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Friday, June 07, 2019

OT Soccer Thread - Baldrick Reports Live

Sum-sum-summertime thread.

June 7 (that’s today!) - Women’s World Cup.  BTF correspondent Baldrick is on the scene (link takes you to his preview of the tournament)
June 14 - Copa America begins (no Neymar)
June 15 - Gold Cup begins
June 18 - US first Gold Cup game
June 21 - Africa Cup of Nations begins
July 7 - Women’s World Cup Final/Copa America Final/Gold Cup Final - Can we get some discussion about the ridiculousness of the WWC being just one of a series of finals on the same day? Of note is that the Copa America final is the exact same time as the WWC final. 
July 19 - Africa Cup of Nations final

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 1242 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   201. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5851433)
Australia, not so much.


Much better!
   202. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5851434)
This game is drunk. I love it.
   203. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 13, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5851436)
But men's college basketball is the sport with the enough national infrastructure and about enough parity that you could run a deep tournament that lots of people would care about


What they should do is arrange the teams into regional conferences and have them play tournaments, then the winners of those tournaments would qualify for a big tournament to crown a national champion. You'd want to throw in a bunch of at-large teams to not penalize teams from really strong regions, maybe like 68 teams total in the big tournament.
   204. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5851441)
I haven't had a chance to watch much unfortunately, but seems a good game so far.

By 538 ranking, this was the third biggest match of the opening rounds, only behind two we have yet to see, Netherlands/Canada and England/Japan. By offensive ranking it was tops though, followed very closely by England/Japan and USA/Sweden. By expected goals scored, it was the highest of all the matches between the top teams, by a larger margin.
   205. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5851446)
Holy bad goalkeeping. It's always a little difficult for the keeper in that type of situation, and you'd almost feel she was hard done by, except that the ball went almost right through the center of the goal, and not even at that high rate of speed--it didn't exactly squeak into the corner.
   206. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5851447)
This is a really physical game.
   207. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5851450)
Kerr made a play on it, forcing the defender to make a play. How is that not offside regardless of whether Kerr touched it?

edit: MCoA implies there's some rule that a defensive player (who touches the ball) has to contact the offensive player (who doesn't touch the ball) for the offensive player to "interfere". Never heard that, but if it's true it's really stupid.
   208. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5851451)
I also disagree that that's a goal. The defender wouldn't have headed it at all if the Aussie player isn't there.
   209. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5851452)
The Guardian PBP is also skeptical about that call. I feel like VAR hasn't been very good in the tournament so far. I have no idea why they are making decisions and I almost always disagree with Fox's rules analyst. It's most likely I'm just unclear on the rules, to be honest.
   210. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5851454)
Today I learned that I don't understand the offside rule, but also no one else does, and also it's even dumber than I thought?
   211. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5851455)
The message board at OneTouchFootball also think the call was wrong.
   212. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:40 PM (#5851457)
I just got home to see the aftermath. Watching the replay...I mean how is that not impacting the play? So the Brazilian is supposed to not play the ball and trust the officials to get it right?
   213. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:41 PM (#5851459)
Today I learned that I don't understand the offside rule, but also no one else does, and also it's even dumber than I thought?

This tournament has taught me I don't understand what a penalty is or isn't at all much less what offsides is. I think VAR has created a muddle because it's taken a context-based decision making apparatus and tried to make it a context-free decision making apparatus and it's just confusing the hell out of everyone.
   214. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:42 PM (#5851460)
I'm looking at the rules MCOA cited, and I still think it's wrong. This isn't the whole rule, but it should be the relevant part.

Offside offence
A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by: •interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
•interfering with an opponent by:
•preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
•challenging an opponent for the ball or
•clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
•making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball

*The first point of contact of the 'play' or 'touch' of the ball should be used
or
•gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
•rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
•been deliberately saved by any opponent
•A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.

A ‘save’ is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area).

http://www.thefa.com/football-rules-governance/lawsandrules/laws/football-11-11/law-11---offside

edit: you could also say she was challenging the opponent for the ball.
edit2: sorry highlighted the wrong one initially.
   215. The Marksist Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5851462)
Lots of players slipping in AUS/BRA. Saw a fair amount of this in the other matches I caught part of. Wonder if it's something about the pitch or the spikes or what?
   216. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5851465)
The commentator also mentioned that the ball seems to be rolling slowly so I suspect there is something up with the pitch.
   217. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5851466)
Australia will probably have to really thump Jamaica to get through now on GD. That game could get ugly.
   218. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5851468)
I think VAR has created a muddle because it's taken a context-based decision making apparatus and tried to make it a context-free decision making apparatus and it's just confusing the hell out of everyone.

As I tweeted a moment ago:
Soccer has operated forever on a common law model, where referees are judges with lots of discretion to generate reasonable results based on vague laws.

Suddenly, it's been turned into a statutory law system, but no one bothered to fix the vague/incoherent rules. It's great!

   219. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5851471)
Australia will probably have to really thump Jamaica to get through now on GD. That game could get ugly.

Possibly. Australia are terrible at the moment, but the way they're terrible will be much less of a problem against Jamaica, who have almost literally no midfield so won't really be able to exploit the hole there.
   220. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5851473)
Australia won. Even if they lose to Jamaica they might get through on GD. Depending on the results in the other games, they might need some goals to finish top of the group though.

   221. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5851479)
Australia is basically through to the next round. They'd have to lose to Jamaica not to get there, and probably by two or more goals, unless Jamaica manages to draw Italy first, and Brazil doesn't lose to Italy by 2 or more goals. Maybe some other weird permutations.

Finishing 3rd with 3 points and -1 GD is very likely to get you through to the next round under this format. You could finish with 3 points and be 4th in your group, and still be out, but that's hard to do with -1 GD.

The only teams that don't advance in this format are likely to be those without a win and those with only 3 points that lost one or both of their games by at least 2 goals.
   222. Topher Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5851487)
I went to the Open Cup game in St. Paul yesterday between Minnesota United and Sporting KC. It was a perfect Minnesota summer evening weather wise. Sloppy game but a lovely way to spend the evening.

I paid $18 after fees for a 4th row ticket that was one section to the left of the middle of the field. That price looks to be about 1/4 to 1/5 of what that ticket would normally go for.

Minnesota United still kinda has that new-car smell as a 3rd year expansion franchise. Their stadium that opened in April definitely has the new-car smell as it was just the 9th game hosted. I didn't catch the announced attendance, but I don't think the 19,000 seat stadium was half full.

I happen to be from Kansas City and am subscribed to their schedule on my calendar. This game didn't even show up as an event. I told my soccer loving mom that watches every game on television that I was at the game and she wasn't aware it was happening.

I can't say I really understand why nobody cares about the tournament. From my perspective, I would be just as inclined to attend the Open Cup game as I would a MLS regular season game between the two teams. I'm happy I was able to get into the new stadium for a very nice discount, but the experience struck me as quite odd.
   223. Sean Forman Posted: June 13, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5851492)
The referee in our office (licensed referee) agreed with the call on the offsides. He says that FIFA has oscillated on whether to call that play offsides multiple times and could see that play getting added to the training videos.

Kerr was not near the player who played the ball (she's a good three yards behind) and while her presence may have caused her to play the ball as the rule is supposed to be interpreted it should not be offsides as refs are instructed. (according to him)
   224. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5851524)
From Deadspin: What Do Germany Have To Do To Get Anyone At Home To Pay Attention?

Sounds almost as dire as the situation in Argentina.
   225. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5851526)
Kerr was not near the player who played the ball (she's a good three yards behind) and while her presence may have caused her to play the ball as the rule is supposed to be interpreted it should not be offsides as refs are instructed. (according to him)


This is how it was interpreted in a couple plays earlier this year, so I can understand that it might be the new interpretation of the rule, and the ref's perspective.

It's utterly ludicrous though. The distance between the offensive player that might receive the ball and the defender should never be a factor, and certainly not when the defender was actively defending the attacker on the play, as she was here. "Not near" does not describe the play in any meaningful way. What's the defender supposed to do, not try to make a play knowing that the dangerous Kerr, who she was just guarding, is lining herself to receive the pass right in front of goal? It's ridiculous.
   226. . Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5851530)
From Deadspin: What Do Germany Have To Do To Get Anyone At Home To Pay Attention?


Given the outlet and the headline, there's no way this link and story are going to be primarily soccer-related. Is commentary invited on it, or do we all just have to adopt and promote whatever Deadspin says about politics and culture? What was the expectation when 224 was posted?
   227. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5851533)
Also, even though distance shouldn't matter (it should only be whether Kerr's actions attempting to play the ball caused any defender to make or not make a play, which there is no question they did here), you can see on replay that the defender is at most 2 yards away when she actually heads the ball. Kerr was hers to guard, and she was just as close to Kerr, when the ball was kicked from 25 yards away (it would have been strange for her to be any closer with the ball that far away). She only pulled off of Kerr slightly to make a play on the ball that was played to Kerr.
   228. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5851534)
The only teams that don't advance in this format are likely to be those without a win and those with only 3 points that lost one or both of their games by at least 2 goals.

Especially when you consider that whoever finishes third in Group F has an absolute best case scenario of 3 points and a godawful goal difference.
   229. Baldrick Posted: June 13, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5851535)
What's the defender supposed to do, not try to make a play knowing that the dangerous Kerr, who she was just guarding, is lining herself to receive the pass right in front of goal?

