Mexico stunned defending champions Germany while an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick gave Serbia the three points and Switzerland held Brazil to a 1-1 draw on day 4 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi missed a penalty as Iceland drew with Argentina while France…
Switzerland come back to earn point against Brazil
Brazil endured a frustrating night in their opening World Cup game against a resolute Switzerland outfit that held them to a one all draw in Rostov.
Switzerland got off to a steady start, but were undone 20 minutes in by a curling effort from Philippe Coutinho on the edge of the box that left the goalkeeper with no chance of making a save. Despite playing a good brand of football, Brazil found it difficult to break down the organized Swiss defence.
Valon Behrami did a great job of restricting Neymar from causing too many problems, but the Swiss themselves struggled to impose themselves at the other end of the pitch despite enjoying some good spells of possession.
Half Time – Brazil 1 – 0 Switzerland
Switzerland made the most of their first effort on target early on in the second half when Steven Zuber steered a header past Alisson from a corner kick to draw them level at 1-1. Both teams fancied themselves to get the next goal as the attacking play of both teams improved remarkably in the second half.
Neymar and Dzemaili both had decent efforts from outside the box at either end, but neither really troubled the keepers. The game became a bit more open towards the death as both teams attempted to make the most of their possession to nick a winner.
However, time and time again, the defenders stood strong to prevent a clear-cut chance being created. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer then made two brilliant saves to deny headers from Neymar and then substitute Firmino with the clock running out to keep Switzerland in it.
Full Time – Brazil 1 – 1 Switzerland
Man of the Match – Phillipe Coutinho
Brazil – Phillipe Coutinho 20′
Switzerland – Steven Zuber 50′
Brazil – Casemiro 47′
Switzerland – Stephan Lichtsteiner 31′, Fabian Schar 65′, Valon Behrami 68′
Valiant Mexicans shock World Champions
Germany become the 4th team to commence their World Cup defence with a defeat as they lost 1-0 to the Mexico in the Group F fixture at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Both teams seemed to take their time in getting their game off the ground. Mexico were the first team to get a shot on goal when a Lozano pile driver was blocked by Jerome Boateng.
A Toni Kroos handball granted a freekick to the Mexicans but the resulting header by Hector Moreno was comfortably saved by Manuel Neuer.
On the other end, Shots by Timo Werner, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels kept the Mexican keeper, Guillermo Ochoa busy.
Group F looks set to host a fierce battle for second place with amongst…..
The Germans who once again committed men forward had to pay the ultimate price when Javier Hernandez broke through the defense and beautifully streamlined a through pass to Hirving Lozano who cut back on the edge of the six-yard box and put it past the helpless goalkeeper in the 35th minute.
The Germans immediately hit back and earned a direct free kick at goal where Toni Kroos only managed to hit the cross bar, and the rest of the half continued with an unsuccessful search for an equalizer.
Half Time – Germany 0 – 1 Mexico
The Mexicans failed to sustain the energy they showcased in the first half as the Germans dominated play.
The Mexicans managed to counter and found themselves in a two on one situation but Javier Hernandez failed to find Carlos Vela. The Germans kept at it when a Joshua Kimmich bicycle kick narrowly missed the Mexican crossbar.
Shots by Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller all failed to be converted into goals. With such a high intensity of attacking by the Germans, the Mexicans found little pockets of space to double their lead but they all missed the back of the net.
Germany even utilized Manuel Neuer in the dying moments of the game in search for a goal which ultimately wasn’t found.
Full Time – Germany 0 – 1 Mexico
Man of the Match – Hirving Lozano
Mexico – Hirving Lozano – 35’
Mexico – Hector Moreno 40’, Hector Herrera 90’
Germany – Thomas Müller 83’, Mats Hummels 84’
Kolarov brilliance down Costa Rica
A brilliant free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov handed Serbia a hard-fought victory over Costa Rica in their group E encounter at the Samara Arena, Samara.
Chances kept coming one after another at both ends of the pitch in the first 15 minutes, which neither teams could convert due to poor finishing.
The 5-time winners, Brazil appear clear favorites to top the group while the battle for second place looks to be fierce and……
The best chance for Costa Rica in the first half perhaps came in the 12th minute where a cross found Giancarlo Gonzalez open near the goal post, but he could only head it over the posts.
Serbia started controlling the game midway through as they dominated possession and created a plethora of goal scoring opportunities. But lack of quality in the final third denied them of the chance to take the lead. On the other hand, even Costa Rica could not capitalize on the few chances they got.
Half time – Costa Rica 0 – 0 Serbia
Serbia continued their momentum from the first half with a chance to go ahead, but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s feeble attempt was saved by the Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas.
Then it was the Serbian skipper Aleksandar Kolarov who broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with a splendid free-kick, as he curled the ball past the diving Keylor Navas into the top right corner of the net.
Costa Rica failed to find an equalizer despite them coming all guns blazing, with the Serbian defense standing firm leaving them no spaces whatsoever. Serbia missed out on a few easy goal scoring opportunities towards the end amidst the drama that unfolded on the pitch.
Full time – Costa Rica 0 – 1 Serbia
Man of the Match – Aleksandar Kolarov
Serbia – Aleksandar Kolarov 56’
Serbia – Branislav Ivanovic 59’, Aleksandar Prijovic 90+8’
Costa Rica – Francisco Calvo 22’, David Guzman 56’