After nine days into World Cup 2018, twenty three teams are now competing for the final 12 spots in the second round because nine teams do not have a chance of qualifying. On the tenth day of FIFA World Cup 2018 were three matches played- one of them between the defending champions- Germany, who ‘fought for their lives’ and one of their European rivals, Sweden.
FIFA World Cup Day ten match 1: Belgium vs Tunisia
The match started in Belgium’s favour, which saw Romelu Lukaku had a break away only to see the keeper quickly come out and blocked the ball- preventing him from scoring. A minute later, Eden Hazard (Belgium’s #10) saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper.
Belgium was awarded the 13th penalty in World Cup 2018 when Eden Hazard was fouled on the line of the penalty box. The Tunisian players were protesting but the referee’s decision still stand even after he consulted with Mark Geiger- the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) supervisor of the match. Eden Hazard took the penalty and made no mistake to score- putting Beligium 1-0 up in the 6th minute.
After 12 minutes, Hazard locked unto a good cross from Lukaku in the penalty area but he did not hit the ball properly, so the keeper was there to catch the ball.
Sassi of Tunisia was shwon the first yellow card of the match due to an outrageous protest to the referee for a penalty as well as fouling Eden Hazard in the middle of the pitch.
In the 16th minute, Romelu Lukaku scored his third goal of World Cup 2018 and Belgium’s second of the match. This goal for Lukaku is 6 after the last 4 International appearances for Belgium.
Then, in the 18th minute, Tunisia found some glimmer of hope when their first threat of the match was capitalised on by Bronn (Tunisia’s #11) who made a brilliant header into the back of the Belgium net, bringing the score to 2-1. A minute later, Belgium almost extended their lead to 3-1 but saw Eden Hazard’s shot blocked by the goalkeeper.
However, the Tunisian goal scorer have to be taken off injured due to a hard tackle.
Tunisia almost equalised in the 31st minute after some neat passes in and around the penalty area but, Sassi’s low shot went wide. A minute later Tunisia got another scoring chance when a shot from Khazei (Tunisia’s #10) outside the 18-yard box flew almost into the top corner of the goal but the goal keeper had jump on his toes to keep the ball out- which he could not hold but had to hurriedly catch the ball back before a Tunisian player could pounce upon him.
In the 46th minute, Lukaku got a chance to score his second goal of the match but he could get on the end of the ball quickly enough. Then, in the 47th minute Romelu Lukaku scored his second goal of the match and Belgium’s third of the match. The goal was a splendid goal, when he timed his run perfectly from a very neat pass and just tipped the ball over the goalkeeper.
At the end of the 1st half Belgium had 54% ball possession, and the score was 3-1.
The second half started off very well for Belgium as they got a few chances. But, in the 51st minute, Eden Hazard got his second of the match and Belgium’s fourth after he neatly dribbled past the goalkeeper and two defenders before tapping the ball into back of the net. This is the first time Belgium has ever scored four goals in a World Cup game.
In the 59th minute, Romelu Lukaku, after a splendid performance was substituted. Maroaune Fellaini then came on for the first time in World Cup 2018. Two minutes later, Belgium’s #11, Carrascomade a curling right-footed shot at goal, but the shot went just wide.
Tunisia’s #9 made a lovely turn and a very good shot inside the box at goal but Curtois (Belgium’s goalkeeper) had no problem stopping that ball.
Eden Hazard, the other goal scorer for Belgium, was substituted with Bathshuayi, the player wearing the #21 jersey.
In the 75th minute, Bathshuayi was denied his World Cup goal by a Tunisian defender who cleared the ball off the line, after Bathshuayi left the goal keeper for dead. Then, in the 80th minute Bathshuayi should have buried the ball into the back of the net but saw his shot hit the cross-bar from close range. In, the 81st minute, Bathshuayi was denied a goal by the goalkeeper. But, in the 90th minute, Bathshuayi locked onto a cross into the penalty box to steer the ball pass Tunisia’s goalkeeper to get his goal and Belgium’s fifth of the match. This is the first time Belgium has scored 5 goals in a World Cup match.
But, about three minutes into stoppage time, Khazei scored Tunisia’s second and the last goal of the match. This goal came late however, as the Tunisians were defeated by 5 goals to two.
World Cup 2018 day 10 match 2: Mexico vs South Korea
South Korea come into this match knowing that a win will be vital to them to qualify for the second round. The Mexicans were dressed in white shirts and red shorts and the South Koreans in bright red shirts and black shorts.
Early in the game, Mexico was pressing the Korean defence as they won two corners before th first ten minutes and a few free kicks in the Koreans’ half. In the 12th minute, Javier Hernandez had a flick-on from a free kick to score. A minute later, the Koreans had a scoring chance but, luckily Lozano had to run into the box to prevent the shot and was kicked instead of the ball.
South Korea a good chance in the 21 st minute but could only get a corner. From that corner, they got another corner because Ochoa (Mexico’s goalkeeper) had to jump to tip the ball over the cross-bar.
