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FIFA Football World Cup 2018 Russia Thread

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Japan won Columbia 2 -1. Great and entertaining game, Japan was surprisingly dominant.

Juan Fernando Quintero's artful 1 -1 free kick and later Yuya Osako's 2 -1 header from Honda's corner kick were pure gold! :love:

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Well, that Japan wins is for me a big surprise. What is going one with all the favorites? 

Anyway, I am happy for Osako (former 1. FC Köln player) that he scored and I am also happy for Japan, that they have won. It was in my opinion a deserved win, altough Columbia was probably shocked from the red card after 4 minutes and out of their concept.  

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"Pekerman, what are you doing?" - my thought throughout the game. James on the bench? The substitution of Cuadrado? Unexpected choices, to say the least.

But I'm glad that Japan won. Group H may prove truly even, after all. Also, the World Cup can officially be renamed into Penalty Cup.

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So Colombia flopped their match right off the bat, and lost to Japan. And Poland is at the mercy at the hands of Senegal, all because of an easily-avoidable own goal, and the goalkeeper not goalkeeping enough. He had one job and screwed it up.

Can some make a meme of the Poland-Senegal match when said match ends?

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What is truly odd so far is, with the exception of Belgium (potential dark horse of the tournament), none of the favorites have stepped up: Brazil drew against Switzerland, Germany lost to Mexico, and Spain was stopped in its tracks by a Ronaldo in God Mode. To add this even further, teams you would at least expect to do well disappointed in the first round: Argentina shocklingly drew against Iceland and Colombia lost to Japan.

We're probably going to have a big match already in the last 16 (Germany vs. Brazil).

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37 minutes ago, RiseofSpectrum said:

What is truly odd so far is, with the exception of Belgium (potential dark horse of the tournament), none of the favorites have stepped up: Brazil drew against Switzerland, Germany lost to Mexico, and Spain was stopped in its tracks by a Ronaldo in God Mode. To add this even further, teams you would at least expect to do well disappointed in the first round: Argentina shocklingly drew against Iceland and Colombia lost to Japan.

We're probably going to have a big match already in the last 16 (Germany vs. Brazil).

Not only that, Poland showed horrible performance from scoring an own goal, the goalkeeper completely leaving his goal wide open to allow Senegal to win. And Egypt's performance were lousy, and seemed to have followed Poland's suit by scoring another own goal. Those 28 years for their return was all for naught. And Russia surprisingly goes through to the Round of 16.

What is going on with the veteran teams anyway? Why are they not taking the matches seriously? Belgium and England performed well, yet Spain can't break through, Argentina is fading, Germany seems to not show their true potential as the current title holders, Colombia bum rushed right off the bat which led to their red card and resulting Japan to win, and Poland showing their rookie mistakes by losing to a seemingly weaker team that is Senegal. And I said "seemingly", because they're not as weak as anyone would think. Even Brazil didn't fared any better, and Neymar's not showing his a-game for his team.

While the three matches today were great, it was VERY hectic. I'm beginning to wonder if the veteran teams are even taking the World Cup series at all, especially from one own goal to the next.

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A great game from Senegal! Senegalese magicians made Lewandowski disappear. Brilliant work by Cisse.

Very disappointing performance from Egypt, the second match in a row. Of course, Salah is far from his best conditions, but still.

36 minutes ago, RiseofSpectrum said:

Belgium (potential dark horse of the tournament)

Why do people keep calling Belgium a dark horse? They clearly have one of the best squads in the world since at least the previous World Cup. If anything, I'd call them underachievers at the moment. 

4 minutes ago, Jon the VGNerd said:

I'm beginning to wonder if the veteran teams are even taking the World Cup series at all, especially from one own goal to the next.

I'm surprised by their performance too. And I'm not buying "they had a tough season" argument, because everyone did. Let's hope they'll get on track in the next games, and the first round was just a warm-up.

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10 minutes ago, Oleks said:

I'm surprised by their performance too. And I'm not buying "they had a tough season" argument, because everyone did. Let's hope they'll get on track in the next games, and the first round was just a warm-up.

They'd better do a much better job in the second round, as any second round means it could be their last if they continue to show lousy performances. And if Germany loses a second time, they can kiss their current title good-bye, which means the upcoming championship title will be up for grabs. This happened with Spain as the previous title holders in 2014 when their poor performances resulted in back-to-back losses by both the Netherlands and Chile (and the ironic part is that neither Chile nor the Netherlands made it to this year's World Cup from their poor performances in the qualifiers). That means Germany will soon join up with Spain if they don't step up to their game (I apologize for those in Germany).

