Special Event: World Cup 2018 - Quarterfinals
July 6, 2018 7:54 AM - Subscribe

Livewatch and discussion in here!

Once again this post is late going up (apologies) so the early discussion of today's game begins here in the previous thread.

Previous threads -
Matchday 1
Matchday 2
Matchday 3
Round of 16
posted by LobsterMitten (470 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Guardian Liveblog URU-FRA, currently FRA 1- URU 0 at the half.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:01 AM on July 6


a dangerous cross there from uruguay
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:16 AM on July 6


(URU-FRA livewatch still over here.)
posted by progosk at 8:19 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I'm fond of Belgium (the country), but there is only one acceptable outcome today. Vai Brasil!
posted by ersatz at 8:57 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


France wins, fair-ish and square-ish, although it was only nailed down in their favor thanks to a really unfortunate bobble by Uruguay’s goalie.
posted by ardgedee at 8:57 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Our emergency medical services having some fun with Neymar (caption says something like 75.8% of all 911 calls aren't really emergencies).
posted by lmfsilva at 9:00 AM on July 6 [8 favorites]




Vai Brasil!
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on July 6


I_GUESS.jpg
posted by poffin boffin at 9:05 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I'm all in, fingers crossed, for the upset (especially after Twitter helpfully replayed that last beautiful Belgium goal a million times). But as with BRA-MEX, I will not be, ah, surprised if Brazil wins anyway.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:10 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Italian TV is off the mark with its coverage, now showing the seleccao arrive in polo shirts and back packs. Thank God for beer.
posted by biffa at 9:28 AM on July 6


Guardian Liveblog of Brazil-Belgium. Looks like it's #BRABEL for this one.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:37 AM on July 6


#BRABEL

Sounds like some kind of bizarre new piece of exercise equipement
posted by nubs at 9:42 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Really not sure who I want for this one. Belgium is full of mancs so are clearly a force for evil. I can't abide Neymar but do think Coutinho is an exemplary player and professional and I like Firmino. Would be good to see Brazil out and opportunities are falling off for that. I guess I hope football will be the winner???
posted by biffa at 9:53 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Anyone But England 2k18
posted by poffin boffin at 10:02 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Hoping for like a 6-5 game just because
posted by nubs at 10:03 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Oh I suppose it would be tres drole for France to win on Bastille Day, and also quite inspirational in a general revolutionary sense.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:04 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


It might be possible. As Ronaldo was blessed with the Victory Moth in the final 2 years ago, Lloris received a visit from the Dragonfly of Triumph. Not sure if it appreciated being spat out, so that might come back to haunt them.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:15 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


(either way, the destiny of France right now depends 100% on that dragonfly)
posted by lmfsilva at 10:15 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


But poffin boffin, it's been 52 years of hurt...
posted by biffa at 10:17 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


No, the destiny of France depends on whether my (idiot) husband--who months ago booked a flight from France to the US PRECISELY during the final--is able to reschedule his flight.
posted by Liesl at 10:32 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I was pretty cheesed-off when I drew Belgium in both my department sweepstake (£32 pot) and the company-wide one (£96 pot), but I've perked up about it now.

Come on Belgium!!!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 10:33 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I got Saudi Arabia and England in the work sweep, so I guess England getting through is some form of restorative justice.
posted by biffa at 10:36 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping for an England v Belgium final. If England win, I'll be ecstatic (a minority opinion around these parts, I realise); if Belgium triumph, I'll cry all the way to the bank.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 10:41 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I am currently giving Belgium a slight edge in ridiculous fan costumes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:42 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


KOM OP, RODE DUIVELS!!!
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:52 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Am I the only person who feels that these processions of children are the lead up to a ghastly sacrifice?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:54 AM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Does the singing for the Brazil anthem go on after the music stops?
posted by biffa at 10:57 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who feels that these processions of children are the lead up to a ghastly sacrifice?

I made that observation somewhere back in the group stage. I mean, somebody needs to be sacrificed to appease the soccer gods, right?
posted by nubs at 10:57 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


It’s what keeps FIFA officials youthful beyond their time!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:58 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


As I was about to go on stage to read I said to my girlfriend that it would be nice if France would get a second to settle my nerves. And they did. That's probably the first time the French team do anything this century to settle my nerves. And now on to Belgium. My girlfriend is supporting Brazil, and I quite like Neymar, Thiago Silva and Marcelo, so my usual Anyone But Brazil-sympathies are neutralized. Belgium are fun too, so whichever team wins I'll be happy. That said, football has a way of engaging the emotions in such a way that I'll be frothingly supporting one of those teams by the end of play.
posted by Kattullus at 10:59 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


And it might as well be people who haven't had money wasted on their education yet.
posted by biffa at 11:00 AM on July 6


FOOTY FOOTY FOOTY FOOTY FOOTY
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:02 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


OK, it’s been a whole minute, who are you supporting?
posted by languagehat at 11:03 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Me, I’m for Brazil — I don’t like the idea of a hexacampeon, but Anybody But Europe is my motto.
posted by languagehat at 11:06 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


The referee is explaining to Fellaini the files about fouling.
posted by ersatz at 11:07 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


(‘fro vs ‘fro kind of feels like the ‘70s...)
posted by progosk at 11:07 AM on July 6


Come on Thiago!
posted by ersatz at 11:08 AM on July 6


Ooh, close calls at each end!
posted by languagehat at 11:09 AM on July 6


having initially turned to the incorrect channel for this game i now posses the confusing knowledge that harry connick jr apparently has a daytime chat show

what on earth
posted by poffin boffin at 11:10 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


It's a bad idea to let Lukaku make runs on goal like that.

I support the ref taking a hard attitude and showering yellows like confetti.
posted by biffa at 11:10 AM on July 6


This is exciting stuff!
posted by languagehat at 11:11 AM on July 6


Paulinho, get that kick!
posted by ersatz at 11:11 AM on July 6


what a melée!
posted by progosk at 11:13 AM on July 6


Goddammit
posted by ersatz at 11:14 AM on July 6


belgium how could you
posted by poffin boffin at 11:14 AM on July 6


BRA’s on fire...
posted by progosk at 11:14 AM on July 6


Belgium lead! Great stuff so far
posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:14 AM on July 6


Oooooooohhhhhhhh! That makes things interesting.
posted by biffa at 11:14 AM on July 6


Holy shit, what just happened??
posted by languagehat at 11:14 AM on July 6


Own Goal is ruthless.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:14 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


OG is current top scorer with 9 on target.
posted by progosk at 11:17 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


RO-DE DUI-VELS! RO-DE DUI-VELS!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:19 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Does the singing for the Brazil anthem go on after the music stops?

Yeah, they don't play the whole music and the fans make up for it.
posted by ersatz at 11:21 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Thiago Silva is everywhere.
posted by ersatz at 11:24 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Lukaku lost the ball cos he couldn't resist the 'meg!
posted by biffa at 11:24 AM on July 6


That was a good play by Hazard, but it's a shame Lukaku tried to play it to the near post. It looked a cross to the far post would have a better chance of making past the defenders.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:25 AM on July 6


I don't know why Lukaku being 1 1/2 Marcelos is a foul. Both players went up fair and square for the ball.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:29 AM on July 6


Lukaku was significantly late to that 50/50 ball. That said i could watch him and Lukaku play against each other all day.

