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World Cup Matchday 14: Germany crashes out; Brazil top group

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The biggest upset of the World Cup has finally arrived.

Mexico v Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Groups E and F were up for grabs on Wednesday afternoon with all four qualifying spots needing to be filled. In Group E, Costa Rica were the lone team that could not qualify for the knockout stages, while Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland were all vying for the final two spots. In Group F, all four teams were still able to qualify, with defending champions Germany very much on the brink of elimination and Mexico staring a top spot finish in the face.

As with every day of the tournament so far, it was a day filled with drama:

Brazil 2-0 Serbia

Heading into the final game, Brazil still needed to secure their spot in the Round of 16 and did so in fairly comfortable fashion. A well-worked opener from midfielder Paulinho broke the deadlock, before center-back Thiago Silva made it 2-0 with a powerful header. While Serbia did threaten with chances of their own, it never looked like Brazil were in too much trouble. The win for Brazil means they top their group and will face Mexico in the Round of 16.

Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica

Costa Rica were unable to repeat their magic from the 2014 World Cup and were eliminated prior to the final group game, but that didn’t stop them from troubling Switzerland. Blerim Dzemaili’s first half opener was cancelled out by Kendall Waston in the second half. A late goal from substitute Josip Drmic had all but sealed a win for Switzerland, until Joel Campbell was brought down in the area by Denis Zakaria. Bryan Ruiz stepped up to take the penalty, but his effort hit the post before richocheting into the net off of Yann Sommer. Switzerland are through despite the tie, but they’ll finish second in Group E and face Sweden in the Round of 16.

Group E Final Standings

Group E Standings

Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
BRA 2 1 0 5 1 4 7
SUI 1 2 0 5 4 1 5
SRB 1 0 2 2 4 -2 3
CRC 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1

South Korea 2-0 Germany

In perhaps the biggest upset of the World Cup so far, South Korea managed a late 2-0 win over defending champions Germany. Joachim Low’s side needed a win to secure their passage into the Round of 16, but couldn’t break down a strong Korean defensive performance. A 92nd minute, VAR-reviewed goal from Kim Young-Gwon meant Germany were on their way out. As Germany (and Manuel Neuer) pushed for an equalizer, a long ball over the top allowed Son Heung-Min to tap into an empty net to seal Germany’s fate. The Germans became the third consecutive World Cup champions to be eliminated in the group stages the following tournament.

Sweden 3-0 Mexico

Both Mexico and Sweden had the chance to claim top spot in Group F, but both also could’ve been eliminated. After a quiet first half of few chances to write home about, the game sprung into life as Ludwig Augustinsson broke the deadlock five minutes in the second half. Andreas Granqvist made it 2-0 with half an hour remaining, meaning Mexico were in trouble of heading home. Edson Alvarez put it into his own net to make it 3-0 to Sweden, but thanks to South Korea’s victory, Mexico would still qualify. Sweden on the other hand, had taken control and their win meant they won Group F.

Final Group F Standings

Group F Standings

Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
SWE 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
MEX 2 0 1 3 4 -1 6
KOR 1 0 2 3 3 0 3
GER 1 0 2 2 4 -2 3