FIFA World Cup 2018 day 12, 13, 14, 15: Iran, Nigeria, Germany, Senegal out of the tournament

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

On day twelve of the 2018 FIFA football World Cup, June 25, Saudi Arabia defeated Egypt 2–1, Uruguay defeated hosts Russia 3–0, Iran drew 1–1 against Portugal and missed out qualification of Last 16, while Spain drew 2–2 against Morocco. On day thirteen, Tuesday, Australia suffered a 2–0 defeat against Peru, Denmark and France shared the spoils with a goalless draw, Iceland lost 1–2 against Croatia and Argentina won the must-win match against Nigeria defeating them 2–1 and advancing to the Last 16.

On day fourteen of the tournament, Wednesday, Serbia lost 0–2 against Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica shared the spoils with a 2–2 draw, South Korea scored two goals against Germany, sending the defending champions home, and Mexico lost 3–0 against Sweden. On Thursday, the last day of group stage matches, Belgium defeated England 1–0, Tunisia defeated Panama 2–1, Poland defeated Japan 1–0, and Colombia defeated Senegal 1–0, as Japan and Colombia qualified for the Last 16.

Day twelve

Saudi Arabia v Egypt

Saudi Arabia faced Egypt in the first game of the day. Saudi Arabia had a greater ball possession. Egypt's captain Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Egypt in the 22nd minute, chipping the ball over Saudi Arabia's goalkeeper, giving Egypt a 1–0 lead before the half-hour mark. Two minutes later, Salah missed a chance to double the lead for Egypt. In the 39th minute, Saudi Arabia won a penalty after Ahmed Fathy's handball, but Fahad Al Muwallad's penalty was saved. Saudi Arabia won another penalty in the added time in the first half due to a bad foul by Ali Gabr. Salman Al Faraj scored from the penalty spot, equalising for Saudi Arabia at the halftime.

In the second half, Salem Al Dawsari scored the second goal for Saudi Arabia in the injury time, moments before the final whistle. Both the teams had lost their first two matches and missed out their opportunity for advancing to the Last 16 knockout phase.

Uruguay v Russia

Uruguay faced the hosts Russia in the second game of the day. Uruguay had more ball possession in the match. Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez scored the opening goal from a freekick in the 10th minute, putting the ball in the bottom right corner. In the 23rd minute, Uruguay's lead was doubled when Denis Cheryshev scored an own goal. In the 36th minute, Igor Smolnikov was sent off, after he received a second yellow card in the match. Russia trailed 2–0 at the halftime.

In the second half, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scored the third goal, a close-range shot, as Uruguay emerged as the winners of the group.

Iran v Portugal

Iran took on Portugal in the third game of the day. Portugal had greater ball possession. Pepe missed a chance to score for Portugal in the 18th minute. Minutes before the halftime whistle, Ricardo Quaresma scored a goal from Adrien Silva's assist, giving Portugal a one-goal lead at the halftime.

In the second half, Portugal won a penalty kick, which the referee decided after verifying with the video assistant referee. Portugal's captain Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty was saved by Iran's goalkeeper. Quaresma was booked in the 64th minute for a bad foul and six minutes later, he was replaced by Bernardo Silva. Ronaldo was shown a yellow card in the 83rd minute. In the ending minutes of the game, Iran was awarded a penalty, and Karim Ansarifard scored from the spot, equalising for Iran. The match ended in a 1–1 draw.

Spain v Morocco

In the last game of the day, Spain took on Morocco. Spain had greater ball possession. Spain conceded an early goal as Khalid Boutaïb broke away from Spanish players and scored in the 14th minute. Five minutes later Spain equalised as Isco scored a close-range shot from Andrés Iniesta's assist. In the 21st minute, Sergio Busquets won a freekick for Spain as Karim El Ahmadi was shown a yellow card for a bad foul. Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea stopped Boutaïb's shot in the 25th minute, preventing Morocco from regaining their lead. Attempts by Diego Costa, Gerard Piqué, Busquets and Thiago Alcántara were saved. Costa missed a chance to score from Jordi Alba's assist in the 27th minute. Nordin Amrabat received a yellow card in the 29th minute for a bad foul on Spanish captain Sergio Ramos. The first half ended with both sides scoring one goal.