This absolutely appears to be the rule, and it's completely nuts.
   230. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5851551)
On the ref board, they generally defend the call, and point to much blatant examples, one with Raheem Sterling, which I remember, earlier this year, and another with Toronto in MLS.

The explanation given there is the following, which is absolute trash.

I realize I've failed to state the principle of why IFAB and FIFA want the rule as such. The theory here is that we're talking about world class players and if a world class player sees a ball in the air for 20-30 yards and jumps to head it, she's made a controlled play on the ball. If she scores an own goal off it, that's on her. The idea that a player in an offside position, who did nothing else other than be in that offside position, is a reason to bail out a poor play by the defender is just not something IFAB/FIFA believe in. And again, I think this has been taken to too far of an extreme (you really need to watch some of the other examples). But this case? Not really. Head the ball forward, sideways or any place else other than your own goal. She had time and wasn't challenged. It's the defenders fault the score is 3-2, not the attacker in an offside position.


Defenders don't score own goals because they are trying to. They are usually making last ditch efforts to prevent high percentage scoring chances. For example, imagine the exact play we just saw, but without the second defender. Kerr may have still been in an offside position, the defender may not have known whether she was offside or not and may have tried her best to make a play to defend a very high scoring chance. That's not necessarily a bad play by the defender, and the defender didn't necessarily do anything wrong at all except try her best to defend, completely within the rules of the game. Defenders often make last ditch attempts without an offensive player directly near them, and there is no reason to expect that they will always be able to stay in complete "control".

Being in an offside position, right in front of goal, where the offensive player put herself, in an ideal place to receive the ball, isn't "doing nothing" in any meaningful sense.

As other people noted on that site, there is also no reason to believe that players at all levels of soccer are "world class" and should be counted on not to make imperfect plays on the ball. The rule is supposed to be the same for everyone.
   231. bunyon Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:38 PM (#5851572)
The evening sports rundown had a long piece on the Argentina-England game tomorrow. However, about 75% of it was an extensive review of the history of Argentina-England soccer games. In world cup play, men's, women's, U20 men, and U17 men, Argentina lead 8-4 with some notable games on the men's side. The only meeting between the women was in 2007 when England won 6-1.

I got the distinct impression from the announcer that no one here likes England very much (okay, not an impression; ask an Argentine what they think of England and you won't be left with an "impression").
   232. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5851585)
I think there was also a similar play in a Liverpool-Spurs game last season where Kane was in an offside position, and in an attempt to cut out a pass to Kane, Lovren instead tapped it right to him. Kane then went on to win a penalty. Wasn't called offside then either because Lovren was the one who touched it last before Kane received it.
   233. Richard Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:22 PM (#5851639)
I got the distinct impression from the announcer that no one here likes England very much (okay, not an impression; ask an Argentine what they think of England and you won't be left with an "impression").


Falklands War.
   234. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5851642)
Calling it the "Falklands" War won't win you many friends, either ...
   235. Omineca Greg Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:46 PM (#5851652)
Digging all day and digging all night
To keep my foxhole out of sight
Digging into dinner on a plate on my knees
The smell of damp webbing in the morning breeze
Fear in my stomach, fear in the sky
I eat my dinner with a weary eye
After all this it won't be the same
Messing around on Salisbury Plain

Pick up your feet, fall in, move out
We're going to a party way down South
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity

I can already taste the blood in my mouth
We're going to a party way down South

I hate this flat land, there's no cover
For sons and fathers and brothers and lovers
I can take the killing, I can take the slaughter
But I don't talk to Sun reporters
I never thought that I would be
Fighting fascists in the Southern Sea
I saw one today and in his hand
Was a weapon that was made in Birmingham

Pick up your feet, fall in, move out
We're going to a party way down South
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity

I can already taste the blood in my mouth
We're going to a party way down South

I wish Kipling and the Captain were here
To record our pursuits for posterity
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity

Bragg
   236. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:12 PM (#5851681)
Calling it the "Falklands" War won't win you many friends, either ...


Just talk about Top Gear, everyone loves that show.

From Deadspin: What Do Germany Have To Do To Get Anyone At Home To Pay Attention?


Mildly interesting piece. I think there is more than a bit of a challenge here for the women's game. On the one hand it has to be frustrating to not get a level of attention they feel is appropriate. On the other hand I'm not sure complaining about it is the right way to go about fixing the problem. On the third hand I'm not sure what the right way is.

With all that said I'm not sure things in Germany are as dire as the author wants us to believe. This quote "Only two of every six games in the female Bundesliga get shown live, and you have to subscribe to a private provider to watch." strikes me as one that is meant to be harsh but I suspect that is a lot better than most nations. Does the US televise more than that? I'm not sure. I'm a middle-aged guy so I think my input is probably not particularly interesting but while I think it's not the most popular option I think patience is the way to go. If the German women's team (substitute any country you like there) want to be equivalent to the men's version it's unlikely to happen overnight. Even in the US from 1999 to about 2010 I think there was a pretty significant lack of interest. You can't make people get interested in something and I don't think telling them they are wrong not to be interested is going to make it better. It's not fair but life often isn't.