This Willian vs Vertongen shoving match is getting interesting too . . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:31 AM on July 6


Oh boy...
posted by ersatz at 11:32 AM on July 6


What a strike!!!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:32 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


2-0!!
posted by languagehat at 11:32 AM on July 6


That was... impressive.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:32 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


WHAT was that
posted by poffin boffin at 11:32 AM on July 6


Well this is not how I imagined this game going at all
posted by zjacreman at 11:33 AM on July 6


Belgium man, Belgium!
posted by daveje at 11:33 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


they have quite the counter attack . . . Lukaku is a gd beast.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:33 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


That was superb.
posted by languagehat at 11:33 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Incredible stuff!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:33 AM on July 6


Again, you fellas are moving much faster than the Graun's ticker.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:34 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Why do I have to work
posted by nubs at 11:34 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Belgium scoring all my favorite goals lately
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:34 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


RO-DE DUI-VELS! RO-DE DUI-VELS!

KOM OP, JONGENS!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:36 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Lukaku looked like he was enjoying himself even before that attack. If him and De Bruyne really spark this could be good. They feel really dangerous on the counter.
posted by biffa at 11:36 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I am also at work, while my boss is texting me updates as he's watching the game on vacation. I guess that's better than not knowing what's going on, but not by much. :(
posted by gemmy at 11:37 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Hmm, I was pretty confident Brazil were still going to win this one until that second goal.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:37 AM on July 6


Great shot great save. Good work, everyone!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:38 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Courtois is making some brilliant saves.
posted by ersatz at 11:38 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Courtois showing his height is not just from his giraffe neck.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:38 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The contradictions of capitalism!
posted by languagehat at 11:38 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Why do I have to work

bc the chains of capitalism
posted by poffin boffin at 11:38 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Er, that was to gemmy. You people talk a lot!
posted by languagehat at 11:39 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


(Not a complaint.)
posted by languagehat at 11:41 AM on July 6


Casemiro being sorely missed. Their midfield isn't putting any pressure when any of the Belgian talent has the ball.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:42 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Belgium look chaotic at the back but Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku is a terrifying combination. Got to love teams who are good in attack and bad in defence.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:45 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


OK, those of us at work need to be kept updated. Make with the chit-chat, people.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:46 AM on July 6


Neymar is an impressive player ... for someone made of Styrofoam.
posted by terrapin at 11:46 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Only 1 min extra time?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:46 AM on July 6


Yeah, Casemiro would help defensively and keep things cooler in transition. Coutinho needs to step up and Tite should play Firmino for Jesus sooner rather than later. Even Fred might be better at that point.
posted by ersatz at 11:49 AM on July 6


Brazil's only hope is if De Bruyne is shepherded in with the mascots when he tries to get back on for the second half.
posted by biffa at 11:50 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Coutinho has been completely invisible, and Neymar looks totally off the pace in this game. He’s giving up too easily.
posted by daveje at 12:00 PM on July 6


Even Fred might be better at that point.

I'd like to congratulate you on your language innovation, as no one has ever uttered these words in this order before.
posted by Errant at 12:01 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I have contradictory feelings about this one. On the one hand Belgium are very good, but the first goal was so fluky that it's hard to give anyone credit for it. Brazil could have had two or three goals by that point, but were unlucky. But since De Bruyne's goal Brazil have not looked like scoring. I wouldn't mind a Belgian victory, but I want Brazil to have at least a bit of luck, and give Belgium a game they won't forget in a while.

Also, if Brazil don't win it's going to be an all European affair, which would be sad. I hope the 2022 World Cup will have at least two semi-finalist from outside UEFA. Though as Indian football writer Supriya Nair pointed out, most of Russia is in Asia, so that almost counts. So yeah, I guess I'm rooting for it to be a better game, and may the better team win.
posted by Kattullus at 12:04 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Ha, Fred has actually had some great seasons in Brazil even though internationally he hasn't set anyone's world on fire. Firmino is a better choice atm of course.
posted by ersatz at 12:08 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


wow that cross from marcelo was something else . . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:10 PM on July 6


Did Neymar have his srs bsns hair for the Mexico game or did he change it for the quarterfinals?
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:10 PM on July 6


Get up Neymar you fake!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:10 PM on July 6


Brazil's need to push forward seems likely to open them up to even greater risk of fast breaks. Exciting.

Firmino on for Brazil might give some new attack options.
posted by biffa at 12:11 PM on July 6


if the ref made the dive motion how did Neymar not get carded???
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:11 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Neymar could be the best player in the world if he stopped behaving like a pathetic two year old.
posted by daveje at 12:11 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Oh for god’s sake Neymar, knock that shit off.
posted by languagehat at 12:11 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


How is that dive not a yellow? What a dick.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:12 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Neymar looks horrible on the replay - not only was it clearly a dive his effort to make contact amounted to kicking out at the defender. . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:12 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Rats...
posted by languagehat at 12:13 PM on July 6


i see brazil getting the VAR penalty here . . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:14 PM on July 6


PK?
posted by languagehat at 12:14 PM on July 6


No!
posted by languagehat at 12:15 PM on July 6


Hmmm, Belgium had a lucky escape there...
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:15 PM on July 6


That should have been a PK...
posted by Pendragon at 12:15 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Gah, one of the announcers on the radio I'm listening too has such a thick accent I really can't understand a word being said at times.
posted by nubs at 12:15 PM on July 6


*grumble*
posted by languagehat at 12:15 PM on July 6


VAR is baffling.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:16 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


(and please help this still largely soccer noob out - what does "nutmeg" mean in the context of a soccer game? The Guardian liveblog keeps using it, and I'm clueless)
posted by nubs at 12:16 PM on July 6


Don't mention the VAR!
posted by nubs at 12:17 PM on July 6


nutmeg = between the legs
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:17 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


That was a true 50/50 there. Kompany had contact, but looked like Jesus (?) kind of jumped into his space before contact and initiated it.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:17 PM on July 6


Nutmeg = kicking ball through opponents legs.
posted by biffa at 12:17 PM on July 6


as in passing the ball (or dribbling/self-passing it) through the hole created by the defenders legs.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:18 PM on July 6


Think nutmeg cracker
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:19 PM on July 6


Brazil need to turn this pressure into a goal soon, otherwise they’ll start to open up too much. Belgium are silll dangerous on the counter.
posted by daveje at 12:19 PM on July 6


Yikes, that was close.
posted by languagehat at 12:20 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


That ball to the head was adding injury to insult.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:25 PM on July 6


Not to keep dunking on him, but I'm amused on how Neymar's "they're ripping my eyes and testicles from a hole in my ankles I'm dead please tell my family I love them" time was cut down by 95% in a game they're behind for most of it.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:26 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


Every time I look up from my sandwich someone new is writhing dramatically in anguish. V tiresome.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:30 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I wonder why Belgium aren't playing Mignolet? As no one has ever said.
posted by biffa at 12:31 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


To his credit, the ref mostly doesn't have time for their nonsense and is content to let them play make-believe by themselves while the game continues without them.
posted by zjacreman at 12:31 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Surprised Belgium hasn't made any subs. They have two guys on yellow cards, and this game is only going to get scrappier.
posted by Errant at 12:32 PM on July 6


Vai Brasil!
posted by ersatz at 12:33 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


And they're back!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:33 PM on July 6


