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n.b.  Australia are playing Denmark next Thursday evening at 10pm (AEST)

 

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Podcasts ...

BBC World Cup Daily

The Guardian World Cup Football Daily

 

Here are the games coming up over the next week ... SBS televised games are in dark italics.  SBS are also showing a one hour highlights package from 5.30pm daily.

 

All times AEST ...

 

Sunday, June 17:

Costa Rica v Serbia, Samara (10pm)

 

 

Monday, June 18:

Germany v Mexico, Moscow (Luzhniki) (1am)

Brazil v Switzerland, Rostov-on-Don (4am)

Sweden v South Korea, Nizhni Novgorod (10pm)

 

Tuesday, June 19:

Belgium v Panama, Sochi (1am)

Tunisia v England, Volgograd (4am)

Colombia v Japan, Saransk (10pm)

 

Wednesday, June 20:

Poland v Senegal, Moscow (Spartak) (1am)

Russia v Egypt, Saint Petersburg (4am)

Portugal v Morocco, Moscow (Luzhniki) (10pm)

 

Thursday, June 21:

Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don (1am)

Iran v Spain, Kazan (4am)

Australia v Denmark  Samara (10pm)

 

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Friday, June 22: 

France v Peru, Yekaterinburg (1am)

Argentina v Croatia, Nizhni Novgorod (4am)

Brazil v Costa Rica, Saint Petersburg (10pm)

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“Fiesta” time in Russia.

The Mexicans have a knack of performing  during the group stages and we have our first real shock of the tournament. We shouldn’t be surprised though as the Mexicans have some world class players and questions are now being asked of the Germans. 

Brazil, Argentina, Spain have all dropped points and France can count themselves lucky but they have the 3 points when other top seeds failed. 

You’d expect them all to bounce back though. Plenty of drama in these early stages which sets up an intriguing finish to the first round.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Dee Zephyr said:

“Fiesta” time in Russia.

The Mexicans have a knack of performing  during the group stages and we have our first real shock of the tournament. We shouldn’t be surprised though as the Mexicans have some world class players and questions are now being asked of the Germans. 

Brazil, Argentina, Spain have all dropped points and France can count themselves lucky but they have the 3 points when other top seeds failed. 

You’d expect them all to bounce back though. Plenty of drama in these early stages which sets up an intriguing finish to the first round.

What we do know now DZ is that the winners of at least 5 or 6 groups will probably be undecided going into the 3rd round of games in the Groups ... Spain,  Portugal,  Germany,  Brazil,  Argentina and a few other countries may well have to win their last game's in their respective groups to progress or win their group's. 

And if Belgium and/or England & Sweden don't win tonight those teams will be in the same boat.  Of course,  all the round 3 games are played at the same time within each group so there's no room for any shenanigans or skulduggery 😲

Edited by Macca
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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2018 at 5:49 PM, Diamond_Jim said:

Interested to hear your experiences with the Optus streaming product. Have seen a few articles in the media saying it has some problems.

 

I missed all of Costa Rica v Serbia last night, couldn't get on at all until after half-time and then it kept freezing up every few minutes. Pathetic from Optus.

The real travesty is that it was all so predictable - the Optus server crapped its dacks on the final day of the EPL, and irate customers told them at the time to get their act together in time for the World Cup.

SBS gave them the rights to however many games in return for the weekly EPL game, but really, the World Cup should be on the anti-siphoning list and all games available on free-to-air television. 

Edit: Just been announced that SBS will show all matches for the next 2 nights while Optus tries to sort it out. The Age is calling it the biggest farce in Australian sports broadcasting history. 

Edited by Grapeviney
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I've got 'Fetch TV' so no issues my way.  Got it super cheap too as I was already an Optus customer with internet & home phone.  But I sympathise with those using a streaming service - they should be offering refunds as well as a written apology.

But I do have a real issue with VAR ... use it for everything or don't use it.  The adjudicating has already reached farcical levels and we're less than a week into the tournament. 

