Monday, June 30, 2014

France v Nigeria

Two games of nominal interest. Neither France nor Germany should have to go to penalties to win. I think Algeria is the more likely upset, but it would be a huge shock to see either of the two European powers lose here.

Nigeria had a goal disallowed, but the midfielder was definitely a step off. Pogba has a brilliant side-volley, but hit it right at the keeper.

The two games going to penalties yesterday shows one of the core structural flaws of the rules. Just take off one man when it goes to extra time, and another man every five minutes. That will guarantee a winner and reduce the overall time it takes.

UPDATE: France wins and deservedly so. They've hit the post or the crossbar six times in four games!

UPDATE 2: Giorgio Chiellini accepts Luis Suarez's apology in an admirably gracious manner:

Giorgio Chiellini @chiellini
@luis16suarez It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension. 

GERMANY 2 ALGERIA 1: Really impressed with the Algerians, particularly the keeper. He probably earned himself $20 million+ tonight and a move to Seria A or La Liga. The German quality is too much in the end, but Algeria played harder than any team in the tournament to date.



Blogger Random June 30, 2014 12:47 PM  

Doesn't that imply the structural problem is too many men on a side in the first place?

Why not have ten men per side all the time, if the desired result is more decisive matches and less ties?

Anonymous Roundtine June 30, 2014 12:52 PM  

Does the rest of the world like the PK? It is total garbage, especially for the final. I hated the 1994 final. And if they like it so much, why not do like the NHL and use PK to eliminate ties, or at least add a totally unnecessary level of scoring complexity for the sports nerds to play with? 1 point for the regulation/OT tie, 3 for a win, 1 extra (2 points) for a PK win.

Anonymous MK June 30, 2014 12:55 PM  

France`s center-forward (Giroux) is dragging down the team.

Anonymous Roundtine June 30, 2014 12:57 PM  

Why not have ten men per side all the time, if the desired result is more decisive matches and less ties?

For the same reason the NFL is way more popular than the Arena league.

The issue is the fairest way to decide a game without destroying the players' energy levels for the next match. For the World Cup final match, I'd favor them playing until one of them scores, like hockey in the playoffs.

Blogger Tank June 30, 2014 1:01 PM  

I don't know what the answer is, but the current tie breaker is lousy. The tie breaking method should still involve playing the actual game of soccer. VD's idea is as good as any I've heard. Seems likely that as soon as you remove a couple of guys, someone would score.

Anonymous MK June 30, 2014 1:04 PM  

I think it is a good system to eliminate a tie. It is different from the rest of the game (collective) because it puts a tremendous pressure on the individual kicker. It sorts very good players from great ones, who are able to withstand the pressure.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 1:13 PM  

For the World Cup final match, I'd favor them playing until one of them scores, like hockey in the playoffs.

No comparison. In hockey, the lines change every 1.5 minutes or less to keep legs fresh.

How about start the overtime by eliminating all the players who got a yellow card in regulation?

Blogger Jourdan June 30, 2014 1:24 PM  

Hockey shifts are more in the 25-35 second range, and can get even shorter 2OTs in to a playoff game.

Blogger Jourdan June 30, 2014 1:26 PM  

Has anyone else seen the pictures on the 'net of Paris comparing the scene after a France win and an Algerian win? Good Lord, I thought we Los Angelinos had it bad when Mexico was playing. Wowza, France, do something!

Blogger JDC June 30, 2014 1:29 PM  

That's some goal line technology - great save by Nigeria.

Anonymous Porky June 30, 2014 1:32 PM  

I like PK's. They're exciting.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- Hopelessly Provincial June 30, 2014 1:34 PM  

Completely off-topic, but anyone interested in an alternative to the abominably PC Pro Football Talk may enjoy Pro Football Rumors instead.
So far it seems to be just NFL news, notes and actual rumors. I've yet to run into any Florio-esque, NBC funded soapboxes.
You may return to discussing the other football now.

Anonymous Roundtine June 30, 2014 1:36 PM  

No comparison. In hockey, the lines change every 1.5 minutes or less to keep legs fresh.

Soccer would be better with on the fly substitutions. They could also let them carry bats and wear knives on their shoes. I bet Honduras would have a really good team.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 1:50 PM  

own goal

Anonymous Daily tardos on VD's World Cup post June 30, 2014 1:51 PM  

Hockey on grass. Wow, brilliant shit guys. You know what? You'd still bitch about it.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- Hopelessly Provincial June 30, 2014 1:51 PM  

Soccer would be better with on the fly substitutions

Just about every sport would be.

Anonymous corvinus June 30, 2014 2:08 PM  

France seems to be holding up well now that they actually have white players on their team this time. I'm still SMH over the 2010 implosion, shades of which could be seen this time in (big surprise) Ghana.

Blogger Jourdan June 30, 2014 3:04 PM  

Roundtime wins thread!

Anonymous NateM June 30, 2014 3:11 PM  

Chiellini's turnaround seems odd. He went from acting like Suarez was Uruguayan Hitler to saying FIFA is being too harsh. Maybe he belatedly realized this sets a precedent for harsher penalties for blatant fouls, dives and other match shenanigans?

Anonymous VD June 30, 2014 3:27 PM  

Chiellini's turnaround seems odd. He went from acting like Suarez was Uruguayan Hitler to saying FIFA is being too harsh.

Not at all. He was mocking Suarez because Suarez wouldn't man up and admit it. That's all he wanted. He doesn't want one of the world's best strikers to lose half a season of his prime; great strikers only peak for about three years.

He would probably feel differently if they played in the same league. As a general rule, footballers admire the great ones, especially if they're a bit crazy. Look at Maradona.

Anonymous Porky June 30, 2014 3:31 PM  

The only thing Suarez is sorry about is losing salary and lucrative endorsement deals.

But good on Chiellini for taking the classy stance.

Anonymous Anonymous June 30, 2014 3:37 PM  

Imagine if soccer adopted baseball's rule about hitting the foul pole (a home run in baseball).

Anonymous Susan June 30, 2014 3:40 PM  

Mr. Suarez should have thought about loss of endorsements or revenue before he bit his opponent. If FIFA would have manned up after the first incident of biting, maybe there would not have been a third. Chiellini may be acting classy, and I admire him for that, but enabling doesn't break the infantile behavior.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 4:06 PM  

But good on Chiellini for taking the classy stance.

Yah. Like the bitch that says "lets you and him fight" and then says to the loser " Sorry you got hurt, that guy is so MEAN! "

Anonymous YIH June 30, 2014 4:29 PM  

Huckleberry -- Hopelessly Provincial:
Looks like an interesting site. Football straight up, no PC filler.

Anonymous MK June 30, 2014 4:50 PM  

Germany does not look like the good team of the previous matches.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 4:53 PM  

Germans need Klose and to do something at the back or the terrorists win.

Anonymous NateM June 30, 2014 5:30 PM  

VD good point. The evasion was pretty ridiculous. But did Suarez actually admit it? I'd read he still told FIFA he fell into him. Guess he took his apology as an admission. Is nice to see that level of professional respect.

Anonymous GreyS June 30, 2014 5:44 PM  

Enjoying Algeria, here, regardless of outcome. Unlike so many teams, they don't freak under pressure defensively.-- they get to their spots and do their jobs. Plus they are pretty darn good at mid-range passing.

Anonymous GreyS June 30, 2014 5:50 PM  

What a circus, Alemania.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan June 30, 2014 5:53 PM  

Crikey this is frustrating.

Algerian Mo-Beards are pissing me off too, especially the goalie's.

Blogger Karl June 30, 2014 5:54 PM  

soccer related -

A Detroit-area soccer player is facing a felony assualt charge for allegedly punching a referee during an adult-league match, critically injuring him.

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was arraigned Monday in Livonia District Court

Anonymous MK June 30, 2014 5:55 PM  

It is difficult to understand why Klose is still in the bench.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 5:59 PM  

He's old. He only has about 15 minutes gas in his tank.


Sneaky finish by the German.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 6:02 PM  

I know soccer overtime is not sudden death, but why?

If they are willing to give a game on shootouts, why not accept first goal wins? (see NHL)

Anonymous Meatwad June 30, 2014 6:13 PM  

No sudden death because weather could then have impact... usually wind. The switching of sides is important.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 6:34 PM  

Teams really do become vulnerable immediately after scoring. It happens so often some sports psychologist should develop counter measures.

