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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 Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 1414 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   501. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 23, 2019 at 09:43 PM (#5855240)
I haven't watched the England v Nigeria game yet, though I know the score ... should I?

How ugly was it?

I mean, this is from the Guardian's write up of the match:

In the second half the Lionesses should have had a penalty and Cameroon a couple of players sent off but the referee, diplomatically, refrained from making those decisions due to genuine fears the match would descend into total anarchy. By the end she genuinely seemed to fear for her physical safety.


In a round-of-16 WWC match?

O.o?
   502. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5855244)
The problem with it is that it really disrupts the rhythm of the game for me.
This is a very good criticism of VAR (and replay) in general. By it's very nature, video review will make it so that you can't be sure what you see is actually happening. However, it is not a good criticism of the implementation of VAR in this case, assuming that you already are going to use it for offside calls.

If a linesman, chasing a breakaway behind the play, raises the flag on a pass that leads to a one-on-one and the player turns out to have been onside by a yard, the goal won't count. It defeats the purpose of having VAR for that play. That's more or less what happened today with Brazil. You can say, well, no VAR for offside calls and that's one way to handle it, but if you have VAR for offside this is the logical solution.
   503. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5855245)
In the second half the Lionesses should have had a penalty and Cameroon a couple of players sent off but the referee, diplomatically, refrained from making those decisions due to genuine fears the match would descend into total anarchy. By the end she genuinely seemed to fear for her physical safety.
Strangely, I only saw this part of the game, and I thought both those non-calls were really bizarre since I didn't know what had happened earlier. Both should absolutely have been made.

There was another incident that I thought was unusual, where a Cameroon player almost completely shoved the ref from behind when the play was live. It looked mostly accidental to me on replay which I only glanced at, since, again, I had no idea what happened earlier and just chalked it off as a freak event. I have seen a lot of soccer games and can't remember a ref getting shoved like that. Turns out it might not have been quite so accidental after all.
   504. Mefisto Posted: June 23, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5855256)
The announcers said at the time that the shove looked accidental.

I thought the non-call on the penalty was justified, assuming the ref played advantage (and assuming I'm remembering the right play). The ball went to Taylor who was wide open and took the shot but missed badly.
   505. Howie Menckel Posted: June 23, 2019 at 10:23 PM (#5855257)
I hate the way what I’m watching may not actually be happening.

try the NFL - you can watch your kicker from your seat in the stadium hit a game-winning field goal as time expires. but don't celebrate too soon: the opposing coach may have called an unnoticeable (from the stands) timeout to cancel the kick.

(it's beyond delightful when the ######### coach screws up and cancels a missed kick, only to see snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by overcoaching into a converted, nothing-to-lose second chance by the opponent.)
   506. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5855267)
I thought the non-call on the penalty was justified, assuming the ref played advantage
It went to VAR, didn't it? If so, I don't think it could have been an advantage call. I haven't seen anyone else suggest that.

On the ref play, I also thought it was accidental on first view, since normally that would be the case and I had no reason to think otherwise at the time. However, it was a very unusual looking play, and I wonder if the initial contact was accidental but the follow through with the push had some extra mustard on it.

Regardless, there is zero excuse for reviewing the stomp on VAR at the end and only giving a yellow. None.

   507. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 23, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5855269)
You can see the replay here. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it was very unusual.

https://footballburp.com/stories/video-cameroon-womens-player-pushes-ref-in-world-cup-game-with-england/
   508. Mefisto Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:47 AM (#5855284)
Regardless, there is zero excuse for reviewing the stomp on VAR at the end and only giving a yellow. None.


Agreed.

As for the penalty non-call, it's quite possible that I don't understand the advantage rule and/or VAR.
   509. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5855303)
By the way, here's that tackle, in the last minute (7th) of extra time in a 3-0 game. No attempt to play the ball--it was really nasty. Apparently England is saying Houghton could miss the next match. Not sure if any part of that is just because they were very annoyed with the tackle though.