Like I said though, middle aged man tells women what to do is kind of the opposite of what they are going for here and I'm not so arrogant as to think my way is the only way or even the best way.
   237. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 14, 2019 at 02:35 AM (#5851845)
Ok ... this just gives me a case of the weirds ... I mean, I like a good FA signing/trade/transfer (to mix my sports) as much as anyone, but I'm not going to take the time to go the home stadium for a bunch of marketing faff-about:

“I have wanted to say these words for a long time: welcome to one of the best players in the world, Eden Hazard,” declared the club’s president, Florentino Pérez, from a stage set up in the east stand, his words greeted by a crowd of around 45,000 or 50,000.

...

There will be time for that; this was his day. Hazard’s presentation was moved to 7pm to allow time to get everyone in, three sides of this stadium filling up in the evening sunshine.

He was late, and so were they, given time to get in. Few cared, though: those who were in early entertained themselves with a Mexican wave, paper airplanes and balloons that were suspiciously small, elongated and transparent.

When he appeared on the stage there was a loud roar. A video played of his goals and as he watched they cheered all of them. Or they did to start with, anyway – by the third or fourth minute they had stopped. It went on for seven long minutes. Eventually he spoke. “Hello everyone,” he said in Spanish, before switching to French. His speech was short.

When he went down to the pitch, via the dressing room, 50 or 60 balls were lined up, half white, half gold, one side looking like giant Ferrero Rochers. He went round picking them up, not flicking them up, and kicking them into the stands. The fans called for him to kiss the shirt, like guests at a Spanish wedding where tradition dictates that the happy couple kiss upon their request. And in the north-western stand he did, to another huge roar. Then Eden carried on walking around his new garden.


Graun

Bring on Skynet at this rate ...

And what is this about, "those who were in early entertained themselves with ... balloons that were suspiciously small, elongated and transparent"?
   238. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 14, 2019 at 02:47 AM (#5851847)
But this puts a smile on my face:

Blackpool have been sold by their receivers to Simon Sadler, a financier based in Hong Kong, a deal which brings to a conclusion years under the toxic ownership of Owen Oyston.

In a statement, the League One club said that Sadler had bought 96.2% of the club shares, the Bloomfield Road stadium, which was in a separate company, the club’s training ground and the hotel at the ground.
   239. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:03 AM (#5851848)
I got the distinct impression from the announcer that no one here likes England very much (okay, not an impression; ask an Argentine what they think of England and you won't be left with an "impression").


That makes me very sad. My grandfather spent several years working in Argentina during the 1930s when work was hard to find in Britain, and my grandmother had passed away because of the flu. He loved the country and the people, but returned to Britain after a few years to reunite with his family. My mother got TB a few years after she married my father; fortunately she survived, but my Dad and grandfather had very seriously talked about moving to build a new life in Argentina if she hadn't pulled through. So I've always had a very positive impressive of the country, regardless of the political situation.

Blackpool have been sold by their receivers to Simon Sadler, a financier based in Hong Kong, a deal which brings to a conclusion years under the toxic ownership of Owen Oyston.

In a statement, the League One club said that Sadler had bought 96.2% of the club shares, the Bloomfield Road stadium, which was in a separate company, the club’s training ground and the hotel at the ground.


Hopefully this can help make my home town team not be a pathetic joke, which it has been for several years. Despite being from there, I've never really been a Blackpool supporter, simply because my Dad's side of the family didn't care much about football, and my Mum's side are rabid Sheffield Wednesday supporters, so it was easier to pick the Owls. But I honestly would like to see Blackpool do well (or at least not be an embarrassment).
   240. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:45 AM (#5851849)
With all that said I'm not sure things in Germany are as dire as the author wants us to believe

There's several separate things here.
1) It is extremely dire if you think that there should be equality. The gap between treatment of men and women in soccer is many many orders of magnitude.
2) It's of course true that things are better in Germany than most other places, strictly comparing their treatment of women's soccer. So in that sense it's not particularly dire.
3) What is going to be the most useful way to promote the game?

As a matter of practical consideration, #2 and #3 are probably the most significant. But that's not a reason to think #1 is meaningless. People are allowed to take a big picture view, and 'it's even worse for others' isn't a defense of inequality. It's certainly reasonable for critics at large to discuss it in those terms rather than in purely tactical terms.

