Yesterday’s matches were exciting until the last moment. Just crazy, crazy stuff. I think that VAR has been a great boon to the game and look forward to more evolutions.
I heard a great program on the BBC last week or the week before that played an audiogram with thuds being the frequency of shots on goal from the World Cups of the 60’s to now and it was striking because there were like 50 on average then and 20 now. The game has changed – players are more fit, better trained, playing and improving year-round. Defense is better and so there are many less shots on goal per match, but that doesn’t mean that the games are boring, just that players aren’t taking nearly as many shots from farther out because they are trained to not waste the opportunity and instead to go closer or pass. Interesting, and something to keep in mind when looking at modern or future changes.
And so today we have the final matches for the group stage.
At 10, Senegal v Colombia and Japan v Poland. I’m watching match 1 and rooting for Los Cafeteros. I have family history in Colombia and so of course they have my full support. I might even make an arepa for a mid-morning snack! For match 2, I expect Japan will win, but am ready for more twists and turns, and should they lose, Colombia could come out on top in the bracket!
At 2, England v Belgium. Should be an incredible match, great football. I cannot wait!
At the same time, Panama v Tunisia will be the final match of the group stage. The results won’t matter as both teams are heading home. I hope Panama wins as I want them encouraged to come back. It’s amazing what a victory can do to improve funding and attention for future teams!
Enjoy the matches today everyone. Friday is a day off, and then shit gets real on Saturday at 10!