Germany kept up a relentless attack against Australia in the team's debut at the 2010 World Cup and came away with the most convincing win of the tournament so far.
Podolski opened Germany's scoring early in the match
Germany's first match of the 2010 World Cup against Australia in Group D turned into a display of the goal-scoring prowess of coach Joachim Loew's squad. Germany kept up constant pressure on the Socceroos and convincingly won 4-0 in what is the World Cup's highest scoring match so far.
Klose headed the German side to a comfortable 2-0 halftime lead
The attack on the Australian goal began early, with Lukas Podolski firing an absolute strike at Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer in the 8th minute. Schwarzer managed to get a glove on the ball but could not stop it from going into the goal.
Striker Misoslav Klose was in good form early on, but couldn't seem to find the net as the game got going. He sent a nearly wide-open chance just wide of the goal in the 24th minute, but had a chance to redeem himself two minutes later.
Captain Phillip Lahm brought the ball up the right side and launched a curling cross from distance toward Klose in the area, who leapt just a bit higher than Schwarzer to get a head on the ball and put Germany ahead 2-0. The goal was the seventh header scored by Klose in a World Cup, giving him the most goals via header by any player in World Cup history.
In the second half, Germany did not take its foot off the gas and continued to press the Australian defense. The Australians were reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute after forward Tim Cahill was sent off for a hard tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger, setting the stage for even more German goals.
German fans loved their team's high-scoring debut
Twenty-year-old Thomas Mueller scored his first goal for the German team in the 68th minute, followed shortly after by a strike from Cacau, who had just been subbed in for Klose.
Coach Joachim Loew's decision to start Klose over the Brazilian-born Cacau proved to be a good one. Midfielder Mesut Oezil, making his World Cup debut for Germany at age 21, also narrowly missed scoring opportunities and seemed to be involved in every German attack.
Loew also opted to start the 20-year-old Mueller over the more-experienced Piotr Trochowski on the right wing. In addition to Mueller's goal, he provided the assist to Podolski that got the German scoring machine up and running.
German keeper Manuel Neuer also made his World Cup debut, but the 24-year old was relatively untested.
First win for Africa
It was a game of firsts in the other Group D match between Ghana and Serbia in Pretoria Sunday afternoon. The first penalty kick of the 2010 World Cup led to the first win for an African team on the host continent as Ghana beat Serbia 1-0.
Gyan took the World Cup's first penalty
Serbia's Zdravko Kuzmanovic was given a yellow card for a hand ball in the penalty area in the 85th minute. The resulting penalty was taken by Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, who cleanly blasted the ball to the back of the net for the game's only goal, giving the Black Stars the victory in the first match of Group D.
Gyan very nearly made it 2-0 in injury time at the end of the game when he beat Serbian keeper Vladimir Stojkovic with a cross-goal shot that took an unlucky bounce off the post.
Serbia was reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute for a second yellow card on defender Aleksandar Lukovic.
Slovenia records historic victory
It was a goalkeeper blunder that gave Slovenia its first-ever World Cup win on Sunday, as it defeated Algeria 1-0 in Polokwane.
For the first half of the Group C match-up between Slovenia and Algeria, both teams were playing a cautious game that didn't offer much in the way of scoring opportunities. The game was scoreless when the teams headed for the locker room at the break, and neither team took strong control of the game early in the second half.
Koren was the Man of the Match
However, a substitution for Algeria proved to be a turning point in the game. Abdelkader Ghezzal was brought in to replace Rafik Djebbour in the 58th minute, only to receive a yellow card sixty seconds later. Just 15 minutes after that, Ghezzal was booked again for a handball and sent off the pitch.
Taking advantage of the extra man, Slovenia turned up the pressure on Algeria. In the 79th minute, Slovenian captain Robert Koren took one of his team's six shots on goal and got lucky when Algerian keeper Fawzi Chaouchi flubbed the save and deflected the ball into the goal.
The win for Slovenia was the country's first ever in a World Cup. Slovenia's only other World Cup appearance was in 2002 and they lost all three matches they played.
Slovenia now leads Group C ahead of the United States and England, who are tied for second following their 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Author: Matt Zuvela (afp/ap)
Editor: Kyle James