In the second half, David Silva missed a chance to put Spain in the lead, assisted by Isco. In the 74th minute, Iago Aspas replaced Diego Costa. In the 80th minute, Morocco won a corner, and a minute later, they scored their second goal of the game, as Youssef En-Nesyri scored a header from Faycal Fajr's assist. Aspas scored the second equaliser for Spain in the injury time from Dani Carvajal's assist. The match ended 2–2. Spain and Portugal advanced to the knock-out phase.

Day thirteen

Australia v Peru

Australia had greater ball possession as they faced South American side Peru. In the 18th minute, André Carrillo scored the first goal for Peru, from captain Paolo Guerrero's assist. There were multiple attempts from both the sides in the remainder of the first half but it remained 1–0 with Peru leading.

In the second half, Paolo Guerrero scored a goal in the 50th minute int the bottom right corner, giving Peru a two-goal advantage. The match ended with Peru winning the game, but neither of the two qualifying for the knockout phase.

Denmark v France

France had greater ball possession against Denmark. Attempts from Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, and Nabil Fekir for France were saved. Denmark's Mathias Jørgensen was the only one to be booked in the game and the match remained goalless, with both the teams advancing to the Last 16 knockout phase.

Iceland v Croatia

Croatia faced Iceland and had more ball possession in the game. The first half remained goalless. In the second half, Milan Badelj missed a chance to score for Croatia, assisted by Luka Modrić. In the 53rd minute, Badelj scored the goal, putting Croatia in lead. Iceland was awarded a penalty kick in the 75th minute after Dejan Lovren's handball in the penalty area. Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised for Iceland from the penalty kick. Croatia made a change in the 82nd minute, as Ivan Rakitić came on for Mateo Kovačić. Rakitić missed a chance in the 88th minute to give Croatia the lead, but Ivan Perišić scored the second goal for Croatia as Croatia finished the game 2–1.

Nigeria v Argentina

Nigeria took on Argentina in the must-win game for the South Americans for advancing in the knockout phase. Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuaín committed an early foul in the game as Nigeria won a freekick in their defensive half. In the 14th minute, Éver Banega assisted Argentine captain Lionel Messi and Messi scored a goal in the top left corner. In the 32nd minute Ángel Di María won a freekick as Leon Balogun received a yellow card for a bad foul.

Argentine defender Javier Mascherano received a yellow card in the 49th minute for a bad foul within the penalty area. Nigeria won a penalty kick and Victor Moses scored an equaliser for the African side. Argentina made a substitution in the 80th minute, sending Sergio Agüero for Nicolás Tagliafico. Argentina got the breakthrough in the 86th minute when Marcos Rojo scored in the bottom right corner from Gabriel Mercado's assist. Argentina won the match 2–1 and qualified for the Last 16.

Day fourteen

Serbia v Brazil

Serbia faced Brazil in their last group stage match. Brazil had greater ball possession. Brazil took the lead in the 36th minute as Paulinho scored a goal, chipping it over the goalkeeper; assisted by Philippe Coutinho. The first half ended 1–0.

Soon in the second half, Nemanja Matić was booked for a bad foul. In the 68th minute, Brazil doubled the lead as Thiago Silva scored a goal in the top left corner from Neymar's assist. The match ended 2–0 as Brazil advanced to the knockout phase.

Switzerland v Costa Rica

Switzerland took on South American side Costa Rica and dominated the ball possession. Blerim Dzemaili opened the scoring for Switzerland just after the half-hour mark from Breel Embolo's assist. Efforts from both the sides did not produce any goals in the remainder of the first half.

In the second half, Ricardo Rodríguez missed a chance to double the lead for the Swiss side, from an assist by Granit Xhaka. Minutes later, Embolo also missed a chance to score from Xherdan Shaqiri's assist. Kendall Waston equalised for Costa Rica in the 56th minute from Joel Campbell's assist. In the 88th minute, Josip Drmić gave Swiss side another lead, scoring from Denis Zakaria's cross. But the Swiss lead was short-lived; Costa Rica was awarded a penalty after Zakaria's foul in the penalty area. Bryan Ruiz hit the crossbar, but the ball went in deflecting from goalkeeper Yann Sommer and the match ended 2–2.

