NELSPRUIT, South Africa, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Both Australia and Serbia crashed out of the World Cup after an entertaining 2-1 Group D match going for Australia here on Wednesday.
|Australia's Tim Cahill (R) vies with Serbia's Nemanja Vidic during the 2010 World |
Cup Group D match in Nelspruit, South Africa, June 23, 2010. Australia won the match
2-1. Both Serbia and Australia are disqualified for the round of 16. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)
A win will send Serbia, who have three points in pocket before the match, to the round of 16. While Australia only put in one point on the billboard after the first two group matches.
The victory was not enough to book the Socceroos a place in the round of 16 as the result saw Australia finish Group D third behind Ghana on goal difference, who lost to Germany 1-0 in the other match. Germany topped the group with six points.
Serbia put on a brighter performance in the first half with a 56 percent of ball possession as well as eight shots and five on target to Australia's five and four.
At the sixth minute, Serbia's Milos Krasic, who plays for CSKA Moscow, hit a powerful shot but it was blocked by Australia's goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Serbia challenged Australia defence again in the 12th minute when a pass was put on the path of Milos Krasic, whose shot went wide. Four minutes later, Zdravko Kuzmanovic's another shot in the box went begging.
At 23, Serbia spurned a good chance as Branislav Ivanovic's shot was palmed away. Another good chance for Serbia in the 38th minute as Dejan Stankovic drove through the defence, Zigic picked up the ball and found the net but was ruled offside.
Australia's rare chance came in the 39th minute when Everton midfielder Tim Cahill, who made his return after suspension, missed the ball.
Australia did a better job right when the second half began with Mark Bresciano's free-kick failing to pierce the Serbia defence. In the 62nd minute, Bresciano conceded another free-kick, which was cleared.
Australia's efforts were paid off on the 69 minutes when Josh Kennedy chipped in a cross, which was put into the net by Cahill with a bullet header. The shot prolonged Australia's lifeline.
Australia made it 2-0 only four minutes later when Substitute Brett Holman chipped in a low shot.
in the 84th minute, Zoran Tosic of Serbia curled the ball to the middle, Marko Pantelic picked it up and sloted home the ball to pull Serbia one goal back. Pantelic again put in a shot one minute later but it was ruled offside.
In the stoppage time, Serbia should have been given a penalty as Cahill handled the ball in the penalty area.
Australia then pulled off their second World Cup win, following their 3-1 victory over Japan in 2006.
Germany will meet England in the round of 16 while Ghana will take on the United States.