2018 FIFA World Cup Group E Recap after Match Day 2

Two stoppage time goals give Brazil a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica

            Brazil finally got their first win at this year’s World Cup. It looked like Brazil was heading towards another draw but were able to score twice in stoppage time to get the three points. Brazil dominated this game but Costa Rica were able to with stand all the pressure with their great team defense and their goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who made a couple fantastic saves in this game. Countiho scored in the 91st minute to finally put Brazil into the lead, this goal looked like would be the clincher even with the referee adding six additional minutes. Nevertheless Neymar would score his first goal at this year’s World Cup in the 97th minute increasing lead to 2-0 and that is how the game finishes. Brazil looked good on the attacking side but just were not able to finish their chances in front of goal. As a result of this loss Costa Rica have been eliminated from the World Cup and have one more game left against Switzerland. Brazil will look to top the group when they face Serbia in the next game.

 Late goal seals a 2-1 victory for Switzerland against Serbia

This was an entertaining game to watch but a tough one for teams playing in it. Serbia opened up the scoring in the 5th minute through a header from Aleksandar Mitrović. Serbia was the better side in the first half; even though that does not show possession wise the Serbs had more quality chances than the Swiss in the first half. The Swiss had possession on their side but did not create anything with it, but in the second half that changed. In the 52th minute Granit Xhaka fires a shot outside the penalty box to make it 1-1. Serbia should have had a penalty awarded to them in the second half after Mitrović was held and grabbed by two Swiss defenders during a corner kick for Serbia, interesting that VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was not used to look at this play. In the 90th minute of the game Switzerland would take the lead through Xherdan Shaqiri’s solo run on goal from the half way line after. This win boosts Switzerland chances at advancing out of the group heading into their final group game against already eliminated Costa Rica. A win here would have seen Serbia advance out of the group, but now leave everything to do against Brazil in their final group game.


Current Standings in Group E after two games:

  1. Brazil 4 points, +2 Goal Difference
  2. Switzerland 4 points, +1 Goal Difference
  3. Serbia 3 points, 0 Goal Difference
  4. Costa Rica 0 points, -3 Goal Difference

Preview for the third and final games in Group E

 Serbia vs Brazil                                 June 27th, 2018, Moscow, Russia

Brazil’s main goal going to every World Cup is to win it all, but winning the group is also important to them. A win against Serbia will see them top the group. While for Serbia a win is almost a must as a draw could still see them through but would need some major help from Costa Rica who are playing Switzerland at the same time. Serbia well as a result play more attacking which will open the pitch for both teams, this helps Brazil as they always play an attacking style. Brazil have only faced defensive bunkers in their first two games so playing a team that needs to win will have to open up more, which benefits Brazil’s style of play. Expect lots of goals from this game.

Prediction: Brazil 3-1

 Switzerland vs Costa Rica                June 27th, 2018, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

            If someone were to offer Switzerland four points from their first two games, Switzerland would 100% take that offer. Well they do have four points from two games and are in good shape to advance to the round of 16. They did not ply really well in the first half against Serbia but in the second half they played significantly better. The Swiss now face an already eliminated Costa Rican side in their final group game. A win could see them top the group, depends on what happens in the Serbia-Brazil match happening at the same time, while a draw would see them finish second in the group. Even though Costa Rica lost their first two matches, they have proved to be a tough opponent so this will not be an easy game.

Prediction: Switzerland 2-1

Dino Pavleka: @dino_ATL

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