MOSCOW. — Mexico take on Sweden today at Ekaterinburg Arena on the final match-day of Group F action at the 2018 World Cup.
The match begins at 4pm with Sweden needing a big win to advance following that remarkable 2-1 defeat to Germany. For El Tri, a victory or draw secures top spot in the group.
The two teams that advance from Group F will match up against teams from Group E, where nothing’s been decided yet either. Brazil currently tops the group on goal difference while Switzerland are sitting pretty in second, but Serbia could still shake everything up.
The two games from Group F will be played before the two games in Group E today.
Mexico control their own destiny heading into the final match-day in what’s proven to be the group of death. Although El Tri’s goal differential stands at only +2 following two single-goal victories, Mexico’s been much more assured and comfortable than those final score lines suggest. For many, Mexico’s been the team of the tournament, which is why a possible group stage elimination seems so implausible at this point.
However, that could still be the case come this afternoon. Sweden must record a famous victory to make it happen, and the fact that they’ve already done as much against France and Italy to even make it here tells you everything. Sweden demands respect, and their match against Germany just confirms that.
But the Scandinavian nation are now in the unfamiliar position of having to take the game to an opponent from the outset — this side isn’t built to do that. What’s more, that favours into Mexico’s devastating ability on the counter.
It should be a fascinating battle with everything at stake.
The biggest news off the pitch concerning Sweden has been the team’s defence of Jimmy Durmaz after the winger was subjected to death threats and racist abuse on social media for his foul in the lead-up to Kroos’ goal.
After giving away the free kick which led to Germany’s goal, Jimmy Durmaz stood up to the trolls giving him racist abuse online.
Also, striker Marcus Berg will avoid sanctions after inadvertently missing a doping test following the Germany match. — AFP.