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Thread: World Cup Tournament 2018

  1. #241
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    That reminded me lots of Spurs vs Juventus at Wembley in the CL this year. Spurs were coasting but the difference in experience, technique and sheer know-how told for Juventus when it mattered. Croatia's players had all been there and done that over their careers, and they did it again. Being behind by one goal was nothing to them. They got on the ball, used it well and fought hard. England were never the same after half time but I think a second goal in the first half would have been enough.

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    I wonder if there will be some serious introspection of why England failed, or if they'll all be swept away by this "Things can only get better" sentiment I'm reading everywhere. There will be less Panama's and more Croatia's in two years. They've undoubtedly over-achieved in terms of final placing, but the best team they beat without the need for penalties was a pedestrian Sweden. I suppose just about anything was better than 2014 and 2016.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Part of me (a small part) wanted a France vs England Final with all the old animosities between the two coming to the fore. It would have been riveting viewing. Now at least I know who I'll be up for in the Final, although despite being on the easier side of the draw, Croatia hasn't managed to beat anyone (including our friends, Denmark) in 90 minutes in the knock-out stages. Flattering to deceive perhaps but then again they had good group wins over Argentina and Nigeria. They were pretty hopeless in the first half and gave away a lot of needless free kicks. Was the second half more to do with England doing an Ireland (i.e. sitting back on a lead) or Croatian dominance ? I wouldn't be optimistic for them but they are dogged and if still within one of France with 20 to go, I wouldn't rule them out but France have to be hot favourites. I agree with Stutts. I don't find the latter boring. I have enjoyed their games but I do think Giroud is overrated. I saw him play for Arsenal in 2015 in a League Cup match against Sheff Wed and he was hopeless. Ok, a bit much to judge him on the basis of one game and looking at Wikipedia, his strike rate is excellent but I think he has been in decline for a few years now (put your money on a hat-trick for him in the Final).

    I have enjoyed the World Cup, albeit it's mostly the evening games I've seen. Slightly worried about the drop of goals from open play but that's probably just a phase. Disappointed that the African countries by and large set up ultra defensively when they were better than that. Well done to Japan for their attacking play. Brazil favourites despite not having won in Europe since 1958 ?? Baffling. Not as much feigning injury (Neymar aside) as in previous tournaments. VAR by and large a success.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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  5. #244
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    Was I the only one watching the 3rd/4th place play off? The English weren't bothered at all, which makes it even weirder that Southgate played most of the first team. Hazard's goal was decent. Obviously Belgium thought playing for third had some merit.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Nah, I watched it too.

    I thought it typified a pedestrian England performance in the tournament tbh. They played well for a game and a half in the groups, but outside of that they were relying almost exclusively on set pieces and a solid defence. A typical Set Piece Athletic performance. Effective, helped by a handy draw (including Rodriguez missing for Colombia), but dull to watch. I imagine expectations now are for a last four spot in Euro 2020 or better, but I think if the underachievers - Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland - can get back on track in the next two years, there was nothing really to indicate that England have improved that significantly to threaten at the next Euros.

  7. #246
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    Predictions?

    2-1 France for me, AET.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  8. #247
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    I would love to see Croatia win. I think it would be great for other smaller nations.

    And I think they can. I'll go for 2-1 Croatia.

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    Delighted with that Perisic rocket, since I was worried this would be the World Cup decided by a dive.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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  11. #249
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    Very very harsh penalty in my opinion. I don't think it could be viewed as being hand to ball (as in, the player deliberately moving his hand into the path of the ball), so then it's a question of the hand being in an unnatural position, which I don't think it was.

    And coming back to VAR, I don't think it constitutes a clear and obvious error.

    Is that the question the ref asks himself as he watches the replay - 'did I initially make a clear and obvious error which should be overturned?' Or does he disregard his initial decision and just ask 'is this a penalty or not?'
    Last edited by osarusan; 15/07/2018 at 3:57 PM.

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  13. #250
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    Seen them given, seen them not. It's definitively ball to hand and prevents the ball being in front of the goal. The ref had every angle and replay he needed to decide.

    I think it would constitute a reviewable decision regardless, once the VAR informed the ref of the missed contact.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  14. #251
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I thought it was more a penalty than not. There's a waving hand motion which you could argue is an intent to try get some bit of a block the ball. The flick didn't change the direction of the ball that much.

    That said, the first goal shouldn't have stood, and the question now is when does VAR start reviewing those decisions?

    Only the second time since 1986 that both sides have scored in the World Cup Final. First own goal to be scored in a final too. Appropriate for this World Cup that all three goals have come from set pieces.

  15. #252
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    Dunphy arguing that Griezmann was fouled, but it seems clear to me he's going over before the contact.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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  17. #253
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    Yeah, exactly when Dunphy said "He was fouled", Griezemann clearly dived. Dunphy just talks ****e.

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  19. #254
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    Game over? Croatia have dominated possession this half but the first chance France got, Pogba buries it after getting two bites at the cherry.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    All over, yep.

    Subasic poor for the last two.

    France definitely deserved winners.

    Arguably puts another dampener on England's performance

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  22. #256
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    Literally Lloris' first foot wrong in the tournament. Might be a game in this yet, maybe.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    Seen them given, seen them not.
    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I thought it was more a penalty than not.
    For me the issue is whether the decision not to give one initially constitutes a clear and obvious error.

    If we have seen them given and not, that doesn't really constitute such an error for me.

    But obviously people on here and elsewhere think it was more of a penalty than I do in the first place, so I'll let it be.

    France worthy winners overall, played some good football along the way. Didn't think they were brilliant in the final, were lucky to be ahead at half-time in my opinion, but finished off the match professionally in the second half, with only a Lloris blunder making any kind of game of it.

    Croatia should be very proud of themselves though, hopefully they get the homecoming they deserve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Yeah, exactly when Dunphy said "He was fouled", Griezemann clearly dived. Dunphy just talks ****e.
    So now that we've seen VAR in all its glory - and let's take it in conjunction with the Irish underage keeper who was sent off in that penalty shootout a couple of months ago versus the numerous keepers who 'strayed' off their line for penalties in this tournament and the horiffic performance of the referee in this final - it is fair to say that FIFA's application of the rules is a resounding success wouldn't you say?

  25. #259
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    Excellent final, the best I've ever watched. France the best team over the 90, but I did appreciate Croatia's refusal to sink. Pogba again, very under-stadedly good in midfield.

    A very enjoyable tournament for the most part, especially after a tentative and uninspiring first round of fixtures. The knock-outs were tonnes of fun, UEFA teams excelled, I think VAR has silenced some doubters and it was a tournament with plenty of stories, teams playing above their level and some really tense enthralling matches. Modric was my player of the tournament, with Hazard a close second.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  26. #260
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark12345 View Post
    So now that we've seen VAR in all its glory - and let's take it in conjunction with the Irish underage keeper who was sent off in that penalty shootout a couple of months ago versus the numerous keepers who 'strayed' off their line for penalties in this tournament and the horiffic performance of the referee in this final - it is fair to say that FIFA's application of the rules is a resounding success wouldn't you say?
    Not entirely sure what your point is? I don't think it's fair to call the refereeing performance horrific at all. Maybe not the best of the tournament, but far from horrific.

    Agree with other comments; France worthy winners of a very good and open final, Croatia can be rightly proud. Argentina maybe slightly happier; they gave France the best game in the knock outs.

    Not a classic tournament overall; too many ultra-defensive performances. But an enjoyable month all the same. International football is a far more level field than the club game, and what it lacks in quality, it makes up for in drama and meaning.

    If I was to suggest one rule change after it, it'd be a time clock for subs. 15 seconds to get off, or play continues with you down to ten men till the next stoppage. The clock could easily appear on the sub board.

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