tomorrow's matches
south korea

today's matches

It's not that nothing happened today ... at least one thing was historic. But after two days of intense drama, today was less emotional, unless you were a fan of the teams whose chances disappeared.

In Group F, I started watching Mexico-Sweden. All Mexico needed was a draw, which they had after a first half that was fairly even and mundane. But things fell apart for El Tri in the second half, with Ludwig Augustinsson scoring five minutes into the half. The Swedes added two more on their way to a 3-0 victory and first place in the table. Mexico looked awful, especially on defense.

Meanwhile, South Korea-Germany didn't look too thrilling, either, although I was only watching out of the corner of my eye. That match, too, was scoreless at the half. All the group needed was for Germany to take the lead, and the possibility of a three-way tie for first was there. When Sweden took the lead, the Germans, knowing they needed the win more than ever, brought in Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller. Germany was dominant, but outside of Korean goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo, no one was having a particularly good game. When Sweden went up 3-0 in the 74th minute, I switched to the other match. It was still fairly equal, and the table was SWE 6 MEX 6 GER 4 KOR 1. South Korea's only chance to advance depended on Sweden losing, so they were out, leaving the Germans chasing Mexico and needing two goals. They had most of the possession, they took shots, but it looked more and more like a scoreless draw. But then the bottom fell out. Kim Young-Gwon scored a VAR-approved goal in the first minute of extra time, as the Germans poured forward ... even keeper Manuel Neuer, who didn't have a good match, joined the attack, leading to a second Korean goal as Neuer left his goal open.

So Germany is out ... that's the historic part. Mexico snuck in and became big fans of South Korea.

Serbia was the wild card in Group E ... they had 3 points, Brazil and Switzerland had 4. But the good Brazil showed up. Paulinho scored late in the first half, Brazil always looked the better team, and the final 2-0 score just told us what had been clear ... that Brazil and the Swiss would advance.

Hard to pick a highlight. Perhaps this will do: Mexico fans cheering wildly after their team's 3-0 defeat, when South Korea scored a goal. Local angle: the footage is from Mexico City, Moscow, and ... San Jose, California? Yes, the Earthquakes have been opening Avaya Stadium for fans to watch matches, and several thousand were there for the Mexico match.

Or this brief clip ... what happens when Mexican fans meet a Korean fan after the matches?

 

Comments