We’re now two weeks into the 2018 FIFA World Cup. We know half of the teams that will participate in the Round of 16, so who qualify today?
Match 1: South Korea v Germany
South Korea must win and hope that Sweden lose if they are to make it to the knockout rounds. However, that task is easier said than done as they will be taking on the reigning world champions, Germany. It doesn’t matter how shaky the Germans have looked so far, two defeats to Sweden and Mexico respectively, will have surely knocked South Korea’s confidence.
Defending champions, Germany, will be hoping that they don’t emulate the 2010 FIFA World Cup winners, Spain, when they were defending their title as they failed to make it past the group stage in 2014. Elimination is a very real possibility for Germany today. In order for them to avoid it, they must at least match Sweden’s result against Mexico.
Match 2: Mexico v Sweden
Mexico have been the entertainers so far in this tournament. Their free flowing, attacking football is a thing of beauty and it has certainly paid off for them as they currently sit top of the group.
However, two wins from two still isn’t enough for them to qualify for the next round, they still have a job to do. A win or a draw will see them win the group but a loss to Sweden and if Germany beat South Korea, they may go out on goal difference.
Sweden know they must better Germany’s result against South Korea for them to reach the Round of 16. They could have sealed their qualification if they had managed to hold on for a draw against the German’s in their last game but they couldn’t. It will certainly be a tough ask today as Mexico have been very dangerous and are surely the favourites heading into this match.
Match 3: Serbia v Brazil
It’s still all to play for in Group E. Serbia must beat Brazil to reach the next round of the tournament, plain and simple. A win against Costa Rica will have given them confidence but a defeat in their last match against Switzerland leaves them with a lot of work to do.
Anything other than a loss will see five-time FIFA World Cup winners, Brazil, qualify for the knockout rounds. They were less than impressive in their draw against Switzerland and they got extremely lucky to beat Costa Rica, so this should be an intriguing game to watch.
Match 4: Switzerland v Costa Rica
Costa Rica are out so the focus here is on Switzerland. They must match Serbia’s result against Brazil for them to qualify out of the group. Switzerland are coming off the back of a draw against Brazil and a win against Serbia so confidence is high in the Swiss camp.
The Swiss have reached the Round of 16 three times in their last four World Cup’s and they will be hoping to make it four from their last five tonight.
Read more posts by Will Hopper