2010 World Cup Podcast: Throughout the tournament we’ll be speaking to leading football pundit Angus Loughran – hear his day one views here!

Ghana graabed a late 1-0 win over 10-man Serbia in their World Cup opener after Asamoah Gyan scored from the penalty spot in the closing stages.

The Group D game was hardly a classic, but that will not matter to the celebrating Ghanain fans who witnessed their side become the first African nation to win a match at the 2010 finals.

The game looked to be meandering towards a goalless draw when it sprung to life on 74 minutes when Aleksandar Lukovic was sent off for a second yellow card.

Initially, Serbia responded well to their numerical disadvantage going close on a couple of occasions, but with just six minutes remaining, substitute Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled in the area.

Gyan stepped up to fire the ball home to give Ghana a crucial win, while Serbia, with difficult-looking matches to come against Germany and Australia, must fear a repeat of their experience four years ago when they went home without a point.

Ghana looked the stronger side in the opening stages and although they struggled to fashion any clear cut chances, there was a vibrancy to their play which forced the Serbs to play much of the opening period on teh back foot.

However, it was African goalkeeper Richard Kingson who had the first effort to save in the 39th minute, as he spilled a Dejan Stankovic effort, but reclaimed it at the second attempt.

After the interval, Ghana forged an excellent chance when Prince Tagoe chipped in an accurate cross to the back post only for Ayew to head wide when he should have hit the target.

At the other end, Pantelic put a great cross into the back post for Zigic, but the towering striker could not make contact.

Asamoah Gyan came closest to breaking the deadlock, when his header from a long throw clipped the outside of the post and went wide.

The match finally came to life when Lukovic picked up a second booking, but Serbia responded well to the setback and Kingson had to react quickly to tip a Milos Krasic effort over the bar.

However, it was the intervention of substitute Kuzmanovic that was to prove decisive. He needlessly handled the ball as it sailed over his head and despite his protestations, the referee correctly pointed to the spot.

Gyan stepped up and fired the resulting penalty wide of Serbian keeper Stojkovic to give Ghana a valuable three points.

Ghana 1-0 Serbia

Scorer: Gyan (pen), 84

Red card: Lukovic 74

Half-time: 0-0

Ghana: 22 Kingson, 02 Sarpei, 04 Pantsil, 05 Mensah, 15 Vorsah, 06 Annan, 13 Ayew, 23 Boateng (Addy, 90+1), 03 Gyan (Owusu-Abeyie, 90+3), 12 Tagoe , 21 Asamoah (Appiah, 73)

Serbia: 01 Stojkovic, 03 Kolarov, 05 Vidic, 06 Ivanovic, 13 Lukovic, 10 Stankovic, 11 Milijas (Kuzmanovic, 62), 14 Jovanovic (Subotic, 76), 17 Krasic, 09 Pantelic, 15 Zigic (Lazovic, 69).

Attendance: 38,833

Referee: Hector Baldassi (Argentina).

2010 World Cup Podcast: Throughout the tournament we’ll be speaking to leading football pundit Angus Loughran – hear his day one views here!

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