World Cup 2018: Germany Responds as a Champion!

World Cup 2018
Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen bows out a second time to Germany on a lavish free-kick from Toni Kroos on 23 June 2018 in Sochi.

Germany defeated Sweden on Saturday night 2-1. The defending champion keeps its chances of qualifying for the next phase of the World Cup.

With a breath! Toni Kroos gave Saturday night in the final seconds a success (2-1 against Sweden ) that allows Germany, defending champion , to keep his chances of qualification. The Real Madrid player, guilty on the Swedish goal, has redeemed himself.

The Mannschaft has given itself the means – to ten against eleven after the exclusion of Jerome Boateng – to escape the curse of the world champions in title, eliminated in the first round of the World Cup three times out of four in the 21st century.

“It will not arrive”…

After France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014, Germany in 2018? “It will not happen,” Joachim Löw sharply replied before the match to a reporter who reminded him of the setbacks of previous champions, after the inaugural 0-1 defeat against Mexico.

For the time being, Germany is not doomed. But the coach went through all the states. The distress, first, when the Swede Ola Toivonen opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, on a mistake by Toni Kroos.

A regain of form then when Marco Reus equalized (48th). Reus is one of Löw’s assets, as well as Sebastian Rudy, favorites in an eleven incumbent upset at Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira, sacrificed.

Then deliverance, finally, when Kroos managed to cheat on the wire Robin Olsen, the Swedish goalkeeper so far in a state of grace (90 + 5). An incredible scenario.

“It was a thriller, full of emotion, rollercoasters until the final whistle,” Löw savored.

In the general joy, the head of the bad days of Özil stood out: he knows he has lost his place …

The joy of the victorious Germans in extremis from Sweden to Sochi on June 23, 2018. (© AFP / Odd ANDERSEN)
The joy of the victorious Germans in extremis from Sweden to Sochi on June 23, 2018. (© AFP / Odd ANDERSEN)

Everything will be played on Wednesday for the last group day. The Mannschaft (2nd with 3 points) will play against South Korea (last with zero points), while Mexico (1st with 6 points) will play against Sweden (3rd with 3 points). Three teams can advance to the round of 16: the difference in goals will be crucial. From the show in perspective.

The title holder will seek to avoid a historic disaster: Germany has never left the World Cup before the quarter since returning to the World Cup in 1954.

Lukaku joins Ronaldo and Maradona

In addition, the first game of the day in Group G allowed Belgium to correct Tunisia (5-2) and take a giant step towards the 8th finals. If England beat Panama on Sunday in the group’s other game, the Red Devils and Three Lions will qualify.

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku each scored twice. With 4 goals in 2 games, Lukaku joined Cristiano Ronaldo tops the scoring charts and equal in history Diego Maradona, who also had two goals in two consecutive World Cup matches in 1986.

Unfortunately, his coach Roberto Martinez fears that the “external ligament of the left ankle” of his scorer is affected. “It will be seen in 48 hours,” he added.

Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice against Tunisia on 23 June 2018 in Moscow
Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice against Tunisia on 23 June 2018 in Moscow
(© AFP / Patrik STOLLARZ)

The final match of this group G, which will determine a priority that will finish first, between Belgians and English on June 28 in Kaliningrad, is already salivating.

The Belgians, they refuse to ignite, as summarized by Yuri Tielemans:

“We have to stay grounded, we can not say we are the best team, we can just say that we made two good matches, we scored eight goals.”


Off the field finally, Friday’s burning Serbia-Switzerland (1-2) has had consequences: Fifa opened Saturday disciplinary proceedings against Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, for their pro-Kosovo goal celebrations.

And “a preliminary investigation” is under way concerning the remarks of the Serbian technician Mladen Krstajic, who let go that he would “send” the German referee Felix Frych, accused of having forgotten a penalty, to the International Criminal Court for ex-Yugoslavia in The Hague, to be “judged”.

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