JOHANNESBURG (AFP) Netherlands joined fellow football giants Argentina and Germany as first-match winners at the 2010 World Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Denmark at Soccer City on Monday. A comical Simon Poulsen own goal in the opening minute of the second half gave the Dutch a lead they doubled on 85 minutes when Dirk Kuyt tapped a rebound over the line. It was a predictable outcome to the opening game in Group E, which the Dutch are expected to win with Cameroon, Denmark and Japan fighting for second place and the other ticket to the second round. Netherlands may lack the bevy of big names they took to previous tournaments, but there is a steely determination about this squad which suggests they could go far in the quest for a first World Cup title. Denmark provided no surprises at the sun-drenched 90,000-seat stadium on a western outskirt of Johannesburg, defending resolutely but with limited options going forward. Experienced campaingers Italy launch their World Cup defence against Paraguay in Cape Town later on Monday with few pundits expecting them to go all the way again. Surprise champions in Germany four years ago, the Azzurri (Blues) have done little in the past four years to suggest they can conquer the world again and join Brazil as five-time winners. Fortunately for 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, his team are in one of the less daunting mini-leagues with the Paraguay clash followed by New Zealand in Nelspruit and Slovakia in Johannesburg. Lippi, who steps down when Italy exit the first tournament hosted by Africa, says pre-tournament results like a 2-1 Brussels loss to Mexico that flattered the Italians are irrelevant. I can tell you we have a great will to do well. Friendlies are not crucial although injuries may have prevented us experimenting or doing some things I wanted, he stressed. Italy are favoured to top the group with the Bloemfontein clash of Paraguay and debutants Slovakia likely to produce the runners-up and New Zealand given little chance of avoiding three losses in only their second appearance. Cameroon face Japan in Bloemfontein with the 'Blue Samurai set what seems an overly ambitious semi-finals target by coach Takeshi Okada given the country have never progressed further than the second round. Germany were the most impressive day-three winners as they crushed 10-man Australia 4-0 in Durban despite missing a host of chances at the futuristic Moses Mabhida Stadium. Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Mueller and Cacau were on target for the three-time champions who created endless chances despite missing injured midfield conductor Michael Ballack. A hyper-strict Mexican referee flashed numerous yellow cards and gave Australia midfielder Tim Cahill a harsh straight red, which rules him out of a clash with Ghana. The other matches were settled by a solitary goal with a late Asamoah Gyan penalty giving Ghana success over Serbia, who had centreback Aleksander Lukovic sent off with 15 minutes left in Pretoria. Slovenia won at the World Cup for the first time thanks to a soft late goal from captain Robert Koren in Polokwane with Algeria goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi allowing a timid shot from outside the area slip past him. Meanwhile, three-time champions Germany demolished hapless 10-man Australia 4-0 on Sunday in a late-night World Cup goal festival which swept away the hangover caused by the days two earlier turgid offerings. Goals from Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Mueller and Brazil-born striker Cacau left Germany on top of Group D. Ghana are second in the section having beaten Serbia 1-0 in the days other game, a victory which delivered Africas first win in the first World Cup staged on the continent. Slovenia saw off Algeria 1-0 to go top of Group C, ahead of England who had been held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Germanys victory was particularly sweet for Klose, the top scorer in the 2006 tournament, who took his career World Cup finals tally to 11. Australias miserable night in Durban was compounded by having Everton star Tim Cahill red-carded in the second half. Everything worked well and it is important that things went well in the first game, Klose said. We have earned some respect. You could see that we had fun playing football out there. I know what I can do. I feel great. Ghana converted a late penalty to edge Serbia 1-0 in a tense Pretoria showdown while goalkeeping howlers continued in Group C as Algerian Faouzi Chaouchi joined Robert Green of England in the hall of shame by gifting Slovenia a 1-0 win in Polokwane. Striker Asamoah Gyan sent Vladimir Stojkovic the wrong way from an 85th-minute spot kick after Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled a cross and the Black Stars collected three points that could pave the way to a second-round spot. Serbia were reduced to 10 men earlier when centreback Aleksandar Lukovic tugged the shirt of a rival and received a second booking followed by a red card. Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson made a superb block from a point-blank Milos Krasic drive as the match exploded into action at a packed Loftus Versfeld stadium. Everyone is happy, not only in Ghana but the whole of Africa, Gyan said. Im so happy, not for Ghana winning but for an African team winning in the World Cup. Its not so easy. We knew all Africa would support us. I really drove off that. Slovenia captain Robert Koren could hardly believe his luck 11 minutes from full-time when Chaouchi allowed a tame, curling shot from outside the penalty area slip into the corner of the net. The gift-wrapped goal followed an even worse blunder by Green late on Saturday as he presented United States striker Clint Dempsey with an equaliser in a 1-1 draw. It was the first Slovenian World Cup victory after three losses eight years ago and gave them a two-point lead over the favoured English, and the Americans. Algeria looked slightly sharper for much of a match watched by former France star Zinedine Zidane only to play the last 17 minutes a man short after substitute striker Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off for a second caution. Even before the match, we had said that our target was to reach the second round, and this win will only boost our confidence in ourselves, said Koren.