Not giving the penalty didn't bother me. No need to rub it in if the game is over. Not giving a red on this is different, since it had nothing to do with playing soccer and could easily have resulted in a bad injury.
   510. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 24, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5855321)
Rafa is leaving Newcastle and Tottenham hasn't signed anyone. That catches you up on the Premier League news. It's hard to believe the pre-season games start in about 4 weeks. And people complain the NBA or MLB seasons are too long...
   511. Mefisto Posted: June 24, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5855351)
Spain doing an excellent job of hanging in.
   512. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5855363)
The US have a bit of a PSG vibe here. They look very much like a team that is so used to rolling over opponents and they aren’t now able to handle getting punched in the mouth. They have been the better team but they have looked vulnerable on a couple of counters and as was noted their decision making seems slow.
   513. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5855365)
The USA is very lucky to have gotten these penalties. A more competent defensive team might not have given either one of them, as neither were necessary in the moment for defending. The last one was especially unnecessary.

edit: I don't know how they could reverse it as clear/obvious.
   514. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5855366)
Ah yes, this is a thrilling VAR moment.

There’s contact but boy is it soft.
   515. aberg Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5855367)
I mean, the replay doesn't convince me that there definitely WASN'T contact. But it seems like the standard changes a lot, so who knows. Could defensibly go either way. Better spend 8 minutes on it.
   516. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5855368)
This is one of those where I think it’s a penalty but there could also be a yellow for a dove because the player seemed to flop in my opinion.
   517. Mefisto Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5855370)
It certainly was soft, but I can't say the initial call was wrong. So there's that.
   518. SteveF Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5855371)
Tough break for Spain, though I don't think they've played well enough to deserve anything but a loss anyway.
   519. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5855372)
If clear/obvious means anything (but does it really, anymore?) it was correct not to reverse the call.
   520. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5855373)
Yeah, I don’t think you overturn that but annoying to have to wait like that.
   521. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5855376)
So the review was about five minutes, how I say the ref supposed account for that time after the 90? Should we be expecting that five plus whatever regular stoppage time?
   522. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5855377)
Should we be expecting that five plus whatever regular stoppage time?
I'm assuming this is rhetorical.
   523. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5855378)
That probably was a serious question, but the truth is that time lost for stoppages and time added on at the end are only very loosely correlated. So "no" is the short answer.
   524. PepTech Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5855383)
the truth is that time lost for stoppages and time added on at the end are only very loosely correlated
Have there been any studies of this? I'd think there would be *some* correlation. There's what - goals, injuries, and reviews. Is there a correlation with *any* of these? It can't just be random (can it?) ...
   525. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5855385)
loosely correlated.

For awhile there about a decade ago, they were just giving 3 minutes at the end of every game, barring really extreme circumstances. It got so bad that there had to be an intervention of sorts. I can't remember if this was in the EPL or somewhere else.

The refs usually don't stop the clock for things like free kicks and goal kicks, even if they take a really long time. Really, anytime play has stopped is a great opportunity for time wasting.
   526. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5855393)
Agreed with AuntBea.

They stop the clock for injuries. And they stop the clock a certain amount for every goal to account for goal celebrations. That's on top of the standard 3. So it is loosely correlated.

They don't seem to add time to account for players wasting time. Players wasting time occasionally get whistled for delay of game. Coaches wasting time by making substitutions in the 92nd minute is seen as acceptable. If you forgo your right to help your team by making a substitution, you are rewarded by being allowed to make a phony substitution to waste time.

I have been amazed this year, at least in Serie A, that there's also no attempt to add time to account for VAR. There must be over 10 minutes lost while players stand around waiting for decisions in some of these games. Eventually players will change their play to account for that too.
   527. Mefisto Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5855398)
xG: .08 (+2 pen) to .04.

   528. Sean Forman Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5855405)
Fouls were 18!! to 4 and somehow only one yellow was given to Spain. And there was a bunch of off the ball stuff going on as well that was never called.

