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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (World Cup)

We’ve gotten through Champions League and most of the relegation/promotion stuff so we may as well focus on the World Cup. And what a World Cup, Buffon playing his sixth, Pulisic making his WC debut, quality on-site reporting from Fox and two time Copa America champs Chile just part of what should make for an amazing tournament!  Plus of course the the family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere sure to be fostered by the Russians.

Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 29, 2018 at 09:57 AM | 3354 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   901. J. Sosa Posted: June 23, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5698462)
Sweden’s legs were gone. Probably afraid they couldn't get back.

Brandt needs to play.
   902. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5698463)
This was the worst possible scoreline for Mexico. The only thing worse would have been a 3-2 or 4-3 Germany win today.

edit: 538 has Mexico's odds of advancing at 72%.
   903. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5698464)
Germany deserved the win, in the end. Sweden needs to rest up and be ready to beat a Mexican team that I think is already through.
   904. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5698466)
If Germany wins by 2, then any Sweden win over Mexico eliminates Mexico (I think).
   905. tshipman Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5698467)
Germany deserved the win, in the end.


Germany is fascinating so far. They've been utterly dominant in possession, but looked like amateurs on the counter. Wonder how much of that has to do with Boateng.

I don't think they're out of the woods at all against SK.
   906. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5698468)
Wonder how much of that has to do with Boateng.


Well, they won't have to worry about him next match.
   907. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5698470)
If Germany wins by 1 and Sweden wins by 1, it goes down to group goals scored, which is currently even. Then it goes to head to head goals scored I think, where Germany/Sweden would advance if Sweden wins 1-0, but Sweden would advance if they win 2-1 or 3-2.

So how about this:

Germany wins 2-1.
Sweden wins 2-1.

The top 3 have identical points, GD and goals scored, so Sweden advances on goals scored among the groups in question. But here is where it might get really crazy. The tie breaker rules for this tournament are below. Is it clear that if the above scorelines hold, you repeat steps 4,5,6 after setting Sweden in first place? The rules don't literally say that. They fixed this problem in the UEFA cup, but they haven't fixed it in the WC. Does Mexico advance over Germany (probably) or does it go to the next rule (fair play). Maybe Boateng's second yellow makes it moot.


The top two teams after the round-robin is completed in each group are determined as follows (regulations Article 32.5):[33]

1.points obtained in all group matches;
2.goal difference in all group matches;
3.number of goals scored in all group matches;

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings are determined as follows:

4.points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
5.goal difference in the group matches between the teams concerned;
6.number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;

   908. J. Sosa Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5698471)
I don’t think it is entirely Boateng’s fault. Germany has been starting a bunch of guys that aren’t exactly known for defensive graft at this stage of their career. Kroos, as great as he is, isn’t suited to a two. And lord knows he ain’t gonna get any help from the likes of Draxler and Ozil.
   909. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5698475)
Actually, I think the same problem exists if Germany wins 1-0 and Sweden wins 1-0, though it would only be for group winner. Mexico would be eliminated on head to head goals scored. Would Germany then get group winner over Sweden based on head to head, or would Sweden get it over Germany on fair play?
   910. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5698487)
I think any win by Sweden and Sweden advances.

edit: oh, and yeah, South Korea can still advance.
   911. Red Voodooin Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5698498)
I think you have that about right AuntBea. If I'm reading things correctly, Mexico needs to win or tie to move on with a small window to not be eliminated should they lose, almost all of which is comprised of the chances that Germany can't beat South Korea.

As a Mexico fan, the late outcome of today's match was, as stated here, worst case scenario for Mexico, 538's live probabilities had them as 95%+ to advance as the match time dwindled and it was still tied.

It sure feels like El Tri deserves to be making their plans for the quarterfinals now, BUT everyone knew it was a tough group from the onset and now Mexico faces a roughly equal team and they just need a tie to advance, so ... I think I would have taken that at beiginnimg of the group if offered.

   912. Textbook Editor Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5698502)
If I'm doing this right...

South Korea goes through if they beat Germany by any score and Sweden lose to Mexico. (If South Korea win by any 1 goal margin they'd be tied on GD & Goals scored with Germany; the next tie break is head-to-head, which South Korea would then win). Mexico can't be assured of getting through if they lose, so they have to come out to play--they can't just mail it in and kick the ball around.

