Germany Crashed Out
GERMANY has been knocked out of the World Cup before the round of 16 for the first time since 1938 after going down in a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to South Korea in stoppage time.
The demoralizing loss came as Sweden tore through Mexico 3-0 to top Group F. Germany’s incredible loss sees the 2014 champions finish at the bottom of their group.
Cup favorite Brazil was in danger of being eliminated before its final clash but a 2-0 win over Serbia ensured it finished top of Group E.
Switzerland’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Costa Rica was enough for it to claim second spot and progress to the round of 16 as the Central Americans and Serbia waved goodbye to Russia.
Brazil Defeats Serbia
Brazil was rocked by the sudden exit of Marcelo less than 10 minutes into its decisive clash against Serbia but showed great resilience to win 2-0 as it finished top of Group E and advanced to the round of 16.
A dejected Marcelo walked the ball over the sideline and indicated to his camp and teammates his day was over. He wiped away tears as he left the field, replaced by Filipe Luis.
Marcelo was seen hobbling along the sideline being helped by medical staff on his way back to the dressing room, suffering from what was reported in some quarters as a back spasm.
Former Chelsea star Pat Nevin told the BBC: “Marcelo going off has just shaken Brazil a little bit because he is a big player and a big personality to have missing.”
The rest of the team stood up to cover for the absence of the Real Madrid star as Neymar constantly threatened while Coutinho and Thiago Silva both had impressive outings. However, not everything Neymar did was so well received.
The PSG star has copped close attention from defenders throughout the tournament and today was no different as he was brought down by a dodgy Serbian challenge in the first half. But according to SBS analyst and former Socceroo Craig Foster, the 26-year-old completely overreacted, as did Gabriel Jesus later in the match.
“The carry-on from Neymar in the first half where he got hit on the sideline — it was an awful tackle, it was yellow card, it could have been red actually — but he tumbled 15 times,” Foster said after full-time. “It’s totally unnecessary.
“And then Jesus got what was one finger on his chin or something and he went down trying to get a red card.”
Fellow SBS analyst David Zdrilic backed his colleague. “When you start going into simulation, into these kinds of, ‘I just brushed against you’ and those kinds of overreacted situations where you are trying to get someone sent off or win a penalty, that should be equally as harsh to the person trying to do it,” Zdrilic said.
“It’s a disgrace.”
Neymar has already come under fire for his antics in Russia as social media slammed the superstar for diving against Switzerland.
Jesus may have been working on his acting skills but he still had time to make an impact with the ball. He made a darting run into the box just shy of the half-hour mark and feigned a shot to beat a defender before another Serbian came across in cover to block his effort on goal when he eventually pulled the trigger.
After 35 minutes Brazil took the lead when a lovely aerial ball in behind Serbia’s defence found Paulinho, who toe-poked the bouncing ball over the keeper’s head for a 1-0 advantage.
Serbia came within a whisker of finding an equaliser on the hour mark when a dangerous cross forced a diving one-handed save from Alisson. He parried the ball into the path of Aleksandar Mitrovic who headed towards goal from just a couple of metres out, but the ball hit a Brazilian defender on the goal line and was cleared.
The Serbian striker missed another opportunity to square the ledger when a header from close range went straight into the arms of Alisson and Brazil made Serbia pay when Thiago Silva got on the end of a corner with his head to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes remaining.
Neymar missed out on making it 3-0 when his shot went over the bar 10 minutes later but it didn’t matter as Brazil won the match 2-0 to top the group and advance to the round of 16.
Switzerland moved through to the World Cup last 16 after a draw with Costa Rica but will be without captain Stephan Lichtsteiner because of suspension.
A 93rd minute own goal by the unfortunate keeper Yann Sommer from a Bryan Ruiz penalty gave the central American side a deserved 2-2 draw on a night of late drama in Nizhny Novgorod.
That wiped out a Swiss lead which had lasted only two minutes after substitute Josep Drmic slotted home to apparently give the Swiss an undeserved victory.
Earlier, Blerim Dzemaili had thumped home in the first half to give Switzerland the lead against the run of play in the 31st minute against the team who finished bottom of Group E.
That goal was cancelled out by Kendall Waston’s header in the 56th minute, the central Americans’ first goal of the tournament.
The draw ensured Switzerland finished second in the group behind Brazil. But Switzerland will be left counting the cost after yellow cards for experienced defenders Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schaer means they will miss the game against Sweden in Saint Petersburg on July 3.
