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U.S. Rallies to Tie Slovenia 2-2 at World Cup; Serbia Defeats Germany 1-0
The U.S. came from behind to tie Slovenia 2-2 at the World Cup in South Africa, while Serbia upset Germany 1-0.
Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored as the U.S. erased a 2-0 halftime deficit in the Group C game in Johannesburg. The Americans also had a goal from Maurice Edu disallowed in the 86th minute.
“Our immediate goal was to win, but we started (playing) not to lose,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley said in a news conference. “The tie keeps us alive and that’s the important thing.”
Serbia’s Milan Jovanovic scored the only goal moments after Germany’s Miroslav Klose was red-carded in Group D in Port Elizabeth. Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic also stopped a penalty kick from Lukas Podolski.
“It was a very important game for us,” Stojkovic told reporters. “Everybody believed in this win.”
Slovenia was prevented from claiming a place in the round of 16 by the U.S. rally. The top two teams in each of the eight groups after three games qualify for the next round.
Slovenia leads Group C with four points, the U.S. has two, England one and Algeria none. England plays Algeria later today.
Valter Birsa gave Slovenia the lead in the 13th minute and Zlatan Ljubijankic made it 2-0 three minutes before halftime.
Donovan scored three minutes after the break with a shot from an angle into the roof of the net. Bradley then rushed onto Jozy Altidore’s headed pass and beat goalkeeper Samir Handanovic with eight minutes left.
Edu appeared to have given the Americans the lead four minutes later, but the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali as players were grappling in the area.
“I’m assuming it was a foul somewhere because obviously it couldn’t have been offside,” Donovan said. “I don’t know what to think of the call because I didn’t see a foul anywhere.”
Serbia handed Germany its first defeat in a World Cup group game since 1986. The Germans are tied with Serbia and Ghana at three points and lead Group D because of a superior goal difference. Ghana plays Australia tomorrow.
Klose was ejected after receiving his second yellow card in the 37th minute for tripping Serbia captain Dejan Stankovic. Jovanovic gave his team the lead a minute later with a shot from eight yards out.
Germany’s Sami Khedira smashed a shot against the crossbar in the last minute of the first half. Stojkovic dived to his left to save Podolski’s penalty kick in the 60th minute after a handball call against Nemanja Vidic. Jovanovic and Milos Krasic then hit the goalpost and the crossbar with shots.
“In the second half we played a lot better with a man down,” Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters.