Neymar (R) and Marcelo of Brazil
Monday Jun 18, 2018. 08:24
The 2018 World Cup matchday four saw tournament favourites Germany and Brazil fail to register wins in their first games at this year’s competition which is being hosted by Russia.
The first match of the day featured Central American side Costa Rica and Europe’s Serbia at the Samara Stadium in Samara. Serbia’s Eagles were making their return to the finals after missing the 2014 tournament which saw the Ticos of Costa Rica impressively reach the quarterfinals.
Serbia captain Aleksandar Kolarov inspired his side to a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica as he netted a beautiful free-kick 11 minutes into the second-half. The Ticos pushed for an equalizing goal, but they could not beat Eagles’ experienced goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic on the day.
At the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the defending World Cup champions Germany locked horns with an unpredictable Mexico side in a Group F encounter. Die Mannschaft as Germany is affectionately known, were keen to start their title defence with a win, while the Tricolor of Mexico were hoping to cause an upset.
That’s exactly what México did as Hirving Lozano’s 35th minute strike was enough to hand Mexico a shock 1-0 victory over Germany. World class attackers Mario Gomez and Marcos Reus were introduced as Die Mannschaft looked to level matters, but the Tricolor stood firm at the back until the end.
Lastly, record five-time champins Brazil took on a stubborn Switzerland side in another Group E match at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. Canarinho’s Brazil were eager to begin their group stage campaign with a victory, while La Nati of Switzerland were out to humble their much-fancied opponents.
It was Canarinho, who opened the scoring through Philippe Coutinho’s stunning long-range effort to make it 1-0 to Brazil in first-half. However, La Nati came back rejuvenated in the second-half and they managed to equalize through Steven Zuber in the 50th minute. Switzerland were then able to frustrate a star-studded Brazil side until the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Sunday’s results saw Serbia go top of the Group E standings - two points above second-placed Brazil and third-placed Switzerland, while Costa Rica are sitting on position four without a single point.
Mexico’s impressive win over Germany took them to the top of Group F standings. European side Sweden will face off with Asian giants South Korea on Monday in another Group F encounter.
Matchday 4, Sunday 17 June – Results
Group E - Costa Rica 0-1 Serbia
Group F - Germany 0-1 Mexico
Group E - Brazil 1-1 Switzerland