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28 minutes ago, Jon the VGNerd said:

Germany seems to not show their true potential as the current title holders,

My personal opinion about this is that germany have a few problems. Joachim Löw made some terrible mistakes in the team selection of the first game. I can not understand why he brought Draxler instead of Reus. And Reus already said, that he was not planned in this game but in later games against the hard enemies. Well Jogi, Mexico was a hard enemy. And Werner was also not perfect for this game. Against sweden, I would bring Reus instead of Draxler or Özil, Goretzka instead of Khedira and Gomez instead of Werner.

Another reason is that all the world champions from 2014 acts so empty and listless. When I look on the players of the last confed cup, they were maybe not technical so good, but they played with passion and the lust to win the turnament. This is something I missed on the players on sunday. It also seems that players like Müller, Hummels or Boateng are to old and not really fit.

Than their are this unrest in the last few weeks with the Erdogan thing and some personnal decisions from Löw (like Wagner or Sané). And honestly, maybe it is also the german football at all. I mean, the german teams also played a terrible season in the CL and EL. And the end of the season for Bayern was also not so good with the losts against Real and Frankfurt. Maybe this is in the heads of the bavarian players.

This are my conjectures why germany was so bad (and it is not only the game against Mexico, it was also so in the games before).

Why the other teams are not so good, I don't know. 

Congratulation to russia. I never expected that they would go to the next round. 

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10 minutes ago, Jon the VGNerd said:

This happened with Spain as the previous title holders in 2014

I also remember something similar happening to France in 2002. But now, Germany of all teams... Although the number of shots in their game against Mexico suggests that they were trying, and probably, if Löw makes the right changes in the squad for the next game, their results will improve.

7 minutes ago, IronM17 said:

some personnal decisions from Löw (like Wagner or Sané)

Leaving Sane in Germany was, IMO, the biggest surprise before the start of the WC. Jogi's logic is beyond me, even though I've read that this was a tactical decision. Players of Sane's quality should never be ignored.

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12 minutes ago, Oleks said:

Leaving Sane in Germany was, IMO, the biggest surprise before the start of the WC. Jogi's logic is beyond me, even though I've read that this was a tactical decision. Players of Sane's quality should never be ignored.

The reason why he let him at home was, that Sané made not one good game when he played for germany. In contrast to ManCity, he never found his place in the german squad. But yeah, that Sané was kicked out of the final squad was definitelly a surprise. But Wagner was for me also a surprise. Wagner is maybe not the nicest person and also sometimes really arrogant (what was I guess the main reasons for his non-nomination), but he played always good in the national team and he is maybe a good player against teams who are mostly defensive. But Isntead of him, he chose Petersen, who playes for Freiburg (and Freiburg played not a good season) and send Petersen after one test game back to home.

I am honestly, maybe it is better when the era Löw will came to an end. And also some of the players should leave the team after the turnament, indifferent if they go out in the group stage or in later rounds. And I also know others who think this. I guess it is time for a change.

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So, Round 2 has begun. Favorites are still in energy-saving mode. I hope Argentina and Croatia will at least score more than one goal tomorrow. Messi really needs to get into the game.

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On 6/19/2018 at 9:07 PM, Oleks said:

A great game from Senegal! Senegalese magicians made Lewandowski disappear. Brilliant work by Cisse.

Very disappointing performance from Egypt, the second match in a row. Of course, Salah is far from his best conditions, but still.

Why do people keep calling Belgium a dark horse? They clearly have one of the best squads in the world since at least the previous World Cup. If anything, I'd call them underachievers at the moment. 

I'm surprised by their performance too. And I'm not buying "they had a tough season" argument, because everyone did. Let's hope they'll get on track in the next games, and the first round was just a warm-up.

Belgium does have a great team on paper. However, they've had that great team on paper for quite a few years. So far, however, it has been more of a collection of talented individuals rather than a great team. That's why people see Belgium as a dark horse.

Spain and and especially Portugal were god-awful against Iran and Morocco respectively, but did get away with a victory. I expect a Spain-Russia and a Uruguay-Portugal in the last 16.

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Boy, what just happened with Argentina? They were one of the most strongest teams (who are ranked 5th whilst Croatia is ranked 20th) and got destroyed by Croatia 3-0. And Messi was left in the shadows as well, as if he didn't exist. And he's the Captain for his team!

