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Thread: 2018 World Cup Thread

  1. #101
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Stupid England.

    Croatia 2 England 1 ... the Croats go through on a poacher's special from Mario Manjukic as he simply out-reacted Jon Stones to a loose clearing attempt in the box. England's greatest strength ... their youthful enthusiasm ... bit them in the butt as they got undressed by a more veteran team after taking an early lead on a brilliant free kick from Trippier. After Croatia got their feet under them following that goal, they really dominated play from there forward and always looked more likely to take the win.

    So ... set em up and do it again. Croatia will go to the Final having faced THREE consecutive extra time matches but once again facing a team with very little veteran presence. Can they think their way through the lively French legs for the win or will they finally buckle under? Honestly, I'm just gonna watch and see. I have no idea.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    Stones either fell asleep or got caught ball watching. Perisic just beat Walker to the ball for their first. But it’s tough to win with only 2 shots on target, about 95 minutes apart.

  3. #103
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    That didn't play out quite like I thought because KT got on the board so quickly. But I got the obvious thing right - England are desperate for someone to boss the middle of the pitch.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Stones either fell asleep or got caught ball watching. Perisic just beat Walker to the ball for their first. But it’s tough to win with only 2 shots on target, about 95 minutes apart.
    Honestly ... Stones reacted to that ball just a step slower than Mandjukic. I don't think it was some sore of glaring error ... he was just a step slow. England lost it because Croatia was able to slowly starve their forwards of meaningful possession and own the middle of the field. That's a smart, veteran back four they play and they did their jobs beautifully, which set up Modric and Rakitic to do their thing and distribute balls out wide to their runners.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNIM View Post
    That didn't play out quite like I thought because KT got on the board so quickly. But I got the obvious thing right - England are desperate for someone to boss the middle of the pitch.
    Yeah, Jordan Henderson was pretty invisible. However the FotMob app does their player ratings, he was the second lowest rated player on either side, behind only Ashley Young.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNIM View Post
    That didn't play out quite like I thought because KT got on the board so quickly. But I got the obvious thing right - England are desperate for someone to boss the middle of the pitch.

    Yeah ... especially when you look at them playing the likes of Modric and Rakatic. The English just don't have that kind of player in their setup right now ... and I'm not sure they really have anyone sitting at home who would have helped either. Most of their midfield talent are either purely defensive mids or attacking mids who aren't great without the ball. And ever more in the international game, those versatile midfielders who can do both like Modric and Pogba are worth their weight in gold.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Yeah, Jordan Henderson was pretty invisible. However the FotMob app does their player ratings, he was the second lowest rated player on either side, behind only Ashley Young.
    Since he spent so long with Villa, I know Ashley's game pretty well. He was dead legged from the start and never got a second wind. They should have gone to Rose MUCH sooner. My only two criticisms of Southgate is that he should have gone to Dier and Rose much sooner ... if not from the start.

  8. #108
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    I haven't heard much talk about it since I think the right team won, but I think the referee in this match was dreadful. Early on he was not giving out yellows for fouls that absolutely needed to be cards and then almost like a timer had gone off and he went, alright this is the part of the game I start giving yellows, and then started giving out cards for much more minor offenses than the ones he previously ignored. Also multiple times he was staring straight at blatant unquestionable fouls and waved them off. The one that stands out the most was Kane getting the ball on the left side and knocking it past two defenders and then getting clobbered as he tried to continue and the ref just shook his head.

  9. #109
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    That Kane no-call WAS bad, as was a first half incident where Young got clattered from behind by Rebic ... who, while I'm on the subject should have had a yellow WAY earlier than he did. But honestly, fair play to the Croats for playing to the ref, knowing full well that he's one of those who likes to keep his cards to himself early on. That's part of a savvy approach to the game, knowing ahead of time where the ref's line is and walking all the way up on it. The naiveté that served England well overall kind of bit them in the butt in this match.

  10. #110
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    The officials assignments for the final and 3rd place match have been set. The final gets an Argentine crew with Nestor Pitana in the middle and Bjorn Kuipers, who called the France/Belgium semifinal is the 4th official. Massimiliano Irrati of Italy is the head VAR official. The 3rd place match will be called by an Iranian crew with Alireza Faghani in the middle and Malang Diedhiou of Senegal as the 4th official. Mark Geiger is the head VAR official.

