THAT’S ALL FOLKS
That is it for today, thanks for joining us.
We’ll be back again tomorrow with all the build-up to England’s final group game against Belgium.
See you then!
SOUTH KOREA THOUGHT THEY WERE THROUGH
Very much overshadowed by Germany’s elimination, South Korea also exited the tournament despite their players thinking a 2-0 win had been enough to send them into the knockout stages.
South Korea needed to beat Germany by more than two goals and hope Mexico beat Sweden but their slim hopes ended when the Scandinavians raced into a 3-0 lead.
The stoppage time goals from Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min which gave Korea their first win in this World Cup after two defeats sparked jubilant scenes among Korea’s players and goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo said he and his team mates thought they were going through until they learned of the result from Yekaterinburg.
“We did not know (the Sweden score), it was only after the game was over that we knew,” Cho told a news conference.
“All the Korean players and the head coach here, we were playing for the Korean people. It was only after the match was over that we knew the score, that was why a lot of us cried.”
‘SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE’
German fans have called for a shake-up within the national team, after watching their side suffer a shock early exit from the World Cup.
“It didn’t go well from the start. The first game wasn’t great, the second game wasn’t great and we shouldn’t even talk about today,”said Robert Koeschinger.
“We deserved to lose. Something definitely has to change now.”
“The team just didn’t even fight. It was a terrible game,” said Janin Roethig.
LUKAKU RULED OUT OF ENGLAND GAME
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez says tomorrow’s game against England comes too early for striker Romelu Lukaku.
The Manchester United striker is recovering from “external ligament” damage to his left foot picked up during their win over Tunisia.
Martinez said: “There is no further damage for Lukaku. A scan brought us good news. He is still recovering and tomorrow is one day too early for him. But I don’t think it is going to take any longer than that.”
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR GERMANY?
The defending champions finished bottom and the recriminations will begin. But what exactly went wrong for Joachim Low and his team?
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate says the clues were there in the opening game defeat by Mexico and there was further evidence of Germany’s flaws in their unconvincing last-gasp victory over Sweden in the second fixture. But being beaten by a hitherto point-less South Korea side in the final game really rammed home the point. This was a pitiful defence of their crown.
GERMANY’S GROUP STAGE RECORD
1954 – 2nd
1958 – 1st
1962 – 1st
1966 – 1st
1970 – 1st
1974 – 2nd
1978 – 2nd
1982 – 1st
1986 – 2nd
1990 – 1st
1994 – 1st
1998 – 1st
2002 – 1st
2006 – 1st
2010 – 1st
2014 – 1st
2018 – 4th
KHEDIRA: A DIFFICULT MOMENT
Midfielder Sami Khedira says Germany had simply failed to live up their status as defending champions in Russia.
“This is one of the most difficult moments for the team and me personally,” the Juventus midfielder said.
Khedira was recalled to the team against South Korea after being dropped for the narrow win over Sweden, but produced another ineffective performance.
“Before the tournament, we said that the world champions have to lead the way. That is not easy to do, but we didn’t take on the task.
“Personally, I am one of the first to take responsibility and we now have to live with the consequences.
“The last 10 years have been sensational,” he added.
LOW: TOO SOON TO DISCUSS FUTURE
Germany‘s exit has also raised questions about the future of coach Joachim Low but he says he will save those conversations for tomorrow.
When asked about his contract situation, Low said: “It’s too early. I need a few hours to see it clearly. There is disappointment deep within me. I couldn’t see us losing to South Korea, I was optimistic.
“I need to have some conversations tomorrow.”
LOW: WE LACKED CONFIDENCE
More reaction now from Germany coach Joachim Low. He said his side lacked their “usual confidence” and “decisiveness”.
“It’s a massive disappointment, I’m not really in a position to say anything at all,” he said. “It’s hard to explain at this moment.
“In our build-up we tried everything to sharpen our concentration, but in the game we lacked our usual confidence.
“We had no dynamic play and made too many errors. We did have chances against Sweden and today but the decisiveness wasn’t there.
“We had a bit of bad luck. We did have a plan, but we couldn’t carry it out at the end of the day.”
HUMMELS: A BITTER EVENING
Germany defender Mats Hummels said their elimination from this year’s World Cup was a “bitter” shock for the team.
“It is a really, really bitter evening for us,” he told ZDF.
“The situation is very difficult to put into words. We did not put the ball in the net, even though we had plenty of opportunities, including myself in the 86th minute. I have to score from chances like that.
“It is a very bitter evening for us and for all German football fans.
“We believed in it until the very end, we tried to shoot, but we just couldn’t get the ball in.
“We had plenty of opportunities, we broke our necks trying out there today.”
