More than half of the teams in the World Cup have already played a match! Including the teams in Groups E and D. Both Groups have perennial powerhouses expected to make it far in this tournament. How did they fair in their first match? Our World Cup Review looks back at Groups E and D!
The Favorites in Group E are Brazil. The South American side is riddled with talented superstars. Switzerland and Serbia are two European sides in the group. Switzerland are underrated, as many wouldn’t know they’re ranked sixth in FIFA rankings; Serbia have a great squad and could shock the world if they are taken lightly. The outliers in the group are a Costa Rican side that were one of the Cinderella’s of the 2014 tournament; they could make another run should they be able to grind out results!
Costa Rica: 0 Serbia: 1
in a match that featured the underdogs that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2014 tournament, and a team that could very well take on the same title in this tournament. Serbia have the quality to make a long run in this tournament should they make it out of the group stage. This game was a very open one between the two gritty teams.
Both sides had some great buildup play in the first half, but neither could find a goal. That all changed in the 56th minute when Aleksander Kolarov Blasted a free kick past distinguished Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas. This would be the only goal of the match. Costa Rica will roo their missed chances in the first half. Serbia will be happy to have secured all three points in a very competitive group! Serbia gets the W 1-0!
Brazil: 1 Switzerland: 1
A heavy title favorite Brazil met a sneakily brilliant side Switzerland. The match-up of top-ten FIFA ranked nations was a contest full of quality. The fireworks came from Brazil in the first half. They came out firing, and in the 20th minute Philippe Coutinho scored a stunning goal to give Brazil the lead!
In the second half Brazil fell off a bit. They allowed Switzerland to dictate the possession, and five minutes into the second half Switzerland found their equalizer. A corner was sent in, Brazil fell asleep defensively, and Steven Zubar headed home the corner! After their goal Switzerland sat in defensively, and allowed Brazil to attack. Unfortunately for Brazil, none of their efforts ended up in the back of the net and the match ended 1-1!
Here’s where things stand after one match in group E. Serbia are the only team with a win. They are off to a good start, in what could be their Cinderella moment! Brazil didn’t win, but a tie against Switzerland could be the difference in helping them through the group. All they have to do is take care of business in their two other games. Switzerland will be thrilled to get a draw with Brazil. It could be the confidence boost that sets them up to go through! Costa Rica has a lot of ground to make up, but they have the talent and determination to shock the world like they did four years ago!
So, this is how Group E is looking after today's fixtures…
4) #CRC #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/uEvNUgFKtJ
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018
When Germany are in the group stage of the World Cup, you can guarantee that they will be the favorites to win it. Group F has Germany, and the three other countries will wonder and hope to beat the defending World Champions. This time around, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea get the chance to down Germany. Mexico look to show why they’re the number one side from CONCACAF. Sweden will look to play spoiler in their return to the World Cup group stage. South Korea will try to show that they belong with the others in the group.
Germany: 0 Mexico: 1
The game of the day featured the world champions and the CONCACAF champions. Germany may be the defending champions, but the Mexican team were treated to a pro-Mexico crowd in Russia. In what sounded like a home game, Mexico was set to take it to Germany.
Right from the Jump Mexico were on the front foot getting their first chance 55 seconds in. Mexico peppered Germany’s goal for most of the first half. When Germany did get on the ball Mexico hit them on the counter. This led to the first goal of the match. The break was on for Mexico, and the ball came to Hirving Lozano in Germany’s box. He shifted past one defender, squared up, and put the chance past Manuel Neuer. Mexico had the lead heading into halftime!
In the second half Germany looked like their normal selves. They pushed numbers forward and created chance after chance. None of their efforts went in, and Mexico began to counter with the German lines pushed far forward. Neither team would find another goal,and Mexico pulled of a huge upset beating Germany 1-0!
Sweden: 1 South Korea: 0
Sweden and South Korea met a day after Germany and Mexico met. both sides knew that they had to get all three points to keep on pace with Mexico. Unfortunately, both sides looked like they were far off that pace. The first half showed very little quality from either side. A great save by South Korea, and missed penalty by the referees seemed to doom Sweden’s first half. As the half came to an end, it was clear that this match could be one that was much more forgettable than the other Group F match.
In the second half Sweden opened up a bit more. Their play helped them get chances in the box. This helped them in the 61st minute when an apparent foul occurred in the South Korean box. The officials went to VAR and confirmed the penalty for Sweden. Andreas Granqvist stepped up for Sweden and slotted home the chance to give the Swed’s the 1-0 lead. This was the decisive moment in the match. South Korea couldn’t recover, and the game finished 1-0.
In Group F there are two teams with wins and two teams with losses. Mexico stunned Germany and have a share of the lead of the group to show for it. Germany are in uncharted territory, third place in the group. Sweden were able to grind out the win vs South Korea, putting them in a good place moving forward. South Korea will have the most ground to make up as they still have to play Germany and Mexico.
So, Group F after one round of fixtures…
4) #KOR #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/GNICy1p5bo
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018
More action to come!
As the tournament roles on, we will continue our reviews! Come back tomorrow for a review of Groups G and H! Catch all the games on Fox or Telemundo! Replays of matches are also available on the FoxSportsGO App!
Check out these matches or replays of today’s matches:
South Korea vs Sweden (Group F) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
Belgium vs Panama (Group G) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
England vs Tunisia (Group G) – REPLAY – FoxSportsGO App
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Mandatory Credit: Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports