Germany scrape home, England smash Panama and Colombia rejuvenated

Round two of the group stage of the Soccer World Cup event is complete. Fans can now start predicting the last 16 matchups and dream of those titanic knockout battles.

Belgium got the weekend underway easily pushing aside a now eliminated Tunisia. Two goals each from Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku plus a late strike by Michy Batshuayi gave the ‘Red Devils’ an easy 5–2 win.

Mexico continued to impress with a 2–1 win over Korea. Goals by Carlos Vela in the 26th minute and Javier Hernandez in the 66th sealed matters. An injury-time consolation by Son Heung-min gave the Korean fans something to smile about.

Sweden was left heartbroken when Toni Kroos fired home in the 95th minute. Sweden had stifled their opponents all evening and was on the brink of eliminating Germany but the defending champions found that X-factor that is synonymous with winners.

Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off saw Panama produce one of the worst performances at the tournament so far. Panama was ill-disciplined, unorganised and at times unlucky while England ruthlessly punished them at every opportunity. A Harry Kane hat-trick, a Jesse Lingard screamer and two John Stones headers gave England their biggest-ever win at a World Cup.

Japan and Senegal then served up a very entertaining 2–2 draw. Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Takashi Inui equalised for Japan. Senegal took the lead again in the 71st minute courtesy of Moussa Wague. Japan again showed their character fighting back to equalise again seven minutes later thanks to Japanese stalwart Keisuke Honda.

Colombia capped off a fine weekend of goal scoring action with a 3–0 win over Poland. Poland had no answer for the pace, skill, and determination of Colombia. Yerry Mina gave Colombia a first-half lead. Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado ended Poland’s chances with goals in the 70th and 75th minute respectively.

All set then for the final round and deciding fixtures. Four games daily now until Thursday so buckle up and enjoy the rollercoaster of permutations, ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could have beens’ as teams scrap for their World Cup lives.

  AUTHOR
Jay Robertson

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