That said, it's probably true that shaming is not a viable long term strategy. But as a one-off marketing campaign (which is all this was), a little dose of shaming combined with some snark seems to have been reasonably successful.
   241. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:27 AM (#5851850)
I'm off to Reims today to watch Jamaica v. Italy, but I'll have to book it once the game is over or I'll miss the last train back to Paris.

The trains here are awesome but also frustrating with how irregularly they run. Lack of late-evening trains has definitely limited where I've been able to go.
   242. . Posted: June 14, 2019 at 07:13 AM (#5851852)
That said, it's probably true that shaming is not a viable long term strategy. But as a one-off marketing campaign (which is all this was), a little dose of shaming combined with some snark seems to have been reasonably successful.


Shaming. That's what all this is and has been for quite some time. Took awhile, but now I get it.

Thanks for the moment of clarity, Bunyon.
   243. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5851915)
Thanks for the moment of clarity, Bunyon.

So glad I could clear it up for you.
   244. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5851917)
Forgot that the Copa America starts today, and the Euro Under-21 starts this weekend as well. The Gold Cup also is starting but, nothing interesting should happen until we get out of group stages.

Italy and France sent teams to both the U-20 World Cup and the U-21 Euro. I'd imagine there would be a decent overlap in the player pool. Does anyone know which tournament gets priority? I guess it would depend on the country's governing body and coaches - and those two countries should be able to field good teams in both tournaments.

Baldrick - logistics are so overlooked when it comes to doing those kind of trips. Did you consider renting a car for some of your time there? Driving through the French countryside seems like something that would be nice to do going from city to city. If I recall those trains aren't exactly cheap, but neither is gas. Mass transit is definitely convenient, until it's not.
   245. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5851918)
I think FIFA has just decided to roll a 20 sided die to determine what a penalty is.
   246. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5851920)
Even if Scotland can't manage a draw, a 1-goal loss might not be that bad. They would just need to beat Argentina probably to advance. a 2 or more goal win against Argentina would be even better.
   247. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5851922)
Only 2 minutes of extra time? Does Fergie's Scottishness mean nothing to these people? Seriously, though, I can't remember seeing so little extra time in a tightly contested game.
   248. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5851923)
Yeah it's very rare to see less than 3 second-half minutes in a meaningful game with a close score. Very rare. Even 3 minutes is starting to become a bit uncommon.
   249. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5851927)
I'm going to try to find a bar with the Argentina game on today. No idea how likely that is. The focus is very definitely on Copa America.


I got the distinct impression from the announcer that no one here likes England very much (okay, not an impression; ask an Argentine what they think of England and you won't be left with an "impression").


That makes me very sad. My grandfather spent several years working in Argentina during the 1930s when work was hard to find in Britain, and my grandmother had passed away because of the flu. He loved the country and the people, but returned to Britain after a few years to reunite with his family. My mother got TB a few years after she married my father; fortunately she survived, but my Dad and grandfather had very seriously talked about moving to build a new life in Argentina if she hadn't pulled through. So I've always had a very positive impressive of the country, regardless of the political situation.


It probably isn't as bad as I make it sound. My apartment overlooks the Malvinas memorial park, which was repurposed from an Old English clocktower given to Argentina in 1910 in celebration of their centennial. I get the impression that until the war, relations were generally good and that the Malvinas are now seen as chiefly due to the dictatorship trying to hold onto power. Still, it soured relations good.

The rivalry in soccer is really set apart from that, I think. Two big World Cup games in 20 years that are still remembered in both countries as high water marks.

In terms of actual animosity, I get no grief as a Yank and know some Brits here who may get some good-natured joking but are accepted generally. So, it's probably more of a rivalry than actual hatred. When the UK goes belly-up in a few years, it's be a fine place to make a new start.
   250. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5851976)
More refereeing madness. Sydney Schneider, who is amazing, with another penalty save, but it's called back for encroachment. Which...what? She was (baaaaarely) off the line, but as with many of soccer's rules...the arbitrariness is infuriating, particularly in a world of VAR.

Which, speaking of that, I wrote an article: Soccer’s Laws Need an Overhaul in the World of VAR
   251. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 14, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5852030)
I'm going to try to find a bar with the Argentina game on today. No idea how likely that is.


Any luck?
   252. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5852032)
   253. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5852038)
Just back home. Of the 5 bars between home and work, two had the us open, one rugby, one music videos and one the game.

The one with the game had zero patrons. If it’s close st half I may go back.
   254. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5852044)
Hard to see Argentina keeping England off the board.
   255. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5852049)
But miracles happen
   256. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5852062)
It's still quite unlikely, but a draw by Argentina puts them in a very good spot. They'd almost certainly just need another draw against Scotland to advance.
   257. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5852064)
How has England not scored 10 goals?

They're so much faster, so much better at handling the ball. I mean, I'll take it but geez.
   258. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5852077)
Most of these shots are right at Correa, but she is having a nice game.
   259. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5852079)
Bound to happen.
   260. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5852083)
If England holds on, there will have been just 3 upsets (including Argentina 0-0 Japan) in 20 games. That's not many, and below even what was predicted.

Announcers saying that a 1-goal loss is not that bad for Argentina, in terms of advancing. That's probably true on a "moral victory" level, but a 1-goal loss means that Argentina will almost certainly have to beat Scotland to advance. That would be true even if they lost today by 12 goals. Argentina has no reason not to open it up now until they go down by an unreachable margin.

edit: also just one draw. That has to be a low number.
   261. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5852088)
I think Argentina has opened it up. They just don't have any attack.

They also don't kick the ball hard. It's odd to say but when they pass or clear, the ball just doesn't go very far. Or not as far as it does when England kicks it. They often leave clearances right in front of the England second line.
   262. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5852089)
8 draws in the group stages in 2015 (36 games), 3 in 2011 (24 games), 6 in 2007 (24 games), 2 in 2003 (24 games), 4 in 1999 (24 games), 2 in 1995 (18 games), 1 in 1991 (18 games).

Competition was probably less balanced in the past though, so you would expect fewer draws going back each cup.

2018 men's had 9 in 48 games.
   263. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5852091)
That England goal was almost (sorta) a perfect example of the stupidity of the offside rule we talked about yesterday. If the goalscorer had been 6 inches further upfield, she would have been in an offside position. The defender, not near her, had to make every attempt to cut off the pass. (We know she had to try, because the England player actually scored on the play). She wasn't looking at the English player who was behind her... she was looking at the passer because that was her job on the play. She couldn't possibly have known whether the England player was onside or not. The England player was also 5-10 yards away from her, and not specifically being guarded by the defender, but her job was to cut off the cross and she was trying her best to do it.

The defender's desperate lunge happened to miss the ball totally, but only by inches, and if she had happened to make contact an own goal would have been quite possible. We've seen an own goal scored on that exact play numerous times. Does anyone really think, on an equitable level, that a goal scored like that should stand if the offensive player set up to receive the pass for the tap in was in an offside position?
   264. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5852096)
Nuts
   265. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5852097)
Argentina has to beat Scotland to advance. Unless they can somehow induce Scotland to score negative goals, that means they'll have to score. I've seen nothing to suggest that's possible. England certainly deserved to win today. What is that xG stat people sometimes cite? Are they doing that for the WWC?
   266. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5852099)
Scotland/Argentina is likely to be for a spot in the next round. Winner (probably) goes in, loser goes out. Draw and both are (probably) out.

edit: Argentina could still advance with a draw if everything breaks their way in groups E and F, but it is very unlikely.
   267. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5852101)
Yes, one place that has xG for the WWC is MCoA's twitter: https://twitter.com/Caley_graphics
   268. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5852102)
Argentina has to beat Scotland to advance. Unless they can somehow induce Scotland to score negative goals, that means they'll have to score. I've seen nothing to suggest that's possible. England certainly deserved to win today. What is that xG stat people sometimes cite? Are they doing that for the WWC?

I missed this whole game on the train, but Argentina have really surprised me. I wouldn't say it's likely, but they could get it done. Estefania Banini is a legitimate top level player. She a good player on a Washington Spirit team that was a few minutes from winning the title a couple years ago. Sole Jaimes isn't 'good' exactly, but is a big #9 and can do some damage. They'll have to open themselves up a bit to create more than one or two chances, but they have some players who could manage it.

I don't think it's very likely, but they probably have a 15-20% chance of advancing? That's certainly better than the 1-2% chance I probably would have given them coming into the tournament.

Our own MCoA has been posting his xGs each day. Nothing yet for today but they'll be up eventually. Some other folks have slightly different systems and are also putting out results.
   269. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5852104)
Thanks for the link AuntBea.

Yeah, the draw with Japan was enormous for Argentina's advancing chances. However, they've mustered essentially no offense this tournament. They fight like crazy on defense and Correa is good but they got lucky not to lose badly today. So, yeah, they're plucky and all but I wouldn't bet on advancement. Another draw is entirely possible unless they can't maintain their D while trying to attack.

   270. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5852109)
A draw seems pretty unlikely since they will have to attack and, as you say, they probably won't be able to maintain their defense when they do. But they haven't mustered any offense so far because they set themselves up that way. It's not like they CAN'T try to attack. They've been intentionally not doing so.

I don't think we disagree here. Most likely result is a 2-0 for Scotland or something like that. But given how successfully they've been able to work collectively, I think there's a chance they find a way through.
   271. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5852112)
You know far more than I, Baldrick. I just think they were trying to attack today and couldn't. They're just a little bit slower and they almost always have to handle the ball before passing and their passes aren't accurate. Stringing a bunch of passes together seems hard for them.

I mean, look, I don't know soccer well. I started following the Argentina team a week ago. So I could be way off. They just strike me as having the strategy of playing for three 0-0 draws to advance. And they damned near pulled off two. I think you're probably right: 2-0 or 3-0 Scotland. And, no, I don't think we're really disagreeing and I'd defer to most on this board in regard to soccer. Also, I'm probably in the top decile of people in Argentina right now who care, so it's not like there are lots of crushed fans here. Copa America starts for Argentina tomorrow and I doubt even advancing will get them much notice. If the men win, they'll get the press. It the men lose, they'll get even more press.
   272. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5852115)
I repeat, that I know nothing about women's football. But as a Scot: bet the house on Argentina.
   273. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5852122)
538 has Argentina at 24% to advance, because they have them as 23% to beat Scotland. I'd say the actual chance is less than that though--538 has underrated Scotland (as Baldrick noted). 538 had Argentina at just 15% to advance pre-tournament, lowest coming in. They are definitely in a better spot now.
   274. Baldrick Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5852126)
Reporter on Twitter says around a million people watched the game in Argentina, which is frankly more than I expected, though still not a particularly big absolute number.
   275. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5852127)
I can see that. We’re at the start of a three day weekend and a lot (most) went home early. The game was on a national broadcast channel with no sports conflicts.
   276. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:46 PM (#5852165)
England/Argentina xG: 2.6 to 0.04 (just the two shots from way out). That's not going to get it done next week when Argentina hjas to score to advance. Also, playing behind for 30 minutes needing a goal, where giving one up doesn't really hurt you, and still getting basically no attempts is a very bad sign.

Argentina also had 0.3 xG against Japan, though they held Japan very well in that game.

Most anemic teams so far by average xG per game:

Thailand: 0.04 (1 game)
Argentina: 0.17 (2 games)
Chile: 0.3 (1 game)
South Africa: 0.4 (2 games)
Cameroon: 0.4 (1 game)
New Zealand: 0.5 (1 game)

No one lese has been really that bad so far (and it's a bit unfair not to give teams at least 2 games before you measure them this way).

edit: aside from New Zealand, who is in, and Scotland, who isn't, those are the bottom 6 teams in offensive rating by 538 coming into the tourney. New Zealand faced an excellent defensive Netherlands in their only game, and Scotland's offense was way underrated by 538 as was said earlier.
   277. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:09 PM (#5852173)
.04 seems high for Thailand
   278. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5852174)
Like New Zealand did, Thailand, Chile and Cameroon also played their only game against a top defense (according to 538 rankings).
   279. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:22 PM (#5852175)
.04 seems high for Thailand
Probably you are just joking, but it's 0.04, not 0.4. That's basically two shots from way out that have little hope of going in, which is exactly what they had. Same as Argentina against England.
   280. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:35 PM (#5852177)
Brazil dominated the first half but failed to score. VAR going crazy.
   281. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5852179)
Okay, I didn’t see the replay. Clear handball. Brazil converts the PK.
   282. bunyon Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:40 PM (#5852180)
And the floodgates open.
   283. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5852225)
The training ground routine for the second Dutch goal was a thing of beauty.
   284. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5852226)
Apparently Cameroon only had two friendlies before the World Cup. That set piece was well worked, but it feels like the Cameroon team just didn't have enough reps - no one on the wall even reacted.

Cameroon do look dangerous.
   285. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 15, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5852267)
New Zealand is not compelling. Less than 60 passes in the first half, no possession. No chances. Nothing. a draw or 1-goal loss isn't that bad for them, though. They could still advance by beating Cameroon.
   286. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 15, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5852274)
Now it's much tougher for New Zealand. With no goals scored and a -3 differential, they are more likely to have to win by multiple goals against Cameroon. It's still very up in the air though. France could easily beat Nigeria by 2 or more as well. Cameroon was always at -3, so they are also hoping France beats Nigeria by at least 2. Everyone outside of Group B is hoping Spain beats China by at least 2 as well.

Of the teams with no points so far, Scotland is in the best position, with just -2 in GD, with 2 goals scored. Also they might have the worst opponent in the last round.
   287. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 15, 2019 at 05:23 PM (#5852278)
Some games we have tomorrow. You can get almost 100/1 odds on Chile and almost 150/1 on Thailand (each to win).

But the next day its 50/1 on South Africa, and 30/1 on Nigeria (that last ones sounds pretty good, actually). Later in the week its 50/1 for Jamaica.

New Zealand was garbage today, from the opening whistle. I know Canada is very good, but this might have been the second worst display of the tournament after mighty Thailand. xG 3.6 to 0.2. Will they still be favored over Cameroon in the last group game? You wouldn't think they should be, based on these two games.

edit: ok, I forgot about Argentina against England. That potentially was worse. It's a toss-up anyway. I guess there was also Chile against Sweden.

