June 19, 2018, 19:40:01 CEST | Wikinews
2018 FIFA World Cup
More from 2018 FIFA World Cup
19 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day four: Mexico beats Germany; Serbia leads Group E, Brazil shares the spoils with Swiss
18 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 day three: France, Denmark and Croatia wins three points; Argentina shares the spoils with debutants Iceland
16 June 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 Day 2: Uruguay, Iran win three points each with late goals; Portugal-Spain share the spoils
14 June 2018: Football: Russia beats Saudi Arabia 5-0 in FIFA World Cup opener
13 June 2018: Spanish Football Federation sacks Lopetegui as team's head coach one day before FIFA World Cup
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On Sunday, day four of the 2018 FIFA football World Cup, Serbia defeated Costa Rica 1–0, Brazil drew 1–1 against Switzerland, and defending champions Germany lost 1–0 against Mexico.
Group E — Costa Rica 0–1 Serbia
In the first game of Group E, Costa Rica faced Serbia at the Samara Arena. Costa Rica's Giancarlo González got an opportunity to score from a header in the 12th minute but the ball went over the crossbar. A minute later, on Serbia's attack, Aleksandar Mitrovic's chance to put Serbia in the lead was saved. The first half ended with 0–0 on the scoreboard.
In the second half, Serbia won a free kick in the 55th minute because of a foul by David Guzmán. Serbia's captain Aleksandar Kolarov scored from the free kick in the top right corner, which proved to be the winning goal of the match. Nemanja Matić's attempt in the 77th minute to double the lead was blocked. Costa Rica had a few attempts as the match proceeded, but none were converted into a goal. The match ended 1–0 as the Serbian side climbed to the top spot in the group.
This was Branislav Ivanovic's 104th international match, and he is now the most capped Serbian international. Aleksandar Kolarov won the Budweiser Man of the Match award. After the match, he said, "The free-kick came in a difficult moment in the match and I knew I could step up and change things, and that's exactly what I did."
Group F — Germany 0–1 Mexico
The defending champions Germany took on Mexico in the first game of Group F in Moscow. Germany had greater ball possession in the match. Héctor Herrera's 10th minute attempt from outside the goal was blocked by Manuel Neuer. Both sides had multiple attempts for opening the scoring. In the 35th minute, Hirving Lozano scored a goal from a right-footed shot, from Chicharito's assist, putting the Mexicans in the lead. The first half ended with Mexico leading 1&nash;0.
In the second half, multiple attempts by Joshua Kimmich, Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, and Timo Werner went wide or were blocked. Though with the greater all possession, Germany lost 1–0 to Mexico.
This was the fifth World Cup tournament for Rafael Márquez; only two other players have played five. In the last six World Cup tournaments, Mexico has never lost their first game, winning five of those. It was the first defeat for Germany since losing to France in the UEFA Euro 2016's semi-finals.
After the match, Germany's coach Joachim Löw said "In the first half, we played very badly. We were not able to impose our usual way of playing, attacking, and there were lots of counter-attacks against us and we were very vulnerable. In the second half, we were able to press more, but Mexico drew back and then carried the ball forward fast. We had a couple of [shots], but it seemed jinxed and the ball did not go into the goal. Everybody is really unhappy and crestfallen but we have to put this behind us. Our team has experience of losses."
Group E — Brazil 1–1 Switzerland
In the last match on the day, Brazil faced Switzerland at Rostov-on-Don. Brazil had greater ball possession and more attempts. In the 11th minute, Paulinho missed just in front of the goal to put Brazil in the lead. However, Brazil got a 1–0 lead in the 20th minute when Philippe Coutinho scored from outside the box. Switzerland's Stephan Lichtsteiner was the only one to be booked in the first half as it ended 1–0 with Brazil leading.
Two minutes into the second half, Casemiro was shown the yellow card for a bad foul. Switzerland won a corner in the 50th minute. Steven Zuber scored a header from Xherdan Shaqiri and equalised for the Swiss side. Multiple attempts by Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, and Coutinho came through, but none succeeded. The match ended 1–1 as both countries won one point.
Valon Behrami became the first Switzerland player to feature in four different World Cups. After the match, Brazil's coach Tite said, "We had too many balls off target, if we had been a bit more focused we could have made the goalkeeper work a bit more. My expectation of course was to get a victory and of course I'm not happy with the result." Coutinho won the Budweiser Man of the Match award.
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