LOW: WE ARE SORRY
Germany coach Joachim Low has been speaking at the post-match news conference in the last few moments and has apologised on behalf of the team.
“All of German football has lost not just a match, but everything we have built in the last few years,” he said.
“We say sorry.
“I’m the first to ask myself questions, what went wrong. I need to sleep on it. I’m responsible.
“I need a few hours to see it clearly. There is disappointment deep within me.
“I need to have some conversations tomorrow.”
Gareth Southgate says Germany‘s early exit from the World Cup doesn’t affect how England will do in the tournament.
“I don’t think it has any bearing on us,” he said.
“What it shows is that, with Italy and Holland out before we got to this point, Chile – who were in the Confederations Cup final – as well and now Germany. There really is no opportunity to rest on where you are as a team or stop the constant improvement.
“We have learned an enormous amount from studying Germany as a team.
“We learned a lot from watching them last summer and have implemented some of that and they are a team that won the World Cup. Indirectly, I would say they have had a big bearing on what we are doing now but in sport and life you just have to keep evolving and improving and it just shows anyone is vulnerable on any given day.”
SOUTHGATE “SURPRISED” BY GERMANY EXIT
England manager Gareth Southgate was holding a press conference at the same time as Germany were being dumped out of the finals.
“Of course I am surprised,” he said of both the defeat and the fact that the Germans are heading home after the group stage.
“I was here last summer for the Confederations Cup and they brought a young team, they also won the Under-21 finals but in this tournament I think they have been ahead for about a minute-and-a-half in their matches.
“It has been unusual to see them struggle as much as they have but the level of all of the teams is strong and they have played teams who have been tactically very good against them and exposed counter-attack situations in particular.
“I didn’t look at that group and think automatically that they would go through. I watched some of the game and they were just unable to break South Korea down.”
CHAMPIONS CURSE STRIKES AGAIN
2006 – Italy champions
2010 – Italy out at group stage
2010 – Spain champions
2014 – Spain out at group stage
2014 – Germany champions
2018 – Germany out at group stage
GERMANY GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT
Even among the shock and disappointment of being knocked out of the World Cup, Germany have congratulated Sweden and Mexico on progressing.
OZIL HEADING HOME
Germany have had a tournament to forget and their players will probably need some consoling tonight. Arsenal have been quick to offer their support to Mesut Ozil.
The biggest surprise of this year’s World Cup sees Germany fail to get past the group stage for the first time since 1938. Champions curse strikes again.
GERMANY KNOCKED OUT
Germany will not defend their World Cup title after being knocked out at the group stages. They were beaten 2-0 by South Korea, while a 3-0 win over Mexico sends Sweden through.
CISSE CONFIDENT OF SENEGAL’S CHANCES
If Senegal avoid defeat tomorrow they will qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament, but they face a rejuvenated Colombiaside.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is confident his side can progress.
“I think it is going to be a highly contested and interesting match, with two teams that could reach the last 16 in the tournament,” he said. “So, yes, Colombia could raise a few difficulties for us but we have a few aces up our sleeves and I think we will be able to use them tomorrow.
“I have no reason whatsoever to believe we won’t reach the round of 16. I think the rhythm is right even if we could have defeated Japan and have six points, but still we would need three more points tomorrow, this would not have guaranteed anything for us, even if we had defeated Japan.”
JAPAN FEAR “WORLD-CLASS” LEWANDOWSKI
Japan are quietly confident ahead of tomorrow’s decisive World Cup game, but coach Akira Nishino warned that “world-class” striker Robert Lewandowski will be gunning for a goal to salvage eliminated Poland’s pride.
Japan need just a draw to advance to the knockout rounds after they beat Colombia and drew with Senegal in their opening Group H games, defying low expectations at the start of the tournament.
In contrast, Poland’s Lewandowski, who scored 16 goals in qualifying, has failed to find the net in the first two games.
“There is no such thing as a consolation match or that the match does not matter,” Nishino told reporters on Wednesday.
“I am sure Poland would like to play for their pride. Lewandowski is a world class marksman. I am sure he will come out trying to score.”
FROM MELWOOD TO MEXICO
Now to the bizarre story of Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who moved in to a family’s house in Melwood in order to watch Liverpool’s training sessions.
THE LIONS HAVE LANDED
England have arrived in Kaliningrad for tomorrow’s game with Belgium.
THEY’RE ON THE WAY
England are due to arrive at their hotel in Kaliningrad shortly, where Sky Sports News reporter Anton Toloui says the atmosphere is laid back despite a strong security presence.
URUGUAY GET READY FOR RONALDO
Uruguay returned to training today as they prepare for their last-16 clash with Portugal on Saturday.
