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    2018 FIFA World Cup

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    Dave

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    2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Thu 21 Jun 2018, 21:44

    So far 23 matches have been played and 51 goals have been scored. There has been at least one goal in every game, the one with the most goals being the 6-goal thriller at Sochi which ended Portugal 3–3 Spain. Hosts Russia have scored the most goals so far, 8 in two matches; they have also recorded the biggest win of the tournament so far, 5–0 against Saudi Arabia (the opening match at Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium)). Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal is leading the race for the Golden Boot with 4 goals, followed by Denis Cheryshev of Russia and Diego Costa of Spain, both on 3.

    Michael

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Michael on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 14:24

    First appearing in the Disney comedy film The Love Bug, Herbie is a Volkswagen Beetle with the racing number 53. And 53 is the total number of goals that have been scored after the match at Saint Petersburg, which finished Brazil 2–0 Costa Rica.

    It almost looked as if we were going to have the first goalless draw of the tournament, until Philippe Coutinho and Óscar Neymar scored for Brazil in time added on – the goals timed at 90+1′ and 90+7′ respectively. The Brazilians were frustrated for long periods of time, Neymar being particularly vocal with the referee; he was booked for an outburst of anger minutes after a penalty initially given in his favour by the on-field referee was negated following a VAR review. On the other hand, I find the Costa Ricans’ time-wasting tactics unsportingly disgusting. I would have willed the underdogs on to get a point from the match, but their antics turned me against them; in the end, I am pleased with the result, which I felt is kind of poetic justice.

    Melissa

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Melissa on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 14:28

    Michael wrote:First appearing in the Disney comedy film The Love Bug, Herbie is a Volkswagen Beetle with the racing number 53.
    True bugs belong to the order Hemiptera of insects, but beetles belong to the order Coleoptera.
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 21:13

    We now have 58 goals in 26 matches, the one at Volgograd finishing Nigeria 2–0 Iceland (the result, coupled with the shock(ing) defeat for Argentina last night, putting the South Americans bottom of Group D) and that at Kaliningrad Serbia 1–2 Switzerland. One of the Swiss goals, by the way, was scored by Granit Xhaka – of Arsenal! Another Arsenal player, Alex Iwobi, came on as a substitute for Nigeria in the other game.



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    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 14:14

    We have a new record for the most number of goals in a single match as the game at Moscow (Spartak Stadium) has just ended Belgium 5–2 Tunisia, bringing the tournament total to 65. Although officially designated Match 29, it is the 27th (in a chronological sense) to be played in the tournament. Romelu Lukaku is now neck and neck with Cristiano Ronaldo on 4 goals, and Belgium are also level with Russia on 8 goals in two matches.
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 17:16

    Make that 68 goals as Match 28 at Rostov-on-Don finishes Korea Republic 1–2 Mexico. (That is how the name of South Korea appears on the official FIFA website.) The first Mexican goal came from the umpteenth penalty to be awarded in the tournament so far and was scored by former Arsenal player Carlos Vela. I saw Vela in action myself in an FA Cup Third Round tie against West Ham United in 2010. We were playing away at the Hammers’ old Boleyn Ground, Upton Park; I was living in Forest Gate at that time and easily got there from my home on foot. With not a lot of time left to go, trailing by a first-half Alessandro Diamante goal, we were pressing for an equalizer when when we got it through Aaron Ramsey, who fired home inside a crowded penalty area. And then, moments later, the goal of the match that won us the match: Vela whipped in a precision cross from the edge of the left touchline, and Eduardo’s inch-perfect header dipped just under bar to the keeper’s right. Here, judge the sheer quality of Vela’s assist yourself.



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    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 20:46

    What drama at Sochi as Match 27 (chronologically the 29th) ended Germany 2–1 Sweden! With Germany having lost their opening group match 1–0 to Mexico, Sweden having won theirs 1–0 against South Korea, and Mexico having just beaten South Korea, the Germans could not afford to lose this match. So when they went behind in the first half to an Ola Toivonen goal, they were facing the unthinkable prospect of early elimination from the tournament. They gave themselves a lifeline with an equalizer from Marco Reus early in the second half – but even a point might not be enough. It would mean they had to beat South Korea and hope Sweden lost to Mexico in the final round of matches in Group F. And when Jérôme Boateng was sent off for a second yellow card, the defending World Champions looked done for. That red card was potentially significant, for if the scores were to stay that way, and Germany were to win their last group match one–nil and Sweden to lose theirs one–nil, both teams would be level on points, goals scored and goals conceded – meaning they would then have to be separated by their disciplinary records in the tournament. Into extra time we went. Ninety seconds to go. Sweden were on the attack, but instead of holding the ball up, bringing the ball to the corner flag or something, the Swedish player unwisely hurried the ball tamely into the hands of Manuel Neuer. The German keeper then wasted no wasted no time throwing the ball out for one last attack. A free kick was conceded on the left edge of the penalty box by Jimmy Durmaz, another unwise thing for the Swedes to do. And they paid heavily for that. Toni Kroos took the kick short to a team mate, who teed it up for Kroos, and Kroos drilled it into the net! 71 goals in this tournament already – and a fair number of them have been dramatic last-minute strikes like this one!