Spain came in choosing to hack the hell out of USA and it nearly worked. I have to think the penalties were an effect of their decision to play that way.
   529. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5855407)
528--Didn't the Chinese show that playing this type of game against a superior opponent may be the optimal strategy??
   530. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5855413)
One of my ongoing frustrations as a WoSo fan is the quality of the refereeing, and specifically how much contact is often permitted without cards. I think it's a real issue and one that impacts the play, but until it changes I think a team that thugs up a game like Spain did to hamper a more skilled opponent is probably making a smart choice.
   531. Baldrick Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5855416)
528--Didn't the Chinese show that playing this type of game against a superior opponent may be the optimal strategy??

Spain did it better than China - who were out of control and needed a referee to have a truly terrible game to get away with it. Spain were more measured and kept riding the line close enough that they were able to keep it up.
One of my ongoing frustrations as a WoSo fan is the quality of the refereeing, and specifically how much contact is often permitted without cards. I think it's a real issue and one that impacts the play, but until it changes I think a team that thugs up a game like Spain did to hamper a more skilled opponent is probably making a smart choice.

I agree about the quality of refereeing and the permissiveness being a huge problem. But I disagree about the characterization here. Spain are just about as 'skillful' as the US. They can certainly outpass the US. Their weakness is in athleticism and physicality. They chose to pursue an aggressive fouling strategy in part because they were otherwise going to be the ones who got bullied. And it certainly wasn't what anyone expected from them, so it appeared to mess with the US heads far more than if they had been a 'bad' team.
   532. Baldrick Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5855417)
   533. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5855418)
528--Didn't the Chinese show that playing this type of game against a superior opponent may be the optimal strategy??

This seems like a similar strategy to the Seattle Seahawks' DBs who seem to commit pass interference on most passing plays. Refs won't (can't?) penalize you every time so you gain a significant defensive advantage.

   534. Sean Forman Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5855419)
And it certainly wasn't what anyone expected from them, so it appeared to mess with the US heads far more than if they had been a 'bad' team.


I agree. I was expecting Spain to try to pass through the US and it not work and US to smash them on the counter or just bully them.
   535. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5855432)
And it certainly wasn't what anyone expected from them, so it appeared to mess with the US heads far more than if they had been a 'bad' team.

That's fair. I also largely agree with your game analysis. I am not an Ellis apologist; I think she is and has long been the USWNT's biggest issue. I think she overvalues veterans, underthinks tactics, and overvalues offense in her defenders while undervaluing pace. (Playing a high defensive line while not trying to have pacey centerbacks seems insane to me, but it is one of her calling cards.)

I think this US women's team is at a real risk of an early upset in a game like this one; I hope that should it occur the weight of it falls on Ellis's shoulders, rather than the players getting blamed. We'll see!
   536. aberg Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5855459)
I agree about the quality of refereeing and the permissiveness being a huge problem.


I got the impression that Spain was going to hang in this game as long as the referee allowed them to continue fouling tactically without getting yellow cards. They finally got the first one around what, the 80th minute? A yellow around the 4th or 5th tactical foul on an attacker would've changed the game pretty dramatically.
   537. Mefisto Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5855460)
Good review, Baldrick.
   538. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5855467)
Yeah I liked Baldrick's review too.

With France, then semis/finals (likely to be England and then one of Germany/Netherlands), there really isn't another chance for an "early upset". I don't think France would quite count as that, and anything else wouldn't be early.
   539. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5855474)
I don't think France would quite count as that, and anything else wouldn't be early.

That's fair, I guess I meant early compared to the expectations more than merit.
   540. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5855476)
Good win by Sweden against Canada, scoring on a breakaway against the run of play. I am a bit confused why Beckie took the pivotal PK that Canada needed. Nothing against Beckie, and obviously it's easy to criticize after she had her attempt blocked, but I would think you'd put Christine Sinclair in position to take that shot.
   541. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5855479)
531-Thanks for the feedback. But that did not answer the question. Is this not the best approach when facing a superior opponent? I am legit curious. Thanks
   542. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5855480)
The two expected closest games (by betting odds) out of the first 6 of the KOs were upsets: Sweden and Norway. Europe is now 5 for 6 and favored in both games tomorrow. If they win both it will be just the US and the 7 Europe teams.
   543. Baldrick Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5855481)
I am a bit confused why Beckie took the pivotal PK that Canada needed. Nothing against Beckie, and obviously it's easy to criticize after she had her attempt blocked, but I would think you'd put Christine Sinclair in position to take that shot.

Sinclair asked her to take it.

I would have said "Um, no thanks, you do it." But I'm not a professional athlete, so I can understand why she didn't say that.
   544. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5855482)
Ah, missed that watching while "doing" my job. I'm with you, but also am no professional athlete.
   545. Baldrick Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5855483)
531-Thanks for the feedback. But that did not answer the question. Is this not the best approach when facing a superior opponent? I am legit curious. Thanks

The short answer is yes, but it depends.

The longer answer is that if the referee will allow it, it can often be successful. But if the referee doesn't allow it, you can earn yourself a couple yellow cards early AND now have to be super careful to avoid getting a bunch more and now you're even more screwed.

Also, it depends on the specific styles of the teams. If you are the inferior team, and part of your inferiority is that you're smaller, slower, weaker, etc. then inviting a physical game can be disastrous. If the other team's strategy relies heavily on being able to make a lot of passes, going in hard can really disrupt their rhythm. But if they have good pace or strength, you might well expose yourself to quick direct attacks because you aren't playing tight and controlled.
   546. Baldrick Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5855484)
Ah, missed that watching while "doing" my job. I'm with you, but also am no professional athlete.

I don't know if it was discussed on the TV. That's just what one of my friends who is in the mixed zone said on twitter dot com.
   547. Scott Lange Posted: June 24, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5855493)
The longer answer is that if the referee will allow it, it can often be successful. But if the referee doesn't allow it, you can earn yourself a couple yellow cards early AND now have to be super careful to avoid getting a bunch more and now you're even more screwed.


Seems like Ellis's refusal to substitute compounded the benefit to Spain of putting a beating on Morgan et al.
   548. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 24, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5855503)
I think this US women's team is at a real risk of an early upset in a game like this one; I hope that should it occur the weight of it falls on Ellis's shoulders, rather than the players getting blamed. We'll see!


Eh, losing to France will be painful but it also wouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's been following the tournament. France are co-favorites, though for some reason betting lines are stupidly favorable towards the US.
   549. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5855507)
If this is true, it's unbelievable that this might be considered the right way to officiate a game now. The Telegraph article didn't cite any sources, so who knows.

The referee of England’s last-16 victory twice overruled VAR late on to prevent Cameroon players from abandoning the match, The Telegraph can reveal.

Qin Liang was concerned Cameroon would walk off the pitch when she rejected advice on a Fran Kirby penalty claim and refused to dismiss Alexandra Takounda for a scraped challenge on Steph Houghton.

It is understood that Fifa has backed Liang's decisions, too, given the ugly incidents that preceded the two decisions in a match that threatened to spiral out of control.

...

Fifa has studied Liang’s performance - officially ruled as “good” in the report to Fifa - finding “every decision and the use of VAR correct, using the protocols” and that she tried to get the Cameroon players to restart the game promptly following each flashpoint.
   550. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:02 PM (#5855515)
I think that can be a reasonable evaluation of the referee's performance. But if it is, then there need to be serious, serious repercussions for Cameroon coming forth. Disqualified from the next World Cup kind of serious.

You cannot let a precedent stand, where bullying and threatening the referee is going to look like a beneficial strategy.
   551. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:39 PM (#5855523)
545--Thanks for the input
   552. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:42 PM (#5855525)
CHICKEN MAN INCIDENT in the Chile/Uruguay game.

A man with a rubber chicken head ran on the field and play had to be stopped. Then there was an interminable delay with several players from both teams arguing with the ref. I had the sound down and was gabbing with my wife about the chicken man, wondering vaguely why 3 minutes had passed without the game restarting.

Turns out both teams arguing animatedly with the ref over which team would get the ball on the restart after the chicken man!


Somehow Uruguay won the day, and after they were given the ball by Chile on the restart, their keeper made a long kick directly back to Chile.


(Anyway, that's what I saw. Admittedly I wasn't paying super close attention so may have missed some important nuance.)
   553. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:34 AM (#5855587)
Hey folks don’t forget! Tuesday at 9AM eastern team San Marino champs Tre Penne face Andorra champs FC Santa Coloma then at 2:45 Gibraltar champions Lincoln Red Imps face Kosovo champs Feronikeli as the 2019-2020 Champions League gets underway!
   554. Richard Posted: June 25, 2019 at 03:33 AM (#5855592)
The short answer is yes, but it depends.

The longer answer is that if the referee will allow it, it can often be successful. But if the referee doesn't allow it, you can earn yourself a couple yellow cards early AND now have to be super careful to avoid getting a bunch more and now you're even more screwed
.

During his time at Leeds, Sheffield United and Chelsea in the early 1990s Vinnie Jones occasionally adopted a strategy where he would commit a really bad tackle within the first few seconds of the game. He was occasionally booked instantly (he held the record for the fastest yellow card, and for all I know still holds it) but he usually wasn't booked and sometimes not really spoken to. I have seen games involving him where the ref was lenient early on and he went on to cause absolute mayhem and more or less get away with it. If you want to physically intimidate a team or kick them off the park there is a value to starting early.

See also Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup Final, trying to kick Spain to pieces safe in the knowledge that Howard Webb had been told not to send anyone off in the Final if he could possibly avoid it.
   555. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 03:55 AM (#5855593)
See also Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup Final, trying to kick Spain to pieces safe in the knowledge that Howard Webb had been told not to send anyone off in the Final if he could possibly avoid it.


Ah yes, Van Pummel.

I remember that conversation here well ...

Thing is, it deserved a red, but I could have let it go if Webb had told Van Pummel, "if I even have to LOOK in your direction again, you're gone" but he didn't, and it screwed the match.
   556. Baldrick Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:03 AM (#5855594)
You cannot let a precedent stand, where bullying and threatening the referee is going to look like a beneficial strategy.

This is not at all what happened.

The referee felt bad for them. She wasn't afraid of them.

Edit: Also, if the referee had done a better job earlier in the match, it wouldn't have gone that far.
   557. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:11 AM (#5855595)
Bang away, Lulu, as it were ...

[added to 555]
   558. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:20 AM (#5855596)
The referee felt bad for them. She wasn't afraid of them.


I truly (and everybody I've talked to who watched the match) did not come to that conclusion.

It was ####### ugly.


Edit: Also, if the referee had done a better job earlier in the match, it wouldn't have gone that far.[


You mean, like, within the first 4 minutes, when an English player took an elbow to the middle of her face?
   559. spivey Posted: June 25, 2019 at 05:02 AM (#5855597)
Even if the ref felt bad or just wanted them not to walk off, when dangerous plays are being made, I don’t think the end justifies the means. There does need to be ramifications for that.
   560. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 25, 2019 at 08:44 AM (#5855605)
Hey folks don’t forget! Tuesday at 9AM eastern team San Marino champs Tre Penne face Andorra champs FC Santa Coloma then at 2:45 Gibraltar champions Lincoln Red Imps face Kosovo champs Feronikeli as the 2019-2020 Champions League gets underway!
I get that these are the champions of the four worst leagues in Europe, but Kosovo is such a whale among minnows here. The population of Kosovo is more than 13 times the combined population of the other three countries, and it's bigger than a bunch of other UEFA nations (Estonia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Luxembourg, Malta, Iceland, and Liechtenstein). Liechtenstein really needs to get its #### together and organize a domestic league. They have 7 professionalish clubs playing in various Swiss leagues, surely they could scrape together another one and play enough of a season to send FC Vaduz off to battle Tre Penne.