DRAMATIC GASP IN PORTUGUESE
posted by poffin boffin at 12:34 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Belgium 15 will miss semi for that yellow.
posted by biffa at 12:34 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Oh man, another powerful attack comes to naught... GOOOL!!!!
posted by languagehat at 12:34 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Game on!
posted by daveje at 12:34 PM on July 6


....could it happen?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:34 PM on July 6


im pretty neutral but very glad to see that goal, just beautiful.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:35 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Augustooooooo
posted by Become A Silhouette at 12:35 PM on July 6


Is Belgium going to be Belgiumed ?
posted by Pendragon at 12:35 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Terrific header from Augusto!
posted by languagehat at 12:35 PM on July 6


Beautiful header. Also a beautifully weighted cross.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:36 PM on July 6


I smell a wild finish
posted by nubs at 12:36 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Vamos que vamos, people I love will be gutted if Brazil gets knocked out here.
posted by ersatz at 12:37 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


This has suddenly become very exciting!
posted by languagehat at 12:37 PM on July 6


STERKTE, JONGENS!
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:37 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


OH SO CLOSE!
posted by languagehat at 12:38 PM on July 6


Another 10,000 kids go to bed hungry.
posted by biffa at 12:39 PM on July 6


HOW DOES HE MISS THAT
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:39 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Hazard is having a bad one out there. Doing a lot better shifting the defense to him than actually doing something with the ball.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:39 PM on July 6


Break time apparently.
posted by biffa at 12:40 PM on July 6


Why is this break taking so long? You take the player off the pitch for treatment, you keep playing!
posted by daveje at 12:40 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


God, this is the beautiful game WRIT LARGE. So exciting, such brilliant football
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:41 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


this is turning out to be one of the most enjoyably unpredictable matches so far, and while I want Brazil to stay in so this doesn't turn into Euro 2018 I have to give Belgium credit for being a delight to watch today
posted by karayel at 12:41 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Belgium, you can hold onto this!
posted by Liesl at 12:42 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Coutinho absolutely skies a brilliant chance.
posted by daveje at 12:42 PM on July 6


Dammit Coutinho!!
posted by languagehat at 12:42 PM on July 6


Been downhill for coutinho since he left Liverpool
posted by biffa at 12:42 PM on July 6


theres another brazil goal out there . . . somewhere. . . man these chances
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:42 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


there will definitely be at least 5 minutes added right?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:43 PM on July 6


Coutinho showing why I think players should know how to kick with their toes and outside of the foot.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:43 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


There should be ten by now, but yeah, at least five.
posted by languagehat at 12:44 PM on July 6


Lukaku off is...quite a gamble.
posted by Errant at 12:45 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Belgium gambling on defence and not needing to play extra time.
posted by biffa at 12:45 PM on July 6


Oh man I feel bad about missing most of this game. France-Uruguay was a good game but this is so much better.
posted by ardgedee at 12:45 PM on July 6


I mean, aside from the impromptu judo moves.
posted by ardgedee at 12:46 PM on July 6


France-Uruguay was good for the first half; this has been great end to end.
posted by languagehat at 12:47 PM on July 6


Bijna.. bijna...
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:48 PM on July 6


Why am I so stressed when I want France to win anyway?
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:48 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


PK?... No.
posted by languagehat at 12:49 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


that isnt a penalty for me, and its REALLY hard to argue it should be one when the guy flops every time. . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:49 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Right decision, that was no PK.
posted by Pendragon at 12:49 PM on July 6


I agree.
posted by languagehat at 12:50 PM on July 6


Come on, Brazil!
posted by languagehat at 12:51 PM on July 6


It’s the way he arches his back.
posted by daveje at 12:51 PM on July 6


What a save damn it!
posted by ersatz at 12:51 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Dammit!!
posted by languagehat at 12:51 PM on July 6


Full marks to Marcelo for not going to ground when he tripped over the ball.
posted by biffa at 12:52 PM on July 6


Beautiful work by Courtois!
posted by Liesl at 12:52 PM on July 6


Guess those extra 10 cm matter after all.
posted by Errant at 12:53 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Moules et frites all round!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:53 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Courtois, man of the match.
posted by ceejaytee at 12:53 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


It’s over! I’m worn out; that should have been the final.
posted by languagehat at 12:54 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


On balance, happy with that result. Great keeper performance for Belgium and some nice attacking moves from both sides.
posted by biffa at 12:54 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Wow, the height difference between Brazil’s and Belgium’s goalies is amazing.
posted by ardgedee at 12:55 PM on July 6


If Belgium win this tournament, which I hope they do, they’ll have earned it.
posted by daveje at 12:55 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I was on the edge of my seat.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:55 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I'm glad I don't have to watch any more Neymar in this tournament.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:56 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


I want to see Lukaku try to get Neymar's shirt on.
posted by biffa at 12:57 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


That was a heartbreak. Great game though - this world cup is excellent to watch.
posted by ersatz at 12:57 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Olé, olé olé olé!
Olé, olé!
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:58 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


All European fixtures from here on out isn't great for the "World" part of the World Cup, but the winner of this tournament is guaranteed to be a first- or second-time winner, with both two-time candidates away from their home soil. I'm pretty happy about that.
posted by Errant at 1:01 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Enormous credit to Martinez, this is still the same group of players from four years ago, but he’s finally been able to turn them into a real team.
posted by daveje at 1:01 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Hello disappointment my old friend
posted by J.K. Seazer at 1:03 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


The stats (at least per The Guardian) are remarkable. Brazil had 58% of the possession time, had 17 on-target goal attempts to Belgium’s 4, and 8 corners to Belgium’s 4. But they couldn’t get through.
posted by ardgedee at 1:03 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


i guess? i would like it to be france? idk?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:05 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


daveje, I think that's a little harsh on Belgium 2014, who were very good and got undone by a classic Messi performance in the quarterfinals. But I'll certainly agree that they're a more mentally mature team with most of the same physical virtues. I thought whoever won this game would probably win the whole thing, and I still think that. The front three of de Bruyne, Hazard, and Lukaku is just ferocious. They have every attacking attribute between them.
posted by Errant at 1:08 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


FIFA press office working overtime. FIFA have invited the boys stuck in a cave in Thailand to the world cup final "If they make it out in time".
posted by biffa at 1:08 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


hoping for an England-France final so I can bust out all my Poitiers and longbow jokes
posted by theodolite at 1:08 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


The come-from-behind win against Japan, this win against Brazil -- Belgium is finding ways to win in difficult spots, and that kind of mojo counts for a lot. They deserve to be where they are now, and (knock on wood) they would not be out of place in the final.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:08 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I just got out of meetings at work and couldn’t watch the game, but reading your updates has made me crave frites. Inexplicable, I know.
posted by needled at 1:11 PM on July 6


Well, I'm happy with this side of the bracket. Of course I want France to win, but I'd be good with Belgium, too. On the other side, I think Croatia will make the best final.
posted by Liesl at 1:11 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Ardegee, Brazil were chasing for much of the game so more possession was pretty inevitable.

I agree with Errant, real potential for Belgium to go all the way. Belgium-France could be a cracker.
posted by biffa at 1:11 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I didn't realize that Brazil, Argentina, and Germany have all gone out in this stadium. That's a hell of a thing.
posted by Errant at 1:14 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Not a criticism of the players, but Wilmots never seemed to be able to get them to click, his teams were always less than the sum of their parts. And this tournament seemed to start the same way, with excellent players like Carrasco slotted in but totally out of position. The changes made in the Japan game have finally given the team the right balance.
posted by daveje at 1:18 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Fantastic match.

Good to see Belgium finally coming together after two tournaments where they went in as dark horse candidates but couldn't crack the semi-finals.

With Brazil out, there's no chance of a repeated WC final (the only possible match-up left after the R16 was a repeat of 1958, Brazil - Sweden, anyway). Even considering it's now a euro-sausage fest, it's going to be an all-new final - there are no possible finals from the Euros, and France only faced Japan and Cameroon in the Confed.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:23 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I'm a big Roberto Martinez fan, so I certainly have no problems throwing credit his way. And his substitutions in the Japan game were inspired.
posted by Errant at 1:33 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Ah well. Bittersweet to watch Brazil go out like that. I still can't get over the absurdity of that opening goal. The result was fair, but I can't say that if it had been 2-1 the other way it would've been unfair, either.

Meunier was amazing in this game, keeping his flank completely quiet, which considering what he was up against is a hell of a thing. France are very lucky that he'll miss the semifinal.
posted by Kattullus at 1:39 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Also, it was painfully obvious, splendid goal aside, that Brazil had never practiced with either attacking configuration they had on the field after half-time. They were always passing the ball a meter or two off from where the movement of their team mates was headed.
posted by Kattullus at 1:51 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


I wasn't able to keep up with the games today because of reasons, but I am not shocked to find out Brazil lost -- I was rooting for them. Y'all should start putting bets on Sweden and Russia winning tomorrow because apparently my curse of rooting for a team only to get them knocked out is still going strong.

New prediction: Belgium and Russia in the final with Russia winning, because England v Colombia taught me that I can't half-heartedly root for a team just to try and make them lose.
posted by paisley sheep at 2:05 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I was catching dinner at my usual Friday night bar, and one of Neymar's more ridiculous moments was being shown, and a woman nesrby said “is he breakdancing during the game?”
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:08 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


I didn't realize that Brazil, Argentina, and Germany have all gone out in this stadium. That's a hell of a thing.y

And on more "world turned inside out" stats: First time ever one of those teams won't be in the final four. Germany reached that stage in 34, 54, 58, 66, 70, 74, 82, 86, 90, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, Brazil in 38, 50, 58, 62, 70, 74, 78, 94, 98, 2002 and 2014, and Argentina in 1930, 78, 86, 90 and 2014. Looking at it, it could be all Brazil and Germany if it wasn't for the first World Cup, where Brazil still was lagging behind and Germany declined the invitation. So, first World Cup semis without Brazil, Germany, and your choice of Uruguay, Argentina, US or Yugoslavia.

Also, in more pointless stats: there have been 4 World Cups with all-euro semi-finals: 1934 (Italy), 1966 (England), 1982 (Italy), and 2006 (Italy). So, uh, #ItsComingHome?
posted by lmfsilva at 2:23 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


To those who watched France-Uruguay... in Icelandic media the consensus seems to be that Uruguay's focus on Mbappé allowed Griezmann too much space to operate, which in the end they payed for. Was that your impression too? I haven't seen much analysis on that point in English-language media.
posted by Kattullus at 3:00 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Heh, the first goal was from a setpiece, the second a massive clanger by Muslera. Mbappé had a poor game (also one where he also took a ridiculous dive or was punched in the dick) and Griezmann had more liberty, that's for sure, but it seemed to me they lost because they missed Cavani up front - created a few good chances, but couldn't generate enough danger from them.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:17 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


...I just wanna say, that was madness
posted by From Bklyn at 4:05 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


This cracked me up when I saw it on another forum commenting along with the game:

Every time Brazil get down the outside on the left they just cut back inside to the top of the box. They're not convinced Jesus can get onto a cross.
posted by juv3nal at 6:23 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


To those who watched France-Uruguay... in Icelandic media the consensus seems to be that Uruguay's focus on Mbappé allowed Griezmann too much space to operate, which in the end they payed for. Was that your impression too? I haven't seen much analysis on that point in English-language media.

I've heard this point and agree with it. Griezmann was pretty easily the man of the match for me; his assist was excellent, and if his goal was fortunate, still look at how much time and space he had on the ball to shape that shot. I think you'll see that influence and freedom reflected throughout the match.

Whether it was due to an over-focus on Mbappé is harder to say, but certainly the latter proved himself to be an unexpected danger man in the previous match, and that would have to concern a Uruguay team which is long on determination but also long in years and short of creative energy without Cavani. Resilient defending and a set-piece goal would be the order of the day there, and Griezmann hasn't been overly influential previously.
posted by Errant at 7:07 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I’m enjoying this moment before the game while everything is still possible. It seems a pity to actually play the match. Don’t look in the box, the cat might be dead.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 5:37 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


It’s the appointment in Samara.
posted by Segundus at 5:57 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


This is a hard game to predict. So much depends on which side gets the first goal, if indeed a team manages to score. England will look to get on the front foot and score early doors, but Sweden, to quote Charles Boehm's tweet, "are organized and smart and rugged and just cynical enough to really have a shot at going all the way. The walking manifestation of that sinking feeling that it's not going to be your day."
posted by Kattullus at 5:59 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I hope you aren't my secret quonsar this year Bloxworth.
posted by biffa at 6:18 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


To get in the mood, I'm imagining what English nostalgia for this moment will be like. It's dizzying.
posted by hawthorne at 6:25 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Perhaps some omens, in the downhill mountain bike world cup on today, British riders won the women's and looking good to win the men's. The guy riding Swedish Ohlins suspension crashed.
posted by other barry at 6:25 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Italian tv has a guy in Russia, he goes from game to game. He only speaks Italian. His job is to talk to fans before the game. Since Italy didn't qualify the chances of him meeting an Italian speaker seem to be about zero. If you think there is some pointless crap on ahead of games where you are it has nothing on this guy. Also he pops his collars.
posted by biffa at 6:33 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Last rider down, frenchman Amaury Pierron has beaten british Laurie Greenland by half a second to win the mountain biking. So England's lost the men's race, but won the women's with Tahnee Seagrave.

Now on to the football!
posted by other barry at 6:39 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to get in the mood by listening to "Three Lions" on YouTube - I'd never heard the song before, and it's rather ... downbeat?

Now important question - what should I be drinking for this game, the fig saison or the strawberry and rhubarb Éphémère?
posted by needled at 6:42 AM on July 7


Don't taunt me. Turns out my hotel bar doesn't open till the last 15 minutes of the game.
posted by biffa at 6:47 AM on July 7


English players look tiny as they go past the Swedish players.
posted by needled at 6:57 AM on July 7


Around midnight here. Never much cared for Unibroue's fruit beers, so I'd go the saison. I'm finishing a Modern Times Avalon (foreshadowing?) NEIPA (which is surprisingly really good) but will be moving onto LANDLORD next.
posted by hawthorne at 7:00 AM on July 7


And off we go!
posted by ersatz at 7:00 AM on July 7


Oh hey everyone. Any big games today?
posted by nubs at 7:07 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The husband is disappoint it's already 8 minutes into the game and nobody has scored yet.
posted by needled at 7:09 AM on July 7


Announcer: “It’s gonna be a ding-dong battle!”
posted by languagehat at 7:09 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The witch is dead?
posted by ersatz at 7:11 AM on July 7


This is not inspiring, shocking football. At times they look surprised to have the football. And by they I mean any player on the field.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:16 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I just accidentally referred to the Sweden team as “Ikea’s players”.
posted by ardgedee at 7:17 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Dangerous hookup between sterling and kane
posted by herda05 at 7:19 AM on July 7


Interesting point from Italian commentators: every member of the ENG team plays in English clubs, none of the SWE team members do in their country’s.
posted by progosk at 7:20 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


> This is not inspiring, shocking football.

