Slovenia 1 Algeria 0: Ugly match with an ugly goal to win it. Algerian substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal had a moment of madness and was sent off with two yellow cards in just 15 minutes. The second yellow resulted from a deliberate handball in order to chase down a cross in the Slovenian penalty area. Robert Koren, Slovenia’s captain, put in a long range effort and it flew into the net. Amazingly, the Algerian GK Faouzi Chaouchi flubbed his save in a manner slightly different from Robert Green; Chaouchi tried to catch the ball and it went through his hands. Slovenia leads Group C and a win against the US would all but clinch a trip to the knockout stage and possibly put the Americans against the ropes.
Ghana 1 Serbia 0: The Ghanaians have been in the World Cup twice (2006, 2010). Once again they’ve beaten their favored Eastern Europe opposition and became the first African team of this tournament to win a match. Sadly the first half was putrid with few chances but the game opened up after the restart. It was Ghana who forced the issue and their athleticism and speed appeared to be too much for the Serbs. The major turning point came when defender Aleksandar Lukovic held back Asamoah Gyan. It was his 2nd yellow card of the day and Serbia spent the rest of the night a man short. Zdravko Kuzmanovic was called for a stupid handball in the penalty box and the referee awarded Ghana with a penalty. Gyan stepped up and scored the only goal in the 84th minute. He could’ve put the game to be in the 90th but his low curling shot hit the post.
Germany 4 Australia 0: The Aussies never had a chance. Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller, and Cacau all struck gold in the first match to feature more than two goals. Tim Cahill completed the day’s red card brigade by getting a straight red for a bad challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger. For what it’s worth it was a questionable red card and Cahill should not have been ejected. It didn’t matter as the Germans did what they wanted anyway.