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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs