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Angels Links: World Cup Fever!

The World Cup is off and running, and it’s been fun so far.

Germany v Mexico: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Mexico’s upset of Germany caps off wild World Cup weekend

The World Cup is off, and its been quite a ride so far. The 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal was an instant classic, in its first ever World Cup game Iceland drew with Argentina, and Brazil drew its first match against a stout Switzerland team. The biggest upset, and one of the most important games so far though, was Mexico’s 1-0 defeat of defending champions Germany. Mexico took it to the Germans, overrunning their midfield and get numerous good chances on the counter. If Mexico had been sharper with their final passes or shots, the game could’ve ended 3 or 4-0. This was a huge result for Mexico, not just for the psychological reasons of beating Germany, or the fact that they started off the tournament well. If Mexico wins their group, they avoid the winner of Group E, which will most likely be Brazil. This could bode well for Mexico’s chances of going deep in the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo stars as Portugal draw Spain 3-3

Circling back to Friday, the match of the tournament, and maybe the best World Cup match in a long time was Spain 3, Portugal 3. The game had everything, great overall play, controversial calls, or non-calls (Hi Diego Costa!), up and down action, goalkeeper mistakes and great goals, particularly by Nacho, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s free kick to level the match was sublime, and he doubled his World Cup goal tally by scoring a hat trick in the game. He also became just the 4th player to have scored at four different World Cups. Portugal are a better team than the one that won the Euros two years ago, and with Ronaldo firing on all cylinders, they might have another title in them.

South Korea tries to fool Swedish scouts spying on their team

And now for the strangest story of the World Cup so far (yes, even stranger than Spain firing their manager two days before the World Cup started). Monday morning Sweden and South Korea faced off for their first matches. In the lead up, South Korea discovered that Sweden’s scouts were spying on their training sessions. So, the South Korean coach Shin Tae-Yong devised a clever strategy, have the players switch jerseys. “They might know a few of our players but it is very difficult for westerners to distinguish between Asians and that’s why we did it,” Shin said wryly to Reuters. This could work, as most of South Korea’s players are locally based, and not likely to be well known by European scouts. It’s the World Cup, and clearly Sweden and South Korea are pulling out all the stops to maintain somewhat of a surprise advantage over the other team.

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