By DAN KARELL
Germany closed out their send-off series in style on Friday evening but their 6-1 win against Armenia in Mainz came at a massive cost.
On Saturday morning, Germany were forced to replace star playmaker Marco Reus after the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was diagnosed with a partial tear to his left ankle ligament. Reus suffered the injury just seconds before the halftime whistle in the match vs. Armenia when he lunged into a challenge and had his foot caught in an awkward angle in the grass.
Germany manager Joachim Löw elected to place Reus in the squad with young German defender Shkodran Mustafi.
“For him and us it is extremely regrettable,” Löw said in a statement on the DFB website. “He was in great form, and he made an excellent impression in training camp and the two games against Cameroon and Armenia.”
The injury and subsequent replacement of Reus has overshadowed the fact that veteran forward Miroslav Klose broke his nation’s all-time scoring record when he scored his 69th international goal. In an ironic twist, the Polish-born Klose took a pass from the left boot of Polish-born winger Lukas Podolski and headed home in the 77th minute.
Here are some more notes to catch you up around the world:
MEXICO FALL AGAIN, THIS TIME TO PORTUGAL
In a game between two teams who might be happy just to not have suffered any more injuries, Mexico fell to Portugal on Friday evening at Gillette Stadium, 1-0.
Mexico overall dominated the game against a Portugal squad that was playing without a number of starters including Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, and Raul Meireles, but weren’t able to put enough shots on target.
When asked, Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo stepped up to the task, making an acrobatic save on a cross-turned-shot from Miguel Layun early, saving two shots by Hector Herrera, and making a diving save one-on-one with El Tri substitute Raul Jimenez to keep a clean sheet.
Portugal claimed the victory in the third minute of stoppage time after winning a free kick in the attacking half. Joao Moutinho floated a ball into the box and veteran Portugal defender Bruno Alves met the ball and powered it towards goal, past the out-stretched arms of Guillermo Ochoa in net.
COSTA RICA DRAW REP. OF IRELAND IN BACK-AND-FORTH GAME
Costa Rica’s final World Cup tune-up saw them eke out a draw against the Republic of Ireland despite going down a man in the first half.
Los Ticos were reduced to ten men in the 1-1 draw in the 41st minute when Columbus Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez was sent off for elbowing Ireland’s Kevin Doyle in the head.
Doyle initially put Ireland on the board in the 18th minute when he headed a powerful shot home from the top of the box. In the 64th minute, Costa Rica hit one back, as Celso Borges calmly finished from the penalty spot on a controversial call. Three minutes later, Ireland were also awarded a controversial penalty kick but goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton made a great save to keep out LA Galaxy forward Robby Keane’s attempt on goal.
BRAZIL WIN FINAL WARMUP AS THEY FOCUS ON OPENING MATCH
Brazil took care of business in Sao Paulo on Friday night as they begin to prepare for the difficult task of winning the World Cup.
Luis Felipe Scolari put out the expected starting lineup for the World Cup opener next Thursday and the team did enough to defeat Serbia, 1-0. Fred scored the game’s only goal in the 58th minute in a feat of individual brilliance.
Centerback Thiago Silva floated a diagonal ball into the box that Fred chested down between two defenders. Losing his balance, Fred still managed to get to the ball first before the oncoming keeper and blast it in for a goal.
Colombia routed Jordan, 3-0, behind goals from James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, and Victor Ibarbo. (REPORT)
Japan star Keisuke Honda scored twice as Japan rallied in stoppage time to defeat Zambia, 4-3, in Tampa, Fla. (REPORT)
Robert Lewandowski scored the game-winning-goal for Poland on a penalty kick as they defeated Lithuania, 2-1. (REPORT)
Greece ended a three-game scoreless run with a 2-1 victory over Bolivia at Red Bull Arena. (REPORT)
Russia beat Morocco, 2-0, but lost captain Roman Shirokov from their World Cup squad due to an Achillies injury. (REPORT)
Croatia forward Nikica Jelavic scored the game-winner for his side in a 1-0 victory over Australia in Bahia. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? Disappointed to hear about Reus being out of the World Cup? Do you see Mexico suffering from a lack of confidence? Do you expect them to play better in Brazil?
Share your thoughts below.