  11. #111
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    BTW ... I'm not picking a winner because it's juts too depressing. I think I'd like to see Croatia win though. I like their spirit and the way they play.

  12. #112
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    England got outclassed in midfield again in dropping the consolation game to Belgium by a 2-1 final. They generated all sorts of possession after allowing the first goal in the first half, but they just miss that last telling pass or creative run. Shame too, because Kane is about as brutally efficient a finisher as you could hope for and they are quite solid pretty much everywhere else. A DeBruyne or Hazard on that England team and they'd be proper world class.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    2-1 final.
    I thought it was 2-nil

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryamw View Post
    I thought it was 2-nil
    It was. I was trying to give Trippier credit for two goals for that gorgeous free kick in the semis, apparently.

  15. #115
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    France 4 Croatia 2

    Well, THAT happened. Still not sure what I just watched. France took a 2-1 lead to halftime that I didn't think they really deserved and then blew the game wide open with two quick ones (Pogba and Mbappe) around the hour mark. I mean, Croatia did everything they could have drawn up in the locker room in the first half but trailed thanks to a nick off Mandzukic's head for an own goal and a VAR hand ball call resulting in a Griezmann penalty kick goal. And then all hell broke loose as they tried to open it up a notch to go for the tying goal. France are deadly in transition ... just deadly. Only a Lloris howler/hideous giveaway for the second Croatian goal kept this from being a laugher.

    I'm calling this a win for France's wonderful defensive midfielders and general team speed. Kante, Pogba, Matuidi, Nzonzi, Tolisso ... they all factored in as France took a lot of the passing steam out of the Modric/Rakatic combo. It was really the only time in the tournament where those two didn't dominate for long stretches. What Croatia managed early on was mostly on the flanks from Perisic and Rebic who were once again terrific. But France won the central midfield and with it the day. It was more convincing on the scoreboard than in real time, but whatever ... they got the job done.

  16. #116
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    Default Re: 2018 World Cup Thread

    I was traveling and listened to the beginning on the radio. News flash...radio simulcasts of TV commentary SUCKS. Got in front of the TV to see the penalty, the correct call, IMO. Lloris...so Spursy. France’s midfield did what they did to every team...take them out of the play. I bet Mourinho would love to see the 2nd half Pogba.

    Modric won the Golden Ball. Harry Kane won the Golden Boot and Courtois won the Golden Gloves.

  17. #117
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    The pen felt harsh to me. His hands are moving, but they're moving back down to his side after he's jumping in the air and it's not like he has time to move them once the ball gets deflected. Thanks to VAR, this WC had the most penalties of all time. I'm not positive that's a good thing.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinatieriDefinesClutch View Post
    The pen felt harsh to me. His hands are moving, but they're moving back down to his side after he's jumping in the air and it's not like he has time to move them once the ball gets deflected. Thanks to VAR, this WC had the most penalties of all time. I'm not positive that's a good thing.
    Normally, I'd agree but since almost all of those penalty calls (VAR or otherwise) ended up being correct, I'm not bothered. So long as they use the tech to get the calls right, then it's fine. I thought this was one of the best, most consistently officiated World Cups in my adult lifetime. Forget "thought." It just flat out was the best officiated.

    For my money that call was harsh only because of circumstances. It was technically correct.

  19. #119
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    I don’t want more “technically correct” but realistically undeserved penalties. It’s something that drives me crazy about video reviews in general. When the ref got the spirit of the call correct the first time, but then when looking at replay has to call the letter of the law. You see it a lot in basketball when a defender swipes at a ball and the ref calls it out of bounds for the team on offense and then on review they see that the defender actually got arm instead of ball and it should have been a foul, but now the ref has to award the ball to the defender. No call in any sport has the weight of a penalty call in soccer. I hate that VAR basically takes away any judgement factor or wiggle room.

    I do agree probably one of the best officiated overall, but I think that’s more a knock on how poorly officiated they usually are.

  20. #120
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    Meh ... I don't want international refs making so many judgement calls on who "deserves" a penalty. There's a rule book for a reason, and those guys can't be trusted to use sound, unbiased judgement on a regular basis. That's the stuff that's given us so many flat out bad calls in the past. VAR has brought some accountability and the opportunity to correct an initial judgement that was wrong. I've got no issues with it.

    I'm curious to see the next Copa for a real test of the system. That one is always fraught with officiating BS.

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