The Beautiful Game turned sour for many fans as poor performances and petulant players turned the World Cup groups inside out. It looks like a nail biting wait to see who misses out on the knock out stages.
England 0, Algeria 0
By the end even the commentators and studio panel were at a loss to put a positive spin on this woeful England display. Heskey nearly had a dream start as Algeria’s replacement goalie Mbolhi back pedalled to just grab his shot. At the other end David James got the nod and made a good early tip over and spared Carraghers blushes as his hacked clearance flew back at goal. It was 30 minutes until Gerrard fired in the first decent England shot, Lampard was not far behind with a strong blast but then it settled back into sloppy passing and a general lack of effort.
The second half had to be better but wasn’t, Heskey lumbered around, Rooney seemd to be in a major sulk, and Carragher got booked for a clumsy block, that will keep him out of the Slovenia game. A John Terry pass nearly got him in trouble – this time on the pitch, James mopped up his casual back prod. Defoe and Crouch came on for Heskey and Barry but the downbeat mood remained. Rooney ended a personal nightmare by complaining to the camera as he trudged off, about booing England fans.
Germany 0, Serbia 1
After turning on the style in their first game, Germany showed they are not machines by losing to Serbia and even missing a penalty. The referee will come under fire for sending off Klose after 34 minutes for the second weak yellow but the normal clinical finishing of the Germans was missing today. Jovanovic got what proved to be the decisive goal just after the sending off, Zigic, soon to feature for Birmingham City headed down the ball and Jovanovic caught it perfectly on the volley.
Podolski looked much less potent than in his first game and after missing a few sitters he capped it off by hitting a soft penalty, for a Vidic handball, straight at the keeper. That ensured no way back for the mighty Germans and split the group wide open.
Slovenia 2, USA 2
Noone expected this to be a thriller but both sides, and the ref, played a part in the twists and turns. Slovenia took control of the game in the first half roaring into the lead with Birsa belting a long shop opener and Ljubijankic beating the offside trap to make it 2-0.
The USA charged back in the second half and showed lots of character. Just after the break Donovan went on a run down the right and ended by flashing the ball in at the post. Bradley tied the score after 82 minutes. Late on Edu seemed to have given the USA the win as a mass of players reinacted Come Dancing in the goal area but the referee ruled it out for a USA foul, a crazy decision.