One of the World Cup’s minnows has a golden alternative to win its group – and assist knock out the 2018 semi-finalists.
Plus the 2014 world champions need assistance after a winless marketing campaign to this point.
Follow the World Cup together with Morocco-Canada and Croatia-Belgium (2am AEDT), then Spain-Japan and Costa Rica-Germany (6am AEDT), in our dwell blogs under!
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Leckie LAUNCHES Roos into knockouts! | 01:30
GROUP F FINAL MATCHES
Standings heading into Friday morning
1. Croatia (4 pts, +3 GD)
2. Morocco (4 pts, +2 GD)
3. Belgium (3 pts, -1 GD)
4. Canada (0 pts, -4 GD)
CROATIA v BELGIUM [2am AEDT] – Preview (through AFP) and dwell weblog
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic stated his crew “is not going to be fooled” by reviews of infighting within the Belgium camp forward of the groups’ winner-takes-all World Cup conflict.
The 2018 runners-up must keep away from defeat on Friday morning to make sure of qualification for the final 16, whereas Belgium seemingly want all three factors.
Belgian coach Roberto Martinez hit out at “faux information” after media reviews of a rift in his squad.
“We should not chill out, me additionally. He (Martinez) is a good coach and can know harm Croatia,” Dalic instructed a pre-match press convention.
“We is not going to be fooled by media tales and rumours. We expect one of the best from Belgium, an amazing crew with glorious gamers.”
Striker Romelu Lukaku is anticipated to start out for Belgium, having made his comeback from a thigh harm as a late substitute within the 2-0 loss to Morocco final week.
“He (Lukaku) is a good participant who has been on the highest of his recreation for a few years in a row,” stated his former Chelsea teammate Mateo Kovacic.
“It’ll be troublesome, we’ve ready, we’re anticipating a really environment friendly Belgium. It’s going to be a troublesome recreation. We have to be centered and prepared.”
Croatia brushed apart any worries they have been an ageing pressure after a goalless draw with Morocco by coming from behind to beat Canada 4-1 of their second Group F match.
“We’ll present our true face, the face we demonstrated in opposition to Canada,” stated Kovacic.
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‘No celebrations’: Arnie’s blunt message | 00:24
CANADA v MOROCCO [2am AEDT] – Preview (through AFP) and dwell weblog
Morocco coach Walid Regragui desires “no regrets” after going through Canada, together with his crew aiming for qualification to the World Cup knockout stage for the primary time since 1986.
The north African aspect reached the final 16 in Mexico 36 years in the past for the one time of their historical past, and some extent in opposition to already-eliminated Canada would see them repeat the feat.
They got a 38.3% probability of advancing from the group pre-tournament and only a 14.6% probability of successful the group.
Morocco are second in Group F, stage on 4 factors with leaders Croatia, who face Belgium, on three factors, whereas Canada are backside with no factors.
“We don’t need to have an eye fixed on the Croatia and Belgium match to resolve our personal destiny, we (must) give every little thing we’ve acquired so we have now no regrets on the finish,” Regragui instructed a press convention.
“We’ll give every little thing we’ve acquired. Our gamers need to make historical past and can give 110 p.c to make sure the Moroccan inhabitants is blissful.”
Morocco gamers have been allowed to convey their households to the event and after the 2-0 win over Belgium, Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi was pictured in an emotional embrace together with his mom within the stands.
“Before we acquired right here we had a method assembly, to convey households with us or not,” stated Regragui.
“Based on our expertise in 2018, together with our technical crew, we selected the choice to convey the households.
“Some gamers have youngsters, some would slightly have their mother and father with them. We did job in that regard. When you win, there’s no negatives, everyone seems to be blissful, however if you happen to lose they are going to say — ‘Why did you convey the households?’
“We meet them after the sport after which we consider the following one.
“The spirit of household off the pitch, we need to convey that onto the pitch, and till now it’s functioning very nicely.”
African champions Senegal certified from Group A after beating Ecuador and Morocco have probability to hitch them within the subsequent spherical.
“Senegal confirmed us an amazing path, we need to undergo and transfer ahead,” stated Regragui.
“Morocco is my precedence, Morocco and Moroccans. (But) we hope to fly the flag of African soccer excessive.
“Often African soccer has been described as sub-par, not so good as elsewhere, however we’ve proven we may give anybody a run for his or her cash.”
Opponents Canada are enjoying in solely their second World Cup and regardless of two defeats and elimination with a recreation to spare, coach John Herdman stated his crew have made progress.