Of all the teams that have played two games so far, New Zealand might have performed the worst. I know they had two very good opponents, but sheesh. Combined xG was 0.7 - 6.3. They are very lucky to still be alive in this tournament. They could even potentially squeak in with a 1-0 win over Cameroon, which I am sure is their plan.

edit 2: unless something unlikely happens, there is really 4 (plus Argentina, if you like) teams competing for 2 spots. Nigeria, Scotland, New Zealand, and Cameroon. Based on their play so far in this tournament, I hope it's two of the other three and not New Zealand that gets through.
   288. Baldrick Posted: June 15, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5852285)
Would it blow your mind to hear that New Zealand beat England exactly two weeks ago? Seems impossible but it happened.

They have three excellent players - their keeper and two central defenders - which is maybe part of why the xGs and the Gs haven't aligned. But there are enough decent players on the team that they really should be doing better than this. Canada/Netherlands is almost certainly the toughest A/B set that anyone had to face, so I completely understand just setting up shop and hoping to keep the GD down as much as possible. And it kind of sort of worked, more through luck than anything else.
   289. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 15, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5852295)
Looks like England probably outplayed New Zealand in that game, with 2/3 of the possession and 15 to 9 on shots. 18 to 3 on corners! Still, hard to know how it played out without having seen it.
   290. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 15, 2019 at 06:36 PM (#5852299)
ok well there's a lot of diving in this Colombia/Argentina game. Maybe the women are diving more than they used to, but they still got nothing on the men (or at least these men).
   291. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 11:45 PM (#5852430)
I was impressed with Nigeria when I saw them. They look like they are a team that can really cause problems counterattacking. They are quick and physical.
   292. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 16, 2019 at 12:19 AM (#5852438)
Not about socccer ... but it *is* about the World Cup.

Well, *A* World Cup ...

On Sunday in Manchester, India and Pakistan will play the latest installment of the most important and fraught sporting rivalry in the world. This game is often described by a shorthand of three numbers, and as this story is written by an outsider for other outsiders, that's how I'll begin.

The first numbers are 3 and 6.

The countries have fought three wars (and several near-wars) -- over simple things such as land and borders and complicated things such as religion and home, depending on whom you ask. In the World Cup, they have faced each other six times. India have won all six, including a match in 1999 that was played while the countries skirmished and nearly started the fourth of those wars. Shots were being fired in Kashmir as the team took the field at Manchester's Old Trafford (a half-mile from the more famous football stadium with the same name).

The teams will take that same field on Sunday, 20 years later.

The third number used to describe this rivalry is the television audience for the matches: estimated at somewhere around 1 billion people.

That's nearly 10 times the most-watched Super Bowl.

Before flying to Manchester for this match, I talked to a friend who works on ESPN's College Gameday. He heard the numbers and couldn't process them.

"Is that real?" he asked.


Well worth a read.
   293. Howie Menckel Posted: June 16, 2019 at 12:20 AM (#5852439)
It's one thing to celebrate having won the game. Or to celebrate scoring when the game is close. But celebrating goals long after the game has been decided, against a team that obviously didn't belong on the field, as though you just scored the game winner is a bit of a bad look.

another old man with a +1

unlike everything else, class never goes out of style
   294. Baldrick Posted: June 16, 2019 at 03:08 AM (#5852456)
Looks like England probably outplayed New Zealand in that game, with 2/3 of the possession and 15 to 9 on shots. 18 to 3 on corners! Still, hard to know how it played out without having seen it.

England definitely outplayed them, but it followed exactly the same template they've used in these two games. NZ conceded possession and defended deep, counted on their quality in front of their own goal to limit the quality of opposition chances, and hoped to find a goal on a set piece. It's just that the luck actually held out in that game.
   295. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5852509)
Endler is so, so good.
   296. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5852510)
Chile has every incentive to limit the GD damage here. If they can get lucky and France beats up on Nigeria and one of the Cameroon/New Zealand and Scotland/Argentina games ends in a draw, they could still squeak in as the last 3rd place team if they can score some against Thailand.

It's a longer shot, but even if they can't overcome Nigeria's GD they could still advance if both those other games end in draws.
   297. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5852512)
Seriously? Was that clearly a foul in the box? VAR gone amok. Glad she missed.

edit: the fact that she missed might have had something to do with the game Endler is having so far. Lloyd may have thought she needed to put it in the corner to score.
   298. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5852513)
That was not a foul. Glad Lloyd missed the peno. And yeah, I think Endler got into her head a little.
   299. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5852515)
BALL DON'T LIE
   300. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 16, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5852517)
Allie Long is having a ridiculously bad day. There's no need for her to be fouling the Chilean players every time they get over midfield. It's exactly what they want.
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