knock it around, while Australia trying, and mostly failing to come up with something positive when in possession.

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13th minute– Amazing fact: Podolski has scored his 39th goal in his 74 appearances for Germany. That's 1 goal in just under every two games. Yet he has been wretched at his clubs during the same stretch.

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11th minute– Germany comfortably passing the ball, looking for gaps in Australia's defense. Ozil gets a card for diving after being brushed by Grella.

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10th minute– Lets see if Australia can respond, or if they'll be run right off the pitch.

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8th minute– GOAL GERMANY! Podolski's amazing goal scoring record in a German uniform continues. A cross finds its way through, and Podolski blasts it past Schwarzer. Germany 1, Australia 0.

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7th minute– Schwarzer denies Klose, who had split Australia's defense. Ensuing corner is cleared. Early scoring chances for both sides, so I'll stop talking about defense.

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5th minute– It's early, and Australia have already packed 10 men behind the ball. Verbeek once played a 4-6-0 in qualifying, and it might be a similar approach today. Only a goal will force them to open things up.

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3rd minute– Near miss! Australia fail to convert on a corner that found a wide open Richard Garcia. Neuer-Lahm combine for the miss. Would have been a massive goal for Australia.

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2nd minute– Look for Australia to play very defensive, hoping to score on the break. Germany whistled for offside.

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1st minute– Game on! Captains Lahm and Neil exchange a handshake and the Socceroos kick off.

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PRE-GAME– Lots of Australia fans made the trip to South Africa. Anthems are over, kickoff imminent.

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PRE-GAME– Big time performances from Özil and Khedira would be a great sign for Germany whose biggest weakness is in goal.

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PRE-GAME– An early German goal would certainly force Australia's hand, but the options are limited in terms of strikers. Harry Kewell — a striker/winger has faced fitness issues, and Josh Kennedy isn't in good form (as U.S. fans saw last week)

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PRE-GAME– Australia's Dutch coach Pim Verbeek is going with another conservative lineup, starting midfielder/forward Tim Cahill up top, alone. Not sure if he'll be able to crack Germany's defense alone.

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PRE-GAME– Who to keep an eye on today? Germany has a couple of experience World Cup goal scorers in Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose in the lineup, as well as two exciting young midfielders in Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira.

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PRE-GAME– Here are today's lineups:

AUSTRALIA

———————Cahill———————

Garcia———–Culina—————Emerton

————-Valeri——Grella—————

Chipperfield—-Moore—-Neill——Wilkshire

———————–Schwarzer—————

GERMANY

——————-Klose———————-

Podolski———–Özil—————Muller

———Khedira—–Schweinsteiger——-

Badstuber——Mertesacker—–Friedrich——Lahm

————————-Neuer———————

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