We’ve reached the final day of the group stage at the World Cup. On a related yet unrelated note, this is the first World Cup since 1982 in which there are no players named Gary. I’m a sucker for random, dumb facts like that.
Brazil has already qualified out of Group G, and there are reports that both Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli are slated to start to rotate the side. Switzerland goes through with a win against Serbia. It can also advance on goal difference with a draw if Brazil beats Cameroon. Serbia qualifies with a win against Switzerland and Cameroon not beating Brazil. If Serbia and Cameroon win, it comes down to goal difference. Cameroon need to win, have Switzerland beat Serbia, and win the goal difference tiebreaker.
The Group G matches are at 2 pm ET.
In Group H, Portugal are already through. Ghana goes through with a win over Uruguay. They can qualify with a draw as well, but they’d need South Korea to beat Portugal by two or more. Uruguay advances with a win if South Korea does not win. If Uruguay and South Korea win, it comes down to tiebreakers between the pair. South Korea advance with a win if Ghana and Uruguay draw.
The Group H matches are at 10 am ET.
Morocco 2 - Canada 1: Morocco are the first CAF nation to top their group since 1998. A disappointing showing for Canada in their first World Cup in decades, but they’re a country trending in the right direction, as opposed to Mexico, who are trending downwards.
Croatia 0 - Belgium 0: woof. Terrible match. Nothing has come of Belgium’s golden generation. Roberto Martinez has already stepped down as Belgium manager.
Germany 4 - Costa Rica 2: The Germans fail to get out of the group for the second World Cup running. They were pretty unlucky — nearly 10 xG created and 4 xG allowed turned into just 6 goals scored and 5 against over 3 matches. There were a glorious few seconds where Costa Rica were in the lead and both Germany and Spain were heading home.
Japan 2 - Spain 1: I take back what I said about Spain being among the elite teams. So much passing for so little actual threat created. And what a showing from Japan. Twice they came back to win from down 1-0 against traditional European soccer powers. They had 17.7% possession in the match, the lowest figure ever recorded.