It was the Arsenal player’s second yellow of the tournament after being booked in the opening game against Brazil. He was one of three players who had escaped a ban going into the match after the controversial “double eagle” goal celebrations in the fevered 2-1 victory over Serbia.
Then late in the clash Schaer received his second yellow card of the tournament, also ruling him out of the Sweden match.
The point was no more than Costa Rica deserved for a fine performance. They continually stretched the Swiss defence in the first half and looked the most likely to take all three points in the second.
Switzerland took the lead when Dzemaili emphatically converted from close range after a fine headed knock-down by Breel Embolo.
It was the only goal Switzerland have so far scored in the first-half at the tournament.
Germany crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday after a stoppage-time VAR-assisted goal from Kim Young-gwon and a late second by Son Heung-min earned South Korea a famous 2-0 win.
The Germans needed to win by two clear goals in their final group F match at Kazan stadium to advance to the last 16.
But Joachim Loew’s men wasted a series of chances in a tense match that saw a pale version of the world champions become the fourth holders of the title this century to be sent packing at the first hurdle.
Germany’s team of superstars could only look on in shock in the final minutes of the match as US referee Mark Geiger called for the video assistant referee to intervene after the unmarked Kim had bundled his shot past Germany ‘keeper Manuel Neuer from a corner early in stoppage time.
The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos’ touch had played him onside, and minutes later Germany were 2-0 down after Neuer ran up the pitch in a desperate attempt to get a goal.
It means Germany, the four-time champions who had competed in the past 16 editions of the World Cup, fail to make it past the first hurdle of the tournament for the first time since 1938.
Germany coach Joachim Loew caused a surprise by leaving midfield attacking stalwart Thomas Mueller on the bench for the first time since 2012 after his underwhelming displays against Mexico and Sweden.
Germany suffered the first of several scares after South Korea won a free kick on the quarter hour when Sami Khedira’s boot connected with the head of Jung Wooyoung.
From 30 yards out, it should have been fodder for World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but after fumbling Jung’s dipping drive Neuer scrambled desperately to clear as Son raced to pounce.
Germany resumed with more urgency after the interval, but despite edging closer when Loew introduced Mario Gomez just before the hour the big Stuttgart striker headed straight at Jo from Kimmich’s cross.
Loew played his final card when he introduced Mueller for Leon Goretzka. But the late changes failed to spark Germany into life as Korea hung on for a famous win that, unfortunately for the impressive Asians, saw them bow out after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.
Sweden Beats Mexico
Sweden was so dominant against Mexico at the World Cup that the best Mexican plays of the night were made 600 miles away by South Koreans.
The Swedes rolled to a 3-0 rout , never challenged in the second half, overtaking Mexico to win Group F just four nights after a gut-wrenching last- minute loss to Germany. The result, combined with South Korea’s 2-0 upset of the Germans, meant Sweden and Mexico — the group runner-up — advanced. The defending champions from Germany go home early.
Sweden makes its first appearance in the knockout stage since 2006. Mexico plays in the round of 16 for the seventh straight World Cup, with its fans desperate for its first quarterfinal appearance in 32 years — the elusive “quinto partido,” or fifth game.
Sweden didn’t want to focus on getting revenge by helping eliminate Germany, which got some favourable calls in a tense 2-1 victory over the Swedes on Saturday night.
“We grew another little bit,” Sweden coach Janne Andersson said. “I am not going to sit here and gloat having won a match or boast about a win. We don’t want to stir things up too much.” Ludwig Augustinsson volleyed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from close range five minutes into the second half, and captain Andreas Granqvist converted a penalty kick to help Sweden take control. Mexico’s Edson Alvarez had an own goal in the 74th minute to put the game out of reach at 3-0.
“We just need to move on,” Ochoa said. “This is the World Cup. We can’t pull it out of our pocket, it’s not going to be easy and I think it’s a good lesson for what’s to come.” Said coach Juan Carlos Osorio: “We have to say we qualified because we beat Germany and Korea. However and nevertheless, I am very hurt.” Alvarez’s own goal was the seventh overall of the World Cup, one more than the previous record in 1998.
Mexico’s Jesus Gallardo was called for a yellow card just 13 seconds in — believed to be the fastest in World Cup history — setting up the first of two quick set-piece opportunities Sweden could not take advantage of.