Author Topic: World Cup  (Read 215 times)

Offline perc2100

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World Cup
« on: December 02, 2022, 11:41:05 AM »
Any soccer/football fans around?  Now that the Group is winding up (as Brazil and likely Switzerland finish their games and move on as I type this) and the knock-out starts this weekend, what do we think?  US soccer fans, our road to the FIFA World Cup trophy is likely:
* Netherlands round of 16
* Argentina quarters
* Brazil semis
* France Final
(guesstimating)

Seems a bit daunting, but...  :P

Feels like USMNT at least has a shot at beating Netherlands, if they can get a goal or two and hold their (awesome) offense at bay a bit.  After that it gets a bit scary, but that's part of the fun of the WC, huh?!  Don't think I went into this week thinking Uruguay & Germany would be knocked out, so you never know when it comes to tournament chaos!

Anyone else rearranging their lives/schedules around World Cup play?  Having group play during my Thanksgiving week off of school was great, but DEFINITELY not fun now that I'm back at work.  Worst was Tuesday I was in a union meeting all day with our district Superintendent and her Ad Cab, so it was challenging for me to stay minimally engaged in the meeting + focus on the USA v Iran match  :P  Waking up Saturday for a 7am kickoff is not ideal either (that's earlier than I have to wake up for school this trimester by an hour), but I'm all in
LFGUSMNT!!

Offline NCDS

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Re: World Cup
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2022, 12:14:01 PM »
After all the information that has come out about how the workers were treated during the construction of the stadium and the morality of Qatar in general I won't go near the World Cup.

FIFA Uncovered is on my list to watch this week. 
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Offline perc2100

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Re: World Cup
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2022, 11:40:08 AM »
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After all the information that has come out about how the workers were treated during the construction of the stadium and the morality of Qatar in general I won't go near the World Cup.

FIFA Uncovered is on my list to watch this week.
Yeah, historically FIFA is incredibly corrupt in general.  It was no secret a decade or so ago that Qatar won because they bribed individuals millions of dollar to get the WC, and of course the human rights violations, slave labor building stadiums, thousands of deaths involved in said construction, etc. is appalling.
While there likely won't be slave labor and tons of deaths when USA co-hosts the next World Cup, we all know how our country relies on migrant labor exploitation for MANY aspects, and how host cities will "clean up" homeless populations leading into the WC so 'beautify' and make downtown 'safer' or some such nonsense (LA, for example, is a shining example of awful local government + LAPD/LASD being awful to homeless: just this past week they bulldozed an encampment and I read about one guy who was _at work_, returned to see the area closed off, was not allowed to rescue any possessions, and instead everything he owned was just thrown away. 

I agree that the atrocities of Qatar (not even delving into their extreme government policies that, for example, fault a woman for being raped; or illegalize homosexuality) make for a bad situation as far as WC hosts, and I 100% understand people tuning out because of it.  I'm too weak in my soccer fandom though, even with USA losing (badly) to Netherlands: not that their loss was a surprise, as optimistic as I was...

Offline perc2100

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Re: World Cup
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2022, 12:04:49 PM »
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Any soccer/football fans around?  Now that the Group is winding up (as Brazil and likely Switzerland finish their games and move on as I type this) and the knock-out starts this weekend, what do we think?  US soccer fans, our road to the FIFA World Cup trophy is likely:
* Netherlands round of 16
* Argentina quarters
* Brazil semis
* France Final
(guesstimating)

Seems a bit daunting, but...  :P

Feels like USMNT at least has a shot at beating Netherlands, if they can get a goal or two and hold their (awesome) offense at bay a bit.  After that it gets a bit scary, but that's part of the fun of the WC, huh?!  Don't think I went into this week thinking Uruguay & Germany would be knocked out, so you never know when it comes to tournament chaos!

Anyone else rearranging their lives/schedules around World Cup play?  Having group play during my Thanksgiving week off of school was great, but DEFINITELY not fun now that I'm back at work.  Worst was Tuesday I was in a union meeting all day with our district Superintendent and her Ad Cab, so it was challenging for me to stay minimally engaged in the meeting + focus on the USA v Iran match  :P  Waking up Saturday for a 7am kickoff is not ideal either (that's earlier than I have to wake up for school this trimester by an hour), but I'm all in
LFGUSMNT!!
Unsurprisingly, USA lost to Netherlands pretty bad  :(
So far in the Round of 16, the first knock-out round, things have mostly gone according to expectations with a few exceptions:
- Japan took 2018 World Cup runner-up Croatia to a 1-1 draw through 120 mins (full 90 min match + two additional 15 min halves) but lost in the penalty 'shoot out'
- Morocco this morning were obviously playing for a draw, and held a 0-0 score through 120 mins.  Then, they beat Spain via penalties for the first (and likely only) upset of the Round of 16!

I'm not a huge fan of tournament matches being decided by penalty kicks.  I know that's how it goes, and it's the 'best of a bad situation' type of solution.  It sucks when 1) a hard-fought match turns on the pseudo-luck of penalties and/or 2) when a team clearly 'parks the bus' defensively and plays an entire 120 mins hoping to go to penalties.  But, you know, soccer is a physically hard game on the players and I get that 120+ mins (maybe closer to 130 mins w/stoppage time at the end of all four 'halves') is demanding & sometimes penalties is the only way.  Amusing that after 4 matches/2 days of regulation matches that we had two days in a row where games went all the way to penalties.  The Japan v Croatia match was a much more exciting match, where both teams were going for the win for most of the game and just couldn't get a goal vs tenacious defending.

With Portugal well on their way to beating the Swiss (up 2-0 at HT; maybe the more interesting story here is Christiano Ronaldo being a total primadonna about getting subbed out last game of Group play and was benched to start the Round of 16 match - the guy who started for him, who had NEVER started an international match before today, scored the first goal for Portugal!), the Quarterfinals matches are:

* 12/9 10am EST: Croatia v Brazil
* 12/9 2pm EST: Netherlands v Argentina

* 12/10 10am EST: Morocco v Portugal
* 12/10 2pm EST: England v France (THIS is the game to watch for casual fans!)

Obviously on one side of the bracket we're set for an epic rematch of the 2021 Copa America Southern American tournament that Argentina won vs Brazil 1-0: Messi's first major FIFA international tournament win!  Brazil looks absolutely unbeatable so far, especially with star striker Namer back in the lineup after missing 2 group matches.  Whomever wins between Morocco & Portugal will have their hands full with either England or France.  In the 2020 Euro tournament (that was held in 2021), Portugal and France got eliminated in the first Knockout round (France via penalties), while England lost the Championship to Italy (who failed to qualify for the WC finals) in a penalty shoot-out.

Still a lot of exciting soccer left over the next couple of weeks!