Granted, it seems a stretch to say South Korea would beat Germany, but Son running at that back line without Boatang certainly seems like it would cause problems... And South Korea have to be breathing a sigh of relief, as a German win was the only way they had any chance to advance going into the last game... I think they're the only team sitting on 0 points still with a chance to advance, right? They won't be mailing in the game.
   913. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5698503)
Don't tell tshipman, but Group E plays their final-round matches after Group F, so if Germany advances in second (currently the most likely scenario), the Group F teams might prefer to finish 2nd in their group. Switzerland can guarantee a second place finish in their group with.... a draw!
   914. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5698507)
South Korea goes through if they beat Germany by any score and Sweden lose to Mexico. (If South Korea win by any 1 goal margin they'd be tied on GD & Goals scored with Germany; the next tie break is head-to-head, which South Korea would then win). Mexico can't be assured of getting through if they lose, so they have to come out to play--they can't just mail it in and kick the ball around.
You have to take into account Sweden too, so if S.K. beats Germany by 1, and Sweden loses to Mexico by 1, it goes to goals scored among S.K, Sweden, and Germany. It's pretty much the same as the top three teams tied with 6 points (there's symmetry here).
   915. PreservedFish Posted: June 23, 2018 at 05:53 PM (#5698526)
Germany is fascinating so far. They've been utterly dominant in possession, but looked like amateurs on the counter. Wonder how much of that has to do with Boateng.


I don't remember if any of the significant Sweden chances came when Boateng was out of position. But his wandering seemed highly inappropriate to me. Was he like this four years ago?
   916. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 23, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5698540)
I don't remember if any of the significant Sweden chances came when Boateng was out of position. But his wandering seemed highly inappropriate to me. Was he like this four years ago?

And 8 years ago. I am pretty sure he crawled out of the womb this way. To me, he has always been the weakest link in the Germany side. But ironically it often seems to be the poor sap who is left back on an island to deal with the attack, that gets all the grief when Germany concede. Because Boateng is somewhere out of camera clowning around, and too far from the play to actually be criticised.
   917. PreservedFish Posted: June 23, 2018 at 07:10 PM (#5698545)
Thanks. I know he's well-regarded, sometimes it must work out well. I'm used to center backs coming up in certain situations, like John Terry whenever he might be able to land his meaty forehead on the ball, but Boateng's center-wingback thing makes their formation go all weird.
   918. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5698549)
And 8 years ago. I am pretty sure he crawled out of the womb this way. To me, he has always been the weakest link in the Germany side. But ironically it often seems to be the poor sap who is left back on an island to deal with the attack, that gets all the grief when Germany concede. Because Boateng is somewhere out of camera clowning around, and too far from the play to actually be criticised.
He looked poor today, but I thought he was very good in the first game, and was the main reason Mexico didn't win by more goals. Also, he was great in the 2014 final against Argentina.

I don't watch a lot of Bayern or Germany though, so I don't see him play often.
   919. J. Sosa Posted: June 23, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5698570)
Re: Boateng

I actually have a theory on this. I don’t think it is so much a Boateng thing as it is a Bayern thing. They have been so overwhelmingly better than anyone else in the league that they have recruited ball playing centerbacks to an extreme and have developed an extreme style of play. Out of Hummels, Sule, and Boateng Hummels might be the the least adventerous. Hummels!

I mean Boateng only looks crazy until you watch Sule play. I love me some center back runs into the box but it has probably gotten out of hand. Bayern can occasionally be burned with pace on the counter like Rebic did in the Pokal final, but they aren’t as vulnerable in midfield because they have had people like Vidal and Javi Martinez for stability. This German team doesn’t have that. Khedira is toast. So they end up being vulnerable to the counter and also leave gaps in the midfield.
   920. spivey Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:15 AM (#5698606)
Centerback is a tough position to fill in national teams especially when guys that were locked in starters start to age and because pairing does matter I think. I also think Germany is awful at defense and athleticism in the midfield and on the wing. I only saw the last 15 min of the game, but I think in today’s soccer if a center back is being exposed it’s often on tactics and not getting cover from the front 6.
   921. spivey Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:19 AM (#5698607)
I totally think South Korea’s gameplan of risky challenges and booting it to Son could work. I remember Algeria did that to fun effect last WC and took an all time Neuer performance to see them through. I think Mertesacker was then benched. In fact Germany started 4 CB in that game, and no true striker. Funny that I actually think in many ways they’re better now.
   922. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5698608)
The Poland/Colombia game, so long as it doesn't end in a draw, will essentially eliminate a team that was favored to advance. None of the other teams favored to advance pre-tournament have yet been eliminated, and in fact all still remain favored to advance (lowest percentage Argentina 55%). The only way they can both still advance is if they draw while Japan/Senegal also draw.

The games have generally been interesting and close so far, and we've seen surprising results, but as of yet it's been more sound and fury than anything else.
   923. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5698610)
I totally think South Korea’s gameplan of risky challenges and booting it to Son could work. I
Sure it could, but it would be a huge surprise. South Korea is being given just a 5% chance to win. (13% draw, 82% Germany win).

Pet peeve: all the sports articles that say "Can X beat Y?". Well, yeah, when two pro teams are involved, X "can" always beat Y. The real question is really "which of X or Y should be considered the favorite?"; or better yet: "are the given odds of X beating Y too low/high?", or even better than both of those: "what's the best game plan for X to beat Y?".
   924. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:19 AM (#5698627)
The BBC guys are not exactly unbiased in this game...
   925. The_Ex Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5698630)
Great goal by Lingard.
   926. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5698631)
The BBC guys are not exactly unbiased in this game...

No announcers are unbiased when doing matches of their own country. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
   927. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5698632)
Typical England though. Going to play themselves into a GD lead, draw Belgium in the last game, and play themselves into the tough half of the draw.
   928. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:46 AM (#5698634)
Maybe they'll start to call those finally. I don't mind some contact, but these full on tackles are ridiculous.
   929. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5698635)
Was this Panama team really better than the US lot? I find that hard to believe right now.
   930. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5698636)
Finally they call the rugby tackling in the box (actually I don't think you're allowed to grab jerseys in rugby). England's dominance at set pieces can't continue. It's almost like they're exploiting a video game loophole.
   931. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5698637)
Was this Panama team really better than the US lot? I find that hard to believe right now.

You don't have to better. You just have to get better results.
   932. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5698640)
The refs may have specifically told the players before this game that they would call the tackles on corner kicks. Even if that's true though, until they actually called one, the players probably didn't really believe it.
   933. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5698641)
Well they were also warned on the pitch on multiple occasions. So, no sympathy really.
   934. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5698642)
That was some terrible defending. Nice finish though. Now England is level with Belgium I think.

edit: Belgium apparently has one more caution than England currently (in case no more goals are scored today, and England/Belgium ends in a draw).
   935. The_Ex Posted: June 24, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5698647)
Harry Kane knows how to take a penalty.
   936. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5698652)
538 was really high on Japan for some reason, much better than straight ELO would suggest, and a favorite over Senegal today. Betting odds think this is a decent matchup, but give Senegal a significant edge.
   937. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5698662)
Obviously there's a lot of this group still left to play, and it's now not the most likely scenario, but having watched all these teams play now, I think there's still a decent chance that Colombia tops the group.
   938. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5698681)
Japan looks really lively all of a sudden. 3 good chances, one of them a missed sitter.
   939. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5698685)
Why do stoppage time, the magnitude of which no one knows until after 90:00, rather than have the timing official stop and start the game clock as appropriate, and when the game clock reads 90:00 the final whistle is blown?
   940. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5698686)
This is the first ref that hasn't been shy about brandishing yellows. A little too many probably.
   941. sardonic Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5698688)
Why do stoppage time, the magnitude of which no one knows until after 90:00, rather than have the timing official stop and start the game clock as appropriate, and when the game clock reads 90:00 the final whistle is blown?


It preserves the spirit of the game better. You don't really want teams actually trying to optimize every last second of the clock when ahead/behind. Think of all the nonsense in basketball at the end of the game around intentional fouling to stop the clock, etc. I don't think the fuzziness of having a couple more or less minutes in a 90 minute game is really that bad vs. the flow of the game.
   942. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5698689)
That was a pretty exciting game. I thought Senegal was the better team in the first half, but they seemed to run out of steam, and Japan probably was the better team in the second. Overall a draw is fair but Senegal was maybe a little lucky as Japan missed a sitter and hit the bar too.

edit: They're showing the highlights on BBC. Both goalkeepers were poor, leading to a goal for each team.
   943. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 24, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5698690)
OK, thanks.
   944. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5698699)
xG has that game fairly even, but the chart doesn't seem to show the missed sitter by Japan (or if it shows it, it is being shown as much less of a chance than it really was). It's possible the reason is that it doesn't count is because it was a complete whiff. If so, that's a severe limitation of xG. I assume the xG totals over the long term add up to the actual goal totals, so if plays like this are not counted at all (or under-counted), actual shots must be over-counted.

