Port Elizabeth: Milan Jovanovic scored one minute after Germany striker Miroslav Klose was ejected on Friday, giving Serbia a 1-0 upset win over the three-time World Cup champions.
In a game with a tournament-high nine yellow cards, Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic stopped Lukas Podolski’s penalty kick for Germany in the 60th minute after Nemanja Vidic got a yellow for a hand ball.
Germany played a man down from the 37th, when Klose was ejected by Spanish referee Alberto Undiano following his second yellow card.
Jovanovic scored a minute later, controlling a header and firing in a side-foot shot from directly in front of goalkeeper Manual Neuer.
The victory gave Serbia its first World Cup win as an independent nation, and both teams now have three points after two games in Group D. Ghana also has three points, and plays its second match — against Australia — on Saturday.
Stojkovic, often considered the weak link on Serbia’s team, read Podolski’s penalty by diving to his left. After the match, Stojkovic grabbed the game ball and stuck it under his jersey.
The last time Germany failed to convert a non-shootout penalty at a World Cup was in 1974, a miss by Uli Hoeness against Poland.
With both teams using lone strikers, the match turned into a physical, often bruising contest in midfield, with Serbia allowing Germany little space for the kind of flowing, quick-passing moves it used in routing Australia 4-0.
The Germans’ best effort came in a hectic end to the first half, when Sami Khedira struck the crossbar and Thomas Mueller’s bicycle kick was cleared off the line by Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov.
Serbia’s goal came after Milos Krasic, giving Germany’s defense plenty of work all day, chased a long ball to the sideline and swung a high cross to the far post, where Nikola Zigic headed it down for Jovanovic to volley in.
The cross from Krasic caught Germany’s tallest defender, Per Mertesacker, out of position.