PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) — Milan Jovanovic scored one minute after Germany striker Miroslav Klose was sent off on Friday, giving Serbia a 1-0 win over the three-time World Cup champions in Group D.
Jovanovic side-footed a shot past Germany goalkeeper Manual Neuer in the 38th minute to leave both teams with three points in the group.
“The second half was not 45 minutes, it was like two years for us,” Jovanovic said. “We beat Germany after 37 years, and it's something real big for us.”
Jovanovic, who has agreed to join Liverpool from Standard Liege, celebrated with such passion that he jumped over advertising hoarding behind the goal and fell into a moat.
“I was more worried about him than thinking of celebrating,” said Milos Krasic, who provided the cross that Nikola Zigic headed down for Jovanovic to score.
Serbia was part of former Yugoslavia, which played Germany six times in a World Cup and only won in the 1962 quarterfinals — 38 years ago.
Friday's win was Serbia's first in the World Cup as an independent nation.
Lukas Podolski had a chance to equalize in the 60th, but he missed a penalty, sending a weak shot to the left of Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, who read it and stopped it.
“It was a difficult game, a very important game for us,” said Stojkovic, who was man of the match. “This is a great victory for all of us. We have showed we are a good team and we believe in ourselves.”
Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic gave away the penalty in the 59th with a handball, the same needless move that cost Serbia the match against Ghana, when Zdravko Kuzmanovic did the same and Ghana scored for a 1-0 win.
“I was slightly disoriented, I thought there was a player behind me and that's why I had had my arm out,” Vidic said.
The last time Germany missed a non-shootout penalty at a World Cup was in 1974, a miss by Uli Hoeness against Poland.
“It was my fault. I missed,” Podolski said. “I accept responsibility and I don't want to dwell on it.”
Serbia defender Neven Subotic said the save was crucial.
“It was the decisive moment,” he said.
Serbia coach Radomir Antic said the mental blow to his team would have been huge if Germany had equalized with 10 men.
“If we had conceded a goal on the penalty, it would have had great repercussions,” Antic said.
Stojkovic, often considered the weak link the Serbia's team, grabbed the game ball after the match and stuck it under his jersey.
Klose was sent off after a rough tackle in the 37th earned him a second yellow card. He received his first yellow in the 12th.
“Football is a contact sport and one factor should be whether there was malice and intention,” said Klose, who has 11 World Cup goals. “I thought I went after the ball.”
Klose and Podolski had scored for Germany against Australia but they were among the culprits Friday.
Spanish referee Alberto Undiano handed out nine yellow cards, the most so far in any game at this year's tournament.
“The referee made some strange decisions,” said Germany captain Philipp Lahm, one those booked.
Coach Joachim Loew also thought the high number of bookings was unnecessary.
“This was not necessary, there were a couple of fouls that were justified from behind. But there were many yellow cards that could have been avoided, that were not malicious,” Loew said.
Loew said Klose's red card was harsh and defended the decision to have Podolski take the penalty.
“Usually he really hammers the penalty home. He didn't do it today and it was easy for the goalkeeper to parry it away,” Loew said.
With Germany on the attack late in the match, Serbia nearly scored another when Jovanovic hit the post.
Both teams used lone strikers, turning the match into a physical, often bruising contest in midfield, with Serbia allowing Germany little space for the kind of flowing, quick-passing moves it enjoyed against Australia in a 4-0 rout.
Sami Khedira hit Serbia's crossbar in a hectic finish to the first half and Thomas Mueller's follow-up overhead effort was cleared off the line by Kolarov.