From Moscow to Saint Petersburg

Over the next month, I'll be covering the World Cup for Tribalfootball. And along the way, I'd like to share with you some of my experiences and keep you up to date with all the action! Auf Wiedersehen So the Germans are out of the World Cup, and so are half of our Tribalfootball writers predictions. While not the obvious ramification, it is rather strange that nobody in the world thought this was a possibility given the recent history of World Cup holders. Four out of the last five have now been eliminated at the group stage and the third in a row. Germany's lacklustre start to the tournament wasn't a surprise to the Bavarian photographer I met in Moscow after the opening game loss to Mexico. He said the signs were there before the tournament. The lack of potency, direction, creativity and heart. It was evident in the warm-up friendlies against Austria (loss) and Saudi Arabia (2-1 win). And he was seemingly proven right when Joachim Low's side couldn't pull it together for their last two games against Sweden - they played dreadful despite winning - and South Korea. Regardless, yesterday shocked the football world and Germany's demise will be spoken about repeatedly until Qatar. But maybe by then we will look cautiously at the holders before hedging our bets. Dasvidaniya White Nights With a hint of sadness, today I left Saint Petersburg for probably the last time at this World Cup. What a remarkable city. If you're a history buff like me, there's no better place to learn about Russia. It's home to the second largest museum in the world, the State Hermitage Musuem, which includes the old Tsar's Winter Palace. There are countless other museums, art galleries and landmark sites that could keep you here for days. (I should be getting paid for this plug) With the later kick-off times, I was able to get up early and spend a couple of hours getting lost amongst the city's winding rivers and coloured buildings. I didn't have much of a choice, mind you. You see, summertime in Saint Petersburg means it virtually never gets completely dark. You'd have to think how this affects the players staying in Saint Petersburg when the sun blares through your window at 4am. But it sure makes getting up for a flight much easier. (The two photos were taken after Argentina's win over Nigeria at midnight and at 4 a.m on route to said flight) Goodbye group stage And thanks for a good time. The aforementioned exit of Germany has been just one of the highlights in what has been an enthralling two weeks of football. Group H kicks off proceedings in our 5pm slot this afternoon. Japan are currently top (4 points), with Senegal second (4 points) and Colombia (3 points). Despite having the same points and goal difference, the Blue Samurai are ahead of Senegal because of their better disciplinary record, which essentially means they have booked a spot in the next round. I personally think a toin-coss would be a fairer way of deciding. This leaves Senegal and Colombia to battle it out in a huge match in Samara. In our late pairing, we have Panama and Tunisia hoping to secure a win at the tournament, while England and Belgium clash in Kaliningrad to see who will top Group G (Read Blair Newman's preview here). In truth, both teams would rather lose with the way the draw has panned out. By finishing second, Spain and Croatia pose the only real notable threats on the way to the final. But what do I know, I said Germany would make the final.

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