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That second half of the Belgium v Japan game was amazing.

I had a long hot day (power outage included) in Tbilisi so after a boring first half  I followed the second half on the Guardian blog before going back for what I thought was sure to be extra time.

How wrong can one be.. five goals in a half and the winner with 8 seconds to go.

On a different note the penalty taking is not subject to VAR so early movement by the keeper is not monitored. Wonder if this will change

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Leaderboard in the comp

2 points up for grabs for each winner in the next round (the quarter finals)

My tips - winners in dark italics ...

Uruguay vs France

Brazil vs Belgium

Russia vs Croatia

Sweden vs England

 

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1 hour ago, Macca said:

Leaderboard in the comp

2 points up for grabs for each winner in the next round (the quarter finals)

My tips - winners in dark italics ...

Uruguay vs France

Brazil vs Belgium

Russia vs Croatia

Sweden vs England

 

France v Brazil has to be the one true world cup final but a few days earlier. England and the rest after last nights match are no chance against them imo!

Uruguay v France 0-1

Brazil vs Belgium 2-1

Russia vs Croatia 0-2

Sweden vs England 1-2 ET goal

 

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8 hours ago, Macca said:

Leaderboard in the comp

2 points up for grabs for each winner in the next round (the quarter finals)

My tips - winners in dark italics ...

Uruguay vs France

Brazil vs Belgium

Russia vs Croatia

Sweden vs England

 

Uruguay v France

Brazil v Belgium

Russia v Croatia

Sweden v England    2-3 

Predicting the Swe v Eng to be an all-time classic quarter-final. Kane to score the winner in the 91st.

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7 hours ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Uruguay v France

Brazil v Belgium

Russia v Croatia

Sweden v England    2-3 

Predicting the Swe v Eng to be an all-time classic quarter-final. Kane to score the winner in the 91st.

The quarter finals haven't lost that much even with the absence of Spain,  Germany,  Argentina,  Italy & The Netherlands.  Seeing different teams in there is quite refreshing. 

It's going to be a busy weekend sport wise what with the Demons playing Saturday night,  the horses on Sat arvo and the 4 quarter finals of the World cup as well as Wimbledon getting into full gear and all the rest of it.   Plus,  the Tour de France kicks off.  Bliss. 

When too much sport is never enough!

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Macca, if Russia beat Croatia the lid will really come off.

Only 37 in the beautiful city of Tbilisi today. Georgian wines are thought to be amongst the oldest in the world so I am doing my best to research as many as I can during my week here. They are rather good and not too expensive.

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Well a big couple of days coming up with the quarter finals.

No real stand out teams but France and Brazil probably the most skilful.

Other than Russia who would surprise if they make the next round one would not be surprised with any result. Hopefully not 4 matches decided by penalties though.

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By the way would anyone like to comment on the penalty given to England against Colombia.

Not a soccer expert but it looked like the clumsiest act I have ever seen and so worth a penalty. My only question and I am not sure it is relevant to a penalty is that Kane did not seem to be in  a realistic spot to score.

The Colombians are still complaining backed by no one better than Diego "hand of God" Maradona.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/05/colombia-dirtiest-team-ive-ever-played-against-john-stones

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

By the way would anyone like to comment on the penalty given to England against Colombia.

Not a soccer expert but it looked like the clumsiest act I have ever seen and so worth a penalty. My only question and I am not sure it is relevant to a penalty is that Kane did not seem to be in  a realistic spot to score.

The Colombians are still complaining backed by no one better than Diego "hand of God" Maradona.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/05/colombia-dirtiest-team-ive-ever-played-against-john-stones

I think the objections are that Kane initiated first contact by rushing into him, the Colombian player did not need to ride him like a horse lol but there was a foul initially from Kane imo. But it's a pretty hard foul to call as everyone was doing that. I don't think it means Colombia would've won though, England probably would have stepped up a gear and scored anyway imo. England outplayed Colombia in the 2nd half of ET too i think, so it wasn't Colombia one way traffic.

Edited by John Demonic
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Lively opening in the Uruguay/France game - stars on show.  The winner goes on to play Brazil or Belgium.  A daunting prospect.

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really is a game of inches. Brazil could have won that 8-1 but lost.

France could not really get their game going but got the win. Good signs and are probably the tournament favourites now. Mind you being the favourite in this WC is not a good thing !!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

really is a game of inches. Brazil could have won that 8-1 but lost.

France could not really get their game going but got the win. Good signs and are probably the tournament favourites now. Mind you being the favourite in this WC is not a good thing !!

Belgium were so fortunate to get that own goal, it really meant they could get fatigued and still concede without losing because up 1-0 and Brazil would've overrun them in ET after an equalizer  i feel 

Just finished England game. Pretty dull. I suppose the excitement of seeing Germany fail gave birth to a boring QF 

Edited by John Demonic
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Boy o boy... Sweden were so bad

Could not help notice the absence of the usual "pretty girl" shot amongst the English supporters.

Obviously the young ladies do not travel with the lads... Sensible methinks 😎

Think it was the Uruguayan game last night where we had the crying child... three times.

Whoever decides the feeds really needs a new producer.

Now for Russia v Croatia

Imagine if Russia wins.

We then have Theresa May v Vladimir Putin or should I say Virtue v Evil except I am not sure who is what !!

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Leaderboard in the comp

3 points for each winner of the semi-finals whilst the final carries 5 points for the correct winner.

My tips for the semi-finals - winners in dark italics ...

France vs Belgium

Croatia vs England

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2 hours ago, Macca said:

Leaderboard in the comp

3 points for each winner of the semi-finals whilst the final carries 5 points for the correct winner.

My tips for the semi-finals - winners in dark italics ...

