World cup day 11 in a nutshell: Late drama, record breaking… and a princess

The latest of late drama, a record breaking Mexican, and a lucky princess – it’s been a big day of World Cup action on day 11.

Each day during the tournament, we will be pulling together all the big stories and best reaction right here in a nutshell, so you do not miss a thing.

Here are the highlights from day 11 at the World Cup…

The reports

Belgium 5-2 Tunisia

Roberto Martinez’s side clicked into gear with a bang against the outfit England only edged past on Monday night, going ahead inside six minutes when Eden Hazard converted from the spot.

Romelu Lukaku doubled the lead but Dylan Bronn looked to have brought Tunisia back into the game, until the Manchester United man struck again on the stroke of half-time.

Another from Hazard after the break and a close-range finish – after missing a hatful of other chances – from Michy Batshuayi gave Belgium the joint-highest score in a game at this tournament, before Wahbi Khazri netted a consolation goal in injury time.

South Korea 1-2 Mexico

Mexico kept up their 100 per cent record at this World Cup with a goal in either half to get past a South Korea side who, in truth, provided more of a test at times than Germany had in the first round of games.

Hirving Lozano was again on form for the Mexicans but it was Carlos Vela who put them ahead from the penalty spot, after Lee Yong was penalised for handball.

Javier Hernandez became the first Mexico player to score 50 goals after the break with a smart turn and finish, and although Heung-min Son fired in a goal of the tournament contender late on, it was too late to mount a serious comeback.

Germany 2-1 Sweden

In the game of the day, Germany kept their tournament alive with a late, late show against Sweden to keep their destiny in their own hands going into the final round of group games.

Trailing to Ola Toivonen’s first-half lob, Joachim Low’s half-time team talk made all the difference against a Sweden side looking to seal qualification to the knockout stages.

Marco Reus levelled within minutes of the restart but Jerome Boateng’s dismissal for a second yellow late on looked to have derailed their hopes of a win, until Toni Kroos struck a wonderful free-kick in the final 15 seconds of injury-time to steal victory.

Moment of the day

While much of the world was ready to revel in a rare spate of Germany misfortune, Kroos’ 95th-minute winner, and a beauty of a strike at that, was one of the sensational moments of the World Cup so far.

It broke Swedish hearts and may have consigned them to elimination ahead of a meeting with group leaders Mexico in their final group game, but it was a moment to savour for the world champions.

The quality of Kroos’ strike, from the tightest of angles and with the ability to get the ball to loop in at the far post from a last-minute Germany free-kick, was magnificent.

The key quotes Stat of the day

Arsenal’s Xhaka and Shaqiri of Stoke – who are of Albanian-Kosovan heritage – celebrated their goals in the World Cup Group E win by putting their hands together to form a double-headed eagle, representative of the one on the Albanian flag.

The nationalist symbol risked inflaming tensions in the Balkans among Serbians – who do not recognise Kosovo’s independence – and ethnic Albanians.

Elsewhere, Gareth Southgate looked to draw a line under teamsheet-gate during his pre-match press conference ahead of England’s game with Panama on Sunday.

He said: “If the opposition have your team in any sport, that’s a competitive advantage, but it’s not the job of the media to protect that.

“The other day was a list of 23 players and people have taken something from it which probably isn’t correct. But no drama.”

Romelu Lukaku was also ruled a potential doubt for England’s final game of the group, against Belgium on Thursday. The four-goal forward, already Belgium’s top goalscorer at a single World Cup, reportedly picked up a knock during their 5-2 win over Tunisia on Saturday.

And finally…

Japan’s squad have been enjoying some unexpected – but highly welcomed – support from Princess Hisako of Takamado, who visited the team’s base in Kazan to meet the players after she attended the match against Colombia last week.

The first member of Japan’s royal family to visit Russia in more than a century, Princess Hisako is likely to be in attendance for Sunday’s match with Senegal, where she will hope to keep up her status as the team’s lucky charm.