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Football / Soccer World Cup 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:02 am    Post subject: Football / Soccer World Cup 2014 Reply with quote

Kicks off Thursday June 12 Very Happy

Australia are in a group with Spain, Netherlands and Chile, so we're pretty much screwed!

US are with Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Also a tough group, but they have a good chance of getting through to the next round.

England are with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica - tough!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're away! Very Happy

And a good game to start with - Brazil beating Croatia 3-1 with all goals scored by Brazillian players and a controversial penalty!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't watch the match but I read that the Croatian coach was rather upset afterwards.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched the game and thought that Brazil were lucky to win. I was wondering before the tournament if they would win it but I am very very doubtful now. Yes, they'll benefit from home advantage, but if that was their strongest team last night, I think that they will struggle to make the semis. Off the top of my head I can already think of six or seven teams that are stronger than them: Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and even England.

Their panel seems very shallow and they played two players: Fred and Hulk, who are way past their prime. They have some very good players in Neymar, Oscar, Marcelo and Alves, but you will not win a world cup with half a team.

Personally I hope Argentina win. Messi is one of the finest footballers I have ever seen and it would be great if he could cap his career with a world cup medal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got home from work in time to watch most of Chile - Australia. Interesting match. Though I think the ESPN announcer jinxed Australia. After him babbling on that Australia still had a chance to steal a point, fifteen seconds later Chile scored to make it 3-1.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched the Spain v Holland game. It was a bit of a rout by the end (the Spanish goalie, Casillas, was probably at fault for two of the goals) but it could have been quite a different story at half time. David Silva missed a sitter just before van Persie's super goal (admittedly, Schneider also missed a one-on-one with the keeper earlier on). 2-0 at half-time to Spain would have put a very different look on the final result.

The Dutch were good, but not 5-1 good. Spain were poor (in the second half) but not 1-5 bad. The Spanish defence were exposed. It has always been their biggest weakness, but usually their domination of possession helps protect it. I thought the Dutch player Blind was outstanding and he's someone I'd never heard of before. The tough direct Dutch style put pressure on Spain, some of whose defending was really poor.

It's hard to know how Spain will react. They have some of the best payers in the world, but whether they have the appetite is a question. I didn't think that Diego Costa fit with their usual style of play, and they may revert to playing without a striker. They'll probably bring in Fabregas and concentrate on holding possession.

The Dutch have a good attack, and a real find in Blind on the left side of midfield. However, they lack creativity in the centre and their defence was shaky enough at times. I think that they will improve as the competition goes on. They'll definitely make the quarter-finals and probably the semis.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a fantastic competition so far. I often find the group matches more interesting than the knockout matches, because teams tend to play more attacking football.

Going back a bit: Uss, Brazil didn't look great, but they didn't look bad either. They have the firepower to win the World Cup. Spain started slowly in 2010 and got through. So I'm not writing them off just yet.

Argentina looked way worse than Brazil - I thought they were very disappointing and lacked any killer punch. Messi is also one of my all time favourite players, not only for his incredible speed, control and ability to score goals, but also his attitude is a little more modest than some of the other great players. His goal in the game against Bosnia was absolutely perfect. But apart from that piece of genius, Argentina were almost outplayed by their less fancied opponents.

Chile v Australia was interesting because it looked like the Aussies were way out of their league at the start, but once they settled in, I thought they dominated the second half, and although we lost, I was encouraged by the way they played. Australia are one of the lowest ranked qualifiers, and will most likely come away with no points, but if they play like they did against Chile, I'll be satisfied.

Spain could be in trouble. It depends on how they can pick themselves up after the drubbing they received from Holland. No, they're not a 1-5 team, but their body language after that game was of complete dejection. It will be interesting to see how they react against Chile. The Dutch benefitted from van Persie and Robben (both not my favourite players, mainly for the simulation crap they usually pull) - they were both brilliant, and they are goal scorers. If you have 2 or more goal scorers in a team it helps your chances so much, and the opposition knows they have to closely mark them.

There have been some great matches! Costa Rica have blown open their group by upsetting Uruguay. Italy looked 100% better than I thought they would against England. Pirlo is a joy to watch, and Balotelli adds some potency up front. England looked reasonably good - Sterling and Sturridge looking the most dangerous for them. And Cote d'Ivoire stunned Japan with 2 quick goals!

This morning (my time Very Happy ) Germany completely smashed Portugal, which surprised me (I haven't watched that one), and USA have pulled off a lucky win against Ghana. I say "lucky" because Ghana came at them like a tidal wave in the second half, and dominated, then scored and had all the momentum. The US then somehow converted the winning goal (great header too by Brooks). It was totally against the run of play. From a neutral perspective, it was a brilliant game to watch - really exciting, open and attacking game.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's been a great tournament so far. Costa Rica and Columbia my two favourite surprises. Italy have probably produced the most complete team performance and the Dutch and the Germans the most powerful. Brazil have yet to convince me, but I was more impressed with the Argentinian's 2nd half performance, once the coach put out a more usual formation. For some reason he seemed afraid of Bosnia-H and the initial set-up was completely unsuitable for the way Messi plays. I was disappointed by his attitude, but when he shook himself out of it he was devastating.

I'm off to the Efest today, so it's unlikely I'll get to post anymore about the competition until near the final. Enjoy it all!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a nail biter! Brazil came within a clanging shot off the crossbar in the 120th minute of being sent out. They win 3-2 on penalty kicks.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and they were FAR from impressive! Chile took it up to them. (Makes for a late one for me as the game started at 2am my time and finished at 5am). It's probably good for the tournament that Brazil got through.

We're in to the round of 16. Still no idea who is looking the goods. I'm looking forward to the next couple of days!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not one stand out team yet, in my opinion.
Germany, Brazil, Argentina, France and Holland could all win it.
Columbia would be my dark horses to sneak a win.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A hearty hats off to the USA for providing the most exciting match so far of the current World Cup in their positively heroic and herculean efforts against Belgium last night. Despite being European, I was heartily rooting for the yanks throughout and they were so unlucky not to have seen it through to penalties after extra time... that shot from Jones that shaved the post with 12 minutes of extra time to go... that brilliantly worked free kick with 7 minutes left. Just a fabulous, fabulous match.

Notable heroes among the UD squad included Dempsey (of course), Beasley, Besler and Bradley, but especially Tim Howard in goal and that right back Yedlin, what a player!

You lot over the pond should be mightily proud of yourselves. Is this the moment that MLS will finally break into the mainstream over there?

So now we're left with 4 South American and 4 European teams. Next matches are:-

France vs Germany (that'll be tight... French flair vs German efficiency)

Brazil vs Colombia (going to be exciting... I'd love to see the Colombians win, but the home crowd may give Brazil the edge)

Argentina vs Belgium (even with Messi in the Argie squad, I think the Belgians will be too disciplined, plus the Argies are bound to get someone sent off as usual)

Netherlands vs Costa Rica (my heart screams Costa Rica, but my head quietly maintains the Dutch - more's the pity)

Really hard to call an eventual winner - the South Americans are all a joy to watch going forward, but have very shaky defences, whereas the Europeans tend to be more organised at the back but don't have the killer punch.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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You lot over the pond should be mightily proud of yourselves. Is this the moment that MLS will finally break into the mainstream over there?


I haven't met a single person who cares in the slightest about soccer as a spectator sport, though I know some kids who play it at school. Mostly people here like to make fun of how it's a bunch of jogging around.

Of course, I'm one of the least sports-oriented people I know, so perhaps my friends reflect my tastes a bit. In fact, this may be my first post in this forum. I live in a city where college basketball is damn near a religious experience, but I've only been to one game in 25 years of living here, and that was when I attended the university in question.

I don't generally take pride the athletic ability of people whom I don't know. I think the idea of a team representing you vicariously is silly. It's the modern version of the gladiator arena. Not my kind of entertainment. I'd rather go to a concert.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You lot over the pond should be mightily proud of yourselves.


That was the only game I got to watch from start to finish, and I was damn proud of our team! It was obvious from the beginning that that were going to be overwhelmed - even the announcers were saying that it was only a matter of time until the Belgians made a breakthrough. The US team did indeed put up a "heroic and herculean" effort, as you said.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were some very tight Round of 16 games - and yeah, USA put up a huge performance and were very unlucky not to get a last minute goal.

Same for Switzerland v Argentina - the Swiss somehow didn't equalise in the dying seconds, off the post and rebounding onto a Swiss knee.

The Quarter finals were much tighter still. Brazil v Colombia - I thought Brazil deserved it, but now with Naymar out with a fractured vertebra (and very lucky in the scheme of things), Brazil's hopes are reduced a little.

Argentina still don't look convincing, and the Netherlands weren't either.

So we're down to the last 4 - Brazil v Germany, and Netherlands v Argentina. No idea who's going to win! My shaky prediction is a Germany v Argentina final, but it could easily be another outcome.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!! I haven't seen anything like that. Germany just completed a 7-1 demolition of Brazil. And they hardly played outstanding football - Brazil were worse than a local division 3 side in defense. Even in the 2nd half when Germany virtually stopped playing, they still managed to score 2 goals, and should have scored 3 more. Incredible.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was listening on the radio. In the space of about 10 minutes everything went out of reach for Brazil. Quite a thrashing!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't take long Very Happy - here's the new Brazil flag...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. What a drubbing. Brazil were truly shocking - toothless going forward and utterly clueless in defence. Maicon,and Fernandhino were bad enough, but Marcelo and David Luis were beyond appalling. Here are my
fave latest Internet photo memes....








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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IynteMtSBxo
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