2018 World Cup

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by jumpkutz, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Was at the market and missed the first 6 minutes of the Croatia-Denmark match...DOH!! I joked w/my wife that the next time the ball hits the back of the net it'll be in PKs :( It should've been in the 115th minute, but Luca Modric's PK was horrible. His second attempt in the shootout was far worse, it barely reached the goal-line, but managed to avoid Schmeichel's prone feet.

    That side of the bracket is going to produce a surprise finalist. The 3 Lions and their supporters can't blame bad luck this time around, because they get Columbia w/a less then fit James (if he plays at all), the winner of Sweden-Switzerland, and likely Croatia. No too shabby for a second place group finish.

    Expecting El Tri to bounce back and give a good account of themselves. Doubtful it will be enough, but if Russia can win...
     
    #101
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  2. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Crazy second half between Belgium and Japan yesterday. Did anyone else have flashbacks to Donovan’s goal in 2010 at the end of the match?

    Also, https://deadspin.com/romelu-lukaku-is-a-genius-1827298442

    Belgium better get their shit together if they intend to compete with Brazil though.
     
    #102
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  3. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    It reminded me for sure Evan.

    From beating Italy 1-0 over 180 minutes in a playoff, to overcoming the sucker punch at the end of the Germany match, to smashing El Tri to win the group, and to grinding out the win over the Swiss today this Sweden squad might be the most mentally tough team left.

    EDIT: England broke their PK curse which was intense, but the 120 minutes that proceeded it were atrocious. Never have I seen England resort to those tactics. 22 men on the pitch, whined, rushed the ref on every call, dove, and rolled around. My buddies who don’t watch the sport were texting me telling me ‘this is why’ they’ll never be fully converted. It was a poor advertisement even though the 3 Lions could care less.
     
    #103
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Watching England today, I found myself continually wondering....”What would Joka do?”
     
    #104
  5. sacffc

    sacffc Active Member

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    Reminded me way too much of the Copa America in the US a few years ago. The US was smushed in the semifinal by Argentina with some of the most beautiful football I've seen. Then, however, the final between Argentina and Chile turned out to be a bad acting competition rather than a football match. There was way too much of that today.
     
    #105
  6. sacffc

    sacffc Active Member

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    I've seen Switzerland's Shaqiri many times while watching Stoke. Since he bowed out today I wanted to offer the following in tribute to a player I always enjoy watching:

     
    #106
  7. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Two more South American team exit the stage at the hands of Europeans.

    I think Hazard, Lukaku, and de Bruyne were masterful today. Courtois was probably man of the match though. Looking forward to a fun semifinal next week.
     
    #107
  8. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    ruguay

    Shame about Uruguay's keeper. Aside from him, there were two compelling matches to watch today. Neither Brazil nor Uruguay employed much gamesmanship. Good football to watch. I'd like to see the same from England, but I think we saw the WC Champions today.
     
    #108
  9. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Craziest stat so far: That Neymar had spent 14 minutes on the ground throughout the tournament. Not sure what is stranger; that he was rolling around that long w/out a single injury or that someone took the time, went back, and added it all up o_O.
     
    #109
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  10. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Watching more WC than I ever thought I would. Two compelling matches today -- very entertaining.
     
    #110
  11. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Member

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    Croatia and russia left everything they had on the field today. That's all you can really ask. The last part of the 90/extra time were incredible. Tense, exciting, dramatic. Throughly enjoyable

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
    #111
  12. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Gotta give the Russkies props. They did better than many of the so-called experts thought they would. Lowest ranked side coming in (70th), they took the host country advantage and ran with it. And their best player didn't even start the first match. Club scouts are taking a hard second look at them before the transfer window closes, I'm sure.
     
    #112
  13. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Got to go ‘Empty Tank Theory’ for the semis.

    Given equal circumstances I’d pick Croatia, but after 240 minutes, 2 PKs, and the GK plus their second best player Mandzukic hobbling it’s their for Emgland’s taking.

    Belgium looked dead on their feet and only Courtois (along w/Brazil blowing 2 other chances) saved them in the last 10 minutes. This is gonna be a whole lotta fun to watch, but France should outlast them.
     
    #113
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  14. FulhamTX

    FulhamTX Member

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    I have to agree with this assessment. France was my pre-tournament pick so I would be going with them regardless but you're right Belgium looked very tired and those legs will be getting really heavy in the second half.

    Croatia I still give a slight chance to win just because I think they are clearly the better of the two teams but 240 min over the course of a single week is alot, and only a few days to recover. I'll take england but only slightly, I wont be surprised if Croatia comes out flying and takes an early lead.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
    #114
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  15. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Makes perfect sense, which means it will come to pass or be of no consequence whatsoever. The Croats get an extra day to recover and are playing the English who, in my mind, are the least talented of the semifinalists. I'd pick them despite the marathon matches and knocks to key players.
    I think the more likely of the running on fumes status are the Belgians: shorter turnaround and inconsistent play. I mean, who goes 2-nil down to Japan, for goodness sakes?
    But........
    they were money against the Neymars, and you KNOW they hate the French like nobody else, so...we'll see. Sometimes teams find the extra energy and second wind, if you will, when they should be dead tired. But if either Belgium or Croatia have to go into extra time, they could well run out of gas.
     
    #115
  16. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Final score: England 1 Belgium 2
     
    #116
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  17. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    France shut down DeBruyne & Lukaku, and forced Hazard to areas to limit damage he could inflict. A whole bunch of credit has to go to DeChamps. Anything can happen on Sunday, but Les Blues just beat the 2no best team in the tournament.
     
    #117
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  18. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    or, perhaps not
     
    #118
  19. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    About halfway through the first half, I told myself "If Belgium don't score before halftime, this might be over."
    Guess what? Belgium didn't score.
    The French are doing a lot of thing right at the moment, but the best thing they are doing is defending. And Lloris in pretty good form which, for most keepers, would be fantastic form. He gets a little squirrelly sometimes, especially coming off his line, but his instincts are usually accurate, so if he doesn't misjudge one in the final, they're going to be tough to beat. France's lesser known players have performed above expectations as well. Guys like Pavard, Umtiti and Varane have lit the lamp in addition to playing solid defense in front of Lloris. No matter who wins tomorrow, they'll have a job to do Sunday.
     
    #119
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  20. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see a France-England final, but I've been mightily impressed with Croatia. It would not surprise me to see them spoil the party by pipping the three lions today. England are playing much better than the so-called "golden" generation of Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Terry, etc. I think Gareth Southgate has done an admirable job getting them here, but he employs far too many conservative tactics to my liking. I don't think that'll work against the Croats. Modric has a tendency to overcome such things, and he's been brilliant in Russia. But...England have surpassed all expectations for this edition of the big show. Are they a team of destiny? Possibly. Should be good stuff today.
     
    #120
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