Match 1: South Korea v Germany (2-0)
The World Cup winners curse continues. No nation has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil back in 1962, and the last three winners have now failed to make it past the group stage in the defence of their title.
Germany never looked like they got out of first gear this entire tournament and they’ve been made to pay for it. It is the first time in their history they have failed to advance past the group stage of a World Cup. Lacklustre passing and squandered chances have been the story of their tournament and today marks a dark day for football in Germany.
South Korea are also out of the FIFA World Cup despite second half goals from Kim Young-Gwon and Son Heung-Min. The result in the other game in this group did not go their way and they bow out of the tournament at the group stage for the third time in the last four World Cups.
Match 2: Mexico v Sweden (0-3)
Sweden finished top of Group F after a terrific performance against Mexico.
After the Swedes missed a catalogue of chances in the first half, they finally took the lead in the 50th minute thanks to Ludwig Augustinsson’s volley that squeezed past the Mexico goalkeeper. They then doubled their advantage just 12 minutes later when Andreas Granqvist scored from the penalty spot.
Another 12 minutes after that, Sweden scored again. This time it was an own goal by Edson Alvarez. He went to clear the ball with his left foot, missed it completely and it ricocheted off his right leg and found the back of the net.
The result meant that Sweden topped the group and because of the result in the Germany game, Mexico finished second. The Mexicans have now reached the Round of 16 in their last seven FIFA World Cup appearances.
Match 3: Serbia v Brazil (0-2)
Brazil eased their way through to the Round of 16 after sweeping aside Serbia and finishing as Group E winners.
Paulinho’s perfectly weighted chip in the 36th minute gave Brazil the lead. Serbia then threatened early in the second half but Brazil captain, Thiago Silva, headed home from a Neymar corner to seal the win for the five-time World Cup winners.
Serbia needed to win and hope that Switzerland dropped points but they couldn’t find a way past Alisson so they have now been eliminated. Brazil will face Mexico in the next round in what promises to be the most entertaining match of the tournament.
Match 4: Switzerland v Costa Rica (2-2)
It finished with honours even in this match. Costa Rica knew they had already been eliminated coming into the match but the Swiss still had a job to do.
Switzerland took the lead in the 31st minute through Blerim Dzemali but a Kendall Waston equalizer in the second half made it a nervy finish.
Josep Drmic provided a tidy finish in the 88th minute and looked to have sealed all three points for Switzerland. However, Costa Rica were awarded a penalty in added time. The penalty hit the cross bar and hit the goalkeeper on the back before finding it’s way into the net.
The result means that Costa Rica go home with a point at least and Switzerland will now face Sweden in the Round of 16.
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