Don't get me wrong,  I'm not blaming the match referee on the ground and I'm all for video replays in any sport as long as it's feasible (you wouldn't bother with AFL on everyday decisions)

It's like VAR has its own limits as to how many incidents it wants to take a close look at ... obvious penalties are ignored whilst minor infringements are brought to light.  It is all over the place. 

 

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Starting to really warm up here on the border of Asia and Europe with temps in the high twenties and even 30 degrees for Saturday.

Because the sun is up so early you hit and maintain the peaks relatively early in the day.

Not sure why but the temperature predicted for the socceroos afternoon match in Samara which is south of Kazan is only 19 compared to 24 here for Kazan.

Samara is 500kms south of Kazan so one would naturally expect it to be warmer.

Getting from Kazan to Samara has proved very difficult for most fans with the easiest being flying to Moscow and then to Samara. A great pity that one can't take a river cruise down the Volga between the two cities.

I am starting to realise that the average Russian is not that well off and what we think of as reasonable prices are as a percentage of an average Russian workers wage quite high. Believe it or not chicken at the supermarket here is only $2 a kilo as compared to $4 plus in Australia.

My host works in real estate but I don't think he a high flyer by any means. There is certainly a feeling that the wealth is limited to a few.

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While the game against France was great the atmosphere around the stadium and at the Fan Fest was relatively forced in my opinion.

First the Fan Fest:

I went to watch the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.It was early evening and while cool it wasn't cold. Arrived 30 minutes before kick off and it was lucky to be a quarter full. It was in a park area but the grass had been covered by woodchips. There were very few seats and they were mainly at the food venues and thus a fair way from the two big screens.

When Putin came on to make his opening speech there were a couple of claps but at the end of his speech there was a gentle roar. Considering the Russians won the match 5-0 they should have been delerious but in truth they were medium level only. Very few drinking or eating.

At the match itself we arrived 2 hours early because there had been stories of long queues.In fact while security was tight and you go through  a security check and then two ticketing checks it was relatively pain free.(For the next match we will plan to get there around 45 mins before kick off.) The stadium is great but its big surrounding concourse is concrete and the waiting crowd simply got lost in the space. They had good wandering entertainers but there was simply no buzz.

Emptying the stadium took much longer than it does in Melbourne.It seemed that the exit to seat ratio was low and then there were few general exits.

Parts of the stadium had been cordoned off for VIP's which also seemed to limit the natural flow.

With Fifa controlling the food and beverage rights they were rather non descript. Fancy having Budweiser beer as the only beer at a Russian football stadium. What would we say if Bud bought the tap rights for the MCG.

Don't get me wrong the game made up for everything but it just goes to show that atmosphere cannot be artificially generated.

By the way the fan fest sits right on the river but they have put up big fences so you cannot see it.

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We have tickets for the Germany v Korea game in Kazan.

As the last of the group matches I was concerned that it would be a dead rubber. For Germany it's now looking like a must win game !!

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Posted (edited)

It’s like the Icelandic ride from the Euros never ended. All guts and determination. 

Mexico were fantastic to watch, really should’ve put 3 past Germany on those counters. 

 

Watching us I knew there was a touch on that ball in live viewing, then the replays made me think I was seeing [censored]. Then it turns out we were robbed. A room full of technology and people and they conveniently leave out the best view. Get [censored]. 

Good effort anyway, though. We look as much a team as anyone else. 

 

Lol @ Optus 

Edited by Deestroy All
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Korea.. another victim of VAR... ok the penalty was arguably there.

what I couldn't understand is that I thought they kept playing until the next break of play. Korea were streaming forward and then the ref stops play.

Not sure I thrill to this system when it comes to making decisions on penalties

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Not sure if I have mentioned my two flights on Aeroflot.

Athens to Moscow and Moscow to Kazan.

Great full service airline but what is the standout are the flight attendants.

Think Pan Am outfits of the sixties complete with white gloves and hat plus stilettos to complete the uniform !!

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It had to happen didn't it? ... deliberate hand ball in the penalty box by the Colombian defender. 

Red carded and sent off and the penalty converted.  Japan 1 Colombia 0  ... 5 minutes in.  You've got to feel for the bloke as it seemed like a reflex motion in many ways.  

