Saturday brought exciting Group F and Group G play. Here’s what went down and where things stand.
Belgium 5, Tunisia 2
- Belgium: Hazard (PK, 6′), Lukaku (16′), Lukaku (45+3′), Hazard (51′), Batshuayi (90′)
- Tunisia: Bronn (18′), Khazri (90+3′)
- Belgium: None
- Tunisia: Sassi (Yellow, 14′)
Belgium absolutely owned this match from beginning to end. They were anchored by their stars, Hazard and Lukaku, who each put two in the back of the net. Belgium will be able to clinch a spot in the Round of 16 with a Panama loss or tie tomorrow. On the other side, Tunisia is in an extremely deep hole. To qualify, they need a Panama win against England, then they need to win their next game in a blowout to get the goal differential on their side.
Mexico 2, South Korea 1
- Mexico: Vela (PK, 26′), Hernández (66′)
- South Korea: Heung-Min (90+3′)
- Mexico: None
- South Korea: Young-Gwon (Yellow, 58′), Yong (Yellow, 63′), Seung-Woo (Yellow, 72′), Woo-Young (Yellow, 80′)
This one felt like a home game for the Mexicans, whose fans were at the stadium decked out from head to toe in red, white, and green. They got on the board halfway through the first half with a PK, and padded that lead halfway through the second half. They felt like the dominant team throughout the entirety of the match. Mexico controls their own destiny heavily in this group, while South Korea is going to need a LOT of help next week if they want any chance at qualifying.
Germany 2, Sweden 1
- Germany: Reus (48′), Kroos (90+5′)
- Sweden: Toivonen (32′)
- Germany: Boateng (Yellow, 71′), Boating (2nd Yellow/Red, 82′)
- Sweden: Ekdal (Yellow, 52′), Larsson (Yellow, 90+7′)
- Germany’s Jérôme Boateng will be suspended for their next game against South Korea due to the red card he received in this match.
This may have been the most exciting match of the World Cup so far, and I’m not exaggerating. With literal seconds to spare, Toni Kroos took advantage of a set piece and placed the ball perfectly in the top right corner of the goal to give Germany a much needed win to stay afloat in this extremely competitive group. If you haven’t seen the goal yet, please, for your own sake, look it up and admire its beauty. Germany and Sweden are both very much in the mix for qualification, but need a good showing next week to oust each other and secure a spot.
Updated Standings from These Groups
Green: Clinched Spot in Round of 16
Red: Eliminated from World Cup Contention
- Mexico – 6 points (GD: 2)
- Germany – 3 points (GD: 0)
- Sweden – 3 points (GD: 0)
- South Korea – 0 points (GD: -2)
- Belgium – 6 points (GD: 6)
- England* – 3 points (GD: 1)
- Panama* – 0 points (GD: -3)
- Tunisia – 0 points (GD: -4)
*England and Panama have played one less match than the rest of the group.
Matches on 6/24
England vs. Panama – Group G (8:00am Eastern)
Japan vs. Senegal – Group H (11:00am Eastern)
Poland vs. Colombia – Group H (2:00pm Eastern)