Wikipedia's article on soccer in Liechtenstein has this charming idea:
However, it's still possible for the teams in Liechtenstein to participate the UEFA Champions League, but there is only one way in the current system. For example:

1. The Liechtenstein Football Cup champion wins the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.
2. Then, the team enters the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League.
If only Vaduz had gotten past Levski Sofia in the first qualifying round of last year's Europa League then the path would've been open for a place in the final against Chelsea!
   561. Baldrick Posted: June 25, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5855626)
You mean, like, within the first 4 minutes, when an English player took an elbow to the middle of her face?

Yes.

The referee had a terrible game, and was very much at fault for letting things get out of control.
   562. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5855643)
I'd be shocked if the ref felt sorry for Cameroon. They were making her job extremely difficult in a way a ref at that level seldom has to deal with, and being quite unreasonable about it.

I'm not sure she was necessarily intimidated though. Most likely she was trying to get through the game as best she could without the Cameroon players refusing to play, and was making concessions on that basis. Considering the scoreline at the time of the last penalty shout, I feel somewhat ambivalent about the ref not giving it after going to VAR, since keeping everybody on the field at that point might matter more than calling another penalty. I don't feel the same way at all about violent conduct. It cannot be allowed simply because you don't want one of the teams to walk off the field.
   563. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5855669)
I don't understand why refs at this level put up with it at all.

I mean, Brazil, somewhere-South-of-4th-tier, middle of the jungle, getting paid $5 for your troubles and your wife and kids might get your head back in a box ... I *get* that, but this is the WWC.

Take no ####.

If it isn't the Captain or Vice-Captain coming over (and the "let's surround and attempt to pressure the ref" thing is something that I dislike the most about football), I'm going full Oprah ... "you get a card!, You get a card!! and YOU GET A CARD!!!"
   564. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5855672)
Italy's keeper cannot clear the ball well. China can't get any looks on goal, even trailing, and even against this Italy defense, which is supposed to be by a fair margin the worst of the teams that made the KOs.
   565. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5855675)
and even against this Italy defense, which is supposed to be by a fair margin the worst of the teams that made the KOs.


Italy has surprised and interested me so far in the games they've played. China ... has not.
   566. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5855676)
The Italy striker has been offside a few times already but I’d bet on her getting it right and scoring again before this os over.
   567. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5855685)
China looked a little more positive in the last 10-15 minutes. Still not enough good looks. It's been mostly one sided so far.
   568. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5855693)
China has not been close today. These US announcers are crap. They have had some decent possession in the last 40 minutes of play, but not a single good look that I can remember. Their shots on goal were from distance or otherwise low percentage.

They have had all the corners, which is interesting.
   569. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5855703)
After looking very shaky in the first 10 minutes of the second half and giving up a goal. China stepped up the pressure and Italy mostly sat back and had almost nothing going forward. It worked fine, because China was toothless in the final third. They had a lot of shots but their total xG will be pretty low.
   570. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5855731)
You've got a world-class coach, who's loved by the fans and loves the club and is willing to coach in Newcastle, for less money ... and far more frustration than he would get anywhere else ...

I mean, how could you find a way to #### that situation up?

Just over three weeks ago, there was a palpable though repressed gasp of relief on Tyneside as news began to surface that an investment firm in the Middle East was on the brink of taking over Newcastle United. Just days earlier, a feeling of optimism had coursed through the streets of the city after promising contract discussions between the much-adored manager, Rafa Benítez, and the woeful owner, Mike Ashley.


Oh, yeah, the last six words

Graun

I wish nothing bad on any Toon fan, but Mike Ashley, yeah, all the loathing.
   571. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 03:46 PM (#5855782)
Japan has been second best today in the first half, but they've had two huge chances, and they got a goal out of the latter one. 1-1.
   572. Mefisto Posted: June 25, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5855786)
Fun half to watch. Good ball movement from Japan, good quick attacks from the Netherlands.
   573. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5855806)
Japan is pouring it on here.

edit: very hard luck for Japan, giving up the penalty. That probably does it.
   574. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5855809)
Tough handball for Kumagai, and that is almost certainly the match. It's consistent with how they've been calling it all tournament, but I really don't know what a defender is supposed to do in a situation like that. Not have arms?
   575. Scott Lange Posted: June 25, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5855812)
Brutal luck for Japan. That's life, I guess.
   576. Mefisto Posted: June 25, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5855818)
Japan really impressed me with their technical skill, quickness, and ball movement. They were easily the better team in the second half and that's a tough way to lose.

The handball call, I think, highlights the issue with the new interpretation. The new interpretation creates a (mostly) bright line rule, but as 574 points out it results in penalties which very likely wouldn't have been called if the ref had more discretion.
   577. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5855825)
I'm guessing Japan finished with higher xG, if you don't count the penalty (not certain since I didn't get to see the whole second half). This might have been the only game in the KOs where the team that probably performed better lost.
   578. Mefisto Posted: June 25, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5855844)
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles: Tottenham have reportedly signed Ndombele.
   579. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 25, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5855845)
xG for China/Italy (MCoA) was 0.6 to 0.9 in favor of Italy. I'm surprised China even had that much--would have guessed around 0.4.

xG for Japan/Netherlands was 1.5 to 0.8 (+pen). Japan at first looked like they were going to get outclassed, but in the end were the better team and lost anyway.
   580. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 25, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5855848)
I wish nothing bad on any Toon fan, but Mike Ashley, yeah, all the loathing.

Trust me, you don't loathe him nearly as much as any Toon fan does.
   581. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 25, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5855889)
Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles: Tottenham have reportedly signed Ndombele.


First off, with Spurs, I don't believe any transfer is real before there's a picture with a jersey and Poch with a goofy grin and his right arm around the shoulder.

And maybe not even then.

But, Ndombele would be a good start to this window.

Start.
   582. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 26, 2019 at 05:43 AM (#5855941)
So if the USMNT manages not to lose today to Panama, they will be rewarded with Curacao in the QFs. Then they would play the winner of Panama/Jamaica. Even if the USMNT loses to Panama, they'd face Jamaica and then Curacao/Panama.

Costa Rica faces Mexico in the QFs.

I was kind of hoping the US would have a tougher run than this, but the tourney was set up so they could only play either Costa Rica or Mexico in the final, but not both. They could have faced either El Salvador or Honduras, but Honduras somehow contrived to lose to Curacao then went on to smash El Salvador 4-0, thus eliminating both teams.

I guess we'll at least see how well the USMNT can handle Panama.

   583. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 26, 2019 at 07:49 AM (#5855946)
Obviously, as a Spurs fan, there is no transfer until he's holding up the shirt. Hopefully he's as good as they say he is as he sounds EXACTLY what the squad needs. Jack Clarke from Leeds is supposedly having his medical today, too. The reports are Poch loves the kid. Also, Wan-Bissaka to Man U is done. That seems a sensible signing. 50 million is a lot for a RB but Man U can well afford it and so they shouldn't fret over the cost. He's already good with room to grow and he's home grown.
   584. J. Sosa Posted: June 26, 2019 at 08:01 AM (#5855947)
N’Dombele is very, very good. I said last offseason I thought they should sign him. Perfect player for Spurs. Lot of comps to Dembele from Spurs fans but the guy he reminds me of is prime pre injury Gundogan.
   585. Mefisto Posted: June 26, 2019 at 09:07 AM (#5855954)
Wan-Bissaka is perfect for one of the many things United need.
   586. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 26, 2019 at 09:15 AM (#5855958)
Jack Clarke to Spurs appears done. A signing. I think I'm getting the vapors...
   587. J. Sosa Posted: June 26, 2019 at 09:19 AM (#5855959)
Re: AWB

Probably the best defensive fullback in the division last season. Be interesting to see how he develops on the other end. Signing that had to be made.
   588. bunyon Posted: June 26, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5855979)
Meanwhile, the last few days Argentine sports TV is split evenly between gnashing of teeth about the upcoming quarterfinal match with Venezuela and live coverage of River's training in LA for their upcoming exhibition. At least an hour or so a night on that training. Those two pieces of coverage are at least 60% of ESPN here.
   589. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 26, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5856008)
Those two pieces of coverage are at least 60% of ESPN here.


Somehow, that 60% manages to sound worse than the top 60% of things that ESPN covers that we get here ...
   590. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 26, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5856013)
The first sentence from the CFC post about the (potential) Clarke signing:

Today marks the 511th day that Tottenham Hotspur last signed a player to the senior squad.


[edit] some of the responses to the [potential] Clarke signing news crack me up.

This might be my favorite ...
   591. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5856023)
Somehow, that 60% manages to sound worse than the top 60% of things that ESPN covers that we get here ...

I am pretty sure, 'The NFL' and 'The Lakers' constitute about 117% of things ESPN covers in the US.
   592. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5856026)
[edit] some of the responses to the [potential] Clarke signing news crack me up.

This might be my favorite ...

Listen, if you want videos of dogs being idiots on the beach, I can introduce you to my whippet.
   593. J. Sosa Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5856027)
I saw some LFC fan on reddit post that he was weirdly happy to see Spurs make a signing. Similar for me, it was painful last summer even as a rival. Felt bad for Poch.
   594. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5856040)
From an article about the N'dombele to Spurs transfer:

But the biggest factor in that trip was his discussions with manager Mauricio Pochettino – the Argentinian tactician was able to convince Ndombele of the club’s future project and that it was adequately ambitious: to build a team that can win the Premier League next season.


First off, a signing of someone's quality like N'dombele was absolutely necessary this offseason, at least Levy isn't completely Mike Ashley.

Second, if Spurs have any intention of making what came after the colon in the quote above happen, N'dombele needs to be the only the start of this off season ...

Third, if I'm starting a football club OR a crazy suicide cult, MoPo is the man I'm hiring, that sorta scares me.

His bowl of lemons is all I'm saying ...

[edit] Also, can I get a ruling on Ndombele vs N'dombele?

Every article or post I read chooses one and then the next chooses the other ...
   595. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5856045)
I am pretty sure, 'The NFL' and 'The Lakers' constitute about 117% of things ESPN covers in the US.


If you think that % is awful, you should (no you shouldn't) try listening to LA sports radio sometime ...
   596. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5856050)

Every article or post I read chooses one and then the next chooses the other ...


I mean, this is what I posted about the last CFC article about the (potential) trade:


Here’s the header: "L’Equipe: N’Dombele move to Spurs to be completed ‘in the next 10 days’"
Here’s the first sentence: "Are you sick of the Tanguy Ndombele transfer saga? ".


O.o?
   597. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 26, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5856095)
That penalty in the Japan game had to be called. The Japanese defender ran up to the shooter, preparing to block the imminent shot which she knew full well was coming, with her arms wide out. That she was trying to pull them back after it was too late doesn't excuse her at all. That would probably have been a penalty in most cases even before VAR.

Some people think the ball was going in without the block, but that's very hard to discern. It was a big chance regardless, and if it hadn't been called a penalty would have made the total xG much closer.
   598. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 26, 2019 at 07:54 PM (#5856226)
2 upsets in the last round, same as predicted by betting odds. 538 did less well than the betting odds, just like for the group stages they underrated UEFA, and were higher on Australia than the betting odds (though betting odds were fairly high on Australia too).

QF betting odds (538 in parens)

England 61 (69)
USA 58 (54) (interesting that this is where the betting odds match 538 the closest. 538 has a notoriously high HFA for international tournaments, exhibit Brazil 2014)
Netherlands 61 (79) (Again the biggest disagreement is over Italy. 538 has been much lower on Italy all tourney and consistently been less accurate here.)
Germany 71 (63)



   599. Pirate Joe Posted: June 26, 2019 at 08:04 PM (#5856229)
The US keeping a pretty static lineup for the game against Panama. They are only making 11 changes.

   600. Pirate Joe Posted: June 26, 2019 at 08:05 PM (#5856230)
And Panama is only changing nine.

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