South Africa, the 23rd of June 2010 [PDN]: Germany set up a World Cup second-round clash with England as they dispatched with Ghana 1-0 in Johannesburg to secure top spot in Group D on Wednesday.
The only goal of the match came via a stunning strike from Werder Bremen playmaker Mesut Ozil. Afforded enough time to pick his spot, Ozil smashed a 20-yard shot into the top corner, past the diving Richard Kingson in the Ghanaian goal. Despite the loss Ghana also progress through to the second round ahead of Australia who finished in third place on goal difference.
Australia overcame a relentless Serbia 2-1 in Nelspruit, but it was a result that ultimately proved meaningless as both teams suffered the pain of World Cup elimination. Following the result of the German match anything but a resounding win for the Aussies or at least a draw to the Serbs would not have affected the progression of either side.
After a relatively dour first-half, Australia took the lead in the 69th minute via a glorious Tim Cahill header. Substitute Brett Holman, on for Mark Bresciano on 66 minutes, smashed a shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards to give the Aussies a taste of progress. It wasn’t to be however as Serbian substitute Marko Pantelic pulled one back following a close range effort on 84 minutes.
A much improved England reached the second round of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Slovenia in their make-or-break encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The only goal of the match came through a 24th minute Jermaine Defoe strike, from close-range, after a magnificent James Milner cross from the right. England had a host of chances fall short or denied by the energetic Slovenian goalkeeper, whilst a spot of late nerves almost saw Slovenia let back into the match. England hung-on in the end progressing as second in Group C following a win by the USA in the other match.
The USA achieved a dramatic injury-time winner to beat Algeria 1-0 in Pretoria, topping Group C. Coming close on several occasions and having a goal ruled wrongly offside, the USA did not give up in their push for a victory and were justly rewarded late on.
Landon Donovan was the hero for the USA, slamming home a loose ball from close range after the outstanding Algerian goalkeeper Rais Ouheb M’Bolhi failed to hold Jozy Altidore’s cross. Had they not attained a win against the determined Algerians, Slovenia would have progressed into the second round, a controversial outcome considering the USA had a legitimate goal disallowed for offside in the first-half, their second such incident of the tournament so far.
Tonight’s matches include; Slovakia v Italy, Paraguay v New Zealand in Group F, whilst in Group E Denmark play Japan and the eliminated Cameroonians face Holland.
Video’s courtesy of www.footytube.com