But the rules are the rules - oh, hang on ...

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2 minutes ago, Macca said:

It had to happen didn't it? ... deliberate hand ball in the penalty box by the Colombian defender. 

Red carded and sent off and the penalty converted.  Japan 1 Colombia 0  ... 5 minutes in.  You've got to feel for the bloke as it seemed like a reflex motion in many ways.  

But the rules are the rules - oh, hang on ...

Unbelievable Macca. Kettle hadn’t even boiled yet and whaaaaatttt...penalty and a red card??

Did I hear the commentator say it’s the 9th penalty of the tournament?

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Just now, Dee Zephyr said:

Unbelievable Macca. Kettle hadn’t even boiled yet and whaaaaatttt...penalty and a red card??

Did I hear the commentator say it’s the 9th penalty of the tournament?

I would argue strongly that the French defenders handball against Australia was far more deliberate than the Colombian's hand ball.  The former could have even been premeditated whilst the latter was a reflex motion. 

It should also be noted that Jedinak was ready to strike with his head if that cross wasn't deflected with a deliberate hand ball (goal scoring opportunity?)

Anyway,  one player gets a red card whilst the other player was not even given a yellow card (was he even cautioned?)  Meanwhile,  VAR intervenes in a totally obtuse & random fashion.  Go figure.

I realise nothing can be done about it and in many ways I'm howling at the moon but FIFA has a got a great chance to bring about more consistent outcomes with a video review system but it's as if they want the technology to fail and then be scrapped.  I'm not one for conspiracy theories but how about that one DZ?  🙄

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What a cheeky cheeky free kick!

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20 minutes ago, Macca said:

I would argue strongly that the French defenders handball against Australia was far more deliberate than the Colombian's hand ball.  The former could have even been premeditated whilst the latter was a reflex motion. 

It should also be noted that Jedinak was ready to strike with his head if that cross wasn't deflected with a deliberate hand ball (goal scoring opportunity?)

Anyway,  one player gets a red card whilst the other player was not even given a yellow card (was he even cautioned?)  Meanwhile,  VAR intervenes in a totally obtuse & random fashion.  Go figure.

I realise nothing can be done about it and in many ways I'm howling at the moon but FIFA has a got a great chance to bring about more consistent outcomes with a video review system but it's as if they want the technology to fail and then be scrapped.  I'm not one for conspiracy theories but how about that one DZ?  🙄

Like the theory Macca. I’m still dumbfounded at the French handball. Not even a yellow card. He should have been off IMO. 

 The VAR seemed to work fine a few months back in the A-League. The only controversy with it was the constant decisions going against the Victory. 

Very enjoyable first half by the way. I think the Japanese keeper is still waving his finger in the dressing rooms. Ball was over by 2 feet.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Like the theory Macca. I’m still dumbfounded at the French handball. Not even a yellow card. He should have been off IMO. 

 The VAR seemed to work fine a few months back in the A-League. The only controversy with it was the constant decisions going against the Victory. 

Very enjoyable first half by the way. I think the Japanese keeper is still waving his finger in the dressing rooms. Ball was over by 2 feet.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Like the theory Macca. I’m still dumbfounded at the French handball. Not even a yellow card. He should have been off IMO. 

 The VAR seemed to work fine a few months back in the A-League. The only controversy with it was the constant decisions going against the Victory. 

Very enjoyable first half by the way. I think the Japanese keeper is still waving his finger in the dressing rooms. Ball was over by 2 feet.

A straw poll could see a majority of real fans against VAR but many who want the technology (myself included) would prefer to see the technology used whenever applicable. 

However,  out of it all we may see the sport completely changed with a large increase in penalties and red cards ... we could also see teams becoming adept at milking penalties for minor infractions.  Be careful what you wish for hey?

I'm flicking between the soccer and the Royal Ascot preview and both events have got my attention tonight 😲  Japan should be able to turn their man advantage into a win you'd reckon.

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The Blue Samurai win their first ever World Cup game in Europe.

It will be a wild old night in Saransk.

