World Cup 2018

#Russia2018 In Pictures: Kolarov kills it, spy claims rock Sweden, Mexico stun Germany, Brazil draw

Zlatan arrived and the tournament delivered another upset.

Stay up to date with all the latest news from Russia with Daily Maverick‘s dedicated World Cup 2018 section.  For the latest highlights, results and standings from all the groups, click here. Compiled by ANTOINETTE MULLER, photos by EPA. After what felt like never-ending action on Saturday, Sunday was positively tame. The early kick-off saw Serbia return to the World Cup for the first time since 2010. They beat Costa Rica 1-0 in a tense encounter that came with a bit of argy-bargy towards the end. [caption id="attachment_87949" align="alignleft" width="3500"] Goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Costa Rica is beaten as Serbia go 1-0 with a free kick during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Costa Rica and Serbia in Samara, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87958" align="alignleft" width="2100"] Nemanja Matic (L) of Serbia scuffles with Costa Rica's assistant coach Luis Marin (C) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Costa Rica and Serbia in Samara, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87951" align="alignleft" width="4017"] Nemanja Matic (2-L) of Serbia scuffles with Costa Rica's Kendall Waston (3-L) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Costa Rica and Serbia in Samara, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87950" align="alignleft" width="3267"] Referee Malang Diedhiou of Senegal shows a yellow card to Branislav Ivanovic (R) of Serbia during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Costa Rica and Serbia in Samara, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH[/caption] Aleksandar Kolarov's winning goal was the third scored from a direct free-kick in the 2018 World Cup - as many as we had in the entire 2014 edition. Spying with my little eye, the Swedes sneaking into South Korea's closed training. Swedish coach Janne Andersson was forced to apologise at his press conference after claims that one of his scouts was involved in a covert operation earlier in the week. [caption id="attachment_87965" align="alignleft" width="5472"] South Korea's players attend a training session at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Russia, 17 June 2018. South Korea will face Sweden in a group F preliminary round soccer match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 on 18 June 2018. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO[/caption] Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed up to watch Germany take on Mexico. Somewhat disappointingly, he did not go full Zlatan and pull on a German shirt. [caption id="attachment_87964" align="alignleft" width="3791"] Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic greets fans before the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Germany and Mexico in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY[/caption] Germany sure could have used him. They were stunned by Mexico, losing 0-1 in a match that was good for entertainment but terrible for the purist. In that same fixture, Rafael Márquez became only the third player to play at five World Cups, equalling the record held by Antonio Carbajal (Mexico) and Lothar Matthäus (Germany). And here's another stat to get your noggin going. World Cups have not been kind to defending champions. Out of the last 12 competitions, those who hold the cup have failed to win their opening game on nine occasions. [caption id="attachment_87948" align="alignleft" width="2888"] Germany's Toni Kroos and Saudi Arabia's Yahia Alshehri in action during the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen, Germany, 08 June 2018. EPA-EFE/RONALD WITTEK[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87952" align="alignleft" width="3124"] Carlos Salcedo (C) of Mexico and Mario Gomez of Germany go for a header during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Germany and Mexico in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018.
EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87956" align="alignleft" width="3804"] Supporters of Mexico celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Germany and Mexico in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018. Mexico won the match 1-0. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87944" align="alignleft" width="3600"] Javier Hernandez of Mexico reacts after winning the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Germany and Mexico in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87955" align="alignleft" width="3600"] Mexico's coach Juan Carlos Osorio (R) reacts with Rafael Marquez of Mexico after winning the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between Germany and Mexico in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87957" align="alignleft" width="7744"] German fans react to the 0-1 lead watching the match between Germany and Mexico in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 17 June 2018. As a tradition, the matches of the German team are being shown on a big screen in front of the Brandenburg Gate in the centre of Berlin. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN[/caption] Heading into the clash, The Green and Yellow had a solid record, having won 17 of their last 21 matches since Tite took over as coach back in June 2016. But then it's been that kind of tournament so far. Numbers mean nothing and while the drama of late goals seems to be fading, the underdogs are doing the business. [caption id="attachment_87973" align="alignleft" width="4344"] Brazil's Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates with his teammates Marcelo (L) and Neymar (C) after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/LAURENT GILLIERON[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87974" align="alignleft" width="2887"] Neymar (R) and Marcelo of Brazil react during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87975" align="alignleft" width="3280"] Switzerland's midfielder Steven Zuber (R) scores the 1-1 equalizer during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/LAURENT GILLIERON[/caption] [caption id="attachment_87976" align="alignleft" width="4524"] Fans of Brazil watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group E soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland in the Moscow Fan Zone in Moscow, Russia, 17 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH[/caption] On Monday, we'll get our first look at just how much disappointment England are setting their fans up for. DM

HEADLINE FEATURES

YOUR NEXT ARTICLE