PDA

View Full Version : 2018 World Cup Thread



jeffbear
06-02-2018, 01:30 PM
How do we not have a World Cup thread yet? Russia beckons people ... well, not the US, but what can ya do?

The tourney kicks off with Russia playing Saudi Arabia on June 14th in Moscow. Venues range from Luzhniki Stadium (Russia's national stadium) and Strtak Stadium in Moscow, to that dumb stadium Putin had built for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. They had to completely rebuild the seating areas for the Confed Cup last summer to get the building approved by the safety and health folks ... which no one bothered with ahead of the Olympics. Welcome to Russia ... bring a hard hat and maybe a safety harness, just is case. Another note of interest is that FIFA is battening down the hatches to prepare for what most security experts think might be a ton of violent fan behavior. Elements of the Russian right wing criminal communities agitated hard in the streets during the last two Euro Championships, causing all sorts of headaches. The English, Poles and of course any poor Ukrainians who get in the way are particular targets ... not that the English don't bring their issues with them. The Serbs and Croatians can be fun too. It bears watching. The Brazilian and Polish teams took the Russians up on the offer to set up their bases in Sochi, far from the bigger population bases. Im sure the Poles are looking for peace while the Brazilians are just looking to not be mobbed when they go out for a team jog.

Here's the Groups ... which are refreshingly balanced. No groups of death to be found. Note that this is a down cycle for Africa, as really only Egypt looks remotely dangerous. Asia looks to have more balance than in Cups past but nobody really stands out from their group. Mexico should have the best shot of the CONCACAF contingent, but you know how they do in these things ... great or horrific. Sometimes in the same match. The European favorites are your usual suspects and the betting lines seem to like Germany and Spain of that bunch. I mean, fair enough. England, the second choice of a lot of US fans, actually look to have a cohesive team and a cohesive strategic setup this time around. Iceland looks to reprise their Cinderella act from the last Euros, but we all know that Cindy rarely shows up in the same dress two balls in a row. We'll see how all that goes, starting less than 2 weeks.

Group A
Russia
Uruguay
Egypt
Saudi Arabia

Group B
Portugal
Spain
Morocco
Iran

Group C
France
Peru
Australia
Denmark

Group D
Argentina
Iceland
Coatia
Nigeria

Group E
Brazil
Switzerland
Costa Rica
Serbia

Group F
Germany
Mexico
Sweden
So Korea

Group G
Belgium
England
Panama
Tunisia

Group H
Poland
Columbia
Senegal
Japan

andyt
06-03-2018, 11:39 AM
The pre WC friendlies are upon us. Some results from yesterday:

Ireland 2-1 US. The re-tooling continues with a young squad. Ireland gets the winner in the 90th minute.
Austria 2-1 Germany. Neuer’s First match after a 9 month injury layoff
Belgium 0–0 Portugal. Ronaldo wasn’t in the squad, Kompany left injured.
Sweden 0-0 Denmark. Eriksen wasn’t in the squad.
England 2-1 Nigeria
Mexico 1-0 Scotland
Iceland 2-3 Norway

jeffbear
06-04-2018, 12:43 PM
Kompany left injured.


Well, of course he did.

jeffbear
06-07-2018, 03:33 PM
Just FWIW, here's the Vegas odds for the top group ... before the numbers get dumb. The Germans are what you'd call heavy betting favorites. Given that their roster is strong enough to leave LeRoy Sane at home ... yeah. I get that.

Germany 7-2
Brazil 4-1
France 6-1
Spain 6-1
Argentina 6-1
Belgium 10-1
England 20-1
Portugal 25-1
Uruguay 30-1
Colombia 40-1
Russia 50-1
Croatia 30-1
Poland 40-1
Mexico 50-1

andyt
06-13-2018, 08:01 AM
Spain’s odds are going to take a hit. The Spanish federation fired coach Julen Lopetegui after he accepted the coaching job at Real Madrid.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/spain/story/3524002/spain-sack-julen-lopetegui-as-coach-before-world-cup-after-taking-real-madrid-job

andyt
06-13-2018, 08:09 AM
And in a vote that wasn’t close, North America will host the 2026 World Cup. The final vote was 134-65. Mexico is the first country to host 3 times. It will be the first World Cup with 48 teams. The US will host 60 of 80 matches including all matches from the quarterfinals on. The final will probably be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Mexico and Canada will each host 10 matches.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/story/3522327/2026-world-cup-us-mexico-canada-joint-bid-wins-fifa-hosting-vote

jeffbear
06-13-2018, 11:17 AM
Spain’s odds are going to take a hit. The Spanish federation fired coach Julen Lopetegui after he accepted the coaching job at Real Madrid.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/spain/story/3524002/spain-sack-julen-lopetegui-as-coach-before-world-cup-after-taking-real-madrid-job

Here's the thing ... Couldn't Madrid have held off a couple of weeks on the announcement? I mean, jeez.

jeffbear
06-14-2018, 11:06 AM
Reminder ... we're under way TODAY with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia at 11:00 eastern. OK, it's a game you probably couldn't pay me to watch from start to finish, but hey ... World Cup!!

jeffbear
06-14-2018, 02:55 PM
Russia opens with a 5-0 win over the Saudis. Don't draw any big conclusions. The Saudis are horrible AND had a stupid game plan

andyt
06-14-2018, 11:01 PM
Russia opens with a 5-0 win over the Saudis. Don't draw any big conclusions. The Saudis are horrible AND had a stupid game plan

With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, how bad are some of those matches going to be?

jeffbear
06-15-2018, 12:36 PM
With the World Cup expanding to 48 teams in 2026, how bad are some of those matches going to be?

You mean you're not looking forward to Canada opening that tournament with a scintillating matchup with Togo?

Seriously. The 48 qualifiers thing is dumber than dumb. All you're going to do is add the 5th and 6th best teams from federations that only produce 2 or 3 good teams. Yeah, there's Europe and South America ... but that's TWO Federations. The rest are going to bring nothing but dreck. And we already get dreck from Asia and Oceana as it is. I mean, you know that Oceana will end up with a full slot in that format which will basically guarantee a qualification of New Zealand ... if Australia isn't relocated AGAIN to even things out a bit.

HNIM
06-15-2018, 02:16 PM
So far today, Uruguay in the 89th minute to beat Egypt 1-0, overcoming a fine effort by the Egyptian keeper, and Iran same score over Morocco in the 95th minute on an own goal, after parking the bus all game. Dreadful WC football is back after having mostly skipped Brazil.

Edit: 3-3 Spain-Portugal. That was an excellent game.

jeffbear
06-15-2018, 05:06 PM
Spain and Portugal saved the day with a brilliantly entertaining game. 3-3 ... CR7 with the hattie, capped by a delightful bendy late free kick when Spain looked like they were squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube. Diego Costa had a brace for Spain including a brutish 1 on 3 that he somehow turned into enough space for a right footed weed-eater. Nacho with a brilliant swinging volley looked to give Spain the edge after a great run to start the second frame, but Ronaldo happened late and the points were shared.

That's why we watch folks. Even when club and country have let us down. Lovely football.

Argentina and Iceland at 9AM highlights tomorrow's slate. That one's on big Fox.

HNIM
06-15-2018, 07:19 PM
Denmark-Peru for me. Eriksen is an amazing international.

andyt
06-16-2018, 10:56 AM
Spain and Portugal saved the day with a brilliantly entertaining game. 3-3 ... CR7 with the hattie, capped by a delightful bendy late free kick when Spain looked like they were squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube. Diego Costa had a brace for Spain including a brutish 1 on 3 that he somehow turned into enough space for a right footed weed-eater. Nacho with a brilliant swinging volley looked to give Spain the edge after a great run to start the second frame, but Ronaldo happened late and the points were shared.

That's why we watch folks. Even when club and country have let us down. Lovely football.

Argentina and Iceland at 9AM highlights tomorrow's slate. That one's on big Fox.

A howler from DeGea on Ronaldo’s 2nd and a badly mispositioned wall on the 3rd. But that and Nacho’s were highlight reel goals.

France squeaks by Australia 2-1 on 2 technology goals. The first on a VAR awarded penalty, the second on goal line technology, although it clearly looked like a goal live.

Argentina and Iceland tied at 1 at the half. Argentina has had about 75% possession but Iceland should be leading. Caballero looks shaky in goal and the back line doesn’t look cohesive. Aguero had a brilliant strike for his first ever WC goal. He only needs about an inch of space to get a shot off.

BURG
06-16-2018, 12:12 PM
Group D

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb50/BURG74/argentina.gif - 1
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb50/BURG74/Iceland.gif - 1

Full Time

Messi missed a penalty kick.

jeffbear
06-16-2018, 01:35 PM
I was not impressed by France this morning. Disorganized and disjointed for the most part. And the Aussies play with a lot of spirit but they're kind of crap, so France really need to get their mess together if they're going to do anything better than just get out of the group.

Iceland did what they do. They packed two groups of four in tight in front of that keeper and make the other team break them down. They're patient, dedicated and passionate about defending and do not give a crap about the critics. Add Argentina to the pile of victims. They're in pretty good company after the last Euros. Messi is going to take big heat after blowing that penalty kick, but the result isn't his fault alone.

andyt
06-16-2018, 04:58 PM
Saw this on Twitter. In Euro 2016, Iceland and Portugal drew 1-1. Ronaldo took 10 shots and had no goals. Messi has 11 shots today. Iceland held arguably the 2 best players in the world to 0 goals on 21 shots.

jeffbear
06-16-2018, 06:21 PM
Yeah ... the defend like their lives depending on it and then use Gylffi to make you pay on set pieces and breaks. It's simple, but it works.

Rounding out the first 4 game day of the tournament, Denmark won an unremarkable 1-0 game with Peru. Schmeichel was wonderful in net for Denmark but otherwise not a lot to remember about that one. Then Croatia just sliced Nigeria to pieces in a 2-0 win. Nigeria seemed increasingly disinterested as the game went along, but again ... this is NOT a good Super Eagles side. They have a lot of individual talent but are woefully disjointed. They looked just as bad or worse in the African Cup of Nations last year.

The headliner on Sunday for me is Mexico vs Germany, although I'm sure Switzerland vs Brazil will generate interest. The Swiss are not the same old bland defense-first bunch that they usually roll out for the World Cup. They've got a lot of shake and bake in the lineup now. The third match is Costa Rica against Serbia. That one should be pretty technical ... aka boring.

andyt
06-17-2018, 03:41 PM
Andrés Cantor calling Ronaldo’s ridiculous free kick. He celebrated longer than Ronaldo did and blew through 3 replays.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Francisco4x/status/1007714218274119685/video/1

jeffbear
06-17-2018, 06:33 PM
Cantor is like a child with a megaphone. He's fun for a few minutes and then it just wears on ya.

Sunday Funday


Mexico 1 Germany 0 ... Mexico came out aggressive and the Germans frankly didn't handle it well. By the time they got their will imposed on the game in the second half, El Tri was bunkered. They both deserved the result, I thought.

Serbia 1 Costa Rico 0 ... dunno. I was busy, but that's hardly a shocker.

Brazil 1, Switzerland 1 ... Brazil are frustrated but the Swiss are no fun to play against. They defend well and have just enough talent in attack to take advantage of cracks as they are presented.

And if you're keeping track at home, the three heavy betting favorites have all gotten off to less than stellar starts. 2 points total between Spain, Germany and Brazil. The game is afoot.

andyt
06-18-2018, 12:37 AM
Serbia 1 Costa Rico 0 ... dunno. I was busy, but that's hardly a shocker.

You didn’t miss much. Like watching paint dry. Struggled to stay awake.

jeffbear
06-18-2018, 11:11 AM
You didn’t miss much. Like watching paint dry. Struggled to stay awake.

Every so often you regret skipping what looks like a dullsville matchup on paper ... but most of the time not so much.

Speaking of which, So. Korea is playing Sweden right now. Don't care. Not even a little bit.

HNIM
06-18-2018, 12:04 PM
I'm being facetious, but it seemed as though Germany were willing to give up counterattacks and breakouts all day because they trusted that Mexico couldn't finish. Every Mexico attacker played like he was exclusively one-footed, and always had the ball on the other one. If Mexico had taken care of business in those situations, it would have been over very early. Germany's back line needs to get its **** together in short order.

jeffbear
06-18-2018, 04:30 PM
The Mexicans won, dude. That's all that matters.

Germany played with a truckload of hubris in that game. It's a mistake they won't make again. I pity their next opponent.

jeffbear
06-18-2018, 05:27 PM
OK ... Monday recap.

Sweden and So Korea yawned through the morning game, with the Swedes taking a 1-0 result that was as boring as you thought it would be. Belgium officially became the only kinda, sorta favorite to make a bit opening statement with a decisive 3-0 win over Panama. England tried to revert to "same old England" mode but Harry Kane salvaged their day with a late header on a set piece to secure a 2-1 result over Tunisia. They REALLY needed that. I like that Southgate set up this England squad to function like an actual team instead of a loosely assembled collection of over-priced and over-pressurized "stars" but if you don't get the results, it doesn't matter. They got the result. Good on 'em.

Tomorrow is the last of the opening round games for Group H as Columbia faces Japan and Poland faces Senegal. Russia and Egypt from Group A are the afternoon game. Enjoy a little James with your eggs tomorrow, folks.

jeffbear
06-22-2018, 05:12 PM
OK ... no more recaps. Apparently I'm the only one interested in the thread and frankly, I had a heart problem and spent two days in the hospital. No way I'm reliving ANY of that.

HNIM
06-22-2018, 05:55 PM
Recapping Nigeria-Iceland would be futile anyway. Just get better, k?

StormChaserBH
06-22-2018, 05:57 PM
First off, glad you're back and on the mend.

I'm really enjoying watching the WC matches while I work (yay guest network), and reading the soccer threads, I'm just not familiar enough with the national teams to offer any value of my own on it. Terrific finish by the Swiss today, and if I wasn't predisposed to hate the Ticos because of the battles in the Hex, I'd be crushed by them taking Brazil even all the way to stoppage time today before yielding.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-23-2018, 05:04 PM
Because of the game times, I've missed most of the games so far. Today was kind of crazy. Germany is absolutely lucky to still be in this tournament. They should have left the first half down 2-0 and down to only 10 men, but only went in trailing by one at the half and had a stoppage time winner to stay alive in the tournament. I don't understand how VAR has given us so many questionable penalties and a blatant penalty that should have been a straight red isn't even reviewed. Sweden absolutely has the right to feel a little bit screwed in this one.

Jeff, take care of yourself. Without you, I'm only one of four American Villa fans.

jeffbear
06-23-2018, 05:50 PM
Jeff, take care of yourself. Without you, I'm only one of four American Villa fans.

I'm sticking around at least until Villa get back to the Prem.

andyt
06-23-2018, 09:31 PM
Belgium dismantled Tunisia 5-2, Hazard and Lukaku each had a brace. Batshuayi missed 2 sitters before potting the 5th goal. Tunisia was in it for a half though. The match against England on Thursday should be a good one. Didn’t see any of the others except for Kroos’ winner this afternoon.

jeffbear
06-24-2018, 05:59 PM
There was a lot of dismantling going on today. England humiliated Panama and Columbia took Poland apart at the seams. Fun day if you like offense.

andyt
06-24-2018, 06:00 PM
England dismantled Panama, 6-1 with Kane netting a hat trick, 2 on penalties. That sets up a winner take all match on Thursday. They are tied on points, goal differential and goals scored. I think a draw will send it to the 7th tiebreaker (fair play points) to determine the group winner. Panama and Tunisia are eliminated.

Japan and Senegal draw 2-2 and remain tied atop Group H on 4 points. Columbia beat Poland 3-0 eliminating the Poles and putting them in a position to advance with a win over Senegal on Thursday. If Japan and Senegal win, both advance and the group winner will be determined by a tiebreaker. Columbia holds the advantage on goal differential in the event of a tie on points with Japan.

andyt
06-25-2018, 01:33 AM
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are facing 2 match bans for their goal celebrations in Switzerland’s win over Serbia. Both gave a double eagle hand gesture after scoring, a symbol on the Albanian flag. Both are ethnic Kosovar Albanians and Xhaka’s father was jailed as a political prisoner by the former Yugoslav government. Although Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Serbia hasn’t recognized it as an independent state. FIFA only admitted Kosovo in 2016.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44592846

jeffbear
06-25-2018, 11:09 AM
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri are facing 2 match bans for their goal celebrations in Switzerland’s win over Serbia. Both gave a double eagle hand gesture after scoring, a symbol on the Albanian flag. Both are ethnic Kosovar Albanians and Xhaka’s father was jailed as a political prisoner by the former Yugoslav government. Although Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Serbia hasn’t recognized it as an independent state. FIFA only admitted Kosovo in 2016.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44592846

Sorry, but I've got friends who have lived and worked in Kosovo since before the UN recognized them and this is horsecrap. The only people offended by that gesture are people who unapologetically committed systemic racial genocide for a decade.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-25-2018, 11:28 AM
Yeah, I’m always in favor of the oppressed mocking the oppressors. That is never offensive.

jeffbear
06-25-2018, 11:47 AM
Yeah, I’m always in favor of the oppressed mocking the oppressors. That is never offensive.

And where's the penalty for Serb fans who showed up to that game wearing tee shirts with huge pictures of convicted warlords and torturers? This punishment is tantamount to allowing those hideous human to directly benefit from that provocation.

Yeah. I take issue with this ruling. Absolutely I do.

jeffbear
06-25-2018, 03:03 PM
Starting to wrap up some groups.

Uruguay takes Group A by not so gently returning Russia to earth with a 3-0 beating. Uruguay are playing well, but this was NOT a challenging group. Russia takes second, and Saudi Arabia beat Egypt for third. Egypt have to be one of the bigger disappointments of the tournament.

Group B wraps later today. Iran play Portugal and are still in it ... so long as they win, which frankly seems a stretch. Spain play Morocco, who have played exceptionally well despite losing twice. That one could get sticky.

andyt
06-25-2018, 04:58 PM
Yeah, I’m always in favor of the oppressed mocking the oppressors. That is never offensive.

Couldn’t agree more.


And where's the penalty for Serb fans who showed up to that game wearing tee shirts with huge pictures of convicted warlords and torturers? This punishment is tantamount to allowing those hideous human to directly benefit from that provocation.

Yeah. I take issue with this ruling. Absolutely I do.

The Serbian federation was fined $10,000. Big f’n deal.

About an hour ago, Xhaka and Shaqiri were fined 10,000 Swiss Francs (about $10,350) but are cleared to play.

andyt
06-25-2018, 05:02 PM
Spain and Morocco draw 2-2, Portugal and Iran draw 1-1. Spain wins the group, Portugal is 2nd. Iran got a penalty in stoppage time to tie it and almost got the winner a minute later but hit the side netting. Ronaldo should have seen straight red late in the match for striking an Iranian players face, but only saw yellow after video review. Fox’s rules guy said it should have been red.

The first knockout matches are set. Uruguay plays Portugal and Spain plays Russia on Saturday.

jeffbear
06-25-2018, 05:31 PM
Fox’s rules guy said it should have been red.

The first knockout matches are set. Uruguay plays Portugal and Spain plays Russia on Saturday.

For once I agree with "Dr" Joe. That would have been a red for anybody not on the Balon d'Or finalist list on an annual basis. Iran ... boy, I feel for those guys. That last chance was a beauty and he JUST failed to get his foot around it. Morocco and Iran go home, but probably with more dignity than Portugal and Spain take with them to the knockout round. Both sides fought like lions and should be proud of their showings in a tough group.

Portugal gets a Uruguay side that aren't exactly loaded for bear aside from their two big name forwards, but who are playing their usual brand of almost casually flawless team defense. That's a tough nut to crack. Russia versus Spain? Hoo. Tough to pick against Spain, but playing Russia in Moscow ... the way Spain have finished thus far? That's no easy task. I wouldn't be too surprised to see either Iberian team out in the next round ... or both if you pushed me.

jeffbear
06-26-2018, 02:03 PM
Group C is done. France wrapped up group play with another fairly lifeless performance ... a 0-0 draw with Denmark. Those two finish 1st and 2nd and that sets up Denmark with Croatia from Group D for the first knockout round ... unless somebody thinks Nigeria is going to beat Argentina by 5 goals or more. France will have to wait for an opponent until later today, but could will probably be facing the winner of Nigeria/Argentina. The night games have been nuts though, so don't discount Iceland either I guess since Croatia has next to nothing to play for today.

jeffbear
06-26-2018, 05:25 PM
Group D ... Argentina get a late winner to eake their way to the knockouts. Croatia likewise got a late winner to emphatically take the group. They get Denmark, Argentina get France.

andyt
06-27-2018, 01:00 PM
Group F is over and the defending champs are out. Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 to win the group. Mexico finish 2nd. South Korea beat Germany 2-0 with 2 goals in stoppage time. Germany finish last in the group and and become the 4th defending champ in the last 5 World Cups to be eliminated in the group stage.

HNIM
06-27-2018, 01:11 PM
Group F is over and the defending champs are out. Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 to win the group. Mexico finish 2nd. South Korea beat Germany 2-0 with 2 goals in stoppage time. Germany finish last in the group and and become the 4th defending champ in the last 5 World Cups to be eliminated in the group stage.

I'm going all adolescent girl. O.M.G. What a final 20-30 minutes across both matches (which is when I tuned in). Well played by South Korea.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-27-2018, 01:31 PM
Bwahahahaha. And here I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a World Cup without the Netherlands in it.

jeffbear
06-27-2018, 02:34 PM
Schnit got real this afternoon in Russia, kids. Mexico BARELY avoids going home, because who didn't figure the Germans would eventually get that draw with Korea? And then that 2nd Korean goal send the world spinning.

And for the record, today is why Mexico aren't in the elite group of contenders. They've got the talent to be there, and the depth. But when they have the chance to put their foot down on a crappy Swedish side and cruise to the group win ... nope. They make a few changes, decide to sit back and play the trap and counter game against a team that NEVER attacks and you get what you bloody well deserve. I guarantee that if they had come out charging and attacked early with half the intensity they had against Germany in the first half, they'd have walked the dog today.

jeffbear
06-27-2018, 05:00 PM
No weirdness in the night games for once. Brazil takes Group E with a 2-0 result over Serbia. Costa Rica finally scored, but their 2-2 draw with the Swiss served only to send the Swiss into the knockouts in second place. Brazil gets Mexico. Switzerland gets Sweden ... and frankly the better end of the bargain.

For Mexico, their quest to make it past "Game 5" looks like an even bigger windmill after today's results. Brazil have some knocks in the back end, but are still ... Brazil.

andyt
06-28-2018, 11:32 AM
Mexican fans rushed the South Korean embassy in Mexico City and forced the ambassador to drink tequila shots.

https://mobile.twitter.com/rantaramic/status/1012077760989356033


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

andyt
06-28-2018, 01:06 PM
Group H is complete and the fair play tie breaker has raised its ugly head. Poland beat Japan and Colombia beat Senegal by 1-0 scores. Colombia wins the group, Japan and Senegal tied on points, goal differential, goals scored, but Japan advance because they had 2 fewer yellow cards than Senegal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

HNIM
06-28-2018, 02:50 PM
Group H is complete and the fair play tie breaker has raised its ugly head. Poland beat Japan and Colombia beat Senegal by 1-0 scores. Colombia wins the group, Japan and Senegal tied on points, goal differential, goals scored, but Japan advance because they had 2 fewer yellow cards than Senegal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Not only that, but the winner has a rougher road to the semis with the Brazil/Mexico winner in the round of 8, whereas the loser has to get by Colombia but then the winner of Sweden/Switzerland. Both sides are rotating heavily for this one. It could be really ugly, which is too bad, it had been shaping up to be a good game.

jeffbear
06-28-2018, 06:04 PM
Group H is complete and the fair play tie breaker has raised its ugly head. Poland beat Japan and Colombia beat Senegal by 1-0 scores. Colombia wins the group, Japan and Senegal tied on points, goal differential, goals scored, but Japan advance because they had 2 fewer yellow cards than Senegal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have absolutely no problem with the fair play tie breaker. It has been in the rules for this tournament from day one, so this is no surprise to anyone actually playing the game. Plus, there's WAY too much hacking, grabbing and "oopsie" elbows in the game, even though all some fans can talk about is diving and fake injuries. I say set rules and live with them. Like grownups.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-28-2018, 07:55 PM
The only issue with the fair play tie breaker is that it's so very dependent on the ref since especially when it comes to international competitions, there is such difference in the frequency of refs giving out cards. Granted, I don't have a better idea.

jeffbear
06-29-2018, 11:35 AM
The only issue with the fair play tie breaker is that it's so very dependent on the ref since especially when it comes to international competitions, there is such difference in the frequency of refs giving out cards. Granted, I don't have a better idea.

1. I haven't seen a better idea. Not a single one, even from people I respect like Grant Wahl. Shots, expected goals, blah, blah blah ... cards are more of a direct reflection of the intended separation than ANY of those. Do I love it? No, but it's a lot more fair than people are acting like.

2. I'm struck yet again his morning with all this outrage over a tie breaker that was sitting right there in writing and not a single soul complained about until it was applied. And, nobody ever really complains about it when fair play is applied in other scenarios in the sport ... like Champions League or UEFA tournaments. I'm chalking it up to World Cup syndrome. You know ... people assign more weight to the World Cup for no reason other than they themselves only really pay attention to the World Cup and not, let's say ... the English Championship or Scottish Premiere League or MLS or League MX or any of the hundreds of other leagues that play thousands of matches every single year that inform that month and change every four years that garners so much attention.

3. I've been surprised to find that I actually think VAR has evened out the quality of officiating in this tournament, which has generally been all over the place in the past. I thought refs would be gun shy, but for the most part they haven't. I thought the reviews would go the way they do all too often in American sports where you end up just as puzzled by the video assisted decision as you were the initial call, but for the most part the reviews have been quick, consistent and fair ... and in general an improvement on the fairness of matches.

jeffbear
06-29-2018, 11:44 AM
So ... the knockout round brackets are a thing that exists

Side A

Uruguay/Portugal
France Argentina

Brazil/Mexico
Belgium/Japan

Side B

Spain/Russia
Croatia/Denmark

Sweden/Switzerland
Columbia/England

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I like England or Spain to come out of Side B and have no idea what the expect out of Side A. That half of the bracket looks like an absolute crapshoot. If pushed, I'd lean towards the winner of the likely Brazil/Belgium matchup in the Quarters, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if one or even both of those two lost in the Round of 16. It's wide the heck open.

jeffbear
06-30-2018, 01:05 PM
First elimination game was a doozy. France take down Argentina 4-3 behind a brace from Mbappe and a rocket from Ben Pavard that leveled things after France had been stung by a early 2nd half goal by Mercado. Argentina got the tactics all wrong, as befits a team managing itself. Playing Messi as a false nine? Who thought that was a good idea, boys?

So of the two most disorganized under-achievers amongst the favorites, France was the one to get their mess together. And if they can carry this play forward they are well capable of going deep.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-30-2018, 04:55 PM
That ref in the Portugal vs Uruguay was pure trash. He should absolutely not be calling another game in the world cup. Just trash.

jeffbear
06-30-2018, 05:14 PM
That ref in the Portugal vs Uruguay was pure trash. He should absolutely not be calling another game in the world cup. Just trash.

Correct. He couldn't handle the moment and tried to just turtle. Reminded me a lot of the newer breed of NHL refs ... most of whom think they're out there to support the linesmen or something. He choked. I didn't think either side particularly benefited though. Everybody got away with stuff.

Uruguay 2 Portugal 1 ... a deserved outcome, I thought. Cavani with the brace (and just a lovely touch on the winner) before going out with what looked like a calf injury. Ronaldo was good, but Uruguay defends like nobody else in the tournament. He found some space but not nearly enough. Good game. Bad ref.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-30-2018, 05:22 PM
I will say there definitely should have been a penalty for Portugal late in the game, but I wouldn't be surprised if the defender made that foul knowing that the ref was not going to call it.

In a positive, by ignoring everything that happened the game, the ref correctly ignored every time Suarez went down grabbing his head when nothing got close to contacting his head.

jeffbear
06-30-2018, 05:37 PM
I will say there definitely should have been a penalty for Portugal late in the game, but I wouldn't be surprised if the defender made that foul knowing that the ref was not going to call it.

In a positive, by ignoring everything that happened the game, the ref correctly ignored every time Suarez went down grabbing his head when nothing got close to contacting his head.

I'm a lot less convinced of that first part than you, but the second ... nailed it. At least Suarez avoided biting anybody this time. And since he spent his day dueling with Pepe, that's saying something.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
06-30-2018, 05:52 PM
He in no way tried to play the ball. The Portuguese player knocked the ball by him and then was hip checked to the ground. Anywhere else on the field and that's a foul. I hate that you're often allowed to block off a player in the box, but not anywhere else on the field.

jeffbear
07-01-2018, 02:26 PM
See ya Spain. Russia knocked out Spain on PKs in the morning match today, and the last of the great pretenders is gone. There was absolutely nothing inventive from Spain today ... tica, tacka, jacka it in the box to nobody. And frankly, they've looked bland all tournament, so ... adios.

Tryamw
07-01-2018, 02:44 PM
That was a Horrid game to watch... Spain passed it to pass it. not to score not to move defenders they lulled themselves to sleep. Russia wasn't good either but Spain should have taken it to them instead of passing for no purpose.

HNIM
07-01-2018, 08:41 PM
Holy cow, that was some keeping in the late match. Six penalty saves on 11 attempts. Sure, there were some weak attempts, but that's just crazy stuff.

jeffbear
07-02-2018, 08:21 AM
Yesterday was a dud. The second game wasn't any better than the first, although it had a bright start. Croatia barely survived a bland Danish side after looking like one of the better teams in the tournament in groups. I mean, yeah ... the shootout was more entertaining but for me that's grasping at straws.

Hopefully Monday will deliver ... Brazil vs Mexico and Belgium vs Japan

jeffbear
07-02-2018, 03:08 PM
Game 1 didn’t disappoint. Brazil took Mexico out 2-0 but the Mexicans came out swinging and didn’t turtle down and look for a chance at PKs or anything. Good game.

andyt
07-02-2018, 03:40 PM
Game 1 didn’t disappoint. Brazil took Mexico out 2-0 but the Mexicans came out swinging and didn’t turtle down and look for a chance at PKs or anything. Good game.

El Tri has to be kicking themselves for pissing away the group with their loss to Sweden.

andyt
07-02-2018, 06:08 PM
Belgium-Japan gave us a great 2nd half. Japan jumped out to a 2-0 lead with the goals coming 4 minutes apart. Belgium pulled one back with a looping header from Vertonghen after Japan didn’t clear a corner. Fellaini leveled 5 minutes later with a typical Fellaini goal, outjumping the defender on a a sublime cross from Hazard. And then Chadli wins it at the death on a counter attack that started with a Courtois save, up the middle to DeBruyne, wide to Meunier, a dummy by Lukaku and Chadli had a wide open goal to finish.

StormChaserBH
07-02-2018, 07:39 PM
Belgium-Japan gave us a great 2nd half. Japan jumped out to a 2-0 lead with the goals coming 4 minutes apart. Belgium pulled one back with a looping header from Vertonghen after Japan didn’t clear a corner. Fellaini leveled 5 minutes later with a typical Fellaini goal, outjumping the defender on a a sublime cross from Hazard. And then Chadli wins it at the death on a counter attack that started with a Courtois save, up the middle to DeBruyne, wide to Meunier, a dummy by Lukaku and Chadli had a wide open goal to finish.

Beautiful game... almost yelled out loud when Chadli scored the winner!

That would have been bad, as I was watching on my tablet on the guest wifi at my 'open landscape' office.

andyt
07-02-2018, 09:22 PM
Beautiful game... almost yelled out loud when Chadli scored the winner!

That would have been bad, as I was watching on my tablet on the guest wifi at my 'open landscape' office.

I thought JP Dellacamera was going to come out of his seat and fall out of the booth describing the counterattack.

andyt
07-02-2018, 09:29 PM
Here is the tactical view of the game winner.

https://mobile.twitter.com/BillyM_91/status/1013875932485115904

andyt
07-03-2018, 01:00 PM
Sweden beats Switzerland 1-0 in a pretty entertaining match. Lots of box to box action but a lack of finish from both teams. Sweden got their goal on an unfortunate deflection from a Swiss defender that the keeper had covered.

andyt
07-03-2018, 07:41 PM
England beats Colombia on penalties, erasing the sting of so many previous losses, including England boss Garett Southgqte at the 1996 Euros. Harry Kane put the 3 Lions ahead on a well taken penalty only to see Colombia tie at in 2nd half injury time. This game may be most remenevered for American ref Mark Geiger losing control of the match and only barely getting it back. Colombia drew 6 yellows and England 2.

jeffbear
07-03-2018, 09:29 PM
England’s failure to choke has a lot of the more smug and reactionary portions of the internet rendered strangely silent today.

andyt
07-03-2018, 11:03 PM
England’s failure to choke has a lot of the more smug and reactionary portions of the internet rendered strangely silent today.

England has a pretty clear path to the final. Sweden first, then the winner of Russia/Croatia. Of course, this is the chaos World Cup, so we could just as easily see a Uruguay/Croatia final.

andyt
07-04-2018, 08:48 AM
Two days off until the quarters start on Friday. Uruguay/France and Brazil/Belgium on Friday, Sweden/England and Russia/Croatia on Saturday.

jeffbear
07-04-2018, 11:32 AM
Yeah, this one has been different, hasn't it? Fairly well officiated for starters ... up until yesterday at least. VAR actually had a positive impact, which I'm not sure many were expecting. Also, things in the streets have been fairly calm. How much of that has to do with draconian security measures on the part of the Russian government and how much if it is juts down to better behavior ... who knows. But it's been fairly incident free, which again I'm not sure people were expecting. Then the results ... so many favorites down early, so many stereotypes busted. I gotta admit. It's been a really fun tournament to watch.

From here ... predictions because why not? Caveat ... if you're betting, 100% you should bet the opposite of my predictions.

