Saturday, June 19, 2010
The Jabulani ball struck again. Richard Kingson could not cleanly collect Mark Bresciano's free kick shot and Brett Holman pounched to give Australia the lead against Ghana. It was just rewards for the Aussies who shot off the blocks and went on the attack immediately.
What happened after that changed the game completely.
For the second match in a row, the Socceroos collected an undeserved red card, this time on Harry Kewell. With both Tim Cahill and Kewell out for the final crucial match against Serbia, it will be hard for the Aussies to score the required three goals to qualify for the knock out phase.
Lucas Neill was phenomenal after Australia went down to 10 men. His performance at the heart of the Socceroos' defence was the reason Ghana could not assert their extra man advantage. In fact, the lack of Ghanaian potency allowed Australia to launch dangerous attacks of their own.
Luke Wilshire must be ruing his chance when he should have done better against Kingson. Milovan Rajevac sent on Mathew Asamoah to try and snatch victory but even Ghana's top goal scorer from the African qualifiers could not break Australian resolve.
Ghana will feel that this could have been a definite six-pointer but now will have to face a smarting Germany, eager to put the Serbia defeat behind them. The shaky Black Stars defence will be in for a torrid time against a potent German attack.
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