Discussion in 'Sports' started by CenterField, Aug 9, 2021.
30 minutes to game time. Time to decorate the Man Cave...
Being as how I can't root for Mexico I'm hoping the Canucks will at least manage a tie tonight. It's a late game here on the East Coast so I'm hoping to catch at least the first half on one of the Spanish-language networks...
TUDN will have the C vs M live.
Belgium against France, 2:3.
A rather lively game with 2 different halves. Belgium was the better team first half. Got 2 great goals.
But in the second half could not find its stride. Italy got a goal and Belgium real started to wobbel, a penalty goal did them in and the very late 3. goal by France was no surprise.
It is always the same a game lasts 90 minutes, plus and you can not try to sit on a 2 goal advantage, a 3 goal yes. But if you play the top teams, its flat out 90 minutes, plus extra time.
We could see that yesterday, Spain sat back and bang Italy scored, despite being a man down. If Belgium had continued with the same intensity and aggression, they could have won that game. But they allowed France to get back into the game and lost.
Spectacular UEFA Nations League semifinal, Belgium 2-3 France. Very interesting game; like gnoib said, a tale of two halves. I particularly liked that AC Milan's Theo was the scorer of the winning goal for France, his first for his national team, at 90 minutes. That was epic. He was very happy and I was happy for him; he is one of my very favorite Milan players. France showed the form they didn't show at the EURO 2020, with Benzema and Mbappé both scoring. Carrasco opened the score for Belgium and Lukalu scored a beautiful second goal; later Lukaku scored again but was denied by an off-side in the build up to the play. This game was high quality, and exciting, with two very good teams playing a very good match. Belgium should have kept pressing; they allowed France back in the game and paid a high price for it. Now I'll root for France against Spain, in the final. Italy vs. Belgium for 3rd place for me is little more than a glorified friendly, and I hope Mancine takes opportunity of this game that counts for nothing, to experiment with younger players like Tonali, Calabria, Kean, and Pellegrini. I can't understand why Bastoni and Bernardeschi started yesterday... I'm unhappy with Mancini's choices for the game against Spain, and in any case, after stupid Bonucci managed to get himself sent out, there was no hope. One doesn't beat Spain with one man down.
The USMNT had a great game against Jamaica, with lots of pizzazz. The boys fought hard and well, and Pepi was spectacular, scoring our two goals. We also had some other golden opportunities; this could have been an even bigger win. It does seem like we're back on track, with this promising and young team getting more experienced in what it takes to win CONCACAF games. I'm delighted. Great crowd, supporting the team. This was really satisfactory.
Brazil struggled a little to beat Venezuela. The Vino Tinto squad scored first and then they fought like crazy to defend their lead, but they couldn't hold back the vastly more talented Brazilians (minus Neymar, suspended due to two yellows) for a full 90 minutes, and after minute 70, Brazil scored 3 goals, winning 3-1 and remaining perfect in the South American Qualifiers - they've won every game they played.
I'm watching it now on Univision, together with Rams at Seahawks on split screen. I'm hoping that Canada and Mexico draw. For us, it's best to have them both dropping points.
I watched the first half and then went to bed with the score tied at 1-1 and I was surprised to find that was the final score. I thought Mexico could put up another goal and Canada looked like they were starting to get their offense together around the 40' mark, which was shortly before they scored their equalizer. I'm glad I didn't miss any fireworks but I'm even happier that they tied, which enabled the U.S. to draw even with Mexico at the top of the Octagon.
Granted, I haven't been following Canada closely, but they seem to have a problem getting their offense going early in games, and last night was typical of that. At the end of the half they looked really strong, but I guess they lost their momentum in the second half.
I didn't catch the game but I have to admit I was surprised that Belgium blew a 2 goal lead and lost, but from what you describe it makes sense. Belgium leaves something to be desired on defense, and if they started sandbagging after going up 2-0 that would have been a huge mistake. Their best defense is their offense, and how they could have overlooked that is a mystery to me.
Agree on all counts. I was very happy with our boys' performance last night. The team put together the most complete game I've seen out of them in a long time, and they did it without Pulisic and Reyna in the lineup, which was really impressive. They're at their best when they're aggressive and pushing the ball up the field and they did that for most of the game except for about 10 minutes in the first half. Thankfully, they snapped out of that for the rest of the game.
As you said, the crowd in Austin was great, and how much fun was it to see Pepi score two goals in front of the fans in his home state of Texas? The kid is really turning into something special.
