Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

World Cup wide open after dramatic group stage

World Cup wide open after dramatic group stage

He admitted "I cannot explain my personal performance" and said that he would consider his own future in the team after some soul-searching.

With both teams content to sit and defend patiently, it will be interesting to see how this game pans out. In a tight final outing, goals from the captain and Marcos Rojo - the latter coming in the 86th minute - secured the win they needed to advance against a gusty young Nigeria team. Or does Portugal string 10 or more passes together before finding Ronaldo in the middle or Quaresma on the wing. But Russia will leave with its head held high. The Egyptians lost all three matches (0).

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. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will meanwhile run the show for Croatia in midfield.

The Asian side needed to beat Germany by more than two goals to stand a chance of qualifying from Group F as runners up and hope Mexico beat Sweden but their already slim hopes ended when the Scandinavians raced into a 3-0 lead in the second half.

Regardless of what path they take, one of these 16 teams is now just four wins away from World Cup glory.

The World Cup is the flawless opportunity for lower ranked players to display their qualities to the global audience and to the thousands of football clubs who are on the look out to strengthen their squad. Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku are in fine form and with other stars such as Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen all playing their roles, it will be hard to see the Red Devils not getting past Japan.

They played some decent stuff in their first two games which, of course, included that defeat of Germany, but they took a right beating from Sweden so the win might have shone a brighter light on the Mexicans than they merited.

Chicharito records history with strike against South Korea
The Taeguk Warriors of South Korea enter the Mexico contest with a seven-game World Cup winless streak. The chant earned the country's soccer federation a fine after the previous match.

Bild headlines from Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in 2014 and its 2-0 loss to South Korea in 2018.

Top stat: Sweden's game against South Korea saw the most fouls (43) of any game at Russian Federation 2018 so far.

So can Switzerland, made up of a diverse squad filled with creative players, be able to break them down?

The one big question ahead of this game could determine its outcome. FREE to play & next 4 match predictions are available now!

It remains to be seen who England will play in the knockout stages, where the result against Belgium will determine who they play from either Japan or Colombia.

"Fernando Hierro was a good player and now he's a good coach". They looked sluggish and most of the time deprived of ideas.

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