Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Joachim Low's side eliminated in Russian Federation with worst campaign since 1938

Valeriy Matytsin  TASS Valeriy Matytsin TASS
Tamara Craig | 30 June, 2018, 17:22

"Friendlies and tournament qualifiers for a footballing nation like Germany are not proper indicators of the state of our team".

Japan squeaked into the knockout rounds in the strangest of circumstances, Senegal missing out on the last 16 due to their inferior fair play record.

Of the half-dozen winners of the trophy since 1970, Germany have gone home, while Italy, of course, never even qualified.

By winning the match and thus the group, Belgium moves to the "side of death" for the knockout round, where four of the top five teams in the world according to Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings - Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, and Argentina - will all compete for one spot in the final.

Suspension rules out Switzerland defenders Fabian Schar and Stephan Lichtsteiner, while Sebastian Larsson misses out for Sweden in what is arguably the weakest of the last-16 ties despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic claiming his country will "probably" win the World Cup.

In Spain, meanwhile, national sport newspaper Marca called Germany's exit "the curse of the champions".

Son and his teammates returned home on Friday, after their stunning victory over the defending champions was enough to get them out of Group F. South Korea finished third behind Sweden and Mexico with three points, from one win and two losses. "So, why we are starting to plot which would be a better venue for our semi-final is beyond me really". "We got ourselves into a real mess", admitted Javier Mascherano, while France coach Didier Deschamps still seems incapable of getting the very best out of his talented squad.

Brazil beat Serbia to book date with Mexico in round of 16
Mitrovic's shot had gone behind Alisson and was heading toward goal, but Silva got there in time to clear it away. This was a more assured performance from Brazil compared to its first two group matches.

"It wasn't only Ozil, a number of other players didn't perform as they normally would".

Amid rows over the poisoning in March of a former Russian spy in England, which briefly raised talk of the team boycotting the tournament, the British government said it would not send official representatives to the World Cup. What's more exciting is that on Saturday, the first day of the second stage, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo will be in action!

Uruguay, though, are the only team not to have conceded a goal.

The 58-year-old will have to answer why the youngster was surplus to requirement for his party to the World Cup.

"Obviously we can improve". "We've learned an enormous amount from studying Germany, not least last summer, and implemented that", the England manager said.

Kane has the more hard task of facing Colombia, so Lukaku is likely to have caught his Golden Boot rival by the time the quarter-finals come around, should they both progress. Tell us in comments below what you think.

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