News

England and Germany Face Possible Early World Cup Exits

Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, center, saves a peanlty kick by Germany's Lukas Podolski, right, during the World Cup group D soccer match between Germany and Serbia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 18 Jun 2010
Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, center, saves a peanlty kick by Germany's Lukas Podolski, right, during the World Cup group D soccer match between Germany and Serbia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 18 Jun 2010

Two former World Cup winners, England and Germany, are in almost unimaginable positions as they get set to play their final Group games Wednesday at football's premier event in South Africa. VOA Sports Director Parke Brewer is in Johannesburg and reports on how Groups C and D shape up.

The Germans opened this World Cup with a dominating 4-0 win against Australia and observers figured they would have no problem reaching the second round from Group D as one of the top two teams. But then came their shock 1-0 defeat by Serbia.

US midfielder Michael Bradley (R) scors a goal during their Group C first round 2010 World Cup football match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2010
US midfielder Michael Bradley (R) scors a goal during their Group C first round 2010 World Cup football match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, 18 Jun 2010

Ghana, the fourth team in Group D, beat Serbia 1-0 in its opening match, but then played to a 1-1 draw against Australia. So Ghana leads the group with four points, Germany and Serbia each have three points and Australia has one.

The last time the Germans lost a group match at the World Cup was back in 1986, as West Germany, but they went on to reach the final, where they lost to Argentina.

Ghana will reach the second round with a win or a draw against Germany, and of the six African teams at this World Cup, was the only one to lead a group after two matches.

German-born midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng no doubt has mixed feelings for this match. He has a German mother and Ghanaian father and played youth football for German national teams. He has dual nationality but it was only last month that FIFA approved his switch to play for Ghana's senior team. He says he has been warmly welcomed.

"I think we have a great, very great spirit in the team, and it's like a big, big family," said Boateng. "I haven't been here for a long time now but I can say I'm a family member and there's a lot of love. So there is a fantastic spirit."

Germany will need to beat Ghana to be assured of advancing. A draw would allow them to advance on a better goal differential if Australia can hold Serbia to a draw.

The Serbs are through with a win and would get through with a draw if Ghana beats Germany. The Australians, under Dutch coach Pim Verbeek have to beat Serbia to have any chance, and even then it might come down to goal difference.

"We all know what we have to do, and that's winning," said Verbeek. "And I have 100% confidence that they will give everything to make the three points."

Group C favorite England finds itself in a similar position to Germany. With only two points from draws against the United States and Algeria, a win Wednesday over first place Slovenia - which has four points - is needed to be assured of advancing.

England players faced harsh criticism from their media and fans after their scoreless draw against Algeria last Friday.

England defender John Terry says they will do all they can to make amends.

"We're obviously still disappointed from the game the other night, but you know we've got one game where we can make or break our tournament," said Terry. "And I've come here to win this tournament. You know I don't want to go home on Wednesday."

Like England, the United States has played to draws in its two matches, but is second behind Slovenia because of more goals scored than England.

U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan, whose goal helped his team rally for an important 2-2 tie against Slovenia, said the Americans are glad they can control their own destiny.

"We know exactly what we need to do You know, there are not too many teams that get to go into the third game knowing that if they win they're in [to the second round]. And so if you told me before the tournament we have one game against Algeria to advance to the next round, we'd take our chances and let's hope we bring everything we have," said Donovan.

The U.S. soccer team would also reach the next round with a tie and an England loss to Slovenia. If both final Group C matches end in draws and the USA maintains its plus-two goals scored advantage over England, the Americans would go through with Slovenia and England would be out.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs