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Friday, June 22, 2018

World Cup Day 9

I was surprised that Argentina melted down in the second half, but not that they lost. They did NOT impress in their first game, and Messi didn't exactly dominate in the previous World Cup either. Croatia is a tough, well-balanced team and looked better throughout most of the first half.

Hell of a finish by Rebic on the keeper's mistake, though. That was nowhere nearly as easy as he made it look. Especially in light of how an Argentine missed an open net with a straightforward sidefoot in the first half.

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25 Comments:

Blogger MendoScot June 22, 2018 8:28 AM  

Our defense was absent the whole game. Apparently the new defensive style is never mark an attacker - it might hurt their feelings.

And don't get me started on the midfield passing.

That said, the Croats deseerved their win. While the 1st and 3rd goals were defense FUs, the 2nd was beauty.

Blogger MendoScot June 22, 2018 8:29 AM  

A comment on the radio this morning.

"It's not all lost ... we still have to lose to Nigeria!"

Blogger CarpeOro June 22, 2018 8:29 AM  

Haven't managed to watch many games in this tournament. Are many of the usual power houses putting on good shows, or has this really been full of upsets (my current impression)?

Blogger CarpeOro June 22, 2018 8:30 AM  

I did catch both Argentina matches and was not impressed with Argentina at all.

Blogger insight June 22, 2018 8:32 AM  

Looks like Portugal and Brazil for the final.

Blogger VD June 22, 2018 8:40 AM  

Are many of the usual power houses putting on good shows

Spain looks good, not dominating. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo in excellent form. Germany looks terrible. Brazil looks blah. Argentina looks terrible. Italy isn't there. France struggled against Peru.

No one has stood out yet. So far, Spain looks the best of a surprisingly sorry lot.

Blogger Looking Glass June 22, 2018 8:45 AM  

For how brilliant Messi is, he can't run the entire length of the field and score through the entire defense. Only saw a little bit of the games for them, but are they expecting him to go Maradona and just beat the entire defense without help?

Granted, that's literally how Portugal's attack operated against Morocco after they got up 1-0. If Morocco could have put together anything with their attack, they could have won that game. (Felt like they didn't know what to do once they got to Portugal's box. Great midfield and no attack. Was a weird 2nd half.)

Blogger Looking Glass June 22, 2018 8:47 AM  

VD wrote:Are many of the usual power houses putting on good shows

Spain looks good, not dominating. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo in excellent form. Germany looks terrible. Brazil looks blah. Argentina looks terrible. Italy isn't there. France struggled against Peru.

No one has stood out yet. So far, Spain looks the best of a surprisingly sorry lot.


England looked good enough in Game 1 that you know they're going to lose on penalties in the Quarterfinals.

Blogger BR MK June 22, 2018 9:02 AM  

Someone said that the other players in the team dont like Messi and this was evident against Croacia. When Messi was running with the ball, the other players stood still.Messi was looking for someone free for receiving his pass, and there was nobody

Blogger Shane Farrell June 22, 2018 9:56 AM  

Thing about Maradona in 86 was they had a rock solid defence with Passarella and Jose Luis Brown. They had a pretty decent squad to support an actual World class player. If Ronaldo keeps on form, this could be the template for a World Cup to match a European as their squad is solid.

Blogger BR MK June 22, 2018 10:04 AM  

Good victory for Brazil. Neymar is well below his potential but the team is one of the best, with a strong defense line.

Blogger Nym Coy June 22, 2018 10:13 AM  

It looked like Croatia had 20 players on the field and Argentina had 5.

Blogger Jamie-R June 22, 2018 10:33 AM  

The Virgin Messi vs The Chadnaldo won the meme wars for the rest of the World Cup.

Neymar is a massive drama queen. He almost got a penalty for what we call staging in AFL. You can get major fines & even game bans doing that here. Then he pretended to cry as the game finished on his knees. Add a soccer ball & Bold & the Beautiful is way better.

Blogger Looking Glass June 22, 2018 11:01 AM  

They're always up to something with the ball in the last decade, but this one might take the cake. With the rise of the rotation-less shooting, they've clearly spent a lot of materials engineering time getting the ball to "bite" really hard in response. It's noticeable that the balls aren't "skying" like they used to, if you got some air under them.

Part of it is the time investment into getting the ball to drop like that, by the players, but they've also worked to help make that a reality. The first real run at it was the 2010 World Cup ball, but the surface was too hard. It resulted in a lot of dead shots. This was seems to have a lot nicer balance, and it's acting more & more baseball like. That's a lot of engineering so there is more highlight goals.

Blogger BassmanCO June 22, 2018 11:12 AM  

I felt bad for Messi until he hustled off the field as fast as possible after the loss. Classy act by the team captain. Seguine at least went over and congratulated Croatia (who out played them mentally and physically). Have some dignity when you lose. I know it sucks, but man up.

Blogger HoosierHillbilly June 22, 2018 11:58 AM  

Just need to draw (or not lose by too much) against France and the plucky little Danes can advance. From there, it is looking like a wide open tournament.

Interesting to see a tournament without a completely dominant team...but it looks like its starting to drift off into "this is just sad" territory instead of exciting March Madness-type turf.

Blogger szopen June 22, 2018 12:29 PM  

Croats have surprisingly good team. After a catastrophic performance by our team (even if one goal was suicidal and the second was a bit controversial, I still would argue we deserve to lose seeing how utterly lost and confused our boys were) I'm affraid we won't make it to 1/8 (which seemed a given just few days ago). In that case, I guess I will cheer the Croats.

Plus they have few quite catchy tunes. For example "Srce Vatreno" ("The fire heart").

Blogger great_o'rety June 22, 2018 1:55 PM  

There was nothing controversial about the second goal. They simply forgot about having a Senegalese player behind the lines. And Krychowiak's pass "assist" was just plain dumb regardless of whatever. Good for him he kinda redeemed himself with the goal at the end.

Blogger szopen June 22, 2018 2:32 PM  

great_o'rety wrote:There was nothing controversial about the second goal. They simply forgot about having a Senegalese player behind the lines. And Krychowiak's pass "assist" was just plain dumb regardless of whatever. Good for him he kinda redeemed himself with the goal at the end.

Agree Krychowiak pass was dumb (not just this one). I also know from the rule's point of view everything was legit. But still, this was one of the most, if not THE most bizarre goal I've seen during last few years.

Blogger Manuel June 22, 2018 4:05 PM  

It's weird seeing this Shaqiri guy of Kosavar descent just scored the winning goal against Serbia. Looking through the squad, it appears the former Yugoslavia is well represented in the Swiss team, including their manager.

Blogger michimartini June 22, 2018 5:08 PM  

Which brings us back to the old question of what defines a nation.

Blogger great_o'rety June 22, 2018 5:23 PM  

Not surnames for sure. Or are we supposed to consider the likes of Umtiti or Mbeppe as indigenously French now?

Blogger select star June 22, 2018 10:20 PM  

That #5 Serbian player taking a dive @ 1:09 was a wuss move. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ-F9uG3QXo

Blogger Freddy June 22, 2018 10:49 PM  

Germany needs to save face. Will they?

Blogger Freddy June 23, 2018 4:17 PM  

Sehr gut Deutschland

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