The World Cup venue where no one cares; Kildare show home advantage matters

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German fans react as they watch their team get knocked out of the World Cup in the group stages. Photo: Omer Messinger/EPA

German fans react as they watch their team get knocked out of the World Cup in the group stages. Photo: Omer Messinger/EPA

So, after a crazy day of World Cup action Germany bowed out at the opening stage of the competition for the first time since 1938 yesterday when they were beaten 2-0 by South Korea. The Germans looked a shadow of the team that lifted the trophy in 2014 throughout the tournament and become the third consecutive holders to leave at the group stage phase. From Kazan, Emmet Malone writes that they leave under a cloud of uncertainty with the future of manager Joachim Löw at the certain of it.

Meanwhile, Brazil had no such issues as they swatted aside Serbia to advance to the last 16. From Moscow Ken Early writes that it’s the ‘Brazilian Way’ or their version of cute hoorism that makes them so difficult to beat and also so frsutrating to play with Neymar embodying it more than anyone. Over in Kaliningrad, England take on Belgium this evening in their final Group G match to decide who will come first and second and, by extension, who could face a significnatly easier route through the competition. Reporting from the Russian enclave near Gdansk in Poland is Keith Duggan who writes that, out of all of the host venues, this one is certainly the most peculiar as no one really seems to care.

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