Today, three games. All times Eastern.
First up at 8, a great (one hopes!) match: England v Panama. I’m not sure what to expect. Panama disappointed in their last game, but England seemed erratic and “not on”. That didn’t stop them from scoring twice and winning their match, but still, I don’t have as much confidence in them as I did before that match.
Next at 11, Japan v Senegal. Should be interesting; I kinda root for Senegal.
Finally, at 2, Poland v Colombia. I expect Poland will be tough to beat, but I hope Los Cafeteros pull through!
Enjoy the matches, everyone!
One thing to remember is that this is an intense high-level competition with any teams moving forward into the next round(s) playing multiple games against high-level teams. The last four will play seven games in a period of 30 days. Making a maximum effort in early matches to win the group stage by a landslide is pointless — it doesn’t usually affect rankings (goal difference can be important though in a tight group) and burning out your team now means they’re more likely to lose their next match. Pacing is an important part of the team strategy.
If England are as sloppy in possession against Belgium as they’ve been in the first 30 minutes with Panama, they’ll get slaughtered. Wake up!
I know this isn’t an open thread, but I’ve been off line most of the weekend and was wondering how Betty Cracker is doing. Haven’t seen anything from her since Friday (?) when she said she was having a bad night…
England are two up quite early. A corner poorly defended by Panama, giving away a free header to defender John Stones, and a penalty converted by England captain Harry Kane. England look confident.
So confident, in fact, that they scored a third while I was typing. A beauty from Jesse Lingard.
@Leeds man: I read these comments first and then turned on the game. I assumed that England was down 1-0 or something. Yelling at a team up 3-0 (now 4-0 as I type) seems a tad perfectionist.
And a fourth!
There was a bit of careless defending by England in the opening minutes, but no real damage done.
Just One More Canuck
@Amir Khalid: now 5
@Robert Sneddon: Brits disagree on piling on. 5-0 before HT. Of course, Panamanians are being stupidly aggressive giving away penalties.
5-0 at halftime. This one’s in the bag for England. Panama have been wretched, and got exactly what they deserved for defending with rugby tackles.
To be fair, that technique works well in rugby.
@zzyzx: I’m not complaining about the score (now 5-0)! Just imagining how the early sloppiness by England would have been punished by De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku, Mertens et al. It could have been two early goals against England.
Anyway, I’m English. I have to moan about something.
Stones has more World Cup goals than Rooney. LOL.
Actually, not even rugby tackles. In rugby you don’t tackle off the ball.
This match makes the USMNT’s failure to make the World Cup look even more humiliating.
Fortuitous hat-trick for Harry.
Dear me, what a very Harry Kane goal to ‘score’. They all count, though.
Six Yorkshiremen on the field now. I’m guessing that’s a World Cup record as well.
Game management called for now. Play smart, don’t give away anything stupid. Don’t pick up cards. Most of all don’t rise to Panama’s bait. It’s hot and mucky out there, temperature and tempers are not a good mix.
Sterling seems to be an over-hyped player.
Panama score their 1st wc goal with their oldest about-to-retire player.
Panama fans are rejoicing!
He is. Lots of skill, but very little end product. Most of his goals for Manchester City have come from tap-ins and it helps he’s surrounded by some of the best attacking talents in the league.
Panama have their first ever World Cup goal! Aren’t we ever so generous. England have really gone to sleep in the last 10 mins, Panama could have had 2.
No coverage of the French Grand Prix?
Panamanians have the spirit alright but not the game at this level.
@Mark: That’s another 15 minutes away. Rooting for Hamilton.
Alain the site fixer
@RedDirtGirl: She’s ok, but I’ll let her pop in when she’s ready.
@Platonailedit: Might be 24 points ahead at the end of the race. Hoping so anyway.
@Mike J: It looks that way given the horrendous start by Vettel.
England manager Gareth Southgate does his best Alf Ramsey impression:
“I really didn’t like the performance. Well, I didn’t like the start, and I didn’t like the goal at the end, but I guess the bits in the middle were pretty good.”
No Drought No More
If I had to wait every four years to see a championship game determine which team grabs the brass ring in my favorite sport, I’d be seriously crazy about it all, too. Fact is, I enjoy the spectacle of soccer fans across the planet going passionately insane more than the tournament itself.
