SERBIA (0) vs GHANA (1)
A PENALTY five minutes from time from Asamoah Gyan handed Ghana a winning start to their Group D campaign against ten-man Serbia.
The Rennes striker rifled home from the spot after Serbian substitute Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled when attempting to head clear a cross.
It came 11 minutes after the Serbians, many peoples dark horses to do well in South Africa, were reduced to ten men after defender Aleksandar Lukovic was handed a second yellow card.
Ghana, four-time African champions, are managed by Milovan Rajevac, a Serb, and were well worthy of their victory having dominated long spells. Indeed, had Gyan, John Mensah and Andre Ayew converted their chances, they would have won by more. Serbia posed little attacking threat, although Aleksander Kolarov went close with a free-kick which curled flew wide.
Lukovic’s sending off for holding back Gyan on the halfway line put paid to Serbia’s hopes, before Gyan made his side’s pressure tell with the decisive penalty. He then went close to adding a second when striking a post with a curling shot in injury time.