I have a couple of honorable mentions for two forwards who didn't score but played well. First and foremost, Paul Arriola, who gets my Iron Man award for his performance on offense AND defense last night. He was all over the field, putting pressure on Jamaica's defense, particularly early in the game (he was on the receiving end of one of the fouls that could have drawn a red card in the first half), and he did a great job on defense out on the wing. My second mention goes to Gyasi Zardes who did a good job of keeping the pressure on Jamaica's defense late in the game and he came agonizingly close to scoring on at least one occasion, but he did what we needed him to do which was maintain the attack till the final whistle.
From your comments I take it that you caught Brendan Aaronson's postgame interview where he stated that the team looked and played like itself again, and I agree with both of you on that. I also think that Gregg Berhalter may have finally figured the lineup out after all the experimenting he's had to do over the summer. Last night's starting unit played very well together, and Zardes and the rest of the subs finished the game strong. Maybe now they can establish more continuity moving ahead.
Speaking of moving ahead, BIG game against a tougher Panama squad on Sunday (6pm ET). A win on the road would be huge as I expect Mexico to blow out Honduras again and Canada to defeat Jamaica. Our last game in this round of WCQs will be in the very friendly confines of Columbus on Wednesday evening against Costa Rica.
And now a trip down memory lane...
Ooooooh boy what a a game. It started very bad for Germany. 9th minute Ruediger made a mistake and Rumania scored. I just said here we go again, same old same old of the last years. But that ignited the afterburner in the German team. It was now relentless and pushed the other team into its half. Very aggressive for checking, loose the ball fight to get the ball back. Very impressive. But having the other team pinned down, does not leave much room. So all the relentless pressure did not lead to a goal. The amount of good chances which ended up in the Rumanian many legged defense was just frustrating.
Second half same thing, a very one sided game and Rumania waiting for the lucky break. Ruediger after his mistake was the wall, nobody could get past him, his side kick Suele, no way, a rock solid. That guy is huge, but he is fast, and he can do it over 90 minutes, we are talking about fit. Finally a very nice 1, two, three got through the Rumanians legs, mid 50 minutes. Goretzka to Reus to Gnarbi, who saw a hole and let her rip from 18 meters. 1:1 ok still on top of the Group, but rather unsatisfying being that dominant. Werner tried, he honestly did, but his lack of play time for Chelsea is a real problem. He is always there, but the fine tuning of the instincts is not there. He was replaced by Mueller.
Mueller scored after a corner, Goretzka extend with his head and than Mueller completely of balance, put the ball into the net. That is the difference of play time..
Werner should look for a differant club were he gets playtime.
The winnig goal was a Bayern affair, corner Kimmich to Goretzka, Goretzka to Mueller.
Outstanding player, Sane. He did not score, but his work ethic was just outstanding. Always on the move, when ever the ball was lost he went after it, always very dangerous. After his injury he moved to Bayern and was very disappointing. Lazy on the field, just playing along, waiting for somebody to make him look good. No fight in him.
That has changed in the last 2 month. I think bench time at Bayern and the boohs of the fans did some attitude adjustment. He got standing ovations today.
Overal, despite it "just" being a 2:1 a rather good showing. I am very pleased, the German National team is on the right track again.
Has fight, spirit and is playing offense, 90 minutes and plus. If you play like this, mistakes can happen, but than you have to play 90 plus to correct them.
Germany is now qualified, 1. in its group, 4 points ahead, with 1 more game. Mission accomplished.
Now Flick and his trainer team can sit back and test out all those superb players from U21 and they are rather special.
North Macedonian is next. Germany lost against it in the spring, at home. I think we will see all those special youngster, so they can strutt their stuff and get the experiance.
Thats what I hope.
@Center Field, watch it we are coming after Italy and the W Cup.
Ok US and Canada. Good games, but if you just watched Belgium and France, well........, miles away, second league, simple as that
Road Runner had a very good game, offence, defense, assist for the goal, but what good does it do if you play in a second Bundesliga team. The difference is just to much.
Must be extremly frustrating for those guys. They play every week in Europe with the top guys with the top teams, win titles and so on, belong to the best of the best and than they play for their national team in the third Bundesliga.
Thats what those games looked to me, after watching Belgium vs France
If I were Alfonso Davies, I would get me a rather nice long contract with Bayern and than would get citizens ship. With those unique qualities he would be a instant in the National Team and he would be playing for the 2 most important titles, EU and World Cup.
I stopped watching too, ended up falling asleep.
We know that our teams in the Concacaf are not as good as the top European teams. Certainly Belgium and France (as well as Spain and Italy, and like you said a surging Germany, and a good England) are miles ahead of Mexico, the USA, and Canada. But it's still fun for us when our boys play well and win. Sure, I'm sure we'd have lost by a lot if we had played agaisnt Belgium and France... but we played against Jamaica. So, we're happy,
Excellent post. Thanks for posting. Yes, the next two games will be interesting. Of course I'll watch both.
Weston McKennie won't play against Panama, with a quad injury.
England v Andorra tonight.
I've been to Andorra on the way back from Portugal.
It's basically a duty free shopping centre with a population of about 77,000.
England B getting a run out.
Even an England team C should be able to beat Andorra 5-0.
Switzerland v. Northern Ireland today is a game that interests Italians. Hoping for Switzerland to drop points.
Oh well, after a gorgeous game in Austin, our boys faltered in Panama. I think the age and inexperience count against them when they face a packed and raucous stadium all against them. 1-0 for Panama. We were disorganized again, nervous, and imprecise. Darn, I was getting optimistic...
Italy 2-1 Belgium - even though Belgium was missing some stars, Italy did play convincingly, like we hadn't seen since the group stage in the Euro. Just, the last third of the second half showed some shaky defending, and Belgium got one back. But for the duration, Italy were the better team. Bronze medal in the Nations League, a set of glorified friendlies, but it was good preparation for the next WC games. Of the young guys, Raspadori and Kean were disappointing. Pellegrini played well. Chiesa was a monster; he created great opportunities but didn't score by a hair or due to Belgium's good goalie. He did suffer the (correctly called) penalty that resulted in our second goal. Our own Saelemaekers played well for Belgium and hit the crossbar. This game reminded people that Italy is a very good team that only lost to Spain because of Bonucci's red card. Donnarumma this time played well for the most part with some impressive saves, but he suffered a goal in very comic fashion, in-between his legs. Big error. You don't get that close to an attacker with your legs wide open.
France 2-1 Spain. Warning. Benzema, Mbappé, and the rest of Les Bleus to the world: "Don't count us out because of our poor Euro 2020 showing; we are still the reigning World Champions; we are still very good." France was superior to Spain, no doubt. They created more scoring opportunities and deservedly got the gold medal for the Nations League.
Brazil 0-0 Colombia - The Brazilians dropped their first 2 points after winning all 9 of the first 9 games they played in the South American WC Qualifiers. They still created more scoring opportunities than Colombia, whose goalie was the best man of the match. Still, Neymar and particularly Lucas Paquetá played very poorly, which hindered Brazil's possibility of winning another road game.
Watching Uruguay-Argentina right now, good game, Argentina leading 2-0, first half ending soon.
The wheels are falling off the wagon...
Very poor performance. The midfielders were terrible, the team couldn't generate any offense and the defense was uncharacteristically shaky. Were it not for Matt Turner the final score would have been worse.
What really mystified me was the wholesale change in last night's lineup. Why??? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
BTW, last I heard there's a good chance McKennie will play Wednesday, and man do they ever need him back on the field...
North Macedonia vs Germany.
Rainy evening in Skopje. Very sloppy and slick grounds
Ruediger could not play, back problems.
Mueller was in the start up this time. He is so to speak the coach on the field and consults regularly with Flick
First half Germany dominated, had plenty of chances, but could not score. Werner had 2 or three hit the post, and tried to tunnels the goaly. Gnabry had plenty, too, but struggled with the slick turf. Possession was great but no result in the first half.
The defense against the fast counters was stable. they defeated Germany with those counters last time, in Germany.
Second half, a rather nice attack, fast pace, put Mueller in a super position in front of the goal and than he had his head up and saw Havertz, short pass and goal.
That was rather elegant.
Than Flick got rather brave. 1 goal up and he substituted. Took old hands like Goretzka out, a real motor and replaced him with a u21, Wirtz for example.
Than Werner got his break through, 2 goal within 5 minutes, in the 70 minutes. It was game over. So Flick got the Kindergarten on the pitch. Wener had done his job. Mueller had done his job with is assits of 2 goals. the Kiddos loved it and made a 4. Mussaila, first goal for the team at 18.
Germany is qualified.
I get you the kiddos names. They are to new for me. But we sure will get used to them, they are brilliant
4:0 that's what it should have been 1. try.
@gnoib congratulations on Germany securing their Qatar spot. I hope my Italy will do so, but Switzerland is giving us a run for our money.
Just remembered that England are playing Hungary tonight.
1-1 with 5 mins to go.
If the Azzurri are playing as well as they did in the Euros they're a lock...
We haven't been playing as well as we've played in the Euros, and collected two WCQ draws that were damaging.
I saw that Hungary sent their hooligans, too...
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