More From Russia As The Bag-Packing Germans Are Joined By Serbia, Costa Rica And South Korea

Posted: June 29, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, The World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur
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Packed

(Manuel Neuer prepares for the last 16 stage of the World Cup)

The afternoon games had us watching Germany against South Korea purely because it was a game the Germans had to win so, of course, that is exactly what they would do. They always do.

The idea was to watch the game until Germany were two or three up then change channel and watch the Mexico versus Sweden match which should be a much closer affair.

Plan B was non-existent so, when the unexpected happened we had to improvise which we did by staying with the Germany game until the bitter end. And what a bitter end it was!

Having failed to score in the regulation 90 minutes they were then given a further six to try and beat the South Korean goalkeeper, who was in inspired form.

During that six minutes, (which actually turned into nine), it was South Korea who scored. Not once, but twice. The first was a VAR confirmed goal from Young-Gwon Kim and the second was when Germany’s new striker, Manuel Neuer, was caught in possession just outside the Korean penalty area and a long upfield punt was chased down and tapped in by Heung-Min Son.

This result has necessitated Lufthansa readying a plane, earlier than expected, to go and collect Jorgi Löw and his boys and deliver them back to a sympathetic and forgiving public back in the fatherland. No doubt they will be welcomed back with open arms and congratulated on their efforts!

The rest of the world, in all honesty, either couldn’t care less or, as is more likely the case in most places, are glad to see the back of them.

So there goes England’s chance of revenge for that dodgy defeat in 1970!

The other game, which we didn’t have chance to watch, was the 3-0 defeat of Mexico by Sweden. This was also a surprise even if not quite on the same level as the German exit.

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Sweden’s inspirational and unsung hero, Andreas Granqvist, scores against Mexico

Again the Swedish captain, Andreas Granqvist, was a hero for his team scoring the second goal, which is often the decisive one, from the penalty spot after an hour.

The first goal had been scored in the first half by full-back Ludwig Augustinsson and the game, until the penalty, was quite close.

Of course the usual happened after the second goal and that was that Mexico, in chasing the game, became vulnerable at the back and conceded the third, an unfortunate own goal from Edson Álvarez. So that was that.

There was a fairly lengthy period during the game when Mexican supporters were worried that their team could be eliminated from the competition. At one stage, with Sweden winning and the game between Germany and South Korea remaining deadlocked, a winning goal for the Germans would have knocked out Mexico.

As the history books will show, it didn’t happen, justice was done and the Germans can take their towels off the sun loungers now because they’re going home.

The evening games featured Brazil against Serbia and Switzerland playing Costa Rica. This group was interesting in as much as only a win would see Serbia progress, whereas a draw for Brazil would be enough as was the case with Switzerland.

After around half an hour Switzerland took the lead through Blerim Dzemaili and, within five minutes, Brazil had also taken the lead when Paulinho scored. At this stage the two favourites, who had started the evening on four points each, were going through. At half-time they also both led 1-0.

The second halves brought different outcomes in both games but, in the end, had no effect on the top of the group.

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Thiago Silva is congratulated by team mates after scoring his team’s second against Serbia

Brazil scored a second goal through Thiago Silva’s powerful header and the game ended 2-0 for the South Americans who go through as leaders with seven points.

Switzerland, on the other hand, were pegged back twice. Firstly Kendall Watson scored for Costa Rica to bring the scores level before Josip Drmic restored the lead. That lead lasted until three minutes into stoppage time when Yann Sommer, the Swiss goalkeeper, was unlucky to see a penalty come down off the bar and bounce into the net off his back.

So it ended 2-2. Switzerland and Brazil progress, Serbia probably would have done had it not been for a diabolical refereeing decision and Costa Rica join them in flying home.

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