World Cup 2010 Day 8, A Brief Recap
Germany 0-1 Serbia
Milan Jovanovic (38′)
The game started with a torrent of yellow cards. Germans and equally the Serbians and there neutrals were entitled to question the consistency if not the legitimacy of some of the cards shown. This soon led to a second yellow for Klose inside 40 minutes and before any player could compose himself Serbia went ahead. Krasic’s crossed ball was headed back towards goal and an unmarked Milan Jovanovic scored. The Serbians gained confidence and threatened more. Germany followed this by throwing in offensive players, in Mario Gomez for example. All the work seemed to be undone when yet another Serbian player, Vidic, handled the ball in the penalty box. The subsequent penalty was taken by Podolski but Stojkovic saved it well. A slew of close chances followed by both teams but in the end Mallenco, the Spanish referee, probably had more influence on the game than any official should have.
Slovenia 2-2 USA
Valter Birsa (13′) Zlatan Ljubijankic (42′) Landon Donovan (48′) Michael Bradley (82′)
The early clashes were slightly to Slovenia’s favor and it wasn’t long before the Slovenian midfielder shot from around 30 yards and left US goalie Tim Howard completely flat footed. What followed was somewhat of a stalemate that had Handanovic making a few acrobatic saves. US seemed to sense more was needed and started to exploit some questionable Slovenian defending. Slovenians however surprised again, as Zlatan Ljubijankic just avoided being offside and scored. The second half had barely started when Landon Donovan took advantage of a defensive lapse, courtesy of Bostjan Cesar, and shot hard into the roof of the net from a tight angle. This was beautifully taken as he was only a handful of yards away from the goal post. USA piled on the pressure but Slovenia had a few of their own. One of the US chances finally paid dividends as Bradley shot well into the back of the net. The US had a third goal questionably called back soon after and so the game ended with one point for each team.
England 0-0 Algeria
The game had both teams changing their goalkeepers for respective blunders. The game started with Algeria with better possession but nothing really came of it. England took brief control towards the end of the half and they themselves only troubled the relatively inexperienced Algeria goalie only once or twice. Any fluency and passing was missing form the English team with Rooney in particular contributing very little. The second half followed much the same pattern with England giving away possession rather too easily at times. The few times England threatened things just didn’t happen for them. Some credit goes to Rais M’Bolhi, the aforementioned goalie, Nadir Belhadj, Rafik Halliche and the entire Algerian team for keeping their cool. On the English side this was a disappointing performance not unlike the much maligned Steve McLaren coaching era. And so back to the drawing board for current coach Fabio Capello.