Coverage of Group F matches during the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia between Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Sweden.
2018 World Cup Finals - Group F - Fixtures and Results
Germany vs Mexico in Moscow Luzhniki (0:1)
A lively start and the pacey Hirving Lozano may well have been on the scoresheet in the second minute; had Jerome Boateng not reacted quickly in the penalty area, to block the shot.
The young Timo Werner too, looking useful for Germany at the other end; both forwards just 22 years old.
The attacking didn't relent and in the 35th minute it paid off as Mexico opened Germany wide with great vision and fast movement; Lozano sprinting on to a Chicharito through- ball; cutting inside Mesut Ozil, before firing the ball in the bottom left corner. Neur stunned.
Germany's Toni Kroos did reply with a curling free-kick pushed on to the Mexican crossbar.
Half-time: Germany 0 - Mexico 1
The German fans tried to encourage the World Champions to get back in the game but it was Mexico who almost had a penalty with twenty minutes to go.
Making his fifth appearance at the World Cup Finals, Rafael Marquez came on for Mexico with fifteen minutes to go; to help with his experience.
The Mexicans didn't sit back and try to defend the lead bought sought to double their advantage.
Mario Gomez failed to equalise when given a golden opportunity and Thomas Mueller was seen shaking his head.
Mexico thouroughly deserved the victory against the World Champions, having taking the game to them right from the start.
Sweden vs South Korea in Nizhny Novgorod (1:0)
Sweden join Mexico on three points thanks to another VAR-assisted penalty decision, although the referee, Joel Aguilar, should have been able to signal to the spot without waiting for the video assistant referee to call it.
Perhaps the whistle blowers at Russia 2018 are starting to rely too much on the touchline monitor. Soon we won't need referees at all.
Andreas Granqvist was delighte to convert the penalty in the 65th minute. Better players than him have already missed a penalty at the 2018 World Cup Finals, and we haven't even reached the knockout stage.
South Korea vs Mexico in Rostov-on-Don (1:2)
Mexico followed on where they left off against the World Champions, Germany.
Half-time: South Korea 0 - Mexico 1
Germany vs Sweden in Sochi (2:1)
Half-time: Germany 0 - Sweden 1
A sending off for Jerome Boateng, for a second booking, didn't look good for Germany; with eight minutes still to play.
The last time Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match, was on home soil in 1974; also against Sweden.
Mexico vs Sweden in Ekaterinburg (0:3)
A couple of good saves by Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa and a VAR penalty appeal for hand ball on Javier Hernandez turned down kept the game a stalemate after forty-five minutes.
Half-time: Mexico 0 - Sweden 0
Sweden took the lead early in the second-half through Ludwig Augustinsson, to edge out Germany in the group table.
Andreas Granqvist doubled the advantage for Sweden, from the penalty spot, in the 62nd minute; after Marcus Berg was fouled in the area by Hector Moreno.
An Edson Alvarez own goal made it three for Sweden with fifteen minutes still to.
South Korea vs Germany in Kazan (2:0)
The whole of Germany gasped in the 19th minute, as Manuel Neuer spilled a free-kick from Jung Woo-Young; then redeemed himself to punch the ball away, before Tottenham's Son Heung-Min could tap the ball in.
Son came close again, six minutes later; this time shooting off target, after the ball was headed out in his direction. Two good chances for South Korea, inside the first twenty-five minutes.
Germany, playing in green, tried to get a little more spring in their step but still looked slow, frustrating and lacking a little imagination with all the possession they had.
Germany did hit the post, just before the break, but a free-kick had already been given against them.
Half-time: South Korea 0 - Germany 0
Cho Hyun-Woo saved well from Leon Goretzka at the start of the second-half.
Son Heung-Min was given a yellow card for diving through an obstruction and then bundled over again a minute later.
Germany were so bad they made South Korea look brilliant.
The longer the game went on without a goal, Mexico fans in Ekaterinburg (watching their team losing by three goals to Sweden) must have been feeling nervous that Germany might steal a victory.
South Korea tried to stretch Germany again, in the final minutes; even though South Korea were going out, taking Germany with them would have been sweeter than eating Kimchi.
Mats Hummels headed wide (with his shoulder) four minutes from time; then Cho Hyun-Woo saved from Toni Kroos as the World Champions tried to give themselves another thrust at the waiting Second Round spot.
Then the biggest drama of them all as South Korea scored from a corner and the linesman waved his flag for offside. Thanks to a call from VAR, the referee had to overturn the decision after looking at the monitor.
The World Champions were knocked out with a sucker punch by Kim Young-Gwon; then a double whammy from Son Heung-Min, after Neur was caught stranded in midfield.
Second Round - Round of 16
Mexico started strongly but started to feel the heat of Samara in the second-half.
How does a team who likes to counter-attack, counter a team who waits to attack on the counter?
It took almost half-an-hour before we witnessed any real threat on goal; Yann Summer forced to make a reflex save, but the play was flagged for offside.
Thirty-six minutes for the first corner and forty minutes for a threatening free-kick; headed behind for a Sweden corner.
Marcus Berg probably made most of the horrendous misses for Sweden and he should thank Robin Olsen for punching away a dangerous last-minute Ricardo Rodriguez cross from the left.
Half-time: Sweden 0 - Switzerland 0
Plenty of misfiring in the first-half, but one thing is for sure; we will have a winner at the end of the game.
Switzerland looked the most likely to score on the first few attacking forays; applying plenty of pressure but eventually coming away empty-handed.
Ten minutes from time, Sweden scrambled away a threatening corner; Granqvist clearing from Embolo.
Switzerland tried again in the last five minutes but there really wasn't enough movement off the ball for Rodriguez or Shaqiri to deliver.
As in the first-half, Olson made another last gasp save to keep Switzerland out.
Then Martin Olson made a last-minute break for Sweden and was brough down on the edge of the area by Michael Lang; who recieved a red card for the trouble.
Of course, VAR checked to see if it was a penalty or not. No penalty given, but the red card stood.
World Cup Finals
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.
W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.
South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.
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