It's one thing not to get a shot off because you screw up the break and don't actually try to shoot (already a limitation of xG). It's another if you swing your leg for the shot and miss the ball. The latter is essentially the same thing as a shot.
   945. tshipman Posted: June 24, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5698716)
I need someone to explain to me why Seven Nation Army is featured so prominently at the start of every game.
   946. tshipman Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5698719)
Sure seems like stepping on a defenseless player's hand should be at least a yellow.
   947. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5698722)
Hopefully the teams go all out for a win. A 0-0 or 1-1 draw I don't think is a good result for either, because under most scenarios it would mean they would have to win their game next round by 2 goals to advance. (The one kind of scenario where one of them could advance with a low scoring draw today and a 1-goal win next week is if both Poland and Colombia win by exactly one goal next week, while one of the games is higher scoring enough than the other to go ahead of the team they lost to last round on goals scored, in which case both teams from the higher scoring game would advance. I think this would be very unlikely, because even if this game finishes 1-1, in the last round one of the games would have to be 1-0 and the other 3-2 for this to work.)

It's possible I overlooked a rule in there somewhere.
   948. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5698726)
Colombia is so much more dynamic than Poland. Hardly got any shots off yet though.
   949. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5698728)
Who was complaining about taking short corners earlier?
   950. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5698729)
I need someone to explain to me why Seven Nation Army is featured so prominently at the start of every game.

I hate it so much. It is so damn annoying. The Mariner's were playing it against the Red Sox last week, and it made me want to kill people.
   951. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5698731)
People have been saying that Senegal and Japan have been playing very well this tournament. But maybe it would be more accurate to say that Poland is much worse than people thought, and that Colombia made a suicidal play in the first minute of their WC.

Let's see if Colombia can keep up their good play for the rest of the game.
   952. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: June 24, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5698736)
I need someone to explain to me why Seven Nation Army is featured so prominently

Because we are all Corbynistas now!
   953. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5698738)
Valderama and Higuita looking like an aged rock duo in the stands.
   954. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5698739)
It preserves the spirit of the game better. You don't really want teams actually trying to optimize every last second of the clock when ahead/behind. Think of all the nonsense in basketball at the end of the game around intentional fouling to stop the clock, etc. I don't think the fuzziness of having a couple more or less minutes in a 90 minute game is really that bad vs. the flow of the game.


You do know that this answer doesn't make any sense? Why would teams react differently about wasting time if they knew there was exactly 7.5 minutes left instead on knowing there was likely to be between 6-8 minutes left in the game? Of course once in stoppage time, they know almost exactly how much time is left.

As a casual viewer, one thing that I have noted is that the ref has never (that I remember) blown the whistle during middle of a last ditch attack. In games that I've watched, the games haven't ended until any dangerous attack has dissipated. Not having an explicit time allows the refs to "fudge" the ending to allow the losing team to get their last attempt. There is never drama about getting the shot or play off before time expires in soccer as there is in football/basketball/hockey. Is this a thing or am I inventing something from not having watched enough games? How often does the ref end the half/game in the middle of a cross into the box or with the ball bouncing between players in front of the goal?


BTW: This has been a very interesting thread for me. I've learned a lot. Thanks for the info.
   955. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5698743)
Of course once in stoppage time, they know almost exactly how much time is left.


Well, except they don't. There was a game a few days ago with an advertised +5 at the end of regulation that didn't end until 96:45. And then there's the situation where the ref won't blow the whistle once time is up if one team is running a play.

edit: should have read the whole post. I'll leave my comment up as a +1.
   956. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5698745)
Well, except they don't. There was a game a few days ago with an advertised +5 at the end of regulation that didn't end until 96:45
Actually I rewatched the end of this game. The Swiss goal was scored late in 90th minute and play didn't restart until essentially 1 minute and a half later. The +5 probably had been determined before the goal (the ref usually signals it to the 4th official sometime before the end of the 90 minutes). Then there was a substitution in extra time. In retrospect the 6:45 was very reasonable.

The larger point holds though, in that it is often hard to determine exactly what the refs are stopping or not stopping the clock for in extra time. This is true even in the EPL where there is specific rule that time is supposed to be added for substitutions in extra time, but it clearly often is not.
   957. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5698755)
Oh man. A couple very pretty goals. Will Poland bother to show up against Japan after this? It's not looking so good for Senegal right now.

edit: Poland is the first UEFA team to be eliminated.
   958. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5698757)
Ruh rho. Colombia keeper injured and they are out of suds.

edit: subs. Out of suds is bad too though.
   959. tshipman Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5698761)
Wheels have come off for Poland now.

That pass from James on the third goal--wow.
   960. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5698765)
After two rounds of play, the big underperforming conference is CAF (Africa). They could still get two teams in, but the mean expectation is just 1 (down from 1.5). The second conference that has underperformed so far is CONMEBOL. They could still get 4 teams in, but their mean expectation is 3 (down from 3.67). AFC (Asia) is slightly overperforming, almost all thanks to Japan (Australia and Iran still can make it though. And South Korea technically.), and CONCACAF is basically at par, thanks to Mexico's current odds of advancing. UEFA is a slight positive currently.

We're still basically on track to get 3 non-UEFA/CONMEBOL teams in the round of 16.
   961. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 24, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5698773)
I was complaining about short corners, I assume you asking means I was proven 100% correct and you’d like to reward me somehow? (I’ve been at the Red Sox game).

   962. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5698774)
Is this a thing or am I inventing something from not having watched enough games?

No this is totally normal. As a general rule I would say, that refs don't blow for half/full time, if the team has the ball anywhere in the final third of the pitch.
   963. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5698778)
I was complaining about short corners, I assume you asking means I was proven 100% correct and you’d like to reward me somehow?

Sure, I will reward you. Skip to about 52 seconds into the highlights.

ETA: the non-extended highlights
   964. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5698781)
The itv pundits at the half were all over Poland on that play for the half-hearted at best attempt to guard the 3 best Colombian players, who were the three players on that side for the short corner.
   965. Greg K Posted: June 24, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5698793)
As a casual viewer, one thing that I have noted is that the ref has never (that I remember) blown the whistle during middle of a last ditch attack. In games that I've watched, the games haven't ended until any dangerous attack has dissipated. Not having an explicit time allows the refs to "fudge" the ending to allow the losing team to get their last attempt. There is never drama about getting the shot or play off before time expires in soccer as there is in football/basketball/hockey. Is this a thing or am I inventing something from not having watched enough games? How often does the ref end the half/game in the middle of a cross into the box or with the ball bouncing between players in front of the goal?

It's my understanding that this is accurate, but I've always thought of it as a positive. It's like when you play hockey on the street as a kid...your mom calls for dinner so you get one last rush. The clock intrudes on the play in that you rush the ball into the attacking area, but it doesn't stop you in the middle of an attempt on goal. There are limits of course, but I like the lack of obsession with precision in managing the game. Let the players play!
   966. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5698803)
So, if ESPN is to be believed, Mexico's head-to-head win over Germany would NOT be the tie-breaker that decides second place in the group if Sweden and Germany both win 2-1. In other words, unlike other tie breakers in other competitions (NFL, UEFA cup), the tie-breaking rules don't get rerun as soon as a 3 (or more) way tie is partially broken. The only saving grace here is that Germany is behind Mexico on fair play anyway, and likely will still be behind after the game Wednesday. Thanks Boateng!

On the other hand, if Germany and Sweden both win 1-0, people might be quite surprised to find that Sweden has won the group (on fair play) despite losing head to head.

As I noted on this page last WC (and maybe earlier), this ambiguity was pointed out to FIFA almost 10 years ago now, and they still haven't fixed it. UEFA fixed it for their competition I think 6 years ago, and at any rate certainly for the 2016 competition.

Note that a google cached version (no longer at the ESPN site) says that ESPN contacted FIFA about the ambiguity this year, so presumably the rules below are FIFA's official position on this.

- If both Germany and Sweden win 2-1, then Sweden would win the group on head-to-head goals scored (they would have three goals in games between the three countries to Germany and Mexico's two). Second and third would be decided by Fair Play, and at present Mexico's score is -2 and Germany's -5 (Jerome Boateng's red card worth -3 the difference). Each yellow card is worth -1 so Mexico would be through unless they have several players booked or someone sent off compared to Germany.

If both Germany and Sweden win 1-0, the three teams would have identical records and it would go to head-to-head mini-league, and this would see Germany and Sweden through on goals scored. Mexico would be out by virtue of scoring one fewer goal in games between the three countries. First and second would be decided on Fair Play and at present Sweden's score is -3 and Germany's -5, so Sweden would finish top. Obviously this could change on the final matchday.
   967. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5698846)
I know nobody cares about this issue but me, but it really is confusing for people. CBS sports has the following on their website (presumably wrong, if ESPN is to be believed):

Chaos scenarios

South Korea and Mexico both win 1-0

All of South Korea, Germany and Sweden would have identical goal differentials (minus-one) and goals scored (two), sending things to the next tiebreaker: points in games played vs. each other. But all three teams would have beaten each other for their three points. Then it's goal differential in games against each other, which would all be zero. Then it's goal scored in games against each other, and that's where South Korea falls out, with only one goal scored in common games to two for the other two teams. If you restart the tiebreakers with just Germany and Sweden, now Germany moves on thanks to their three points against Sweden on Saturday.

