Durban: Germany scored two goals in each half and Tim Cahill was sent off as three-time champion Germany beat Australia 4-0 on Sunday in Group D of the World Cup.
Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose scored in the first 30 minutes as Australia coach Pim Verbeek’s defensive tactics backfired.
Thomas Mueller and Cacau also scored against an overwhelmed Australian defense in the second half after Cahill was red-carded in the 56th minute for a late tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The Germans’ dominant win, played in front of 62,660 fans at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, came without injured captain Michael Ballack.
Earlier on Sunday, Asamoah Gyan scored on a penalty kick to give Ghana a 1-0 win over Serbia in the opening Group D match.
Germany had not lost an opening game in the World Cup since a 2-1 defeat to Algeria in 1982. It never looked like that string would be snapped on a warm evening in Durban.
Podolski started the rout by ending a slick passing move in the eighth minute and Klose headed in his 11th career World Cup goal in the 26th.
A stunned Verbeek sat on the bench shaking his head while Joachim Loew, in his 50th game as Germany coach, punched the air in celebration.
Hoping to hold out for a draw, Verbeek used Cahill as a forward and packed his midfield. But with Cahill isolated up front instead of controlling the midfield, Australia had no answer to Germany’s swift passing and running game.
Any slim hope Australia had of coming back evaporated with Cahill’s 56th-minute ejection.
Klose missed two more good chances before Mueller made it 3-0 in the 68th minute, dragging the ball back to avoid Scott Chipperfield’s lunge and firing a low shot in off the post.
Cacau rounded off the scoring in the 70th, just two minutes after coming on for Klose.