In the 24th minute, Mexico was awarded a penalty due to a handball and, in the 26th minute, Carlos Vela, #11scored, sending the keeper the wrong way.
H M Son of Korea saw his shot blocked, in the 45th minute, for a corner. But the scored remained 1-0 in favour of Mexico and, at the end of the first half, the score is 1-0.
The second half started well for the Mexicans and the South Koreans as both teams got scoring chances. But it was the Mexicans who took theirs as J. Hernandez made a blistering run into the 18-yard box and trapped a Korean defender and then made low right-footed shot pass the goalkeeper into the back of the net. This goal is the second of the match for Mexico and their third in the World Cup. Hernandez now has 50 goals in 104 appearances for Mexico.
In the 93rd minute, Son Seung-Min made a beautiful, unsaveable strike outside the 18-yard box to beat Ochoa to score South Korea’s first goal and cut Mexico’s lead to 2-1. That goal was fantastic. Ochoa just could not keep the ball out. Nevertheless, the goal came too late as they suffered their second straight defeat in World Cup 2018.
The victory for Mexico is now four from four against Asian opponents and this is their second back to back victory in World Cup since World Cup 2002.
Germany vs Sweden: A must win match for Germany
Sweden players dresses in blue shirts and yellow shorts come into the game knowing that a victory against the Germans (dressed in white shirts and black shorts) would secure their place and Mexico’s in the second round of the competition. Germany started on a high note when in the 3rd minute, Draxler got a chance to score but was denied by some desperate defending by the Swedes.
In th eighth minute, Draxler made a dangerous cross across the face of goal but there was no German player present to get on the end of that ball. Then a minute later a cross on the near post of the Swedish goal was blocked and cleared for a corner.
In the 13th minute, with a counter attack, Sweden almost scored, but thanks to a ‘very good’ challenge by Boateng, the goalkeeper was able to stop the ball prevent Sweden from scoring. Then, in the 32nd minute, the Swedes got their first goal after Tony Kroos gave away possession. The goal was scored by Sweden #20 Ola Toivonen, who shields the ball and then lofted it over Neur into the back of the goal! The Sweden fans jumped to their feet and cheered loudly as they saw their team take the lead.
This goal has placed the Swedes just a step closer to going into the second round and Germany a step closer to exiting the World Cup in the 1st round. In terms of ball possession, Germany had 70% and Sweden 30% but, the Swedes managed to score.
In the 44th minute, the stage was set for Claesson (#11) to score Sweden’s second goal but he made a bad touch and Germany get a chance to breathe. Then, on the brink off half time, Neur had to dive to his right to make a brilliant save.
After about 48mins, the Germans came back to life after they got an equalising goal, scored by Reus with a neat touch of the knee. Then, in the 50th minute, Mueller almost put Germany ahead with a header, but, it went wide- much to the relief of the Swedes. In the 61st minute, Reus almost got his second goal but just missing the ball with a back heel. Weiner almost put the Germans ahead, but hid shot went high over the cross-bar.
In the 82nd minute, Boateng got his second yellow card of the match- which is equivalent to a red card, to become the first German player to be sent off in World Cup 2018. As the Germans continue to press hard and pressure the Swedish goal, Olsen made a terrfic save to deny Germany’s Gomez a goal.
In the 92nd minute, Btandt saw his fantastic shot hitting the post. But, then a miracle happened- in the 95th minute (just seconds away before the blowing of the final whistle, Germany went 2-1 up! Toni Kroos scored from a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box to put Germany 2-1 ahead. What a superb goal!! At the end of the end of the match, it was Germany 2, Sweden 1.
Who will advance to round 2?
Only one team that played on this day has advanced to round two of the competition, and that’s Belgium after their 5-2 thrashing of Tunisia. Tunisia have been eliminated out of the World Cup.
On the other hand, Mexico, Germany and Sweden have to wait until the end of the last group match to know which of the teams will go through to round 2.
After their second match, Belgium now has 8 goals, the same number as Russia. Belgium, put on a dazzling performance today as their golden generation players dismantled the Tunisian team 5-2. They are now clear into the second round with one game in hand.
Mexico were successful in beating South Korea to record their first back to back victory in a group stage since World Cup 2002. The win however, has not guaranteed them a second round spot because Germany has beaten Sweden 2-1 in a match that went down to the wire- to the very last minute before the Germans could taste victory. Mexico will either have to beat Sweden or draw to progress to the second round.
The South Koreans now have their toughest match to play, which will be their last of World Cup 2018 against Germany. They will play for pride and try to beat the Germans, while the Germans know that their fate rest on whether they win or draw. Overall, the matches were very good. Belgium and Tunisia match is the highest scoring match of the World Cup so far with seven goals. The Germans proved why they are the World Cup champions by displaying a valiant fight to make a glorious comeback- the second of the tournament to give themselves hope to advance to round two.
Thank you for reading my post. These matches indeed have been very entertaining. Please leave your questions and comments in the comments section below: