Another round-up from the World Cup in Russia sees Sweden and Mexico emerge from Group F as Germany lose to South Korea to exit in the group stages for the first time since 1938.
A woman is standing outside the open door of the courtyard where the cancer sticks go to work. The wind is playing with her long flowing blue and white dress, dragging it up to the sky giving us all a peek at her Roman sandals and black thong.
A guy with a white string vest, black shorts, knobbly knees, white socks pulled to his knees, and a pair of Jesus sandals is stood behind her, staring at his prize.
“Fuck me!” He says, looking around to see if anyone else can see what he sees.
And that’s how I felt when I learned Sweden had reached the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Germany, Sweden, Mexico and South Korea. It’s hardly the Group of Death, but that’s how it transpired with all four sides within a goal or two of making the Round of 16.
Sweden faced Mexico.
Germany squared off against the South Koreans.
You don’t need to be at the top end of the IQ scores to stick Mexico and Germany into the hat, but it didn’t quite work out like that.
Sweden came into the final game with three points thanks to an opening victory against South Korea. A late Toni Kroos goal stole a point from them in the second game against Ze Germans.
Mexico had beaten both Korea and Germany, playing a viscerally vibrant brand of football that had you reaching for the hanky to wipe away the drool.
And then something extraordinary happened.
The Swedish players locked their jaws onto the back of Mexican necks and threw them around as a Pitbull would do to a 14-month old child left to play on the front lawn as her mother tans her tits.
Ludwig Augustinsson scores his first goal for his country with a volley in the 50th minute.
Hector Moreno brings down Marcus Berg in the penalty area in the 62nd minute and Andreas Granqvist scores from the spot.
12-minutes later and the ball bobs around in the six-yard box, strikes the arm of Edson Alvarez and trickles past the hapless Mexican keeper.
And what was the nation of Mexico doing as the Swedes kept slicing through them with a bright yellow sabre?
They were all watching South Korea v Germany.
South Korea v Germany
There is one given in football.
Germany will be there or thereabouts at the deep end of major international tournaments.
Joachim Low has taken Germany into five major tournaments, and each time he has made the semi-finals, including winning the World Cup.
So, when they turned up to play a Korean side who needed a miracle to qualify, there was only ever going to be one winner.
The side that four years ago battered Brazil 7-1 in their own backyard to reach the World Cup Final was awful.
By the time the 90th minute came knocking, word had come from the sidelines that Sweden had thrashed Mexico. Korea knew they were out. Germany knew they needed a goal or suffer the ignominy of exiting in the group stages for the first time since 1938.
Cho Hyun-woo had already made an excellent one-handed save from a Leon Goretzka header, Timo Werner had volleyed wide, and Mats Hummels had shouldered a ball wide of the mark when he seemed destined to score, before two-minutes into injury time the remarkable happened.
There was a spot of pinball in the German area; the ball fell to Kim Young-Gwon who finished with aplomb. The Koreans went wild, in the stand and on the pitch. The Germans looked like someone had cut their tongue out.
The linesman had his flag up.
The Koreans stopped singing.
The Germans took over.
And then the entire footballing world stopped whatever they were doing to watch the referee check VAR.
In the most beautiful VAR moment of all-time, and to prove it does its job, the referee gave the goal after the replay showed the last touch came off Toni Kroos thus nullifying Young-Gwon’s offside position.
The Germans didn’t complain.
Thomas Muller planted the ball on the centre circle, and they went searching for two goals.
Everyone ploughed forward, including Manuel Neuer.
Germany had a throw-in. It landed at the feet of Neuer. Ju Se-jong picked his pocket and rifled the ball goalwards from well inside his half. Son Heung-min went after it like a greyhound and just like that Germany was out.
The Koreans celebrated.
The Mexicans celebrated.
Every single team left in the World Cup celebrated.
Germany was out.
Someone else could win it for a change.
Group F Table
1. Sweden – 6
2. Mexico – 6
3. South Korea – 3
4. Germany – 3
World Cup Winners
Sweden & Mexico Odds
Brazil v Mexico
Switzerland v Sweden
Sweden – 11/5
To Win The World Cup