Germany and Sweden win 1-0

All of Germany, Sweden and Mexico would then be tied with six points, a plus-one goal differential and three goals scored. Each would have three points in games played against each other and an even goal differential against each other. In the next tiebreaker, Germany and Sweden would have two goals in games between the three teams, while Mexico would only have one. That puts Germany and Sweden through to the knockouts, with Germany getting the top seed thanks to their three points from Saturday.
   968. Textbook Editor Posted: June 24, 2018 at 07:08 PM (#5698849)
#967--Of course, South Korea could win to make this all academic... :)

That pass from James on the third goal--wow.


That was one of the best bent-ball passes I've ever seen from that part of the pitch--it was simply amazing, and probably better than the goal itself in terms of technical skill.

It is a real shame that both Colombia and Senegal can't go through, but I *think* the only way that happens is if either:

(a) Japan loses and Colombia and Senegal draw (Senegal would top group; Colombia tops Japan for 2nd on GD), or
(b) Japan loses and Senegal loses, but by less goals than Japan loses by, or
(c) Japan loses and Senegal loses, but Senegal scores more goals in its loss than Japan while keeping the same overall GD as Japan.

It's possible Poland will take out its frustrations on Japan and try to thump them, but Japan is looking pretty good to advance--any kind of result and they advance and there's a ton of scenarios where a win or a draw get them top of the group.

If I'm England, I'm not sure I want to win the group for a number of reasons--the least of which is facing a possible Germany/Brazil in the QF... To start, as group winners they're likely to face Colombia or Senegal... and maybe I'm crazy but I think both of those teams present pretty big matchup problems for their defense.

Not saying it will happen, but Brazil/Germany in the round of 16 could set a record for yellow cards and craziness. Brazil will want vengeance and good lord the back line of Germany seems like it would be destroyed by the front players of Brazil... Of course Brazil's back line isn't great either. The game could end 6-5...

It's been an entertaining WC so far--in my mind miles better than 2014, at least in the group stage. I get folks want goals and the goals per game average is down (though maybe today goosed it back up), but I think most of the games have been entertaining for one reason or another: goals, clashes of styles, etc. Hell, I even enjoyed the hell out of Iran's 6-3-1 against Spain--and they *almost* made it work.

YMMV, but it's been a lot of fun so far.

   969. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 24, 2018 at 07:21 PM (#5698853)
I will reward you. Skip to about 52 seconds into the highlights.

ETA: the non-extended highlights


As I always say, a short corner can be an effective weapon!

Seriously, that really was lovely. I still generally don’t like the short corner but that was worked perfectly. I’ll say that Colombia read it beautifully, Poland were still back crowding the box so they had options from the short corner that often don’t seem to be there. That was really beautiful though.
   970. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 24, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5698858)
I agree with TE, this has been a wonderful World Cup. Among other things we haven’t had a 0-0 draw yet. The goals per game is almost exactly what it was 4 years ago which was a jump up from the last several so that’s a good thing and there have been a lot of tight games.

Someone noted that while we have had a lot of surprising results the knockout stage is looking to be the predicted teams. I think that’s a good thing. While I join in the amusement at the results for teams like Germany and Argentina I think it’s beetter to have the best of the best in the knockouts. It’s like March Madness, a few good upsets are fun but no one really wants Tennessee-Chattanooga against Lamar in the final four. I haven’t looked at the games for the last few groups but it looks like every group at least has something to play for even if it’s just 1st and 2nd which is meaningful.
   971. Sunday silence Posted: June 24, 2018 at 07:39 PM (#5698866)
As a casual viewer, one thing that I have noted is that the ref has never (that I remember) blown the whistle during middle of a last ditch attack. In games that I've watched, the games haven't ended until any dangerous attack has dissipated...


This is by specific rule. Of course there was an incident, I think it was like 10 or 12 years ago when they were in stoppage time and someone got a shot off and just as they did, the referee blows the whistle and no goal.

So FIFA specifically ruled that you cant blow the whistle in the middle of an attack. I guess it makes sense. The game has never really come down to fractions of a second in any other ways.
   972. , Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5698907)
I didn't see all of it but the time issue really is one that uniquely bothers Americans. And we're a distinct (and almost meaningless) minority in the soccer world. Sure, they'd love to have us (and our money) more involved but they're doing fine, thank you. I don't see any need to make soccer into football or basketball with time management. So it isn't precise. It really isn't that big of a deal.
   973. Textbook Editor Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5698948)
FWIW... I went to a high school cup final our local HS was in, and the timekeeping there was quite strange--there was a clock, but it counted DOWN from 45 minutes each half, and there was a "final buzzer" but at various points the clock did seem to stop (mainly at substitutions, it seemed, not for balls out of play or setting up free kicks). It was... a bit odd to have it so regimented, to be honest. I'm used to youth soccer games where while it is pretty much over after the time is up (i.e., no extra time at all, usually), occasionally a ref will allow an attack to fizzle out right at time, or if there was a significant injury (over 2 minutes to deal with), he'll tack on a minute or two... But because games are stacked one on top of the other on the fields, as a practical matter the next game starts within 10 minutes of ours ending so... there's not really the ability to do a lot of added time.

