World Cup: Germany and Croatia breathe a sigh of relief, Belgium cracks … What to remember from November 27th

The day after the first round of 16 qualifiers at this World Cup, four bright blue posters for Groups E and F were on the program on Sunday. Without a new ticket for the knockout stages, but with several outstanding results.

The relief: Germany is still breathing

At the end of a first day of contrasting fortunes – a worrying defeat by Japan (1-2) for the Germans, a smashing success against Costa Rica (7-0) for the Spaniards – the two European leaders found themselves back at Al-Khor for a shock, to make your mouth water in advance. Perhaps the most beautiful on paper since the tournament began. The promise has long since given way to a half-hearted production. The incoming Alvaro Morata finally rang the alarm clock, a goal that almost knocked out the Germans finally saved Niclas Füllkrug from trouble.

As the only professional number 9 in the group, the Werder Bremen striker took a big thorn in the side of the team that left the Al Bayt Stadium without the ball. If they are not mathematically eliminated and do not have their destiny completely in their hands, Hansi Flick’s players can still count on a – more likely – combination of circumstances to reach eighth place. To do this, you have to win against the Costa Ricans and then expect a loss to Japan against La Roja, or a draw or a win for the Japanese, paying attention to the goal difference… For Spain, the path to 8th place is well followed, Luis is Enrique can connect to Twitch tonight without too much pressure.

The snub: Belgium falls from above

Certainly Group F with the Croatian Vice World Champion and the promising Canadians is one, if not the toughest in Qatar. But to see the third of the last World Cup failure against Morocco, everything has a surprise. Belgium, outclassed by the Atlas Lions (2-0), have suffered a major setback in their tournament, which was already preceded by an arduous win over Canada (1-0). As Kevin De Bruyne had blown, Eden Hazard and his partners are indeed showing their age, crushed by Moroccan enthusiasm symbolized by a spicy Hakim Ziyech. The Belgians will have to play a crucial and fierce duel against Croatia on Thursday to determine their survival in the competition.

The start: Croatia avoids defeat

Because a few hours later, Croatia offered a “final” against the Belgians and left Canada lying on the side of the road. Held in check by Morocco (0-0), the runners-up were proud against the promising North American side (4-1). It all began like a dream for the Canucks when Alphonso Davies scored his country’s first-ever goal at a World Cup. But Andrej Kramaric’s Croatians (double) turned up the heat as the minutes went by, punishing the Canadian a little delicately. And already eliminated from the race for eighth place before the last game against Morocco. Croatia-Belgium is worth its weight in gold on Thursday (4 p.m.).

The number: 2

Surgically effective. Costa Rica dominated the game, showering Japan (1-0) with ten minutes from time to return to Group E. A goal by Keysher Fuller after the only shot on target by Keylor’s partner Navas. But also on one of the only two balls touched in the opponent’s penalty area by the Ticos. Enough to “keep dreaming”, coach Luis Fernando Suarez enthused after the game.

The phrase: “I’m very sorry, I’m sorry”

In conf ‘on the eve of the Switzerland encounter without Neymar suffering an ankle injury, Brazil coach Tite made his my fault. Regret not to have dismissed the Seleção star a little earlier on Thursday against Serbia: “I didn’t realize that he was injured. Especially since he took part in an action after his injury that allowed us to score a goal. It’s a mistake on my part, I blame myself a lot, I regret it, I should have been more careful. Brazil are still hoping to bring Neymar back for Cameroon (Day 3, Friday) or more likely the 8th if the Auriverdes compost their ticket on Monday.

Neymar’s ankle

The tile: the injury of Danilo Pereira

Unexpected defending champion in Portugal rearguard in place of Pepe, for Portugal’s first game against Ghana (3-2) Danilo Pereira will not be able to continue. PSG’s Swiss Army Knife injured himself in training this Sunday with his selection. Result: three broken ribs and a retirement in the last two group games of the Portuguese (Monday Uruguay, Friday South Korea). He will be replaced in the XI by Pepe in the recovery phase when his country started the race. But who, at 39, is still perceived as a “monster” by his coach Fernando Santos.


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