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Fri 18 Jun 2010 05:46 PM

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World Cup heats up as Germany, France suffer defeats

Ten-man Germany stunned by Serbia's 1-0 victory; France faces early World Cup exit.

World Cup heats up as Germany, France suffer defeats

Serbia pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory on Friday over strongly favored Germany, who played most of the match with 10 men after striker Miroslav Klose was sent off in the World Cup Group D match.

Germany fell apart in little more than a minute late in the first half. Klose received his marching orders in the 38th minute for a second yellow card and Serbia took instant advantage, scoring almost immediately through Milan Jovanovic.

Germany should have equalized in the 61st minute when Nemanja Vidic needlessly handled in the area to give them a penalty but Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic dived to his left to save Lukas Podolski's spot kick.

Germany still lead Group D with three points from two games, ahead of Ghana and Serbia, also on three, and Australia on none. Ghana and Australia meet in Rustenburg on Saturday for their second game.

Meanwhile the once mighty France look set to make a humiliating early exit and England hope on Friday to erase their trauma over a goalkeeping disaster, as the slow-starting World Cup finally hots up.

France, champions in 1998 and runners up four years ago looked all at sea in their 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday night. Following an uninspired 0-0 draw with Uruguay they are on the brink of elimination in the first round.

Irish eyes may well be smiling at that prospect, since France only qualified for the finals by beating them through Thierry Henry's infamous handball.

Dejected French captain Patrice Evra described their performance as a catastrophe, adding: "We feel like a small footballing nation and it hurts." (Reuters)

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