I don't recall if I posted this at the time, but that cup final I saw was won 1-0 by the local HS on the most amazing 35-yard free kick you'll ever see in a HS game, and luckily someone got it on video. You have to kind of look at it a couple times to pick up the bend of the ball, but it beats the keeper (who wasn't that far off his line) top left corner. Kid probably never struck a ball better in his life. It was amazing to see live.
   974. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:04 PM (#5698949)
I didn't see all of it but the time issue really is one that uniquely bothers Americans. And we're a distinct (and almost meaningless) minority in the soccer world. Sure, they'd love to have us (and our money) more involved but they're doing fine, thank you. I don't see any need to make soccer into football or basketball with time management. So it isn't precise. It really isn't that big of a deal.

This. It is also the answer when it comes to penalty shootouts.
   975. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:08 PM (#5698954)
That is a great free kick. I lost site of a bit but I could see the direction it started and where the keeper ended up trying to keep it out and that had a pretty serious bend to it.
   976. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5698968)
That was a mishit cross. You won't convince me otherwise.
   977. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:57 AM (#5698978)
There's a lot of chatter about England/Belgium going to intentional yellows, but I think it would be easier, and arguably no less sporting, to just put one in your own net. Or they could put in a back-up keeper and have him get a red.

Anyway, I don't doubt that, if it comes to it, you might see one or both of England/Belgium not trying very hard, but I doubt they'll do anything truly sketchy.

However, the following is apparently the format for the 2026 WC (from Wikipedia):

"The tournament will open with a group stage consisting of 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams progressing from each group to a knockout tournament starting with a round of 32 teams. The number of games played overall will increase from 64 to 80, but the number of games played by finalists remains at seven, the same as with 32 teams, except that one group match will be replaced by a knockout match. The tournament will also be completed within 32 days, the same as previous 32-team tournaments."

What this means is that each team gets two games in the group stage, and none of the three group stage games can be on the same day. On the last day of the group stage (after one of the teams has played both its games), there are likely many teams that can game their spot in the knockout rounds by trying to lose their last game, or at least have no reason not to let the other team win (if they have already qualified).

Note also that there will be 16 new teams, I think at least 12 of them from outside of Europe and South America. These 12, on average, are unlikely to be better than Saudi Arabia (some worse, and some from Africa probably on par with some of the weaker African teams, so a little better). If each group gets one of these weak teams, there's going to be a whole lot of groups where there is nothing to play for in the last game.

Even if most teams won't try to game the system, some teams probably will. We could end up with farce.
   978. stevegamer Posted: June 25, 2018 at 04:05 AM (#5698979)
However, any upset in either of the first two games will loom large, and put some tension in where there isn't as much now.
   979. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 25, 2018 at 04:35 AM (#5698980)
FWIW, I absolutely hate the 3 team group idea. And I think it will end up giving teams that get their 'bye' week during the final gameday of the group stages a big advantage in the knockout stages. Rest is a big issue in these tournaments.
   980. manchestermets Posted: June 25, 2018 at 06:45 AM (#5698984)
no one really wants Tennessee-Chattanooga against Lamar in the final four


Everyone wants Croatia against Senegal in the semi-final of the World Cup though.
   981. spivey Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5699029)

Everyone wants Croatia against Senegal in the semi-final of the World Cup though.


Well, Croatia is solidly in that second tier of teams behind the biggest favorites. I put them on about the England/Belgium level. I think to use the NCAA analogy they'd be a 3 or 4 seed with a couple of all-americans. As for Senegal, I don't know if I want them in the semi-finals. If they're willing to play pretty open/aggressive through the knockouts and do well, then sure. But if they get there from a questionable penalty or winning a couple of cagey, park-the-bus games in PKs then I won't.

I think of Costa Rica last WC. They went from a fun story in the group stages to parking the bus against Greece. Greece! I was happy to see them go.

