Penalty gives Ghana victory over 10-man Serbia

PRETORIA -- Serbia's national football squad has started its World Cup campaign with a 0-1 defeat in the opening game against Ghana.

Luković is red-carded (Beta/AP)
Luković is red-carded (Beta/AP)

After a largely uneventful first half, Serbia's Aleksandar Luković was sent off with two yellow cards in the 74th minute.

Seven minutes later, Zdravko Kuzmanović was caught playing handball in the box.

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan converted the penalty to a lead for his team.

The game ended with the 0-1 score.

Serbia boss Radomir Antić fielded the following payers for the squad's first World Cup match: Stojković, Kolarov, Vidić, Ivanović, Lukovic, Milijaš, Stanković, Jovanović, Krasić, Žigić, Pantelić.

Ahead of the game, he told reporters that his team was made of champions who will know how to deal with the pressure of the first World Cup game.

He added that Ghana, who's manager is another Serb, Milovan Rajevac, was not a team to be underestimated.

“The fact is that Ghana was Africa's champion four times, and that they are reigning world champions in the under-21 category. They have a pronounced national motivation, they are ready, strong in one-on-one situations.”

Still, Antić said his team had traveled to South Africa with “big ambition”, but added that, ahead of the game, he would “accept a draw” as a satisfactory result.

Antić also noted that while around a thousand fans traveled from Belgrade, there were also between 15,000 and 20,000 Serbs who live in South Africa, and expected support from the stands.

“I believe our game will make other nations support us as well,” Antić was optimistic.

Serbia competes in Group D, along with Ghana, Germany and Australia.

More photos from today's match here