Sarah Huck-a-Sanders is reportedly righteously indignant at having been refused service at a Washington restaurant. She should instead consider herself lucky. I always chuckle at the thought of the war criminals Don Rumsfeld or Condaleeza Rice at Stanford’s Hoover Institution dining out anywhere in the Bay Area. I chuckle because I wonder if they’ve ever wondered why it is that nearly every bowel of soup and cup of coffee they’ve ever ordered tastes a little like piss.. If that sounds crude and vicious, it’s because it’s just that. But even so, it’s not nearly as crude or vicious as an inexcusable war successfully plotted and launched by wicked political racketeers..
@No Drought No More: It’s in Lexington, VA not Washington.
Lovely little equaliser by Japan. Now Japan 1-1 Senegal.
Did they used to live in a rolled up newspaper in a septic tank, if they were lucky?
Harry Kane has scored 105 goal in 134 games over four season. He’s become the best No. 9 in the world, they’re all “Harry Kane goals.”
The Yid bastard.
@HumboldtBlue: “The Yid bastard.”
I worked once w. a London based sound man who happened to be Jewish. He and his son were ferocious Arsenal fans. When they went to visit Israel, my guy wanted to take a picture of his son beneath the Israeli flag at Masada. His son refused. He, like any self-respecting Gunners supporter, would not be seen dead with the loathed Spurs emblem.
That’s hilarious. “Does your Rabbi Know You’re Here?” is a wonderful read about the history of Spurs and their strong core of working class Jewish supporters.
The Lions of the Teranga! (Not as good a nickname as Morocco, the Lions of the Atlas!)
Sadio Mane with the start of play!
And Japan answers! Look at who creates the play — Okazaki, one of the hardest working men in the Premier League.
What a World Cup this has been so far. Every game entertains in some form or fashion.
Funny. Watch out, though. Kane will claim that joke as his own.
This Japan v Senegal match is awesome. Swings and roundabouts. 2-2 with 10 to go.
Hah! I see what you did there.
Great day for the brits. Record world cup goals win. #Hammertime. 5-0 whitewash of eternal enemies aussies in cricket.
Poland v Colombia has got a hell of a high standard to live up to after today’s games. Both teams need a win or they’re looking at an ignominious exit. Poland were poor against Senegal and Colombia unlucky against Japan, so here’s hoping both teams are on form tonight.
I’m going Colombia. The World Cup can always do with more than two New World teams in the last 16.
South American teams rarely do well in Cups held in Europe and vice-versa. Germany was the first European team to win in the Americas and a South American team hasn’t won in Europe since Brazil won in Sweden in 1958, the first team to win the cup outside of its home continent.
It feels like they are trying to win some kind of record for having the most injury time in a match.
Lewa and James talking Bayern politics?.
Sadly, the bloom of recent years seems to be a bit off with both Poland and Columbia.
Colombia earned that goal.
Poland look like they are playing with strangers.
I’ve never understood pre-2014 stat. Okay I understand it, but I always found it a bit bizarre. Then again, you only get two World Cups in a decade and a rule is only a rule until it isn’t. Like “Italy are always going to get to the Quarter Finals” and “Argentina will play nice attacking football”.
And Colombia are ahead, deservedly. Poland need to get their heads in the game or they’re getting dumped out of this tournament like a turd from a cow. They’ve got one of the world’s top strikers up there, get him the ball at some point, eh?
Poland are just dreadful.
First time they get the ball to Lewandowski he almost pinches a goal.
What’s Polish for “That is not a coincidence”?
All over now.
Senegal v Colombia is going to be a hell of a game.
@HumboldtBlue: They had a great view of that goal.
It sure seems like this Poland is lost.
Jesus. This is so hopeless I’m expecting the Poles to launch a cavalry charge against the Colombian defence.
@Tony Jay: With swords!
Swords, lances, even the odd mace, and I bet it would – still – fumble to a sort of confused halt at the edge of the Colombian box with the only casualties one Polish uhlan trampled by his own horse and a trodden on mole. They’ve had that kind of tournament.
@raven: Did they forget their sabres at home?
Dear god, five extra minutes.
Shouldn’t there be a mercy cancel in games like this?
Part of me thinks “Imagine how shit you’d feel if you’d come all the way through qualification only to play so badly at a World Cup you were out with a game still to play.”
Then I recall England at Brazil 2014 and I remember exactly how it feels.
That dude with the impressive hair must have been Valderrama. Curls still give him away.
Really? Dead thread and all, but I wanted to bounce it past a bigger soccer fan who happens to be Jewish. Not cool.
Please don’t be upset with me. Tottenham are well known as the Yid Army and to be honest, it’s one of the most fascinating stories in sports.
So don’t ruin it.