SUPER SERBS FEELING CONFIDENT
Speaking of Serbia… They might be in need of a hero if they want to beat Brazil later today so these fans in Moscow have resorted to embracing their super status.
TADIC JOINS AJAX
Serbia’s Dusan Tadic will join Ajax for an undisclosed fee, Southampton have confirmed.
The deal will be confirmed on July 1.
Tadic is in action later today when Serbia take on Brazil.
BRAZIL IN UNCHARTED WATERS
“How will Brazil react emotionally to the possibility of going out of the World Cup at this very early stage?”
That’s the question posed by Tim Vickery, South American football expert, as Brazil head into their final group game against Serbia on Wednesday knowing a defeat would likely knock them out of the tournament.
The five-time World Cup winners have underwhelmed in Russia – drawing their opening game to Switzerland 1-1 and edging past Costa Rica 2-0 in stoppage time. These results leave themselves needing a point in their final game to qualify.
“Pre-tournament you had to see them among the big favourites with Spain, Germany and France. Everyone has struggled really, certainly the major powers have,” Vickery told Sky Sports News.
“A lot of what went on in between has been a little unconvincing, they’re finding that the World Cup is different from the qualification – the pressure is much greater.
“Now they’re in uncharted waters because if they lose it’s almost certain that the World Cup is over for them.”
TURN YOUR SOUND ON
Marcos Rojo‘s winning goal last night sent Argentinian fans (including Diego Maradona) a little loco! Even this news channel in Argentina was interrupted by the celebrations.
INJURY ANGUISH FOR AGUILAR
Colombia midfielder Abel Aguilar won’t play on Thursday against Senegal because of a left adductor injury.
Aguilar was injured in the first half of Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Poland last Sunday in Kazan and had to be stretchered off the field.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said Aguilar would not be available in the team’s decisive final group match in Samara, but he did not rule the 33-year-old veteran out of the rest of the tournament should Colombia advance.
Aguilar underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Pekerman said on Wednesday the injury was not as serious as feared but it would still keep him out of the group finale.
NEUER NOT FEELING THE HEAT
The weather and the football has been hotting up in Russia, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer appears to be keeping his cool ahead of their huge game with South Korea.
LOW JOB SAFE IF GERMANY CRASH OUT
Joachim Low‘s position as Germany head coach is safe even if they suffer an early World Cup exit, says the president of the country’s football association (DFB).
Germany lost their opening World Cup match to Mexico and only beat Sweden in their second game thanks to a last-minute free-kick from Toni Kroos.
They play their final group match against South Korea in Kazan, knowing they need to better Sweden’s result against Mexico if they are to book a place in the last 16.
ICELAND REFEREE DEJA VU FOR ENGLAND
England will see a familiar face in Kaliningrad on Thursday and it won’t be one of the Premier League players in the Belgian squad.
Slovenian referee Dami Skomina, who officiated England’s 2016 Euros defeat to Iceland, will be in charge of proceedings.
ENGLAND LEAVE FOR KALININGRA
England play Belgium in Kaliningrad on Thursday to decide who will top World Cup Group G
MARADONA MAKES OFFENSIVE GESTURE IN WIN
Diego Maradona was caught celebrating Argentina’s late winner against Nigeria at the World Cup with an offensive gesture on Tuesday.
‘NO ENGLAND TEAM SELECTION YET’
Gareth Southgate has not told the England players who will be starting against Belgium on Thursday, says ‘keeper Jordan Pickford.
ARGENTINA REACTS TO NIGERIA WIN
Argentina beat Nigeria in dramatic fashion yesterday – Marcos Rojowinning the game with an 86th-minute volley – and the fans responded in equally theatrical fashion.
ENGLAND SCHEDULE UPDATE
Eric Dier will be the player to face the media at this afternoon’s news conference, along with Gareth Southgate, which is scheduled to begin at 4.45pm.
Could Dier be making his first World Cup start against Belgium?
The team will leave their hotel in Repino at around 12.30pm.
IS IT WEAR A FOOTBALL SHIRT TO WORK DAY…?
…Sweden’s Minister for Sport Annika Strandhäll certainly thinks so – she was wearing her Sweden shirt in Parliament earlier today to show her support for the national team ahead of their match against Mexico this afternoon.
PORTUGAL READY TO WIN UGLY
Portugal’s Cedric Soares says they will always put results before style, ahead of their last-16 tie against Uruguay.
“The most important thing is to win and our objective is to win every game,” Cedric said on Wednesday.
“Every team has its own strategy and we have ours. No matter if the game is spectacular or not our number one goal for now is to beat Uruguay.”