Actually, it's kind of... boring? Although I may have been spoiled by yesterday's ding-dong battles.
posted by languagehat at 7:20 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Can’t be offside on halfway.
posted by hawthorne at 7:26 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Great ref, if nothing else. I’m a huge fan of this guy (whose name I can never remember) - he has a clear idea of where the boundaries of bahviour are and enforces them smartly. A real master class in how to do it right.
Meanwhile ketchup fights mustard for king of condiments.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:28 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, both teams seem to be grinding the other down in contrasting ways. There have been moments, since England is more aggressive, but not all that vigorously.
posted by ardgedee at 7:30 AM on July 7


Good defense from Sweden, but they've been doing that the whole time.
posted by herda05 at 7:30 AM on July 7


Yessssssssssssss!!!!!!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 7:30 AM on July 7


And then that happened....
posted by herda05 at 7:30 AM on July 7


And just after I say that. Hmmmn.
posted by ardgedee at 7:31 AM on July 7


Not boring now!
posted by languagehat at 7:31 AM on July 7


I was just about to say this has the feel of a 1-0 game with the goal from a setpiece.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:31 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Southgate is onto something with those corners.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:32 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Nice goal. Appropriate. Not the finest mustard.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:32 AM on July 7


Sweden looked clueless at that corner.
posted by hawthorne at 7:32 AM on July 7


Aww. But England deserved that, they were pressing hard.
posted by gemmy at 7:33 AM on July 7


Well, eggs help England
posted by nubs at 7:34 AM on July 7


Well that was nice, one of the England subs and one of the Sweden subs having a friendly hug.
posted by biffa at 7:35 AM on July 7


It feels like a friendly alright
posted by nubs at 7:36 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Sweden need to find the Allen wrench and see if they can assemble some kind of attack
posted by nubs at 7:40 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I just realized why I’ve been finding the broadcasts of these games annoying:

The video quality is poor: It looks extremely compressed (or repeatedly re-compressed) so there are times when the ball is flying in front of the stands, or closeups of it spinning rapidly, when it looks like it is breaking up into random flashing polygons. And the players are indistinguishable when they move faster than a slow jog. The grass doesn’t look like grass, it looks like a surface mapped grass simulation in a shovelware video game titled “Whirld Cupp Soccer Explosion 2018!!!”

Exacerbating the problem is the stadium lighting, which flattens everything out. When the players and ball aren’t casting shadows, it’s impossible to be sure of where the ball is; it might be near the ground on the far side of the field or high in the air on the near side of the field.
posted by ardgedee at 7:44 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


That was a Sterling chance
posted by nubs at 7:45 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


i guess we now all know how to lip read the Swedish for 'he was fucking miles offside!'
posted by biffa at 7:46 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Halftime. I think i'll have a cuppa.
posted by nubs at 7:47 AM on July 7


Sterling playing up to expectations
posted by herda05 at 7:48 AM on July 7


Sterling a bit selfish there. Could have put it on Kane, although he could have given himself some more space to receive the ball as well
posted by lmfsilva at 7:49 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Sterling is so good with movement. If he could just f*** finish.
posted by lalochezia at 7:57 AM on July 7


that was the beauty of Lukaku not taking the ball in their game against Japan, it meant the ball went into the goal. Had Sterling passed at least to Kane the chance of it going in was that much greater.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:01 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Sweden coming out much more aggressive here
posted by nubs at 8:03 AM on July 7


By the way, the Canadian coverage has really great set of motion graphics with the logos of the federations rendered in a very intricate fashion.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:04 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Don’t they ever pay obstruction in association football any more?
posted by hawthorne at 8:05 AM on July 7


It's like travelling in basketball. Happens all the time, but only gets called if the player is really careless about it.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:11 AM on July 7


Yessssssssssssssssssss again!!!!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 8:15 AM on July 7


And England again! They are playing well today
posted by nubs at 8:15 AM on July 7


I don’t mind England continuing to win if they’re going to continue playing like this.
posted by ardgedee at 8:17 AM on July 7


Beautiful pass to set up that goal.
posted by languagehat at 8:18 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Good Swedish attack, great save.
posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM on July 7


Very fancy mustard. World class met by world class goalkeeping
posted by From Bklyn at 8:19 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Young is a threat every time he has it.
posted by hawthorne at 8:19 AM on July 7


Sweden lacking some finnish
posted by nubs at 8:20 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Oh man, those shots by Sweden. That was a well-done attack, kind of begging why Sweden can’t get themselves together enough to play like that more.
posted by ardgedee at 8:20 AM on July 7


This goal looks like something that would not happen a few years ago. You know Lampard or Gerard would just try to bang one in, instead of building up the play and get behind the defense.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:20 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Another corner...
posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM on July 7


Jordan Pickford really is an exemplary goalie.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 8:28 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


What a save!
posted by languagehat at 8:29 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Wow, Sterling is a real heartbreaker.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:30 AM on July 7


Can’t see my boys pulling this off. Sorry Sweden. Still well done this year!! Congrats England, you played very well today.
posted by gemmy at 8:33 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Ten minutes left...
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on July 7


Wasted chance for Sweden in the final minute.
posted by languagehat at 8:47 AM on July 7


Pickford had a great game.
posted by herda05 at 8:49 AM on July 7


Yes indeed.
posted by languagehat at 8:50 AM on July 7


And it’s over.
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on July 7


Football's packing its bags.

I'm pleased with the result, but really - that was probably the most turgid match of the tournament.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 8:53 AM on July 7


Jeepers that was a boring game. The better team won, but I'm already dreading the semifinal. I might miss the first half hour or so, but after this game I would not mind. Hopefully Croatia-Russia is more entertaining.
posted by Kattullus at 8:53 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Ketchup beats mustard yesterday and again today.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:53 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I'm pleased with the result, but really - that was probably the most turgid match of the tournament.

Counterpoint: Spain-Russia
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 8:57 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Well that was much less stressful than I expected.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 8:57 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


From the grauniad comments:

Swedes 0 Turnips 2
posted by lalochezia at 9:21 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Well, England managed the game pretty well, but Sweden also lacked the desperation most teams on the verge of elimination have. Forced Pickford to do a handful of saves, some of them magnificent, but they never really looked a team capable of putting non-stop pressure.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:22 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Well I’m off on holidays. Likely won’t catch a game again until the final. See you then!
posted by nubs at 10:52 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


If you had told me at the beginning of the tournament that Croatia or Russia would reach the semifinals, I'd have considered it highly unlikely. Hoping for an entertaining game as much as possible.
posted by ersatz at 10:54 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I have always had this intention to sit down and properly watch a full game of soccer and today is finally the day where I make a point to do so. At my local, and gonna watch all of this Russia v Croatia game. I want to like soccer! I just have not given it a real go in my adult life. So here we are!
posted by lazaruslong at 10:55 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Slavsya, otechestvo! Here we go!
posted by languagehat at 10:58 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I took advantage full advantage of living in Finland and took a sauna after England-Sweden. I'm very relaxed now, if an itsy bit queasy (my stomach doesn't like saunas yet) so if we get another boring game I fully expect to fall asleep. But hopefully this'll be a wonderful game. Russia have set up in a less defensive shape, and Croatia can be extremely fun to watch, Denmark game excepted. Speaking of that game, I should plomp myself in front of the television because I missed the first five minutes of that game and therefore missed nearly everything that was entertaining.
posted by Kattullus at 10:58 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Well, this one doesn’t look like it’s going to be boring...
posted by languagehat at 11:08 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


This is already exciting! And it is fun to be at a bar where a bunch of strangers are very into the game. I am seeing the appeal already.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:09 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Croatia shows some potential, but lacking the finishing​ touch so far.
posted by ersatz at 11:14 AM on July 7


Russia has seeemed very aggressive since the start.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:15 AM on July 7


Russia actually had a counter attack there, though they're going to be introuble if they keep giving Croatia the final third
posted by herda05 at 11:15 AM on July 7


Free kick for Croatia at the edge of the area. Danger!
posted by languagehat at 11:16 AM on July 7


...a mile high.
posted by languagehat at 11:17 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


At this point it’s clear that Russia’s pre-tournament ranking was largely due to the fact that pre-tournament their ranking didn’t matter because they are the hosts.
posted by hawthorne at 11:25 AM on July 7


Nice reminiscence from Kattullus in the Graun.
posted by languagehat at 11:25 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


What a goal!
posted by ersatz at 11:32 AM on July 7


Goal Cheryshev!
posted by languagehat at 11:32 AM on July 7


Holy hell
posted by hawthorne at 11:32 AM on July 7


That was... unexpected.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:33 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Nice quick run, gorgeous goal.
posted by languagehat at 11:33 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Wow, that was beautiful. The shot, yes, but that soft touch pass right before....lovely
posted by lazaruslong at 11:34 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


According to the announcer, that was the first on target Russian shot in open play since the 11th minute of their last group game, which is 225+ minutes.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:37 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Subacis (sp) watched it go in with a certain sorrowful nostalgia, a sadness that midsummer has come and gone and now all that awaits is winter. Winter with her frozen rain and no fresh fruit. Clanking heat insufficient to counter the misery that pushes in on the under-insulated walls the broken windows. The dog coughing in the side yard.
Why would you go into the net, ball? Why?
posted by From Bklyn at 11:38 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


And Croatia brings happiness to Subacić again!
posted by ersatz at 11:40 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Croatia ties it!
posted by languagehat at 11:40 AM on July 7


This is a corker!
posted by languagehat at 11:41 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Are you rooting for anyone, lh?
posted by ersatz at 11:42 AM on July 7


A lovely goal.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:43 AM on July 7


That was an elegant play from Croatia. So elegant Fox was showing us the audience, and then like, “oh, hey, a goal.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:43 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


As a former water polo player I'm fascinated by the shots of Croatian fans wearing the national team's caps in the stands. (A water polo cap ties around your head and has plastic covers protecting the ears.) I knew that water polo is huge in the Balkans and generally all around the Adriatic Sea, but I wouldn't have expected fans to wear the cap as a kind of national symbol.
posted by five toed sloth at 11:43 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Holy crap look at the time!
posted by From Bklyn at 11:44 AM on July 7


I knew that water polo is huge in the Balkans

It was so satisfying winning the men's Champions league after the upset in the women's CL!
posted by ersatz at 11:48 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


What does look at the time mean?
posted by lazaruslong at 11:49 AM on July 7


> Are you rooting for anyone, lh?

Sort of for Russia, because I have a sentimental attachment of long standing and I don't like Croatia, but I'm going to pull for England to beat whoever wins, so I'm not sure it qualifies as "rooting."
posted by languagehat at 11:49 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


It felt like only twenty minutes had eclipsed and then suddenly it was 44minutes in.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:52 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I wish the Croatian team could see the way this American Bar in Harem just erupted in support of them at that goal.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:53 AM on July 7


Ahhh I gotcha. I thought you meant the extra bits of the time which I am not familiar with. IIRC it had the actual time, then a sep box with like :21 in it, then a third red box with 2 or -2 in it? Very confusing
posted by lazaruslong at 11:56 AM on July 7


What a game! Brazil-Belgium may have had higher quality play, but I think I'm enjoying this one more. Cherchesov's game plan really worked. Croatia have never looked like settling on the ball, clearly not expecting the kind of press that Russia are putting on them. Modric and Rakitic have barely made an impact. But the Russian defense really fell asleep for that Croatian goal. Mandzukic was allowed to saunter into the area, and Kramaric was under no pressure at all. Either way, it promises to be a great second half. Wahey! It's the World Cup!
posted by Kattullus at 11:59 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty much supporting "left side of the bracket," at this point, but Russia winning the whole thing would be deeply irritating...and since all the really experienced teams are out, at this point a series of farcical events could make anyone the winner.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:00 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Normally I'd root for Russia because I like an underdog, and I particularly like a winning underdog, but the Olympic doping scandal is too recent. When their performance seems too good to be true, I can't help but wonder. Unfair of me, maybe, but there it is. That's one reason not to cheat, I guess.
posted by surlyben at 12:02 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Oh, I just assume they’re doping, like pretty much all Russian athletes. That’s one reason I can’t really root for them. (Putin being the other.)
posted by languagehat at 12:05 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Heh, football players are so poorly tested nobody can accuse the Russians of anything in good conscience.

I wouldn't have expected fans to wear the cap as a kind of national symbol.

Also a callback to the Euro 2016, when Corluka had a nasty cut in his scalp, and since they couldn't close it and it was too high up to bandage properly, the doctor used a swimming cap without the ear protections to hold everything in place.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:07 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Croatia is looking very dangerous.
posted by languagehat at 12:11 PM on July 7



Ahhh I gotcha. I thought you meant the extra bits of the time which I am not familiar with. IIRC it had the actual time, then a sep box with like :21 in it, then a third red box with 2 or -2 in it? Very confusing


The first box is the actual time right now. But since they don't stop the clock when the ball is out of play, people are injured or celebrating goals, etc. the ref adds a few minutes after the official 45 minutes of each half. When the main clock hits 45/90 minutes they add a second clock that counts how much extra time there has been. The ref also indicates roughly how much time needs to be added on, say 4 minutes, and then that is shown in the third box.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:18 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Holy crap!
posted by languagehat at 12:19 PM on July 7


That's a missed chance of a lifetime!
posted by ersatz at 12:19 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Oh, Croatia!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:20 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Omg the pain of that moment
posted by lazaruslong at 12:20 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


The goal post is Russia’s top defender!
posted by languagehat at 12:20 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Thank you so much, homeboy trouble
posted by lazaruslong at 12:20 PM on July 7


A hundred shots could hit that spot on the post and maybe one bounces out like that.
posted by five toed sloth at 12:21 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


That was about as close as you can get about scoring a goal without actually doing it.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:22 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I’d say Croatia is bound to score again soon, though.
posted by languagehat at 12:25 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


