SWEDEN – SOUTH KOREA – 1: 0
The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues, and the fifth game of the Mundial began with a duel between the teams of Sweden and South Korea. Both football squads have participated in world championships at least ten times and, as I think, no one would predict a favorite of this match in advance.
Yes, for the first time in many years, the “yellow-blue” plays without their leader – Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, this fact did not prevent them from successfully overcoming the qualifying sieve of the World Cup and win the play-offs over Italy itself! “Squadron Azzurra” sensationally did not perform in the final of the championship. Well, South Koreans are experienced sportsmen from various international tournaments, including the World Cups. The “Asian Tigers”, coached by 49-year-old Shin Tae-yon, competently built a game of defense and, in addition, there is an iron discipline in team.
Asian footballers took the initiative from the very first minutes of the match, and the Scandinavians had a hard time, but gradually the Swedes took the ball under control. By the 18th minute, they created the first chances, and at the 20th minute, the goalkeeper of the South Korean team performed a real miracle, showing miracles of reaction after a strong attack from striker Marcus Berg.
Further, the team of Sweden continuously attacked and could lead before the break. But the ball passed above the crossbar after heading of Victor Claesson from FC Krasnodar.
In the second part of the match, the Scandinavian players continued to make pressure on the opponent. At the 62nd minute, Kim Min-Woo fouled Victor Claesson inside the South Korean box, the referee pressed VAR into action, and then the penalty was awarded. The captain of the yellow-blue Andreas Granqvist sent it to the bottom right corner to make it 1-0. The goal scored added confidence to the Scandinavians, and now the “Asian Tigers” cannot even approach the penalty area of the Swedes.
In the final phase of the match, the nominal masters began to play simply for holding the account and, as is often happens in such cases, could pay for it. On the first of the four added minutes, captain of the South Korean team Ki Sung Yueng resets the ball to Hwang Hee-chan from FC Salzburg. However, alas … Despite the absence of defend, the heading turns out to be inaccurate…
National team of Sweden wins with a score 1: 0, and join Mexico at the top in Group F.
BELGIUM – PANAMA – 3: 0
The magnificent turf of the stadium “Fisht” in Sochi became a place of confrontation of Belgium national team, ranked third in the world, and the football players from the small Panama.
From the first seconds of the match, the Belgians run to the attack and all first half hold the initiative in their hands. The national team of Panama, nicknamed “Los Canaleros” (“The Canal Men” in reference to the Panama Canal) tried to counterattack, but without much success.
It is a football. You can press on the opponent throughout the match, but the ball does not want to goal. Therefore, the “red devils” leave the field without concealing their disappointment. Break time.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, Belgium finally broke Panama’s resistance when Dries Mertens from “Napoli” steered in a spectacular volley.
At the 54th minute, Panama, 55th in the rankings, had a chance to snatch an equaliser but Thibaut Courtois was quick off his line to save Michael Murillo’s shot with his legs.
15 minutes later, a brilliant team goal by the Belgians. Kevin de Bruyne collected the ball just outside the left top of the Panama box and released a pin-point curling pass to Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, best scorer of last season, who dived in to head it into the goal from six yards out.
For a quarter of an hour before the end of the match, it became clear that it is difficult to Panamanian football players both physically and morally. Again, Lukaku goes to a rendezvous with the goalkeeper of the “The Canal Men” and addes a third with a chipped finish after a fine through ball from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Romelu makes his second goal of the night and goes to second place in the list of top goal-scorer of the World Cup, sharing it with the Russian Denis Cheryshev and Spanish Diego Costa. Cristiano Ronaldo after his brilliant a hat trick is at the top.
During the time remained, the national team of Panama showed character and spirit with four attacks, while “red devils” answered with one. The result – Belgium started their World Cup campaign with a 3-0 victory over newcomers Panama.
TUNISIA – ENGLAND – 1: 2
Next program day of the World Cup 2018 is finished with the match in Volgograd. Team of Tunisia met with British team – the ancestors of football. Colombian Willmar Roldan was referee of the match.
Curiously, the African team is proudly called “Eagles of Carthage” by its fans. The English national team is nicknamed “Three Lions”, because these three formidable predators are depicted on the T-shirts of football players of a foggy Albion. By the way, at the National Emblem also…
The British started active and earn two corners by the 11th minute. The second “corner” gave England an early lead. Another brilliant diving save from Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen, who palmed away John Stones’ header from an England corner-kick. But he only managed to push the ball to Harry Kane from FC Tottenham, who scored from a close range.
Then the “Three Lions” create a huge number of moments, but goalless. In the 33rd minute, penalty for Tunisia. The video assistant referee (VAR) used and the decision stayed. Kyle Walker from Manchester City booked for the foul. Ferjani Sassi, who currently plays for Al-Nassr, from converted the spot-kick to level the score at 1-1 for Tunisia. Jordan Pickford jumped to the right and touched the low strike but could not stop it from going in. Tunisia are levelled.
The Englishmen with even greater zeal run to score, there were three very dangerous situations – but the ball did not want to goal in to the “Eagles of Carthage”. There are hitting the bar and directly into the opponent’s players. Everything is in vain. It is 1-1 at the half-time break.
England started the second half of the match as aggressively as the first 45 minutes. However, the Tunisians absolutely do not panic and are very confidently holding themselves under such pressure. Although no counter-attacks. By the middle of the half, the Europeans had calmed down a bit, but the players from Tunisia were getting tired.
In the 68th minute of the match, the first substitution. Raheem Sterling is replaced by Marcus Rashford for England.
Ten minutes before the end of regular time there is a great chance for Ashley Young to give England a winning start. Young shot well over the Tunisian crossbar from the set-piece. Fans of Tunisia took a breath out.
There is a minute and an added time to play … Meanwhile, the “Three Lions” can do nothing. Four minutes added as stoppage time.
And a miracle happens! Corner for England. The ball comes to Maguire, who forwards it to Harry Kane. Captain Kane headed in the ball from close range. Harry Kane scored again in the stoppage time to give England 2-1 lead as well as to give England all three points. A couple of minutes remained to play, what the representatives of the foggy Albion do exactly. And for once England eventually did just that. What a finish and what a finish to this match. Coaches shake hands each other – Nabil Maalul is upset, while Gareth Southgate is happy.
The World Cup in Russia continues to test the strength of the tournament’s favorites, which introduces an additional intrigue and increases interest to the championship.
Well, tomorrow two games will end up the first round of the competition and the game of the teams of Russia and Egypt will begin the second tour. Let us see if the 2018 World Cup host country will be able to demonstrate the same sparkling football against Mohamed Salah and his team members, as in the match with Saudi Arabia.