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Tweaked

FIFA World Cup, the Ultimate Quadrennial Soccer Tournament - 2018 Host Nation Russia: Jun 14 - Jul 15, 2018

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If the Group F games have close score lines, the group results could see saw back and forth for 2 hours.  The scoring of just one goal could mean diving into the second or third or fourth tiebreaker to figure out who is in or out. Hoping for a fascinating day of WC! 

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In Group G play this morning, England makes the case for not expanding the World Cup.  This group was always going to be England v Belgium and after playing their tune up matches they meet on June 28.  

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1 hour ago, Tweaked said:

In Group G play this morning, England makes the case for not expanding the World Cup.  This group was always going to be England v Belgium and after playing their tune up matches they meet on June 28.  

You have to love the reaction of Panama fans after their only goal though.

Last time England didn't even qualify while Costa Rica did from the same group.

 

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Time for conspiracy theory.

It is in the interest of Poland and Columbia to draw this afternoon with lots of goals.  3-3, for example, with Lewandowski and James both earning hat tricks.

Don't see the benefit of either one winning; would the winner realistically hope to advance with a draw in their last game, expecting the loser (who'd be out of the World Cup at that point) to win their last game decisively?

 

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A Colombia beat down of Poland concludes Round 2.  I have no idea what to make of Group H, other than Poland is eliminated.  

Tomorrow is the start of Round 3 matches, filling in brackets, and finding which teams will pair off in the knock out stage.  The quest continues!

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The knock out brackets begin to fill up. 

Uruguay tops Group A, host Russia finishes second.

Group B...that's why they play the games at the same time!  Crazy finish to Group B play...Spain down late against Morocco before securing a vital point.  Iran ties it up against Portugal on a VAR penalty review, then they have the break away they need in the dying minutes to win the group no less(!) but alas it's in the side netting. 

Spain and Portugal advance decided by...total goals scored(?)

Uruguay 1A v. Portugal 2B

Russia 2A v. Spain 1B

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In Group C, Peru and Australia came out to play, with the La Blanquirroja taking down the Socceroos 2-0.  Scintillating stuff.   Conversely, France and Denmark only needed a friendly draw to advance and draw they did 0-0.  No need to pull a hammy in this one.

Group D. Farewell plucky Nigeria.  Farewell brave Iceland.  

France 1C v. Argentina 2D

Denmark 2C v. Croatia 1D

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My bracket is perfect through C, but will fall with D. I have Argentina 1 and Croatia 2, which can't happen, but we'll see if we get those two reversed.

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If Germany win 2-1, they better hope Sweden does not win 2-1 because they would be out due to Boateng's red card (all other tie-breakers would not yield a resolution).
 

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BOOM!  Our first upset.  The defending champions are out.  This is the third WC in a row that the defending champions have failed to get out of the group stage.  (Germany in 2018, Spain in 2014, Italy in 2010).  With their beat down of Mexico, Sweden wins the group.  Thanks to South Korea, Mexico finishes second, despite their loss.

In the afternoon matches, it came down to a tale of chances:  Brazil took theirs, Serbia did not.  Brazil wins the group, Serbia goes home.  I didn't watch the Swiss v. Costa Rica match, but CR finally got on the board in a 2-2 draw.  Frankly, a disappointing tournament for the Ticos. 

Sweden 1F v. Switzerland 2E (Battle of the Sw)

Mexico 2F v. Brazil 1E (Can Mex get past their round of 16 jinx?)

 

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I had the Mexican game on but didn’t really watch.  Did they play as bad as the scoreline suggests?  I was impressed with Mexico after their victory over Germany but I’m no longer impressed.

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Mexico dominated possession for long stretches, had decent chances, but it just felt like one of those games where they weren't going to score.  Swedish defense was stout. 

Sweden scored on a kind of busted play, a penalty kick, and fluky own goal. 

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Germany earned their loss. They never looked dangerous in the attacking third.

* Spurs are now the leading scoring team at the WC with 8: Kane (5, England), Son (2, Korea), Eriksen (1, Denmark)

* Yes, I know this isn't a stat that's tracked. Just some fannish pride.

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6 hours ago, DanielK said:

Germany earned their loss. They never looked dangerous in the attacking third.

* Spurs are now the leading scoring team at the WC with 8: Kane (5, England), Son (2, Korea), Eriksen (1, Denmark)

* Yes, I know this isn't a stat that's tracked. Just some fannish pride.

Last I heard the leading scorer in the WC is own goal.

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2 hours ago, lovehockey said:

Last I heard the leading scorer in the WC is own goal.

Only 7 so far!

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9 hours ago, DanielK said:

 

* Spurs are now the leading scoring team at the WC with 8: Kane (5, England), Son (2, Korea), Eriksen (1, Denmark)

Tied by Barca.  Paulinho 1, Coutinho 2, Suarez 2, Messi 1, Rakitic 1, Mina 1. Maybe Kane will break the tie tomorrow.

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Here's the standings after this morning's games:

  1. Real Madrid 9
  2. Barcelona 9
  3. Tottenham 8
  4. Manchester United 6
  5. Atletico Madrid 5

Spurs need some help to stay level in the first round. I don't think it will come from Kane today - England really wants to lose the game if at all possible. But they have 3 on Belgium and 4 on England, so who knows.

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On the final day of Group play, England got the goal they needed to finish second in the group, thus avoiding Japan/Brazil/Mexico/Argentina/France/Portugal/Uruguay.  Colombia topped their group, but now face questions of a James injury.  Senegal, Africa's last hope and most entertaining team, were eliminated on FIFA Fair Play points.  

The brackets are set:

Top bracket

Uruguay v. Portugal 6/30 2pm

France v. Argentina 6/30 10am

Brazil v. Mexico 7/2 10am

Belgium v. Japan 7/2 2pm

Bottom bracket

Spain v. Russia 7/1 10am

Croatia v. Denmark 7/1 2pm

Sweden v. Switzerland 7/3 10am

Colombia v. England 7/3 2pm

Tomorrow we face the cruelest day of the WC...the day with no football. 

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I guess my perspective is weird.  I played and knew the game, and think I know it now, but I haven't followed top level soccer in years.  I watched much of the Belgium v. England match yesterday.  Without having World Cup perspective drilled into my head it seemed strange to watch a match played in the world's number one tournament wherein neither team was giving all out;  many top players on both side were being rested. 

Don't like that in a tournament of such consequence.  Every match should matter.  It doesn't make sense to me.   Regardless those were excellent players and frankly I enjoyed the flow of the game with opportunities to score at both ends.  Excellent players played hard.

The goal was a thing of beauty by a highly skilled player with knowledge.  He got the ball in striking distance with only one defender on him;  moved and faked quickly before other defenders could converge, created room and an opening for a shot, saw the goal, saw the opportunities and ripped off the perfect shot at one of the corners.  BOOOM BOOOM

https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/video/1266244163912

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42 minutes ago, DaveO said:

I guess my perspective is weird.  I played and knew the game, and think I know it now, but I haven't followed top level soccer in years.  I watched much of the Belgium v. England match yesterday.  Without having World Cup perspective drilled into my head it seemed strange to watch a match played in the world's number one tournament wherein neither team was giving all out;  many top players on both side were being rested. 

Don't like that in a tournament of such consequence.  Every match should matter.  It doesn't make sense to me.   Regardless those were excellent players and frankly I enjoyed the flow of the game with opportunities to score at both ends.  Excellent players played hard.

The goal was a thing of beauty by a highly skilled player with knowledge.  He got the ball in striking distance with only one defender on him;  moved and faked quickly before other defenders could converge, created room and an opening for a shot, saw the goal, saw the opportunities and ripped off the perfect shot at one of the corners.  BOOOM BOOOM

https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/video/1266244163912

The 1st-place team in that group was destined to end up in what is considered to be the harder Round of 16 bracket.  Going into the game England and Belgium were both headed to the Round of 16.  But they were tied in points (6 each) and goal differential; one of the other tiebreakers put England in 1st.  So to be blunt, England probably didn't mind that they lost and slipped to 2nd place.  Not that they should think that they're on the easy train to the final.

The last 10 minutes or so of Japan's last game was an exercise in wasting time; Japan knew they were through into the Round of 16 even if they lost and Poland was just happy to be able to go out with a win.  Crowd was very unhappy.

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2 hours ago, lovehockey said:

The 1st-place team in that group was destined to end up in what is considered to be the harder Round of 16 bracket.  Going into the game England and Belgium were both headed to the Round of 16.  But they were tied in points (6 each) and goal differential; one of the other tiebreakers put England in 1st.  So to be blunt, England probably didn't mind that they lost and slipped to 2nd place.  Not that they should think that they're on the easy train to the final.

The last 10 minutes or so of Japan's last game was an exercise in wasting time; Japan knew they were through into the Round of 16 even if they lost and Poland was just happy to be able to go out with a win.  Crowd was very unhappy.

I do recognize that the seedings process creates this.  Imho it’s a pity.  It’s the biggest tournament in the most popular sport in the world.  I just think every match should be played out to the fullest.

My $0.02.  😀

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If I had money on the game, I would've been real pissed.  Roberto Martinez (Belgium manager) said the result isn't important but Gareth Southgate spewed all kind of b.s. regarding how they want to win, keep their momentum, etc.  So I had England winning with 2 goals in my ESPN Match Predictor challenge.  Now I want to kick GS in the nuts.

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If you take another look at Belgium's goal, after it was scored another Belgian player smacked it back into the net for emphasis.  The ball bounced back and hit him in the head.

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