Milan Jovanovic scored to lift Serbia to a 1-0 upset victory over 10-man Germany Friday in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in Group D action from the FIFA World Cup.
The main storyline
What once looked so assured now appears to be in question.
Germany was the talk of the tournament following a 4-0 thrashing of Australia in its opening game, leading many to hastily predict that their fourth World Cup crown was easily within reach.
Now the Germans have a fight on their hands in Group D, their passage through to the second round far from a sure thing.
The Germans put on a stunning attacking exhibition against Australia, but their performance Friday was nowhere near as commanding. The Serbs did a masterful job of thwarting them at every turn, cutting off the supply lines to strikers Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.
Log on to CBCSports.ca and tune in to Bold (CBC's digital channel) every day at 4:30 pm ET for the CBC World Cup Post-game Show presented by CIBC for a daily wrap-up of the day's news, with match highlights and analysis.
If you can't catch the show live, you can watch the show on-demand by CLICKING HERE.
Both teams found it hard to get into a rhythm. Spanish referee Alberto Undiano took centre stage in the first half, handing out six cards, and sending off Klose off in the 37th minute for a second offence.
The Germans were given a lifeline with 30 minutes left in regulation when Serb defender Nemanja Vidic needlessly handled the ball inside the box. But Vladimir Stojkovic stopped Podolski's effort from the penalty spot to bail Vidic out of trouble.
Germany's previous loss in the group stage came in 1986, when it dropped a 2-0 decision to Denmark. The Germans will need to win their final game, against Ghana, to ensure they move on to the round of 16, but that will be difficult without Klose, who earned an automatic one-game suspension for earning two yellow cards against Serbia.
Friday marked Serbia's first World Cup victory as an independent nation: it previously competed at the tournament as part of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.
The winning goal
Serbia made immediate use of the man advantage after Klose's dismissal. Milos Krasic made a darting run down the right side and played a perfect cross into the box for Nikola Zigic. The towering Serb forward out-jumped two German defenders and nodded the ball back for Jovanovic, who powered the ball home.
Turning point of the game
Klose's expulsion changed the face of the game, swinging the momentum to Serbia's favour. A minute after the striker was sent off, Jovanovic scored to punish the Germans.
What this result means
Things are very tight in Group D, with Germany, Serbia and Ghana tied for first place with three points apiece ahead of Australia. If the Socceroos defeat Ghana on Saturday, the group would turn into a log jam.
Sign up for CIBC daily soccer updates that will provide you with the latest World Cup news, a recap of the tournament standings and a highlight of future matches.
To subscribe to the newsletter, CLICK HERE.
Man of the match
Jovanovic scored the winner, but also put in a lot of hard work in Serbia's midfield.
Save of the match
Podolski's penalty shot wasn't expertly struck, but Stojkovic still did well to make the stop.
The Serbian perspective
"It was a difficult game, a very important game for us. This is a great victory for all of us. We have showed we are a good team and we believe in ourselves." — goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic
The German perspective
"The referee made some strange decisions." — captain Philipp Lahm
Germany takes on Ghana in Johannesburg on June 23 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 2 p.m. ET), while Serbia meets Australia on the same day in Nelspruit (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 2 p.m. ET).