Ten-man Germany trail at the break to Serbia

Germany 0 Serbia 1

Germany 0 Serbia 1

Milan Jovanovic put the brakes on 10-man Germany’s World Cup bid as Serbia reignited their own challenge.

German striker Miroslav Klose was dismissed for a second bookable offence nine minutes before the break, and the Serbs struck just two minutes later when Jovanovic fired home from Nikola Zigic’s knock-down.

It took Serbia frontman Zigic just seconds of the game to make his presence felt as he headed a Zdravko Kuzmanovic cross back across goal for Jovanovic, although he could not direct the ball on target, but the same combination was to pay dividends before the break.

The Germans went close with seven minutes gone when, after Nemanja Vidic had only half-cleared Thomas Mueller’s right-wing cross, Lukas Podolski thumped a left-foot volley just wide from 20 yards.

Branislav Ivanovic, who had earlier been the victim of a foul by Klose which cost the striker his first booking, was himself yellow-carded for an 18th-minute challenge on Podolski, and team-mate Aleksandar Kolarov followed him within seconds after upending Mueller.

Sami Khedira’s caution for a trip on Milos Krasic brought the tally to four in the space of nine minutes as Spanish referee Alberto Undiano took an uncompromising approach.

German playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger patiently probed away trying to open up space ahead of him, but his side was repeatedly frustrated by Serbia’s organisation.

Their problems increased with 36 minutes gone when Klose was booked for the second time for a foul on Serbia skipper Dejan Stankovic and was sent off.

Radi Antic’s men took full advantage when Zigic headed down Krasic’s cross and Jovanovic controlled before firing home from point-blank range.

Khedira crashed a stinging shot against the underside of the crossbar in injury time and Kolarov scrambled Mueller’s follow-up off the line, but Serbia held out.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox