x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Stojkovic on hand to help Serbia to 'a great victory'

Milan Jovanovic and Vladimir Stojkovic teamed up to re-ignite Serbia's campaign with a 1-0 win over Germany.

Germany 0 // Serbia 1

Milan Jovanovic and Vladimir Stojkovic teamed up to re-ignite Serbia's campaign with a 1-0 win over Germany. Jovanovic blasted home a 38th-minute winner from close range two minutes after Germany striker Miroslav Klose had been sent off. "The second half was not 45 minutes, it was like two years for us," Jovanovic said. Lukas Podolski had a chance to equalise in the 60th minute, but he missed a penalty, sending a weak shot to the left of Stojkovic, who read it and stopped it.

"It was a difficult game, a very important game for us," Stojkovic said. "This is a great victory for all of us. We have showed we are a good team and we believe in ourselves." Nemanja Vidic, the Manchester United defender, gave away the penalty in the 59th with a handball. "It was my fault," Podolski said. "I accept responsibility and I don't want to dwell on it." Klose was sent off after a rough tackle in the 37th earned him a second yellow card and suspension from the match with Ghana on Wednesday.

"Football is a contact sport and one factor should be whether there was malice and intention," Klose said. "I went after the ball." Alberto Undiano, the Spanish referee, handed out nine yellow cards, the most so far in any game at this year's tournament. "The referee made some strange decisions," said Philipp Lahm, the Germany captain. Germany started brightly as Podolski blasted a seventh-minute volley just wide, but it was Serbia who broke the deadlock when Milos Krasic picked out striker Nikola Zigic at the far post and he headed down for Jovanovic to control in front of goal and steer the ball past Manuel Neuer. Joachim Loew's men belatedly responded with Sami Khedira firing against the underside of the crossbar and Thomas Muller forcing a goal-line clearance from Aleksandar Kolarov with his follow-up in injury time. 

* PA

 

Group D
Country M W D L GF GA Pts
Serbia 2 1 0 1 1 1 3
Germany 2 1 0 1 4 1 3
Ghana 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
Australia 1 0 0 1 0 4 0