Uruguay takes the fizz out of France. Everybody seems to be enjoying the "arrival" of this French team, but I remember what they looked like under pressure early. Uruguay will put you under pressure and are a much tougher nut to crack than that weird dysfunctional debacle of an Argentina team. Uruguay 2 France 1

Brazil will figure out how to beat Belgium. The Belgian D is better in that back 3 formation, but still weak down the edges and prone to getting stretched out of shape. And relying on two purely offensive midfielders in what are normally marking roles? Oh, Roberto. Don't do that. Japan did a number on them, but lacked quality on the finish. Brazil do not. Brazil 3 Belgium 2

Sweden are the conundrum of the tournament. By all rights, they just aren't good enough to have survived this far, as they really only have one top class offensive player. I feel like they're playing the role that the US normally plays and at this point the US would fold up their table and go home. But ... England have not "done an England" yet and no matter how many demons they exorcized yesterday there are some tropes that refuse to die. Here's the stinger ... Sweden beat England in PKs.

Croatia will snap Russia out of their home court dream tournament, I think. They're just too good and are also capable of playing the physical game that Russia prefers. Class will tell ... Croatia 2 Russia 0

I think we're probably looking at a Croatia vs Brazil final, but ...

VinatieriDefinesClutch
07-04-2018, 11:46 PM
I thought the refereeing in the England vs Colombia match was fine. It wasn't perfect, by any means, but it wasn't a joke like the Portugal vs Uruguay match. It's a tough situation for a referee when one of the teams decides they are going to try to ruin the game. You could argue that he could have sent someone off on Colombia early, and Barrios should have been sent off for the headbutt, but that's on the VAR official since the match official had his back turned when it happened. On the other hand, if Barrios got sent off, we wouldn't have gotten to see the image of him putting back on his shin guard which had pictures of himself on them and that was magical.

jeffbear
07-05-2018, 11:11 AM
Yeah ... I get all that, but I've seen Geiger take control of MLS and CONCACAF games with at least as much horsecrap going on and he just wasn't the same decisive guy in that situation. Maybe if I didn't know what he was capable of, I wouldn't be judging him so harshly.

jeffbear
07-06-2018, 01:10 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-06-2018, 05:02 PM
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.

HNIM
07-06-2018, 06:01 PM
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.

andyt
07-06-2018, 07:03 PM
I only saw the last 20 or so minutes of Brazil/Belgium. I’m 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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jeffbear
07-07-2018, 01:26 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-07-2018, 01:30 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-07-2018, 06:07 PM
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.

andyt
07-07-2018, 08:25 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-08-2018, 03:02 PM
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.

HNIM
07-08-2018, 09:07 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-09-2018, 10:56 AM
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.

andyt
07-09-2018, 03:25 PM
FWIW, Mark Geiger made the list of final 12 officials for the last 4 matches but didn’t 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-geiger-among-12-referees-on-shortlist-for-final-world-cup-matches.html


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jeffbear
07-09-2018, 03:35 PM
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.

andyt
07-09-2018, 06:35 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-10-2018, 10:50 AM
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.

andyt
07-10-2018, 11:25 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-10-2018, 05:12 PM
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

HNIM
07-10-2018, 10:11 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-11-2018, 11:53 AM
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.

Habsy
07-11-2018, 11:56 AM
Croatia will win.

jeffbear
07-11-2018, 06:28 PM
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.

andyt
07-11-2018, 06:53 PM
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.

HNIM
07-12-2018, 10:42 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-12-2018, 10:54 AM
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.

andyt
07-12-2018, 10:57 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-12-2018, 10:57 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-12-2018, 10:59 AM
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.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
07-12-2018, 03:58 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-12-2018, 05:34 PM
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.

andyt
07-12-2018, 07:37 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-13-2018, 11:28 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-14-2018, 01:58 PM
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.

Tryamw
07-14-2018, 07:08 PM
2-1 final.

I thought it was 2-nil

jeffbear
07-15-2018, 05:12 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-15-2018, 05:24 PM
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.

andyt
07-15-2018, 06:15 PM
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.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
07-15-2018, 11:15 PM
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.

jeffbear
07-16-2018, 09:24 AM
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.

VinatieriDefinesClutch
07-16-2018, 09:59 AM
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.

jeffbear
07-16-2018, 10:49 AM
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.

andyt
07-16-2018, 12:10 PM
Kylian Mbappe is donating his World Cup earnings to a charity that provides free sports instruction to disabled and hospitalized kids.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2018/07/15/world-cup-france-kylian-mbappe-donates-winnings-charity/786853002/

jeffbear
07-16-2018, 02:16 PM
Kylian Mbappe is donating his World Cup earnings to a charity that provides free sports instruction to disabled and hospitalized kids.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2018/07/15/world-cup-france-kylian-mbappe-donates-winnings-charity/786853002/

It's hard not to like that kid.

andyt
07-16-2018, 04:33 PM
It's hard not to like that kid.

Seriously. 19 years old with that level of self-awareness.