World Cup Group B: Matchday Two Review

Australia and Germany both have one foot in the last sixteen after they split the points in a 1-1 draw in Nizhniy Novgorod today, leaving them both on four points. Morocco and Ireland drew in Moscow for their first point each, meaning either needs a win and a four-goal swing next week.

Two changes for Morocco following their 1-4 defeat by Germany, with the most notable being a change in goal as 23-year old Zakaria Saïdi® replaced Ismaïl Kouha. Aït Fana also came in for Boussoufa upfront. Just one change for Ireland with Aidan White a straight swap for Stephen Ward at left-back.

Morocco took the lead after ten minutes on a counter attack when Kantari cleared a Shane long ball into the box. El Kaoutari attacked with pace on the break and found El Adoua. One touch to Belhanda who slotted through to Marouane Chamakh who took it first time on his left to drill low past Meara and in-off the far post.

Ireland’s equaliser came midway through the second-half when Shane Long brought down Murray’s cross into the box, rounded Saïdi and tucked home from close range. A draw was a fair result, but does neither side many favours ahead of their final fixtures on Tuesday.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP B (2)
                      MOROCCO 1-1 REP.IRELAND
                   Chamakh 11     Long 65
                 
                      Carcela     Cox
                      Chamakh     Pearce


Germany dominated against a resilient Australian side with 63% possession and over double the amount of shots, but had their early penalty were pegged back by a Rhys Williams goal to share the points. If either side avoids defeat next week, a place in the last sixteen awaits.

Australia survived a booking for Rhys Williams after just 30 seconds when he had a handful of Sebastian Rode’s shirt much to the disapproval of English referee Clattenburg. Just before the 20 minute mark, Clattenburg upset the Socceroos again when he pointed to the spot.

Rhys Williams was involved again as he tripped Rode in the box as the Frankfurt midfielder ran onto Götze’s through-ball. Williams somehow escaped a second yellow, but André Schürrle slammed the penalty into the top corner for his 20th international goal to give Germany the lead.

Right before the hour, Australia scored the goal to earn themselves a point, and it was Rhys Williams involved again. Luca Mavromatis® did all the leg work, bringing the ball forward 40 yards with little resistance before firing a shot at Manuel Neuer. The Bayern Munich ‘keeper got his hands to it but it was parried to Williams who had time to steady himself before slotting home.

Germany play Ireland on Tuesday in Moscow. Australia will face Morocco in Rostov.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP B (2)
                    AUSTRALIA 1-1 GERMANY
             Rhys Williams 59     Schürrle pen 19
                    
                Rhys Williams
                Ryan Williams
                         Ryan

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