Milan Jovanovic scored in the 38th minute and Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic saved a Lukas Podolski penalty kick in the second half as Serbia held off Germany, 1-0, in Group D play at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.
Much of the focus in the first half surrounded Spanish referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco, who gave out a number of questionable yellow cards, including two to Germany’s Miroslav Klose.
The second took place in the 37th minute, earning the striker an early exit. Serbia’s goal then arrived one minute later before Germany had a golden chance to equalize from the spot in the second half. But Podolski’s effort was saved, sealing Germany’s first defeat in the group stage at the World Cup since 1986, when it was beaten by Denmark.
“There’s anger and disappointment in the dressing room, because that’s a game we should never have lost. I’m almost speechless about what’s happened today,” Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said.
Serbia now joins Germany and Ghana at the top of the group with three points, with Ghana set to face Australia on Saturday.
Podolski had a number of shots toward goal throughout the match, and the first came after seven minutes when he missed the net with a volley from the top of the penalty area.
Serbia’s Aleksandar Kolarov went close with a free kick, but the match shifted dramatically in the 37th minute when Klose was shown his second yellow card for an innocent challenge on Dejan Stankovic.
Germany was then down a goal one minute later when Nikola Zigic nodded down a Milos Krasic cross for Jovanovic to fire home from a few yards out.
Despite being down a man, Germany created some good chances and Sami Khedira slammed a shot off the crossbar right before the halftime whistle.
Podolski wasted a great through ball from Mesut Ozil in 57th minute when he fired wide from inside the area, while the striker made a mess of another chance as he shot wide from six yards minutes later.
Nemanja Vidic gave away a penalty kick on the hour mark when he handled the ball inside his own area, but Podolski’s shot was saved at the bottom-right corner by Stojkovic.
“I’m overjoyed, because we desperately needed the win,” Stojkovic said. “I had no idea which way Podolski was going to shoot, it was just a guess, but I’m thrilled with the save.”
Serbia was then denied twice by the woodwork as Jovanovic hit the post after a Krasic pass, while Zigic nodded a right-wing cross off the top of the crossbar.
Germany had most of the possession in the Serbia half of the field over the final 15 minutes, but couldn’t break down a disciplined Serbia defense.
Germany’s next match is Wednesday against Ghana, while Serbia plays Australia that same day.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/18/1687788/recap-serbia-vs.html#ixzz0rERctCYk
Milan Jovanović was born on April 18th, 1981 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Jovanovi%C4%87_(footballer_born_1981)
4 + 18 +2+0+1+0 = 25 = his personal year (from April 18th, 2010 to April 17th, 2011) = Rooting for the underdog.
25 year + 6 (June) = 31 = his personal month (from June 18th, 2010 to July 17th, 2010) = Striving to be number 1. Personal best. Outdoing yourself. Rising to the challenge. Stirring things up. Stirring the pot. Provoke a reaction.