Our match in Kazan this Sunday is Poland V Colombia .... another crunch match perhaps

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9 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

The Blue Samurai win their first ever World Cup game in Europe.

It will be a wild old night in Saransk.

Our match in Kazan this Sunday is Poland V Colombia .... another crunch match perhaps

On the money DJ. What a game that should be, both fancies to top the group losing last night. 

Enjoy it!

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Macca said:

A straw poll could see a majority of real fans against VAR but many who want the technology (myself included) would prefer to see the technology used whenever applicable. 

However,  out of it all we may see the sport completely changed with a large increase in penalties and red cards ... we could also see teams becoming adept at milking penalties for minor infractions.  Be careful what you wish for hey?

I'm flicking between the soccer and the Royal Ascot preview and both events have got my attention tonight 😲  Japan should be able to turn their man advantage into a win you'd reckon.

The Colombian's was definitely a reflex action coupled with an arm going out for balance as he attempted to defend... I cannot believe that the VAR is utilised when it shouldn't have been (in the case of the Australia game and possibly the Korea game?), yet not utilised in the case of the Colombian send off when it probably should have been.  It's an absolute joke and just one more reason to become more and more disillusioned with the (not so) beautiful game, never mind all of the diving that appears to have been taken to a new level (is that even possible?).

Edited by hardtack
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1 hour ago, hardtack said:

The Colombian's was definitely a reflex action coupled with an arm going out for balance as he attempted to defend... I cannot believe that the VAR is utilised when it shouldn't have been (in the case of the Australia game and possibly the Korea game?), yet not utilised in the case of the Colombian send off when it probably should have been.  It's an absolute joke and just one more reason to become more and more disillusioned with the (not so) beautiful game, never mind all of the diving that appears to have been taken to a new level (is that even possible?).

The diving element I haven't noticed ... same as usual really.  It is a part of the sport that is probably here to stay - especially the accentuation of contact.

In Serie A a player can get a 3 match holiday for diving.  I know a couple of people who follow that league and they are very pleased with the crackdown.

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Posted (edited)

Just saw the news report that SBS will show all the remaining group games live and that the Optus streaming service for the remaining games will be free. Plus a refund for anyone who paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/20/optus-world-cup-sbs-to-broadcast-all-group-stage-games

Hopefully they get it right by the next WC as this is the future.

In Russia the local network streams all the games as well as showing them on TV. Our apartment has an internet speed of 70 down and 80 up which makes for a reasonable product but it does have the occasional freeze frame.

Must try the optus stream later as the Russian commentary is not that helpful. Mind you the half time shows are definitely different !!

Edited by Diamond_Jim
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Iran V Span was our match last night.

Cannot say I loved it...there were the Iranian tactics and then there was the noise. Having airhorns going off constantly (and I mean constantly) together with people leaping to their feet at the slightest touch by Iran didn't make for the ideal viewing experience.

And what is it about people and phone cameras... yeah take a few as I do but a few hundred. Perhaps there is truth in the sayng that "It never happened unless they have a photo and it's on facebook !!"

Enough of my rant...today is our big match from an Australian perspective. It's 3pm local Russian time and the weather today is very pleasant. Go the Socceroos

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Iran V Span was our match last night.

Cannot say I loved it...there were the Iranian tactics and then there was the noise. Having airhorns going off constantly (and I mean constantly) together with people leaping to their feet at the slightest touch by Iran didn't make for the ideal viewing experience.

And what is it about people and phone cameras... yeah take a few as I do but a few hundred. Perhaps there is truth in the sayng that "It never happened unless they have a photo and it's on facebook !!"

Enough of my rant...today is our big match from an Australian perspective. It's 3pm local Russian time and the weather today is very pleasant. Go the Socceroos

I loved the match last night, it was so gripping on TV. I don't know much about soccer, but i found this game like a game of Chess. Only one opponent is chasing the King to get a check-mate for half an hour and the other is running away/holding tight defensively one queen down. Even though Iran had some great look ins and should've equalized. Just a very dramatic tense match. Low scoring tight contests have their own beauty compared with the free flowing goaled games, in AFL too.

Edited by John Demonic

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