Three games, six goals and three red cards were the highlights of an enthralling third day of action at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Back at the highest level after 24 years in the wilderness, Algeria mustered a determined performance against Slovenia to kick off the action. Only a goalkeeping error by Faouzi Chaouchi ultimately cost them at least a point, which was precisely the minimum haul that Serbia hoped to secure against Ghana a little later. As it was, Serbia found themselves reduced to ten men with 15 minutes to go, before conceding an 85th-minute penalty which allowed Asamoah Gyan to settle the encounter in the Africans' favour.
As night fell in Durban, Germany suffered in the opening minutes against Australia, with Philipp Lahm clearing a Richard Garcia effort off the line, but Joachim Low's troops then asserted themselves with distinction and eased to a straightforward success against the lacklustre Socceroos.
Algeria 0-1 Slovenia
Serbia 0-1 Ghana
Germany 4-0 Australia
Read all about these games by clicking on the links in the column on the right
Goal of the day
Germany-Australia, Lukas Podolski, 8 mins: After Australia had failed to open the scoring four minutes earlier, Mesut Oezil sped past two defenders on the right wing, moved inside, and played a pass through to Thomas Muller behind Australia's defence. Without looking, the Bayern Munich man cut the ball back to Miroslav Klose, but although his team-mate had already raced by, Lukas Podolski promptly appeared at the far post. With a powerful left-footed effort, Poldi powered the ball through the gloves of Mark Schwarzer and put his colleagues on the road to victory.
One to remember
When Slovenia's players had not turned up in the press conference room an hour after their victory over Algeria, it was tempting to imagine them still celebrating their first-ever victory in a major international competition. They recorded two draws and a defeat at UEFA EURO 2000 but three straight losses at Korea/Japan 2002, yet after amassing their first three points on the global stage they wanted nothing less than to sit back and watch Serbia take on Ghana.
Quote of the day
"I wanted to head the ball and I ended up touching it with my hand. It's my mistake and all I can say to my team is sorry. We deserved a point, but because of my error we find ourselves with nothing," Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Serbia midfielder.
Stat of the day
8 – The number of times Germany have scored three goals or more at the start of a FIFA World Cup tournament. They defeated Belgium 5-2 in 1934, Turkey 4-1 in 1954, Argentina 3-1 in 1958, Switzerland 5-0 in 1966, Yugoslavia 4-1 in 1990, Saudi Arabia 8-0 in 2002, Costa Rica 4-2 in 2006 and, of course, Australia 4-0 in 2010.
Voice of the fans
"That's football; dominating a game isn't the same as winning it. But we have to remain focused on fair play. Good luck for the rest of the tournament. Of the three matches, this was the one that I feared the most. We'll win against the English and the Americans – believe me,” yacine456, FIFA.com user.
Games of the day
In Castrol's FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge the field of 50 leaders was narrowed to seven today. Meanwhile, in the McDonald's FIFA World Cup Fantasy a trio of competitors muscled into joint-first place on Day 3 thanks to a goal spree in the Germany-Australia game and solid 1-0 victories for Ghana and Slovenia.
Have your say
What can Algeria hope for from their next two games against England and USA? Can Ghana be the surprise team of the group phase? Did Germany impress you? Click on 'Add your comment' to share your views with fellow fans the world over. Remember, your messages must be correctly written, respectful, appropriate and composed in English.