France vs Belgium

Croatia vs England

France v Belgium

Croatia v England 

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On 7/8/2018 at 3:49 PM, Dee Zephyr said:

France v Belgium

Croatia v England 

These games are as close to a flip of the coin as you'll ever get imo, and I'm down by 3 to DZ, it's a terrible strategy to go the opposite to you, but I have to make a move lol.

Therefore the final will be France v England (the opposite of what I'll barrack for

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20 hours ago, John Demonic said:

These games are as close to a flip of the coin as you'll ever get imo, and I'm down by 3 to DZ, it's a terrible strategy to go the opposite to you, but I have to make a move lol.

Therefore the final will be France v England (the opposite of what I'll barrack for

So true JD ... we are competitive beasts at heart aren't we? 

However,  I do think that France will prevail even though I would prefer Belgium to win - so head rules the heart there. 

But ... I want Croatia to win even though I reckon England will probably win ... so heart wins over the head there.   My ideal final would be Belgium vs Croatia but I doubt we'll see it.

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Good first half between France and Belgium but the game seemed to fizzle out a little after the France goal.

England v Croatia ... who knows?

Must say I was taken aback by Croatia in the black shirts against Russia. Very reminiscent of the days of Tito etc.

England in extra time is my wild guess.

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6 hours ago, Diamond_Jim said:

Good first half between France and Belgium but the game seemed to fizzle out a little after the France goal.

England v Croatia ... who knows?

Must say I was taken aback by Croatia in the black shirts against Russia. Very reminiscent of the days of Tito etc.

England in extra time is my wild guess.

Yeah second half was a bit of a let down. As it had a lot of time wasting. Bit of a talking point over on reddit. Time keeping is such a terrible aspect of soccer compared with the professionalism of other sports where we value every second lost by making it up with TIME OFF. Even just having 1 minute increments of stoppage time seems so lazy. Surely if you have somewhere counting every second, then you end up with precise Min and Sec to add ie 8min 45s. And then near end of injury time, add even more on a board for the wasted time in Injury time.

 

[Lapanje] Next thing they should add to modernise football is to change stoppage time to effective time. Today 6 minutes was added but the ball was in play for maybe 2-3 minutes. Yet the referee blew at almost exactly 96'. Heavily encourages time-wasting. Same story in most games I watch "

https://www.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/8xsqkw/lapanje_next_thing_they_should_add_to_modernise/

 

Having said that, I liked France's game. So professional. Their defence was enormous. Defended the lead so well and gave Belgium nothing. Really felt the divide between an experienced football power and a middleweight team that is trying to emerge, even though the only difference was a corner goal. I wonder if Belgium for the 2022 world cup is a good bet

Edited by John Demonic
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Stones and Maguire losing concentration and allowing Mandzukic to slip in behind them to score Croatia’s most famous ever goal. Clinical finish too by the striker. 

A lot of current and former Spurs players running around out there tonight. 

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1 hour ago, Dee Zephyr said:

Stones and Maguire losing concentration and allowing Mandzukic to slip in behind them to score Croatia’s most famous ever goal. Clinical finish too by the striker. 

A lot of current and former Spurs players running around out there tonight. 

I saw the 2 goals as both being opportunist goals ... the high boot in the first goal is hard to defend and with the 2nd goal the striker just swoops on a hit and hope header that bobbled forward.  Goals are sometimes created by unusual happenings.

On both occasions both crosses weren't pressured so maybe that's where the goals originated from ... I only listened to the game but the radio commentary painted a different picture to what I saw on replay with regards to both goals. 

It's fair to say that neither Stones nor Maguire are fleet-of-foot players but we knew that going into the game. 

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England should have iced the game in the first half.

Their second half was woeful but they seemed to wake up a little in extra time.

Well done to Croatia. They were the better team probably.

If France play to potential it could be a big win but somehow I don't think that will be the case.

France 2-1 in normal time.

PS: The success of Belgium and Croatia in this World Cup augurs well for the smaller teams. Did we beat or draw with Croatia in 2006?

Interesting comments on the academy systems in the guardian. People suggesting that by putting your money into so few(often identified at age 8-10) England is effectively limiting its talent pool.

Edited by Diamond_Jim
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Leaderboard in the Comp

17 - @Dee Zephyr 

15 - @Macca 

14 - @John Demonic 

5 points awarded for picking the correct winner of the final ... so to kick things off I'll pick the outsider to win.  What a story that would be if Croatia were to win - heart rules the head. 

France vs Croatia

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16 minutes ago, Macca said:

Leaderboard in the Comp

17 - @Dee Zephyr 

15 - @Macca 

14 - @John Demonic 

5 points awarded for picking the correct winner of the final ... so to kick things off I'll pick the outsider to win.  What a story that would be if Croatia were to win - heart rules the head. 

France vs Croatia

As the leader of the race for the wooden boot, might i suggest 3 points for the 3rd place playoff?  :laugh: Though i'm hearing both teams will play their b side, so maby its only worth 0.3 points

Edited by John Demonic
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1 minute ago, John Demonic said:

As the leader of the race for the wooden boot, might i suggest 3 points for the 3rd place playoff?  :laugh:

You should have thought of that at the start JD ha ha ... perhaps we could have added some bonus points for correct scorelines but again,  it's too late now.  Keeping the last round alive for as many participants as possible would be preferable. 

Anyway,  we could do the Champions league as a follow up if there's enough interest ... same format - round of 16 onwards etc etc.

And the 3rd place playoff is on the nose for most but I really like the concept and always have ... coming 3rd at the World cup is not to be understated in my book. 

I'd say most of us suburban hacks would trade our sporting exploits for a bronze medal at the World cup.  Just think of the money you'd make for being that talented to feature for a nation making it that far.  I hope both Belgium & England go all out to win.

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