Sweden crushed high-riding Mexico while South Korea shocked defending champions Germany to end the group F matches on day 14 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina as they progressed through to the Round of 16….
South Korea sucker punch Germany
South Korea shocked the World Champions Germany to knock them out of the World Cup with a 2-0 in the Group F fixture held at Kazan Arena, Kazan.
Needing a win to keep their hopes of knock outs alive, Germany looked for a bright start. But it was not so as both teams lacked intent in the opening exchanges, though Germany had most of the possession.
South Korea settled back and let the Germans come at them. Germany lacked the sharpness to slice the Korean defence. South Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo was at his absolute best with some acrobatic saves throughout.
South Korea earned some yellow cards in the first half stopping the flow of German game play.
Half Time – South Korea 0 – 0 Germany
It was thought that Germany will up the tempo but it was South Korea who started to get forward. Defending with patience, South Korea countered wave after wave when they had the ball.
As time wore on, Germany got nervous and frustrated as they struggled to breach the defence. Not many chances arrived making the match a dull affair. Even when the chances arrived, both teams, especially Germany struggled to put them away.
A golden opportunity arrived in the 86th minute when Mesut Ozil found an unmarked Mats Hummels but the center-back headed the ball up and over.
Kim Young broke the German hearts in the stoppage time scoring a tap in. The goal which was deemed off side got overturned by VAR technology to send the Koreans over the moon.
Heungmin Son doubled the lead to score into the empty net with Manuel Neuer and the defenders coming forward trying to achieve the impossible.
Full Time – South Korea 2 – 0 Germany
Man of the Match – JO Hyeonwoo
South Korea – Kim Young 90+2′, Son Heung Min 90+6′
South Korea – Jung Woo Yung 9′, Lee Jae Sung 23′, Moon Seun Min 48′, Son Heung Min 65′
2nd half goals send Sweden through
Second half delight secures an impressive 3-0 win for Sweden against Mexico at the Ekaterinburg Arena as they made it through to the round of 16.
Both teams took up the task of securing a finish in the top 16 as Sweden needed a two-goal win while a point minimum would have seen the Mexican outfit through.
It was the Swedes who took it up to the Mexicans with threatening set plays and counter attacks even though Mexico was able to hold more of the ball possession. To match the Swedish threat, the Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was up to the task making several saves.
However, into the last quarter of the first half, Mexico tried to capitalise on Sweden failing to convert the goal scoring opportunities made several attempts to break the Swedish defence but was denied as they had only a single shot on target.
Half Time – Mexico 0 – 0 Sweden
Second half started in favour of Sweden as they got the lead through a clinical finish by Ludwig Augustinsson in the 50th minute.
To make things worse for the Mexican outfit Hector Moreno brought down a Swedish player which resulted in a penalty which was ruthlessly converted by the Swedish captain Andreas Granqvist in the 62nd minute.
Frustrated Mexico fought valiantly to cling on to their round of 16 dreams but was unfortunate to see an own goal by Edson Alvarez in the 74th minute to destroy any hope left.
However, with South Korea winning against Germany, Mexico qualified to the round of 16 in 2nd place from the group.
Full Time – Mexico 0 – 3 Sweden
Man of the Match – Ludwig Augustinsson
Sweden – Ludwig Augustinsson 50’, Andreas Granqvist 62’(P), Edson Alvarez 74’(OG)
Mexico – Jesus Gallardo 1’, Hector Moreno 61’, Miguel Layun 85’
Sweden – Sebastian Larsson 26’, Mikael Lustig 88’