Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic insists Serbia will show Australia the utmost respect in their remaining 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Group D match. The Serbs stunned Germany 1-0 here on Friday to put themselves back in contention for a place in the last 16 after an opening defeat to Ghana.
The win, against a German side reduced to playing with 10 men after Miroslav Klose's 37th minute sending off, has raised Serbian hopes of making it to the second round. They are level on three points with Germany and Ghana, who face Australia in their second match on Saturday.
Australia were swept aside 4-0 by Germany in their first game but Vidic warned: "They had a bad game just like we had against Ghana. You can't judge a team on one match. All the teams who are here at the World Cup have good qualities, it's only small details which decide who is going to win.
"We respect Australia, they have four or five players who play in England at a high level. That says something about the team. I'm sure it will be a difficult game." Serbia, who had Liverpool-bound midfielder Milan Jankovic's first half goal to thank for the three points here, face the Socceroos in Nelspruit next Wednesday.
Vidic made a solid contribution to hold off Germany's attack before his handball in the area led to Lukas Podolski's penalty which keeper Vladamir Stojkovic saved. This was the second successive match where Serbia have given away a penalty for a handball in South Africa, prompting coach Radomir Antic to comment: "I hope this will be the last time this happens to us!"
Stojkovic, who plays for Wigan, was named Budweiser Man of the Match for his decisive part in what was his Balkan state's first FIFA World Cup win since 1998. He reflected: "To beat Germany at the World Cup is quite something. I think we deserved this as a group as we have worked hard over the past two years, this is the reward."
Asked about his spot-kick save he said: "I knew I would have to concentrate for the entire 90 minutes, I knew something like this would happen. This is a great victory for all of us, we've shown we are a team that believes in ourselves. It was so important to do well today after losing to Ghana."