Sunday, 13 June 2010

SRB v GHA (1500 GMT) (Loftus Versfeld Stadium)

Starting Line-up
SRB: Stojkovic, Kolarov, Vidic, Ivanovic, Lukovic, Stankovic, Milijas, Jovanovic, Krasic, Pantelic, Zigic
GHA: Kingson, Sarpei, Pantsil, Mensah, Vorsah, Annan, Ayew, Boateng, Gyan, Tagoe, Asamoah

Serbia, technically, is d├ębutante of World Cup. After several political melee in the Balkan, Serbia became independent state, which was part of Yugoslavia decade ago. Despite this political dispute, their national team was kept in tact. In fact, during their qualifying round, they finished above France and it seemed they could reach beyond 2nd round of the World Cup, when they got Australia and Ghana in their group. However, after their poor performance in friendlies almost put fans into riot and their expectation has been lowered ever since.

Ghana, on the other hand, had problem of their own. After Michael Essien, African's best midfield player, got seriously injured during the the African Cup of Nations, Milovan Rajevac was forced to use his young under-20 squad players, who just won their first World Youth Cup and without Essien and Appiah, Ghana was able to reach final, which was lost against Egypt. Without Essien and Appiah this time, therefore, was not much of problem for the Black Stars, as they showed they had alternative plans.

1st half
Fair even half as neither of team had clear chance in the opening period due to their inaccuracy in their final delivery.
But the chance eventually came and it was Kwadwo Asamoah with shot on target, which was well blocked by Brum's new signing Nikol Zigic.
It was Ghana once again putted pressure on unsettled Serbia. This time it was Ayew's cross, which was trying to find Gyan in the box but it was bit high for him to head it in.
It was end to end stuff and the better quality of football, after watching Algeria playing against Slovenia but at the end of half, it stayed goalless.
HT: 0-0
1st Half MOTM: Asamoah Gyan: I thought he had been excellent upfront and made Vidic to struggle to play against him.

2nd Half
For starting 5 minutes, they could not cross the ball properly. Besides that, it was Ghana starting to control the game and on 53 mins with Tagoe's excellent cross, the ball seemed to be destined to go in by Annan's head but this was given as offside. The opportunity kept coming for Ghana and this time, it was Gyan with header, which clipped outside of post. Ghana's pressure got stronger, when Serbia defender, Lukovic was sent off by clumsy challenge. But after the sent off, Serbia began to up their tempo and almost got them a goal, when Krasic had a shot in the penalty box, only to be saved by Kingson.
Then idiotic penalty. It happened when Kuzmanovic stupidly put his arm up while the ball was travelling in the air. Incidentally, it hit his hand and it was caught by referee's eyes. Gyan stepped up and he converted. Later in the half, Gyan chance to wrap the game up, but this time his shot found inside of the post.
FT: 0-1
2nd Half MOTM: Prince Tagoe - He has been so active and accurate with his passing and crossing to worry Stojkovic.

No comments: