FIFA World Cup

Hope springs eternal

Print edition :

Luka Modric shoots to score Croatia’s second goal in its group D match with Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod, which Croatia won 3-0. Photo: AP

Kim Young-gwon scores South Korea’s first goal past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at the Kazan Arena in Kazan. Favourites Germany lost the match 0-2. Photo: PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

Jo Hyun-woo was the star of the South Korean side with saves such as this against Germany in their group F match at the Kazan Arena. Photo: Lee Jin-man/AP

Blerim Dzemaili scores the opening goal for Switzerland against Costa Rica in a group E encounter in Nizhny Novgorod. Photo: AFP

Thiago Silva heads the ball to score Brazil’s second goal in its group E match with Serbia at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Photo: YURI CORTEZ/AFP

Iceland’s Hannes Halldorsson saves a penalty from Argentina’s Lionel Messi in a group D match that ended in a draw at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Iceland’s fans at the St. Petersburg Fan Fest to cheer for their team, which was making its first appearance in the World Cup Finals, during its clash against Argentina. Photo: HENRY ROMERO/REUTERS

Nacho Fernandez (left) of Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during their group B match, which ended in a 3-3 draw, at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP

In the group stage, some of the less-fancied teams make their mark with hard-fought victories or narrow defeats against some of the superpowers of the Great Game.
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