World Cup: Group D Matchday Commentary

World Cup: Group D Matchday Commentary

World Cup 2010

World Cup: Group D Matchday Commentary

By

Australia  SerbiaGermanyGhana

Both the England and United States will learn their second round opponents as Group D's final round of games are set to play (ESPN/ESPN2, 2:30p.m.).

All four teams are mathematically alive and able to qualify from the group, depending on how the results play out. Germany advances with a win, but so do their opponents Ghana. Australia, sitting on just one point, needs to win and hope the Black Stars can beat the Germans, while Serbia is also in with a win.

The notable absences from today's matches include Germany's Miroslav Klose, sent off in their 1-0 loss to Serbia, and Harry Kewell, who was ejected from Australia and Ghana's 1-1 draw.

I'll be providing commentary on Group D action, focusing on Germany-Ghana. Please feel free to follow along and share any thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

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FINAL – And just like that, Serbia finishes bottom of Group D. Australia fights hard, but in the end, is undone by the goal differential that Germany saddled with them in their opening match. That's all from me now. Stay tuned to SBI for all your World Cup coverage.

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FINAL – The result sets up a second round clash of USA-Ghana and England-Germany. Ozil comes through for the Germans with their only goal, while Ghana can't get finish off their chances. The Black Stars save face for Africa, becoming the first African team to qualify for the knockout round.

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FINAL – And that's it! Ghana survives, Germany wins Group D from where I see it. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course.

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92nd minute – Serbia throwing everything at the Australian defense. Can't get anything going, and Australia squander a break. Back and forth — both teams have to score, but time is running out.

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90th minute – 3 minutes of stoppage time in both games. As it stands, Germany and Ghana are through.

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90th minute – Serbian shouts for a hand ball after a corner pin balls around in the box. Australia clears and it's another corner.

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88th minute – Serbia pressing, looking for an equalizer. Not sure if that would be good enough to get them the second spot.

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86th minute – KENNEDY WIDE! The striker creates a chance for himself by taking down the ball in the box, but it goes wide.

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84th minute – GOAL SERBIA! Another 'keeper error. Tosic with a long shot that Schwarzer parries straight to Marko Pantelic. Australia 2, Serbia 1. Ghana breathes easy.

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82nd minute – Socceroos going for it. Richard Garcia on for Wilkshire. Australia need a combination of two goals, either by them or Germany.

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81st minute – Amoah comes on for Ghana, while Bastian Schweinsteiger is replaced by Toni Kroos. Black Stars hanging in there.

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79th minute – Not much from Ghana, who are pressing forward. Ozil has a chance to break, but it's snuffed out easily. Ten minutes to go, and they should be rather nerve-racking.

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77th minute – Over in Germany-Ghana, the Black Stars can't afford to concede, as goal differential now comes into play. If the Germans grab a late goal or two, it could let Australia sneak into the second round.

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75th minute – Is that going to be it for Serbia? At halftime, Serbia was on top, missing a few chances to take the lead. Goals from Cahill and Holman have changed all that.

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74th minute – Australia 2, Serbia 0. The Socceroos need another two goals to get past Ghana on goal differential.

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72nd minute – GOAL AUSTRALIA! Brett Holman is given time and space in the midfield, no one closes him down, and all of a sudden Ghana has to be getting nervous.

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72nd minute – Signs of life from Serbia, but is it too little too late?

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70th minute – That's four points for the Australians, four for Ghana. The Black Stars' goal difference keeping them in second. Unless the Germans score, and score in bunches, or Australia hit for more against Serbia.

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69th minute – GOAL AUSTRALIA! Tim Cahill gets on the end of a dangerous cross, and Australia are suddenly up 1-0.

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68th minute – As it stands, a Serbia goal knocks out Ghana. Australia would need several goals to go with three points, if it wants to advance.

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66th minute – CLOSE for Ghana. Gyan lays it off for Ayew, but Lahm comes across with the block.

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65th minute – Valeri comes out for Brett Holman, while Scott Chipperfield replaces Bresciano. Serbia up against it at the moment.

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63rd minute – Australia the stronger side in the second half, battling to win this one and salvage some pride. A Bresciano shot is beaten away and the play is whistled dead for offside. Meanwhile, Sulley Muntari comes on in Johannesburg.

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61st minute – That goal changes things in Group D — Ghana and Germany swap spots at the top, Germany to win the group. 30 minutes to go, Ghana pressing forward for an equalizer.

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60th minute – GOAL Ozil! A beautiful strike from the top of the 18 beats Kingson at his far post. Questions about the goalie on that one.

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58th minute – Ninkovic with a high challenge on Wilkshire, goes in the book. Rough stuff, that one.

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57th minute – Cacau can't get anything on a shot after Germany takes a short corner. Still goalless across both contests.

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55th minute – Gyan with an effort from distance that doesn't even test Neuer, who collects comfortably.

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52nd minute – Zigic tr
aps a Jovanovic cross, all alone in the box but shoots over the bar.

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50th minute – Yellow cards for Beauchamp and Wilkshire early in the half for Australia. Ghana, meanwhile, is looking for a goal to seal their place, and their first non-penalty of the tournament.

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48th minute – Germans respond with a good spell of pressure on the Black Stars, maintaining possession in Ghana's half.

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45th minute – Off and running again in both games. A Serbia goal puts the pressure on the Germans to step up and go for a winner.

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HALFTIME – Will Verbeek go for it? The defensive Dutch coach didn't bring a lot of offensive options with him to South Africa, but it's now or never for the Socceroos. Even a win won't be good enough, unless Ghana provides some help.

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HALFTIME – Serbia has missed three good chances to open the scoring, with Krasic's breakaway that he hit over, and Schwarzer stuffing the other chances. Hard to see the Australians actually scoring — they've done very little to trouble the Serbians.

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HALFTIME – As it stands, Ghana would finish in front of Germany in the Group D table, with the Germans in second.

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HALFTIME – Germany 0, Ghana 0. Australia 0, Serbia 0. No goals in a two halves of two games. Schwarzer is the man of the match for the Socceroos, keeping Serbia, and in particular Milos Krasic off the scoresheet. A bit more even in Johannesburg, where each side has had a chance, none better than Ozil's breakaway that Kingson stuffed.

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44th minute – Into the final minutes in both games — any late goals?

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43rd minute – More cards in Germany-Ghana as Mueller earns a yellow.

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41st minute – Schweinsteiger forces a Kingson save on a German free kick. Ghana clears, breaks in numbers, until a sloppy touch lets the German defense clear.

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40th minute – Yellow card on Ayew in Germany-Serbia. Cahill with a long run to set up a chance in Serbia's box, ultimately winning a corner that comes to nothing.

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38th minute – Krasic puts the ball in Schwarzer's net, but the Serbian is called offside. Barely.

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36th minute – Fairly even between Germany and Ghana. Ozil earns a corner after some good defending by the Black Stars. Khedira heads over.

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33rd minute – Ghana flashes a header wide, while Cahill gets on the end of a tantalizing cross but can't get it on target.

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31st minute – Half-chance for Cacau, after a flick from Ozil. Kingson smothers easily.

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30th minute – Germans once again with sloppy possession in the midfield. Serbia can't stay onside.

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28th minute – Serbia still on top in that game, and should have at least one goal. Schwarzer is keeping the Socceroos alive, and getting little help offensively.

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26th minute – Lahm chests a ball off the line after a glancing header bits Neuer on a corner. Action heating up in both games.

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25th minute – SAVE KINGSON! Ozil beats the offside trap, but can't beat the Ghanian 'keeper.

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23rd minute – Schwarzer with the save again as Ivanovic is stuff from point blank range after a lovely chip from the right side.

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21st minute – Still 0-0 in both games. Krasic with the best chance of the night in either contest.

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20th minute – Ghana's defense is holding fast. Not great midfield play from the Germans, with the Black Stars looking to attack on the counter.

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18th minute – Lukovic earns a yellow card for Serbia with a harsh challenge on Wilkshire.

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16th minute – Kuzmanovic with a shot wide for Serbia. Krasic is owning the right hand side, as the European nation on top.

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14th minute – Schweinsteiger with the important intervention. Ghana unlocks the German defense, but Gyan is put off enough by the German midfield from six yards out and can't get a shot off.

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12th minute – MISS for Serbia. Krasic gets behind the Australian defense, but takes a touch too wide and skies it with an empty net there for the taking.

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9th minute – Germany with the run of play as Kingson pushes out a deflection for a corner. Almost an own goal right there. Corner is poor and wasted.

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7th minute – Podolski shot is defelcted wide as Germany win a corner.

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6th minute – SAVE in both games. Kingson with an easier test, as Schwarzer turns aside a Krasic effort.

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5th minute – Germany with a few dangerous movements, though nothing too threatening in Ghana's territory.

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3rd minute – Krasic goes down in the Australia box. Serbia with most of the possession at the moment.

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1st minute – Australia and Serbia get started in Nelspruit, while Germany and Ghana start in Soccer City.

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PREGAME – Anthems are almost completed as play is about to begin.

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PREGAME – Under 10 minutes to go until kick off. Share any predictions below.

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PREGAME – Serbia's 1-0 win against Germany sets them up to earn passage to the second round with a win against the Socceroos. They'll need performances from Stankovic, Krasic and Jovanovic to win emphatically.

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PREGAME – Australia coach Pim Verbeek starts Josh Kennedy for the first time all tournament. Australia keeping the 4-5-1 shape, but really have to go for it today.

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PREGAME – The Boateng half-brothers — Kevin Prince and Jerome, are playing against each other in the Germany-Ghana match, a World Cup first.

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PREGAME – Ghana represents the last realistic African hope. Ivory Coast still has a shot, but has to make up monumental goal difference.

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PREGAME – U.S. fans: who do you want to see finish second?

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PREGAME – Here are the starting lineups for the Germany-Ghana match:

GERMANY

——————-Cacau———————-

Podolski———–Özil—————Muller

———Khedira—–Schweinsteiger——-

Lahm—Mertesacker—Friedrich—-Boateng

———————-Neuer———————

GHANA

——————-Gyan——————-

Ayew——————————-Tagoe

Asamoah——-Annan——-Prince-Boateng

Sarpei—-Jonathan—Mensah—-Pantsil

—————-Kingson———————

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PREGAME – Here are the starting lineups for the Australia-Serbia match:

SERBIA

—————–Zigic—————-

Jovanovic——————–Krasic

–Ninkovic–Kuzmanovic–Stankovic–

Obradovic–Vidic–Lukovic–Ivanovic

—————-Stojkovic————–

AUSTRALIA

———–
———-Kennedy———————

Bresciano———–Cahill—————Emerton

————-Valeri——Culina—————

Carney—-Beauchamp—-Neill——Wilkshire

——————–Schwarzer—————

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