Monday, 17 December, 2018

Germany's World Cup failure met with schadenfreude from German newspaper

Credit PA Germany's World Cup failure met with schadenfreude from German newspaper
Sergio Cook | 30 June, 2018, 17:19

South Korea's players were unaware they had been eliminated from the World Cup when the final whistle went after their remarkable 2-0 win over Germany which also sent the champions crashing out of the tournament, goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo said.

The message was clear before a game between two sides who have already qualified with victories from their opening fixtures and have identical goal difference.

Juicy ties have been lined up for the second round, with France against Argentina arguably the pick in a stacked top half of the draw, while the likes of England and Colombia may feel a path to the final has opened up.

France came to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea with a wonderful side that had won the trophy on home soil in 1998 and then won the European Championship in 2000.

"We repeatedly told the world how puzzled we are at the decision of certain politicians. not to visit the World Cup and support their teams", he said.

Southgate never announces his team officially until an hour before kick-off but he is acutely aware that Kane wants to be involved and has had to balance his captain's wishes with the possibility England's first knockout game could take place on Monday, four days after the Belgium game.

"There is no explanation as to how a team with this quality can end at the bottom of this group".

Regardless of which path it takes, one of these 16 teams is now just four wins away from World Cup glory.

And beyond that could lie Sweden who, it should not be forgotten, have been responsible for knocking out the Netherlands, Italy and Germany from this World Cup.

The Philippines, ranked 111th in the world, will actually battle South Korea as they belong in Group C together with China and Kyrgyzstan.

Top stat: With nine goals scored in their three group games, Belgium are the top scorers in the competition.

The Swiss, who in 1954 made it to the last eight for their best performance, face Sweden, whose own best showing - a final - dates back to their home World Cup 60 years ago. Having lost to Uruguay 3:0 Russian Federation still made it to the 1/8 finals where it is going to face the Spanish team.

Out of shape after the long journey by sea, the Italians played just two matches, losing 3-2 to Sweden before beating Paraguay 2-0.

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