They sure are keeping the pressure on
posted by lazaruslong at 12:25 PM on July 7


They are going to regret that, I have a feeling.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:25 PM on July 7


They’re like a swarm of wasps.
posted by languagehat at 12:26 PM on July 7


Nice attack from Russia — no goal, but at least they’re doing something.
posted by languagehat at 12:32 PM on July 7


Pass to a Croatian player who’s lying on the ground having a rest.
posted by languagehat at 12:39 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Sort of seems like Russia is running out of gas
posted by lazaruslong at 12:39 PM on July 7


Maybe that sub will help
posted by lazaruslong at 12:39 PM on July 7


Now it’s Croatia looking sluggish. All that running must really take a toll
posted by lazaruslong at 12:45 PM on July 7


Very bad news for Croatia if Subacić is out.
posted by ersatz at 12:49 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


And the Croatia goalkeeper is down for the count.
posted by languagehat at 12:49 PM on July 7


Oh no! Subasić!
posted by From Bklyn at 12:49 PM on July 7


That looked real on the keeper. Poor guy. Bully on him for staying in
posted by lazaruslong at 12:53 PM on July 7


Noooooo it's such a nice day
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:55 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Well, another 30 minutes of this.
posted by languagehat at 12:55 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


What happens now? They can’t just call it a tie right? Do they go to a shootout with hamstring goalie?
posted by lazaruslong at 12:56 PM on July 7


Oh wow. They just add another 30?
posted by lazaruslong at 12:56 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Oh my God that was tense with Subasić at risk, good for him to make the save.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:56 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


And this all will benefit England, it seems, as they didn't have to play extra time.
posted by needled at 12:57 PM on July 7


> They just add another 30?

And then go to penalties if it's still tied. Which it probably will be, the way things are going.
posted by languagehat at 12:57 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Tell me: is this exciting or just grueling?
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:58 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


They add two fifteen minute halves, and each team gets an extra substitution.
posted by Errant at 12:58 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Oh good I’m glad they give them another sub. Those guys must be exhausted.

If they score during one of the 15 min jawns, is it immediately over?
posted by lazaruslong at 12:59 PM on July 7


Tell me: is this exciting or just grueling?

Yes
posted by firechicago at 1:00 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Grueling all the way.
posted by five toed sloth at 1:00 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Croatia have been much the better team in the second half, but in football the better team doesn't always win. Mind you, Russia just need one header to go in, especially if Subacic is a split second slower because of whatever happened to his leg. Though I imagine there'll be a substitution. I'm at the edge of my seat.
posted by Kattullus at 1:00 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


No, it plays out like a regular mini-game. They'll play the full thirty minutes plus stoppages.
posted by Errant at 1:01 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


If they score during one of the 15 min jawns, is it immediately over?

No, they play all 30 minutes, and then if it's still tied they have a penalty shootout.

I have to say, when you said that this was the first game you were going to watch, I was worried - Russia's last game was terrible to watch and Croatia's only seemed better because it was the same day. But this is a pretty entertaining game!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:02 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


Yes it is! I’m having a blast! Using a bit of the knowledge in this thread to blend in with much more soccer literate strangers in this bar is helping....
posted by lazaruslong at 1:04 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Does subbing out a goalie count against your substitution budget?
posted by lazaruslong at 1:05 PM on July 7


Does the bar have a favorite?
posted by languagehat at 1:05 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yes, it does.
posted by languagehat at 1:06 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a sub is a sub.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:06 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


This is a gift to England, both sides seem to be dropping like flies.
posted by daveje at 1:08 PM on July 7


What if he’s injured? Does replacing the injured player count?

The bar is solidly for Croatia. But I’m in south Philly. I have no idea what it would take for my hood to root for Russia in....anything.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:08 PM on July 7


I forgot what a pretty boy Corluka is.
posted by Errant at 1:09 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Haha I just realized that the final might very likely be Belgium-England, what a nightmare.
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:09 PM on July 7


Yup, a sub is a sub.
posted by languagehat at 1:09 PM on July 7


Oh this heartbreaking, all the ouchies. I’m with lh on the deep ambivalence of rooting for either team, but I’m a fan of Modrić and Mandzukić
posted by From Bklyn at 1:09 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


The reason for the sub doesn't matter, it's still a sub.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:10 PM on July 7


It’s in!
posted by From Bklyn at 1:11 PM on July 7


Omg
posted by lazaruslong at 1:11 PM on July 7


Now that is a lazy-ass extra time goal.
posted by Errant at 1:11 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


What...?? How did that happen??
posted by languagehat at 1:11 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


The goalie and the Russian player right next to him looked like they just...watched it go in!
posted by lazaruslong at 1:12 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Which is the only way to do it because if you have extra subs for injuries people would just fake an injury. When I was in high school I played rugby and the rule was that subs were only allowed for injuries so when teams wanted to sub players they would just take a knee and come off "injured".
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:12 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Bouncing Nipples scores for the win!
posted by ersatz at 1:12 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Well, so many well designed plays from set pieces so far, but this is what this game deserved.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:12 PM on July 7


GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL de Croacia!

(Yes I am watching Telemundo)
posted by needled at 1:12 PM on July 7


And the usual brain dead yellow card for taking his shirt off. Can’t understand why players keep doing that
posted by daveje at 1:12 PM on July 7


The goal post really let that one slide.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:12 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


If a guy is hurt, you can take him off and play shorthanded (until he’s ready to come back, or indefinitely). If the keeper comes out, they’ll pass the gloves on to some regular player who takes over in goal. This is as fun as when a position player pitches in baseball.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:13 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Croatia 2 Russia 1 with 20 minutes of ET left
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:13 PM on July 7


Yellow cards (finally!) reset for the semifinals.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:14 PM on July 7


The percentage of players on these teams that are handsome is crazy high
posted by lazaruslong at 1:15 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The rule against taking your shirt off is what's brain-dead. As if taking your shirt off is more likely to incite the crowd than actually scoring the goal.
posted by Errant at 1:16 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


I mean have you seen some of these guys shirtless...
posted by lizarrd at 1:19 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Don’t see many Celtic/Rangers games, do you? ;)
posted by daveje at 1:19 PM on July 7


They're not going to keep Subašić in, are they?
posted by ceejaytee at 1:20 PM on July 7


Plenty enough to know that that crowd is ready to have it well before the first sight of abs.
posted by Errant at 1:20 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I thought they couldn’t take the shirt off cause of the brand logos or something
posted by lazaruslong at 1:20 PM on July 7


Halftime. Why can't the announcers say Subašić correctly? It's Soo-ba-shich; the š is like English sh. Those accents aren't just for decoration!
posted by languagehat at 1:20 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


If they didn’t strictly monitor the shirt business, Next the players will start tearing off their shorts, and heaven knows what would happen then…
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:21 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


> They're not going to keep Subašić in, are they?

