Mesme Rize

FIFA Football World Cup 2018 Russia Thread

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Goodness, what a match. Despite Argentina giving their all, France was just too much. Seems Argentina will not make it to the finals as France proved to be a tough nut to crack, even Messi wasn't able to equalize despite his efforts. Still though, what a dramatic match.

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A great start of the play-off round and a well-deserved win for France. Argentina again suffered because of poor manager's decisions, but even without them France is simply a stronger team with more top-class players, who finally started to realize the potential they kept to themselves during the group stage. Even Giroud was useful!

@RiseofSpectrum, I agree with you on most of the teams, although I wouldn't call Portugal underrated - not very much liked (except for Ronaldo), but not underrated. Portugal, as well as France, have a big advantage manager- and tactical-wise, but they are less predictable. As you said, Ronaldo himself is not enough, and Andre Silva, Bernardo and Quaresma are unpredictable and often inconsistent in their performance. 

I like Mexico and Ochoa too, and I will support them in their game against Brazil. Columbia is an interesting team, and I'm looking forward to James vs Kane show-down. And I don't have any faith in Belgium, probably because of the last two tournaments where they were among favorites and didn't achieve anything. 

Croatians have great potential and an excellent set of players, but they shouldn't plan for the final just yet - it's very dangerous to underestimate Denmark, who has Eriksen (IMO, he is as good as any of the Croatian midfielders in the creative aspect) and Schmeichel, who, when on fire, can pull his team through by himself.

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Jesus Christ, these were some terrible options. Ricardo for Cedric means even more fragility towards the defensive sector, and Guedes has been completely off form this World Cup. We can circle the ball all around Uruguay's box if we want to, but where are the men inside the box to actually make sure opportunities are created? Why is Ronaldo, our best header, having to stray into the wing while Guedes, who's not in any way a prolific header, stays in the box? I swear to Jesus I don't understand it.

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Both Messi and Ronaldo are out in one day. Uruguay won 4 games in a row, conceding only one goal. Although they only faced one strong opponent.

1 hour ago, RiseofSpectrum said:

I swear to Jesus I don't understand it.

I didn't understand those choices too, especially Rocardo for Cedric. Pereira made quite a few mistakes during the game. Why Santos thought that including him in the starting 11 was  good idea? All in all, Cavani's skills won the game, and 18 shots weren't enough for Portugal.

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Just now, Oleks said:

Both Messi and Ronaldo are out in one day. Uruguay won 4 games in a row, conceding only one goal. Although they only faced one strong opponent.

I didn't understand those choices too, especially Rocardo for Cedric. Pereira made quite a few mistakes during the game. Why Santos thought that including him in the starting 11 was  good idea? All in all, Cavani's skills won the game, and 18 shots weren't enough for Portugal.

Ricardo for Cedric's pretty simple: it's sacrificing defensive cohesion for attacking prowess. Not like it mattered anyway, considering Portugal spent its time passing the ball around Uruguay's box. This... was a pretty dumb decision. With its centre-backs really old, it was necessary to have another defensive-minded fast man capable of compensating for the lack of speed. At the end of the day, Ricardo did what was expected him: was pretty decent attacking, but was fragile defensively.

Bernardo Silva was completely wasted throughout the tournament. He is not a winger, he's a 10. At the second half, he was put in the middle and played one hell of a match. Quaresma coming in was also another poor decision. Quaresma barely wins out one-on-ones anymore, if that's what Santos was looking for, he should've sent in Gelson.

Guedes has been completely off. I don't understand why would you discard the duo (Ronaldo and André Silva) that scored a combined 24 goals during qualifying just to have him on. Once André Silva was in, Portugal finally had some presence in Uruguay's box. The problem was, by then, it was way too late.

Finally, Ronaldo was totally and utterly wasted. First by being paired up with a man who isn't even a striker, and then by not being a striker at all. Ronaldo is a second striker. He needs that consistent presence of another man on the centre-backs so he can be freed and do his magic.

I am utterly dismayed. This squad is so much better than the 2016 one, and was completely wasted by an out-of-touch old man who's too afraid to actually have these talented young men actually play what they know.

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@RiseofSpectrum
Thanks for the insightful analysis about Portugal's poor performance. I barely watched the match because I tried to reason with a friend (whose supporting Portugal due to his heritage) who thought they could've beaten Uruguay even though I always warned him about the duo Suarez-Cavani, tough defender Caceres on defense and the good keeper Muslera.
In the end he got blasted from defeat and now he's badmouthing Portugal for how they played.

 

Edited by Laurel Crown

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Wow! What a close game.

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One of Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia, and England will reach the final. Brilliant

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Well, I thought Spain would be eliminated in the quarters by Croatia. Didn't imagine they would go back to their pre-2010 ways and choke immediately at the first parking bus they faced.

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Christ, what a dramatic match this has been between Croatia and Denmark. You gotta give Denmark a lot of credit especially with their goalkeeper. They fought hard against Croatia, even though they lost in the end.

And Spain, sadly, won't be looking at a second title after losing to Russia. Russia are becoming tough as nails as the host nation, and they're showing that they're not going to back down easily.

All in all, amazing matches today.

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Jokes about the Catalan agent Pique sabotaging the Spanish team aside, they were painful to watch - those 1000 passes without much thought about actually scoring proved that the old tiki-taka is dead, but some still won't accept it. Also, this World Cup was an total disaster for De Gea - he conceded almost everything he could. Iniesta deserved a better farewell.

Croatia, as usual, had a lot of trouble with a good defensive team - it was almost Croatia vs Portugal all over again. In the end I rooted presonally for Schmeichel, but alas... The Croatians will face another bus in the quarterfinal. I hope they will be better prepared.

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Man. The Belgium-Japan match was very dramatic, and Japan exposed Belgium's weaknesses in the second half. Even though they eventually lost to Belgium after they fired back, you gotta give lots of props to Japan for fighting really hard and try and pull off an upset against Belgium.

As for Brazil, they did well, but Neymar needs to suck it up and be a man. He's not a kid anymore so he shouldn't be complaining over the slightest tackle or shove by Mexico's team. It's almost hard to watch when he's trying to be the center of attention. :dry:

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I feel sorry for Mexico. If they were on the other side of the grid, they'd have more chances to break the 1/8 curse. 

Belgium vs Japan had the best second half of the tournament. Japan's performance was a very pleasant surprise, and at some point, when the Japanese were still attacking after the second goal, I thought that Belgium was knocked down. But Martinez made the right moves with the subs , who were - also surprisingly - supereffective. Brazil vs Belgum is going to be even more interesting now.

Also, congrats to the fellow blue-and-yellow team! I expected Sw-Sw to end in 0-0, but the Swedes were luckier in this battle of equals.

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With James out of the picture and Falcao lost somewhere in Maguire's and Stones's shadows Columbia still persevered and Mina scored yet again. But England made it! I'm especially happy for Vardy - this man's career has been a fairy-tale for the last couple of years.

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That was probably the worst game I have ever seen for some time. One side (England - who I support) failing to attack and getting only 2 shots on target (one of which was a penalty) against a poor Colombia side, and then Colombia themselves, who thought they were playing rugby as opposed to football. Neither side deserved to win the game. But I am thankful that it was England who eventually did, it was extremely tense though.

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Great job, Belgium.

Sincere congrats from a fan of Japan.

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It is soooo satisfying watching Belgium play. Their passing and movement is just sublime - they don't simply pass for the sake of passing, there's a real purpose to everything they do. They're super organized at the back as well

Edited by Frostgage
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Brazil, the final team for CONMEBOL, is out, as their efforts were crippled by a strong Belgian team.

The FIFA World Cup is now offically the FIFA Euro Cup.

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We’re only half-way through the quarter-finals, and all the remaining countries have won either one championship or none at all. Truly, this is an “Underdog” World Cup. 

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Another victory for France, this time it was Griezmann’s time to shine. I really like Uruguay, and it’s a pity that they are out, but France has probably the best team of the tournament and just outclassed them. I don’t think that even Cavani would change much. Also, watching Kante playing was a pure joy for me.

Finally, Belgians are realizing their potential. Martinez built a brilliant team of brilliant players. Who will remember that Nainggolan isn’t on the roster now? The first half was magnificent, even Lukaku seemed inspired. Neymar, welcome to the company of Messi, Ronaldo, Salah, Iniesta and Neuer.

So, the best teams of the WC (so far) will face each other in the semi-final. Dis gonna be good.

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So it will seem as if it will be France, Belgium, Croatia and England.

Dear me, quality-wise this has to be the worst final 4 since 2002.

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My predictions is gonna be France-Belgium and England-Croatia with the finals being Belgium-Croatia (the latter being the winner).
As much as I liked swedish's play and formation (as I says myself being Italian), I don't think they gonna come up something to block Harry Kane & Co. other than all defensive formation til the PKs. Same for Russia. They played out pretty well but I'm sure they're gonna get bodied by Modric's team.

Who knows what swerve is gonna happen next :P

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On behalf of all Dynamo Kyiv fans I want to thank Domagoj Vida, our ex-player, for contributing to this historic achievement. Also, I probably woke the neighbors when Rakatic scored. I'm waiting for France vs Croatia in the final.

Meanwhile, football is on its way home. England should declare Pickford's cheeks a part its national treasure.

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No! Russia!

But that was a very intense game to watch. Well played.

Now that Russia is out, I will now cheer for the remaining Slavic country in the game.

Yay Croatia!

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