Portugal looked on course for a meeting with hosts Russia before a dramatic late flurry of events in the final round of games in Group B on Monday.
Cedric was penalised for handball as Iran converted a late spot-kick in a 1-1 draw, while Spain grabbed a late equaliser against Morocco to finish ahead of Portugal on goals scored.
“The World Cup is difficult for teams, and until now our goal was to get to the knockouts, which we did,” said the Southampton defender.
“We dominated Iran, we achieved our goal. The next game is going to be difficult but we are European champions and have proved our quality in the past.
“We know (Uruguay) haven’t lost a single game in 2018,” he added. “We know many of their players very well, they have very strong players.”
CAN ENGLAND OVERHAUL THE ’66 TEAM?
England have made an impressive start in Russia and it has left them in touching distance of their record for goals at a World Cup.
After beating Tunisia 2-1 and Panama 6-1 in their opening group games they now trail the record by three goals.
With a final group game and a last-16 tie promised, could they go on to break the 52-year-old record?
GROUP E PERMUTATIONS
Here’s a breakdown of what all of the teams in Group E need to do to reach the last-16 of the World Cup…
Brazil must avoid defeat to Serbia to qualify, but if they want to win the group they have to better Switzerland’s result against Costa Rica.
Switzerland can top the group if they better Brazil’s result and will need to win to be assured of their place in the next round, however could sneak through with a draw or defeat if Serbia lose.
Serbia will progress if they beat Brazil and could also secure qualification if they draw and Switzerland lose by two goals.
Costa Rica are out of the World Cup.
‘BRAZIL HAVE BEEN UNCONVINCING’
Brazil, who have won a record five World Cup’s, need to avoid defeat against Serbia to progress to the last-16.
They’ve struggled for form, only showing glimpses of their quality in the opening two games, but what has Tim Vickery, a South American football expert, made of their World Cup?
‘SOUTHGATE CHANGED ENGLAND CULTURE’
Jermain Defoe made his England debut alongside the golden generation but was still around to play his part in helping the team to this summer’s World Cup. In conversation with Adam Bate, he explains how Gareth Southgate changed the entire Englandculture…
JONES: ENGLAND FEAR NO ONE
England could potentially aim to finish second in Group G to get a favourable World Cup route.
However, defender Phil Jones insists they will be aiming to beat Belgium on Thursday because they are not intimidated by playing the bigger sides.
ENGLAND FITNESS UPDATE
Rob Dorsett has spoken to us live from England training in Zelnogrosk this morning and offered an update on Gareth Southgate’s squad..
MARADONA HEALTH UPDATE
Diego Maradona has eased concerns over his health after a doctor told him to go home at half-time during Argentina’s dramatic win over Nigeria….check it on the main website
BANEGA KEY TO UNLOCKING MESSI
Argentina are through to the knockout stages of the World Cupfollowing their 2-1 win over Nigeria. Problems remain but one may have been solved thanks to the impressive impact of Ever Banegaand his link-up play with Lionel Messi.
NO ONE IS SAFE IN GROUP F
Not one member of Group F is assured of their place in the knockout phases, let’s take a look at how things could unfold…
Mexico can secure their place in the last-16 by avoiding defeat to Sweden, but risk going out on goal difference if they lose later today and Germany win.
Germany must win to have any chance of progressing, but it may not be enough – they have to better Sweden’s result against Mexico to go through.
Sweden are in the same boat – they have to get a better result than the World Cup holders to qualify.
Even South Korea can still go through if Sweden lose to Mexico and they beat Germany by a margin of two goals.
‘COLOMBIA POSE DANGEROUS THREAT’
Colombia faltered in their opening Group H game – losing to Japan – but have since improved their performances and South American football expert Tim Vickery believes they could cause problems to any side at the World Cup.
They will meet either Belgium or England in the last-16 if they progress…
‘KANE MAKING ENGLAND BETTER’
Harry Kane has impressed many at this year’s World Cup after taking the lead in the Golden Boot race with five goals in his opening two England matches.
And Kane’s Tottenham team-mate Toby Alderweireld is no different…
ZLATAN HAS SPOKEN
It’s all to play for in Group F – to progress to the knockout phases Sweden must either beat Mexico by a margin of two goals or better Germany’s result against South Korea.
Can they do it? Zlatan thinks so…
HELLO, GOOD MORNING!
And we’re back!
What an evening of football that was as Argentina sneaked through to the World Cup last-16 with a late victory over Nigeria.
We are set for more drama today – Germany must win their final game to progress to the knockout phases, while Brazil must avoid defeat.
Also, England train at 8.45am and we will be live with the team ahead of Thursday’s match against Belgium.
This is the place to be for everything World Cup…