They have to; they have no choice now.
posted by languagehat at 1:21 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Poor guy. I want Croatia to win this so bad, but I don't want him seriously injured.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:22 PM on July 7


I'm sure that's the actual reason, lazaruslong. But FIFA can't say that, so they came up with an inane "it makes fans upset" justification instead.
posted by Errant at 1:23 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Croatia needs to tiki-taka the hell out of the rest of this game. Possess, slow agression, and if a goal approaches take it, otherwise don't let Russia hold it at all.
posted by lizarrd at 1:23 PM on July 7


It’s a daft rule, but it’s even more daft to do something that’s a mandatory yellow card when you get nothing for it.
posted by daveje at 1:24 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Sure, I'm not disputing that part.
posted by Errant at 1:27 PM on July 7


What a save!
posted by needled at 1:27 PM on July 7


Yeah, the world is full of dumb laws and rules, but you don’t get to just decide not to obey the ones you don’t like.
posted by languagehat at 1:28 PM on July 7


Hamstring goalie is working his ass off. Let’s see if he can save this...
posted by lazaruslong at 1:29 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Speaking of brain-dead, what a stupid free kick to give away.
posted by Errant at 1:29 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Uh oh Croatian handball.
posted by needled at 1:29 PM on July 7


I mean...maybe I'm overthinking it, but these guys make money off sponsorships, or hope to. Just as "dumb haircut" is a great way to differentiate yourself from the other 20 guys in the pitch, "joyous nipples" is a good way to make sure people remember your goal.

Subasic doing a hero's work here, since Russia isn't giving up.
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:29 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Oh god, it’ll be penalties after all
posted by daveje at 1:30 PM on July 7


OMG.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:30 PM on July 7


Wow!
posted by languagehat at 1:30 PM on July 7


And the prayers seem to work for once. Excellent game
posted by ersatz at 1:30 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Spoke too soon, alas
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:30 PM on July 7


Looks like I picked the right game to start watching soccer jeeeeeesus
posted by lazaruslong at 1:32 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Defending was shocking, practically a free header
posted by daveje at 1:32 PM on July 7


Yeah, the world is full of dumb laws and rules, but you don’t get to just decide not to obey the ones you don’t like.

*cough* *cough* mano del Dios *cough* *cough*
posted by Errant at 1:33 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


The rule against taking your shirt off is what's brain-dead. As if taking your shirt off is more likely to incite the crowd than actually scoring the goal.

The rule was in part because of some ridiculous shirts Nike released in 2002 or so that were actually two shirts stitched together, the top layer (like a regular shirt) and a bottom layer that was a very tight sweat absorption undershirt. There was an incident with Diego Forlán where he couldn't get that contraption back on, and was booked for trying to play with his shirt still on his arm. It's a bit of a stupid rule that could be rolled back by simply forcing the stripper to restart at the sidelines.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:34 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Maradona is special.
posted by languagehat at 1:34 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]


And penalty kicks it is.
posted by needled at 1:38 PM on July 7


Don't know how many diving attempts to save Subašić has left in him, but I hope it's 5 or more.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:39 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Holy cow. This is not the game I expected...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:39 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I assume Subasic is getting some NFL-level painkillers injected into his hamstring right now.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:40 PM on July 7


Football, eh? What a crazy fucking game. What a match!
posted by Kattullus at 1:41 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Right Here Right Now is one hell of a choice to soundtrack penalty kicks.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:43 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I'm watching this in the Fan Fest in Samara. It's way over capacity and the atmosphere is electric. I never thought I'd ever be cheering for Russia but I'm a little afraid not to!!
posted by doublenelson at 1:43 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Ok that got quiet quickly
posted by doublenelson at 1:44 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


WTF that was awful.
posted by languagehat at 1:47 PM on July 7


This is so nerve wracking
posted by lazaruslong at 1:47 PM on July 7


Oh Fernandes.
posted by needled at 1:47 PM on July 7


WTF!!
posted by languagehat at 1:48 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


This is wild.
posted by languagehat at 1:48 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Vida keeps his shirt on this time.
posted by needled at 1:49 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Yes!
posted by ceejaytee at 1:51 PM on July 7


Oof, that’s a relief.
posted by Liesl at 1:51 PM on July 7


Yes! Croatia!!!!
posted by lazaruslong at 1:51 PM on July 7


Buh bye, now.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:52 PM on July 7


Those goal posts...
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:52 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Hurrah for Croatia! They were the better team, but I still feel sad for the Russian players and fans. They were so close. So very close.
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Fantastic. I really look forward to watching Croatia play England. That was I terrific game.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:53 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Croatia are the more talented team, but I’m glad England aren’t going to have to face the Russians with all that momentum behind them.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:53 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Well, now I can root wholeheartedly for England.
posted by languagehat at 1:54 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


That was so much fun. I’m definitely watching the next one.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:54 PM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Hooray! Russia lose!

And given how tough a game it was, and how half the team seems to be injured, and how they've played an hour more, Croatia might be a little softer facing England.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:55 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


As much fun as it would be to see Dzyuba up against Stones and Maguire, I think Croatia-England promises to be the more entertaining game. Good grief I hope so, anyway.
posted by Kattullus at 1:56 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Welcome to soccer fever, lazaruslong.
posted by Errant at 2:05 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


I was pretty happy to see goals scored in overtime for once.
posted by ersatz at 2:07 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


I was out all day and managed to get home just in time to catch the last 10 minutes of extra time, then the penalties, and I swear I'm as exhausted as if I watched the whole match. Wow. Also I sure hope Subašić is getting a really good sports massage as we speak.
posted by karayel at 2:09 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Well, how we are in terms of history making: France reached the semis 5 times (58, 82, 86, 98, 2006), winning the final one time (1998) and losing another (2006), Belgium just once, in 1986, so did Croatia in 1998 and England will play their third, after 1966 (where they went to win the thing) and 1990.

If you think history repeats itself, Belgium, Croatia and England always lost to the winners (Argentina 86, France 98 and West Germany 90), while France only lost to the winner once out of three (Brazil 58, in 82 and 86 were knockout out by West Germany who lost the final).
posted by lmfsilva at 2:17 PM on July 7


I'm hoping for Belgium VS England in the final, because they were in the same group and that appeals to me for some reason.
posted by surlyben at 2:22 PM on July 7


Bye, Felicia.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:23 PM on July 7


Best comment from the guardian re russia:

"Novichokers"
posted by lalochezia at 2:24 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


I feel sad for all the Russian players, but I think the one I really feel for is Fernandes. He got them to the shootout and then missed his penalty. He looked like the world had caved in on him, poor guy.

Meanwhile, the Croatians have ensured that generations of Croatian children will grow up learning all of their names. Grandparents will be telling their grandchildren about one-legged Subašić saving a penalty in fifty years' time.
posted by Kattullus at 2:40 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with you on Fernandes. Russia should never have made it out of Groups in my opinion but they played incredibly fiercely today. My loathing for Putin shouldn't reflect on the players but hey, it's the World Cup.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:05 PM on July 7


It was, however, a terrible penalty.
posted by Errant at 4:37 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I know Own Goal has been killing it during this World Cup, but I was surprised the role of Left Post in the second match today.
posted by mollweide at 4:48 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


I hear Arsenal has already signed Left Post.
posted by languagehat at 7:14 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


2pm EST match times are a bit of a bummer. I'll have to find a way to stream at work.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:38 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Ah, I flew back to Moscow on the same flight as Henrik Larsson! What a talent and what a mensch! People, mostly England fans, kept on stopping him to shake his hand and take pictures with him and he was gracious with every one!
posted by doublenelson at 8:25 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


I hear Arsenal has already signed Left Post

In fairness he'll probably turn up more often than Özil.
posted by biffa at 11:05 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Thanks to needled for a reminder; I've put up the Semifinals post
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:32 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


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