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Thread: 2018 World Cup Thread

  1. #81
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    France just gutted Uruguay 2-0. Completely outclassed them. Yeah, the Griezmann goal to go 2 up was a howler, but France more than earned the margin. Uruguay only managed one decent scoring chance and Loris was up to the challenge. Griezmann was man of the match for me. He was active in the middle, doing most of the link up work himself and he got the assist on the first goal in addition to notching the second himself. He was everywhere.

  2. #82
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    Belgium 2 Brazil 1

    Lovely game, played a high tempo right from the off. Belgium was more efficient with their chances and they played a nice cohesive game. Brazil ... ugh. They couldn't handle the pressure and it showed. Hazard, DeBruyne and Lukaku are a ton to handle up front. Too much for Brazil ... too much for pretty much everybody thus far. Oh, and Courtois was GREAT in the second half when Brazil were pushing. Really enjoyable game.

    So ... France vs Belgium in this half of the bracket. A worthy semi pairing.

  3. #83
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    Brazil should have buried two gaping chances and hacked up hairballs. Belgium's defense was solid the first 65-70 minutes then tired, and I thought Brazil was going to win - if they had gotten the equalizer, I couldn't see Belgium holding out another 30.

    I'm really happy not to have to watch the twit roll around on the ground again this tournament.

    P.S. I never thought I'd say this, but I thought Fellaini was fantastic. Never been a fan, but he brought his lunchbox today.

  4. #84
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    I only saw the last 20 or so minutes of Brazil/Belgium. Iím not sure Belgium had more than a few minutes possession while I was watching. Huge save by Courtois on Floppsie near the end, just got a few fingertips on it.


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  5. #85
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNIM View Post

    P.S. I never thought I'd say this, but I thought Fellaini was fantastic. Never been a fan, but he brought his lunchbox today.
    When used correctly, he's always been effective. It's just been so long since that was the case ... Everton under Moyes ... that people forget how good he can be.

  6. #86
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    England 2 Sweden 0

    Fair outcome, as England were the vastly superior side. If Sterling could finish AT ALL, it would have been much more one sided on the score sheet. Harry McGuire and Delle Alli with the goals, both headed. One note of caution for the Three Lions ... Kane looked a bit gassed to me today. He played well, especially in his hold up play and pressuring to trigger traps, but his legs were very heavy in the second half. They don't have anything like another forward as lethal as Kane so hopefully they can get him adequate rest ahead of the Semi.

  7. #87
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    Croatia over Russia in penalties

    Drama-drenched game in Sochi. Russia looked to have lost it in extra time only to claw back to take it to PKs ... against a Croatian keeper playing on one hamstring. Nope ... Rakatic closes out his second with the ice cold finish. Not technically a great game, but who cares? Drama erases all sins.

  8. #88
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    Sadly, I didn’t see a minute of either. I’ve been helping my daughter unpack from her move to Wilmington and Spectrum didn’t show up until after the matches were over.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Sadly, I didn’t see a minute of either. I’ve been helping my daughter unpack from her move to Wilmington and Spectrum didn’t show up until after the matches were over.
    Shame. It was a good day. In fact the knockouts in general have all been good days.

    Setting up next week ... the Semis are on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Both games start at 2:00 eastern. Belgium/France is a clash of the two most in-form teams in the tournament while England/Croatia could well come down to conditioning and the sheer amount of effort required of Croatia just to get this far.

  10. #90
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    For all of the NHL overtime games I have seen, in terms of players leaving it all out there, CroRus reminded me of Phoenix and Boston in the triple overtime NBA finals game in 78. What a gutty effort.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNIM View Post
    For all of the NHL overtime games I have seen, in terms of players leaving it all out there, CroRus reminded me of Phoenix and Boston in the triple overtime NBA finals game in 78. What a gutty effort.
    If Croatia and England end up going to extra time ... I hate to think of the level of abuse on those poor guys' legs.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    FWIW, Mark Geiger made the list of final 12 officials for the last 4 matches but didnít get an on field assignment for either semi-final. France/Belgium will be called by Andres Cunha of Uruguay with Cesar Ramos of Mexico as the 4th official. England/Croatia will be called by Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey with Bjorn Kuipers of the Netherlands as the 4th official. Theoretically, he could still be assigned as the 4th official or VAR official for the 3rd place match or the final. He was the 4th official for true Germany/Brazil semi-final in true 2014 World Cup.

    http://thecomeback.com/soccer/mark-g...p-matches.html


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  13. #93
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    Given Geiger's resume I think it was unlikely he was going to get an on field assignment in the last two rounds of a World Cup. I know the COMNEBOL contingent has the long knives out for the guy after England/Columbia but they no longer have a dog in the hunt in this tournament and I don't think FIFA really listens to that kind of crap much anyway ... barring something truly, objectively terrible like that Koulaboli dude pulled in South Africa a few Cups ago.

    For my money Kuipers has been the best ref in the tournament. Calm, cool, collected and drama free. Of course, some of that is luck of the draw ... and avoiding ridiculous South American teams with their horsecrap behavior.

  14. #94
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    Kuipers and Cakir each had a leg of the Real Madrid/Bayern Munich UCL semi-finals this year. Kuipers also called the Europa League final.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Want me to make predictions again, so you can bet against them? Cool.

    France beat Belgium in a wild game featuring a million counters, largely due to younger, fresher legs.

    England beat Croatia in a tense, tactical game played at a glacial pace.

    Now. Quick. Go bet the opposite.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    Want me to make predictions again, so you can bet against them? Cool.

    France beat Belgium in a wild game featuring a million counters, largely due to younger, fresher legs.

    England beat Croatia in a tense, tactical game played at a glacial pace.

    Now. Quick. Go bet the opposite.
    I can’t disagree with either assessment. So I guess I won’t be making any money this week.

  17. #97
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    Got the result right but the prediction on the style of game wrong. It had some ebb and flow, but that was largely a tactical 1-0 victory for France. The winner came on a corner, and their best players were their center backs and defensive midfielders. Late injury to Matuidi casts a small shadow on their joy.

    Up next, I'll be wrong about England/Croatia

  18. #98
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Croatia have played 240 minutes plus 2 emotional shootouts in the last week plus, and they were falling apart at the end of the last game. Either they park the bus for another 120 minutes and hope their keeper can win them one more, or they come out guns blazing (think Butch and Sundance in Bolivia) in the first 30 minutes then try to kill it off if they can get the lead.

    Midfield matchups will be key, I think. That's the one place Croatia can leverage their advantage.

  19. #99
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    Croatia aren't really a guns blazing outfit. They're built on guile and savvy passing from Rakitic and Modric. Those two are key. If England can crowd them and take away options down the field, they should be able to defend Croatia fairly well. It's a conventional attack, and nothing they haven't seen before ... big target forward, stretch you wide and then look for seams that those two midfielders can take advantage of. The English wingbacks should be pretty capable of keeping Croatia from controlling the wide areas like they did against Russia. Southgate's setup once again plays to their advantage, I think.

    IMO England need to strike first and preferably fairly quickly. The longer this one stays tense and tight, the longer Croatia's wily vets have to convince themselves that they've got enough legs left to do this thing. Not to even mention England's history of mental seize-ups. Get in first, and get on with the business of staying ahead.

    Dang it England. Now you've got me rooting for you and that's the kiss of death.

  20. #100
    Wrong Thinker Extraordinaire Habsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Croatia will win.
    #FireJulien#FireMarcBergevin Burn Geoff Molson in effigy! #worstmanagementstaffever

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