It reminds me of the 2002 tournament. That offered a lot of surprise results as well, with favorites like France, Argentina, Italy eliminated early on, and complete outsiders like Turkey and Korea reaching the semi-finals. Odd as it might have been, the tournament eventually had a final with two classic favorites and former (in that case multiple) world champions, Brazil and Germany. If that unwritten rule is respected, we get a Brazil - England final
Unusual is something of an understatement to say the least. Never before in a world cup and not in the euros since 96 apparently.
What was more common was our cruising to victory in comfort only to allow a sloppy set piece goal in and condemn us to extra time and the dreaded shoot out. But to win it that way is a feeling we will never forget. This is why we love sport. The emotional roller coaster of despair and elation just can’t be matched in real life.
We now need to be careful not to get carried away. We still have some tough games ahead, easy half of the draw or not. But right now it feels like the weight of the world is off our shoulders and we can celebrate as if we’ve won the whole bloody thing.
But England must change something against Sweden, otherwise it will become difficult to make a goal against these defense masters.
Btw apart from Russia’s lucky win (and England’s penalty shock) the eight final ended without more surprises. The from me expected teams won in the other games.
Sweden have already qualified out of the Netherlands’ qualifying group, knocked Italy out in a two-legged qualifying playoff and topped the first round group in which Germany finished bottom. They’re doing it the hard way but, so far, they’re bloody doing it. Underestimating them would be a fatal mistake.
And of course…
And the most impressive thing is that this Belgian team does not defend that well, Lukaku, Bruyne and Hazard don’t know that word, Brazil had a lot of space in the midfield. On the other hand their attack is amazing, still I think that it will be hard to beat France.
This game showed that Casimiro is more important in teh Brazilian game than Neymar
Now I’m for England to win this
It was a lucky win, but in my opinion Belgium deserved it, if only because they used the Brazilian weaknesses that well. Marcelo plays more like a forward, leaving the left-back position open for counter-attacks, and with players like Debruyne, Lukaku, Hazard that is very dangerous. Just look at the second goal: two players completely free in the area Marcelo’s supposed to defend
Neymar was awfull, he also shot himself in the foot in the previous games with his excessive diving. The ref oviously had received instructions not to give a penalty too easily. ironically, there were two incidents that could have resulted in a penalty under normal circumstances;
Martinez prepared a very good tactic, Brazil was clearly surprised, they gave a lot of space to the Belgian midfield.
The only negative aspect for the Belgians, to me at least, is that their bench is not that great, and they looked a bit tired already in the begining of the second half
This is fantastic! Come on England!
Yes, great. I had expected a very difficult game against this Swedish block-of-ice team, but it turned out to be a rather comfortable win. The swedes had their chances in the second half, but this guy Pickford was in great form today; you never know what happens if they score 2-1.
I wonder what this young English team is still capable of. The future looks very bright for English football.
That Sterling guy is fucking hopeless. Jesus Christ almighty.
He doesn’t seem to take any chances and wants an easy goal, which isn’t happening. I wouldn’t be too hard on the guy though. I’m still confused how he managed to get into the England team being Jamaican and all.
Pickford is bloody brilliant.
We have to beat Croatia!
You can, but maybe it would’ve been easier against Russia, even if it would’ve been an ‘away game’: the Russians did pretty well considering the players they had (only two or three were really top class) but they looked like a weary team tonight. No way they could give 200% again next wednesday. Croatia is a team with some great player personalities and lots of physically strong players, but I think the fresh, more direct English play will be decisive
Only two of the teams remaining have previously won the World Cup, only once each, 20 years ago and 52 years ago respectively. And both were the host nation when they did so.
So, whoever wins World Cup 2018 will either be a first-time winner or a first-time winner on foreign soil. It’s all very refreshing.
And the first HF without Brazil, Germany, Italy or Argentina. The most usual suspects. Usually 2 or 3 of them made it that far.
France, Brazil and Belgium played the best football so far.
Brazil had at least the best actor in the category Dying Swan.