Switzerland advanced to the knockout stage after the draw.

South Korea v Germany

Defending champions Germany faced South Korea and Germany had greater ball possession. Marco Reus missed out a chance to put Germany in the lead in the 6th minute. In the 39th minute, Mats Hummels got a chance to score for Germany but the attempt was saved. Mesut Özil's attempt during the ending moments of the first half was blocked as both the sides were goalless at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Germany made a substitution as Mario Gomez replaced Sami Khedira. In the 61st minute, Toni Kroos missed a chance to score from Özil's assist. Two minutes later, Thomas Müller replaced Leon Goretzka. Korea scored the first goal of the match in the injury time, when Kim Young-Gwon netted a close-range shot. The goal was confirmed after referring to the video assistant referee. Mats Hummels a chance to equalise from Müller's assist. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came out in the midfield in the ending moments of the game. Neuer was dispossessed by Ju Se-jong and provided a long-range assist for Son Heung-Min who scored the second goal. Korea defeated Germany 2–0. Both the sides did not advance to the knockout phase of the tournament.

Mexico v Sweden

Mexico took on Sweden and had greater ball possession. Mexico's Jesús Gallardo received an early yellow card for a bad foul in the first minute of the match. Both the sides had multiple attempts, but none of the sides scored a goal in the first half.

At the beginning of the second half, Sweden got their first goal as Ludwig Augustinsson scored in the 50th minute from Viktor Claesson's assist. In the 61st minute, Héctor Moreno received a yellow for a foul, and Sweden was awarded a penalty kick. Andreas Granqvist doubled the lead for Swedish side form the penalty kick. In the 74th minute, Edson Álvarez scored an own goal, as Sweden got their third goal of the game. The match ended 3–0 in favour of Sweden. Mexico had already qualified for the knockout phase, and Germany's defeat against South Korea meant Sweden advanced to the Last 16 as well.

Day fifteen

England v Belgium

England and Belgium had both qualified for the Last 16 winning their first two group stage matches. The Belgian side left Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel on the bench. Adnan Januzaj scored the only goal of the match in the 51st minute. In the 66th minute, Marcus Rashford's attempt for a goal was saved by Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The match ended as Belgium led 1–0, winning the group.

Panama v Tunisia

Tunisia dominated ball possession against Panama. First-half own goal by Tunisian player Yassine Meriah gave Panama a one-goal lead in the 33rd minute. Fakhreddine Ben Youssef equalised for Tunisia in the 51st minute, scoring from Wahbi Khazri's assist. Khazri later doubled the score for the Arfican side in the 66th minute. The match ended 2–1 for Tunisia as Panama finished their debut FIFA World Cup tournament without a point or a win.

Japan v Poland

Japan faced Poland led by captain Robert Lewandowski. The only goal of the match came in the 59th minute when Jan Bednarek scored a right-footed shot from Rafal Kurzawa's assist. Despite losing 1–0 against Poland, Japan advanced to the knockout phase, having more fair play points as compared to Senegal. Japan had equal points, goals scored and conceded in the tournament. Poland had already missed out their chance to advance to the knockout phase.

Senegal v Colombia

Senegal faced Colombia in their last group stage match. Colombia had greater ball possession. Just after the quarter-hour mark, Senegal won a penalty kick, but after referring with the video assistant referee, it was cancelled. James Rodríguez was substituted off because of an injury just after the half-hour mark. Attempts from both the teams were prevented as the first half ended without any goals scored.

In the 74th minute, Yerry Mina scored a header from Juan Quintero's assist, putting Colombia in lead. Minutes later, Colombian goalkeeper David Ospiina saved Senegal's attempt to equalise.

The match ended 1–0 with Colombia advancing to the knockout phase. Senegal and Japan had same points, goals scored and conceded but Japan advanced to the Last 16 due to higher fair play coefficient.


Sources

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