Argentina showed no performance, much less teamwork, and they've clearly forgotten about their own captain. Croatia secured their place to Round of 16, while Argentina is in the danger zone of getting an early exit. Even Peru didn't performed better, despite being ranked 11th, which was close to being the top 10. Their slow performance meant they lost twice in a row and got an early exit afterwards, not even able to score a single goal either. I'm beginning to wonder if Argentina has lost its thunder, especially after not being able to beat debutants Iceland. It's as if they're not longer taking the matches seriously.

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It's about time Croatia get some respect. Luka Modric is the best midfielder in the world and their defeat of Argentina does not surprise me

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Croatia beat Argentina - not a surprising result (for me at least), but a bit surprising score. On average, Croatians have a stronger and better-balanced team, and the victory is well-deserved. Argentina, on the other hand, has a big group of top attacking players, who didn't show anything today, and a bunch of old or poor quality defenders and midfielders (plus a 36-yo goalkeeper who played less than half a dozen games for the national team). Although, to be honest, after the first half I thought that we'd see more red cards than goals in this game. I'm glad I was wrong.

3 minutes ago, Jon the VGNerd said:

Boy, what just happened with Argentina? They were one of the most strongest teams (who are ranked 5th whilst Croatia is ranked 20th)

Yet another proof that FIFA ranking means nothing.

As for the rest of today's games, I'm beginning to root for Australia in this WC - they are really trying and seem very motivated, even despite being less skilled. Peru are out - it's a shame, they played rather well, but should have scored against Denmark in the first match.

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^Couldn't agree with you more. While Australia is indeed showing, they're not out of the woods yet as they are in a must-win situation so it's basically a make or break. Even if Australia wins, they may be edged out by Denmark as a result of goal differences, but knowing the World Cup, it's anybody's game.

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Not really surprised by this result. This Argentina side has been really poor for the past few years and it only made it to the World Cup by having Messi carrying it in the qualifiers.

And Croatia is a great team all-around with a nice amount of world-class players. Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic, Perisic and Mandzukic are players of a calibre any team would like to have. This Croatia side just two years ago deservedly beat Spain and absolutely dicked all over Portugal in the Euro 2016. Granted, Portugal did manage to eliminate them, but were otherwise utterly dominated on the pitch.

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By far my favorite match was the Serbia vs Switzerland match. Switzerland look like they're about to be brought down to their knees by a surprisingly-strong Serbian team. But after the second half, they rebounded back and secured an impressive 2-1 win.

That takes serious dedication right there.

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Serbia vs Switzerland was a good match indeed. The first come-from-behind victory in this WC, if I'm not mistaken.

Brazil won, but still they hardly show the champions' performance. A good game for Costa Rica.

Iceland. Probably, they were overconfident and thought that game was a sure win, and it backfired. Plus, the Super Eagles' coach made a wise choice selecting Musa - a fast striker against big and slow Iceland's defence.

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Korea gt kimchi'd by Mexico, and Sweden is RIP at the last minute 

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Belgians continue to beat up weak teams (no offence, Tunisia), Mexicans got another victory and Sweden vs Germany is the most dramatic match of Round 2, and maybe of the whole group stage.

Now if Sweden beats Mexico and Germany beats Korea, we'll have 6x6x6. This group is the most interesting one so far.

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Goodness, those matches were huge. England just destroys Panama, and Colombia sent Poland home and shattering their hopes and dreams in the process. Panama surely learned the hard way when they first came to the World Cup for the first time (and just one goal was, sadly, not enough), and Poland's performance were just downright poor. No offensive/defensive capabilities, and Poland's Lewandowski not showing much, just like Messi, and is left in the shadows as well. These matches were by far the greatest there is, hands down.

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England vs Panama - a predictable beating up of one of the weakest teams of the tournament. Only play-off matches will show the real strength of Belgium and England.

Japan vs Senegal - one the most interesting games of Round 2. I'm happy for the Japanese - before the World Cup many people saw them on the last place in their group, and now they have an excellent chance to qualify.

Columbia - Poland - I missed this one, but from what I saw in the highlights, Columbia played much better and the victory was well-deserved. Poland is one of the biggest disappointments of the WC for me.

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Well, what can I say? Iran fought hard and lost to Portugal, even though Portugal became too overly-aggressive and cocky in their play, which resulted in a tie yet they still managed to win while Iran goes home with nothing twice in a row.

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