Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 13 June 2010

Germany Start World Cup Off with Convincing Victory

Any doubts that you had over Germany coming into this tournament were put to bed with their performance in their 4-0 victory over Australia this evening.

Despite Philipp Lahm having to block a shot off the line in the opening minutes, Lukas Podolski fired Germany into the lead inside 8 minutes and there was no looking back afterwards. Just before the goal, I backed Germany in-play.

Podolski's strike partner, Miroslav Klose added to their goal tally as the partnership up front, when he headed in his 11th World Cup in a World Cup; his 7th with his head. The Polish-born duo had 6 domestic league goals between them last season but continue where they left off in 2006.

Tim Cahill received a red card from a tackle from behind. Harsh in my opinion, even if Bastian Schweinsteiger's ankle got crushed in the process. No attempt to play the ball, but he pulled out of the challenge.

Thomas Muller rolled in a third and Cacau became the quickest German substitute to score in a World Cup as he made it 4-0.

As I wrote in my Group D preview, expecting big things from Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil in this World Cup, neither disappointed. Ozil put in a man of the match performance and Muller came close to matching him. Ozil's vision and passing ability were both on display in this match. Muller had run taking on players and putting good balls into the box. It was his cut back that Podolski smashed home for Germany's opener. Marko Marin made a late substitute appearance and didn't have time or enough possession on the ball to impress, but look out for him in future matches. He is a good dribbler who's not afraid to take players on.

Germany's odds have already been cut from 14/1 to 10/1 to win the World Cup. While not wanting to jump on a bandwagon having only played one game, but if there's no such thing as peaking too early when it comes to Germany, then they are genuine contenders.

Germany's defence was hardly tested this evening, but they dealt with set pieces admirably. Perhaps Serbia can give the Germany defence a real test on Friday.

Earlier today, Slovenia were fortunate to beat 10 man Algeria 1-0, when Robert Koren's shot crept under goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi. And Ghana beat 10 man Serbia 1-0 thanks to Asamoah Gyan's late penalty.

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