Blogger Adam Lawson June 30, 2014 6:35 PM  

Personally, and as a huge hockey fan (it's my #1 sport), I don't like sudden death -- if an OT period is a prescribed length, *play it*.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan June 30, 2014 6:43 PM  

Cracking game. Germans have a lot of improvement in them and they'll need it, especially at the back.

Well played, Algeria.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan June 30, 2014 6:51 PM  

SMH full time synopsis:

So it's Germany who meet France in the quarter-final of the World Cup - what seemed to be a crowning second goal from Mesut Ozil proved to be the winner as Abdelmoumene Djabou pulled one back with seconds to go in added time. Algeria were bright and spirited but just lacked that decisive final ball - the Germans were ruthless and clinical in-front of goal. Experience wins through but the African side can hold their heads up high after a narrow defeat.

Who writes this rubbish?

The Germans were anything *but* "ruthless and clinical in-front of goal". The final goal was a gift, though not taking it away from the Algerians who squandered their opportunities in the first half. Germany should have won that 2-0 in regulation time.

Germany needs to fix their defence otherwise France will storm past them, and not even Neuer will be able to save their bacon.

Anonymous bluto June 30, 2014 6:55 PM  

It's odd, while the statistics say that goals scored have been the highest in years, I've noticed more games where the keepers have played exceedingly well.

Anonymous GreyS June 30, 2014 6:59 PM  

Germany will need three against France to move on, because Les Bleus will score two against those big guys back there.

Anonymous JesseT June 30, 2014 7:29 PM  

bluto it's not the keepers, it's the systems that the teams are playing. The difference between this World Cup and the last few is that more times are actively going for the win as opposed to settling for draws, penalty shootouts, or low scoring possession-based affairs. However talented the goalkeepers and defenders might be, gunning for victory will usually mean conceding a goal in order to score 2 or 3.

To put it another way, it's easier to notice how good a goalkeeper is when the opposing attack is peppering him with shots; the high attacking volume actually highlights goalkeepers more than defensive games.

Anonymous zen0 June 30, 2014 8:14 PM  

Germany needs to fix their defence otherwise France will storm past them, and not even Neuer will be able to save their bacon.

I hope France wasn't watching the game /s

Rumour has it Neymar is questionable for the quarterfinal. They say it is a thigh injury but everyone knows its his knee.

Anonymous Paul June 30, 2014 8:27 PM  

Loew needs to move Mertesacker to center back with along Hummels with Lahm / Boateng playing left / right back. Between Khedira, Schweiny, Kroos they have enough in the midfield. Goetze hasn't played a great World Cup. I would like to see him replaced by Podolski.

Anonymous Paul June 30, 2014 8:29 PM  

And don't even get me started on how weak Oezil has been...

Anonymous cecilhenry June 30, 2014 8:31 PM  

Yes, France has a problem, its called White Genocide. They;re not alone with treasonous politicians and media.

But France vs Germany: Germany looks the better team with better midfielders and a great attack.

Germany was weak on defense today, really weak.

Anonymous Straight Guys June 30, 2014 9:13 PM  

> And don't even get me started on how weak Oezil has been...


Anonymous Straight Guys June 30, 2014 9:47 PM  

Ok , Paul, this is how it works. You say "don't get me started..."

And we say " How _ was he?"

And you say "He was so weak, that __" (fill in the blank)

Ok, ...........GO!

Anonymous corvinus June 30, 2014 10:52 PM  

Germany finally upended the Barbary pirates. It did take until extra time, when everybody was running at half speed... but I suppose it is Zinedine Zidane's country they were dealing with, after all.

Anonymous VD July 01, 2014 3:39 AM  

I would like to see him replaced by Podolski.

He has a knee injury.

Anonymous Viking July 01, 2014 8:36 AM  

'Golden Goal' (sudden death) has been tried and abandoned. I didn't like it and I think very few did.

Anonymous Alte July 01, 2014 2:59 PM  

"along Hummels"

Isn't he out with the flu?

Götze has been underwhelming.

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