Follow Canada v Morocco in our dwell weblog under!
Messi awarded doubtful pen, however misses! | 00:56
GROUP E FINAL MATCHES
Standings heading into Friday morning
1. Spain (4 pts, +7 GD)
2. Japan (3 pts, 0 GD)
3. Costa Rica (3 pts, -6 GD)
4. Germany (1 pt, -1 GD)
JAPAN v SPAIN [6am AEDT] – Preview (through AFP) and dwell weblog
Luis Enrique stated Spain is not going to depend their chickens earlier than they’re hatched after they face Japan, aiming to win and qualify for the World Cup knockout section.
La Roja are high of Group E on 4 factors and are assured to progress with a draw, however are aiming for all three factors on the Khalifa International Stadium.
Some have urged that Spain would possibly profit from coming second and avoiding a possible quarter-final conflict with Brazil, however their coach disagreed.
“We have mirrored on it, however from knowledgeable standpoint, think about this, that we have been fascinated with coming second,” Luis Enrique instructed a press convention.
“We’re within the ninetieth minute, stoppage time arrives, and each video games are 0-0. And within the ninety fifth minute with 15 seconds to go, Japan rating and Costa Rica rating.
“You’ve speculated for 95 minutes and been eradicated within the ninety fifth. Or the reverse. Germany are successful their recreation 5-0 and we’re at 0-0, which is nice for us, after which we concede and we’re out.
“When you might be satisfied that your crew is an excellent crew and that we need to play seven video games, we don’t need to come second. We need to end first.
“That means enjoying in opposition to whoever it’s within the subsequent spherical, in opposition to the second crew from Group F. Perfect.
“Then within the quarter-finals in opposition to a crew from Group H. (Maybe) we’ll play in opposition to Brazil, however first we have now to beat Japan.
“We is not going to depend our chickens earlier than they’re hatched.
“Top stage sport isn’t about hypothesis. We should do our homework and end first within the group.”
Japan earned a 2-1 win over Germany of their first recreation, in one of many surprises of the event thus far, however want a minimum of a draw to advance to the spherical of 16.
Spain gained the World Cup in 2010 and are among the many fancied sides to elevate the trophy after a 7-0 romp over Costa Rica of their first recreation and a 1-1 draw in opposition to Germany.
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Agony! Mexico eradicated in merciless scenes | 01:15
COSTA RICA v GERMANY [6am AEDT] – Preview (through AFP) and dwell weblog
Coach Hansi Flick laughed off options he would lose his job if Germany crash out of the World Cup on the group stage for the second event in a row.
Germany should beat Costa Rica on Thursday and hope Spain beat Japan to make sure of reaching the final 16.
Speaking in Doha on Wednesday, Flick stated he had no plans to step down however stated he knew the choice wouldn’t all the time be his to take.
“Yes, from my aspect I can affirm (it gained’t be my final recreation),” Flick stated with a smile.
“You by no means know what’s across the nook however I’m wanting ahead to Germany’s residence European Championships (in 2024).
“I’ve a contract till 2024. But that’s nonetheless a good distance away.”
Depending on different outcomes, Germany could must win by as many as eight targets to keep away from a second-successive group stage exit, however Flick stated ideas of purpose distinction had not entered their thoughts regardless of Germany “not having every little thing in our personal fingers”.
“I believe it’s just a little disrespectful to say we’ll rating eight targets in opposition to Costa Rica. We can be blissful simply to win the sport,” he stated.
Germany discover themselves on this place as a result of they suffered a shock defeat of their first match to Japan earlier than snatching a draw with Spain.
Flick insisted he didn’t really feel beneath strain forward of the essential match.
“What is strain? In this example we’re enjoying to enter the spherical of 16, it’s good and that’s why we’re right here.
“I don’t really feel any strain. I didn’t really feel it after Japan and I don’t really feel it now.”
Flick revealed that Kai Havertz had been disregarded of the match in opposition to Spain because the Chelsea ahead had a chilly, not due to his disappointing efficiency within the defeat to Japan.
“Kai had a chilly and that’s why he didn’t play, it wasn’t to do together with his efficiency,” he stated.
Flick stated there have been no health points in his aspect and stated ahead Leroy Sane, whose look off the bench coincided with Germany’s greatest section of the match in opposition to Spain, was a candidate to start out.
On whether or not Niclas Fuellkrug, who scored Germany’s late equaliser in opposition to Spain in its place, would make his full worldwide debut in opposition to Costa Rica, Flick stated: “You’ll should see tomorrow.”
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