Now I feel like the gap between the top tier teams and the next couple of tiers isn't so great right now. At least for me, there's a balance between wanting to see new blood and wanting to actually watch world class soccer.
   982. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5699030)
Group A permutations are not particularly exciting;

Uruguay plays Russia. Winner is first, loser is second, draw and Russia are first.
   983. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5699039)
Good lord that was some bad goalkeeping. First the wall was a disaster, if you are going to leave a side open then you need to cover it up yourself. Second, and this was something my high school coach would harp on, don't be jumping up and down. Keep your feet on the ground as long as possible so you can react. Had the keeper not been in the air when Suarez kicked it he likely would have been able to make a play on the ball.
   984. manchestermets Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5699042)
As for Senegal, I don't know if I want them in the semi-finals.


Okay, but in terms of world soccer fans watching this thing you'd be pretty firmly in the minority (with the exception of people from the countries they'd have to beat to get there, of course).
   985. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5699046)
It's possible that Russia aren't really all that.
   986. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5699055)
It's possible that Russia aren't really all that.


Ya think?

:)
   987. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5699059)
I realize it's a hot take but I'm going to run with it. I'm not afraid to be controversial.
   988. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5699075)
I don't want to see Senegal in the semifinal (except that it would be nice to have an African team get that far in the tournament). Not enough quality, and they don't play that special of a style as far as I can tell. They were no more adventurous than Japan in the game they played, for example.

Croatia I could get behind maybe, but it's not like I'm dying to see them there either. Mostly ambivalent.
   989. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5699081)
Technology makes it a bit easier to determine what is or is not an own goal, but still we now have had 6 already, when I think the previous record was 4. I seem to recall them not being given so strictly, at least in the relatively distant past.
   990. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5699083)
   991. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5699089)
Lovely, Cavani. Up 2-0, up a man, against an inferior team, in a game where winning doesn't even obviously provide much advantage, and he foregoes a great scoring chance to try to get a foul in the box by putting his leg in a very unnatural position so the Russian defender runs through it.

That pretty much sums up the problem with the way the penalty rule is currently written.
   992. spivey Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5699092)
Thanks for that Argentina link. Argentina reminds me of those England teams from ~15-20 years back we were talking about where all their best players were in the same position. Argentina did make the WC final last year, though. Also! It sounds like there has only been one goal scored by someone other than Messi in an Argentina game in the last 12 matches (Aguero vs Iceland). It does seem like if you man-mark Messi the rest of their team is a bit wanting.
   993. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5699096)
Sosa's comments about Germany seem applicable to Argentina in the games I've seen. They really don't seem to have a plan when they don't have the ball and their midfield was just so comprehensively dominated by Croatia (which is admittedly very good in the midfield) it was shocking.
   994. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 25, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5699163)
Now we have a group where it's interesting! Group B scenarios;


Group B: Spain v Morocco, Portugal v Iran

Spain and Portugal win; team with better GD is first
Spain and Portugal both draw; team with more goals is first, same number of goals and its fair play or drawing of lots
Spain or Portugal win, other team draws - team that wins is first, team that draws is second
Spain wins; Portugal loses: Spain first, Iran second
Spain draw; Portugal loses: Iran first, Spain second
Portugal wins; Spain loses: Portugal first, Spain second
Portugal draw, Spain loses: Portugal first, Spain second
EDIT: Spain and Portugal both lose; Iran first, Portugal and Spain go to goals for, then fair play then drawing of lots tie breakers.

Group A
Uruguay
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Egypt

Predicted paths to the Final;
Uruguay: Portugal (B runner up), France (C winner), Brazil (E winner), Spain (B winner)
Russia: Spain (B winner), Croatia (D winner), Mexico (F winner), France (C winner)
   995. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 25, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5699175)
So reading those breakdowns in #994, Spain is pretty much guaranteed to move on unless they get shut out and Portgual ALSO loses but scores more goals?

   996. Eddo Posted: June 25, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5699178)
So reading those breakdowns in #994, Spain is pretty much guaranteed to move on unless they get shut out and Portgual ALSO loses but scores more goals?

The shutout doesn't really matter; Spain can lose 2-1, but if Portugal loses 3-2, Portugal moves on.

That said, Spain can lose, Portugal can lose, Spain can score fewer goals - but also Spain can move on. A 1-0 Spanish loss with a 3-1 Portugal loss will result in Spain advancing.
   997. Textbook Editor Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5699188)
I know this'll bite me but... I think Iran can win this game. As long as they can survive the first 20-25 minutes I think they have a real shot.
   998. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5699197)
Really pulling for Iran here
   999. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5699199)
Also really pulling for Pepe to get red carded, that piece of ####.
   1000. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5699200)
Flop like Ronaldo!
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