    Sophie

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Sophie on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 14:31

    A 70th wedding or other anniversary is named after the metal that is the element with atomic number 78. And 78 is the total number of goals in the tournament after England 6–1 Panama at Nizhny Novgorod – as many goals in Match 30 as in Match 29, and as big a margin of victory as Match 1, with England joining Russia and Belgium on 8 goals.

    Two goals from John Stones, two superbly taken penalties by Harry Kane (both fired like a bullet into the top-left corner) and a wonderful strike from outside the box by Jesse Lingard saw the job done for Gareth Southgate’s team in the first half. In the second half, Kane had time to complete his hat trick, going top among the leading goalscorers with 5 goals in the process, before being substituted, while Panama, who had very good chances themselves, finally converted one to take away as a souvenir of their first ever appearance in a World Cup finals tournament.

    Melissa

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Melissa on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 17:35

    Joseph Haydn’s Symphony № 82 in C major is nicknamed L’Ours, or “The Bear”, a mammal belonging to the family Ursidae of the order Carnivora. And 82 is the total number of goals in the tournament after Match 32 (chronologically the 31st) at Ekaterinburg finished Japan 2–2 Senegal.

    I’m afraid I did not watch the whole game and missed all the goals, so I can’t comment on game or goals myself.

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 20:02

    With Match 31 (chronologically the 32nd) over, Poland 0–3 Colombia after a pretty one-sided encounter at Kazan, the second round of group matches has been played. Russia, Uruguay, France, Croatia, England and Belgium are definitely through to the knockout phase; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Peru, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Panama are Poland have been eliminated. For the rest, there is all to play for. And 85 goals have been scored so far, an average of 2.65625 per game.

    Michael

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Michael on Mon 25 Jun 2018, 16:32

    The Ring (2002) is a horror film in which a young girl (played by Daveigh Chase) who was drowned in well comes back as a frightening ghost to wreak revenge on humankind. The name of the girl is Samara – and Samara is the city in which Match 33 of the tournament was played between Uruguay and Russia.

    Luis Suárez gave Uruguay an early lead with a well-taken free kick, struck along the ground past the wall into the bottom corner of the net. Denis Cheryshev, topscorer for Russia with three goals, found himself on the scoresheet again – but at the wrong end with an own goal. The hosts would have loved to finish the first part of their World Cup campaign top of Group A, but, at two goals down, their job was made all the more difficult when Igor Smolnikov saw red for a second bookable offence. Edinson Cavani made sure it was the South Americans who finished as group leaders with a third goal on the stroke of full time. Uruguay 3–0 Russia.

    In the other game, Match 34 between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at Volgograd, Mohamed Salah gave Egypt the lead, which was kept intact when the 45-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary (the oldest player of the tournament) saved from the spot. The Saudis did better with their second penalty attempt deep into first-half stoppage time as Salman Al-Faraj converted it to level the scores. And there was yet another late goal in the tournament when Salem Al-Dawsari scored on 90+5′ to make the final score Saudi Arabia 2–1 Egypt.

    And there have been 91 goals in the tournament already.

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Mon 25 Jun 2018, 20:19

    What a night of VAR drama, in both Match 35 at Saransk and Match 36 at Kaliningrad!

    First, the former, in which Iran played Portugal. And Portugal had a goal, but not scored by Cristiano Ronaldo – Ricardo Quaresma on the stroke of half-time with an exquisite curler from the edge of the box. It was not to be Ronaldo’s night. He not only did not score but had a penalty saved; on top of that he was nearly red-carded for using an elbow, only for the referee after reviewing the incident to give him only a yellow card. Then the referee gave Iran a penalty for handball after a review! Karim Ansarifard scored from the spot – and Iran suddenly sniffed a chance, given what was happening in the other match.

    Well, who would have thought that already-eliminated Morocco would get their first goal of the tournament against mighty Spain? An error in midfield by a Spanish player led to Khalid Boutaïb charging in on goal, and, one on one with David de Gea, he slipped the ball smartly between the goalkeepr’s legs. The Moroccans, fans and players alike, were in ecstasy, but not for long, as Isco converted Andrés Iniesta’s cross for the equalizer. Spain had chances but wasted them with some wayward shooting. And then, deep into the second half, they were behind again when Youssef En-Nesyri headed in from a corner! A shock result looked to be on the cards, but the underdogs could not hold. As stoppage time ticked in, Iago Aspas scored with a cheeky backheel; the goal was initially ruled out for offside, but replays clearly showed that the substitute was onside – it was correctly given after a VAR review.

    So, for a brief crazy period, any one of three teams could have been eliminated; in the end, it was Iran. The games finished Iran 1–1 Portugal and Spain 2–2 Morocco: Spain top the group with Portugal finishing second. And, 97 goals in the tournament now.

    Michael

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Michael on Tue 26 Jun 2018, 16:04

    According to the English version of a 1980s song by Nena, 99 red balloons are “floating in the summer sky” – and 99 is the total number of goals scored in the tournament so far.

    We have our first goalless draw of the tournament: it has just ended Denmark 0–0 France in Match 37 at Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium). Both teams advance to the knockout stage with France being the Group C winners.

    In the other game, Match 38 at Sochi, Peru are celebrating their first goals and win of the tournament, Australia 0–2 Peru being the result.

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Tue 26 Jun 2018, 20:17

    And the 100th goal of the tournament goes to the player some may feel is long overdue one in this campaign: Lionel Messi, who put Argentina ahead with a cool, clinical finish in the box against Nigeria in Match 39 at Saint Petersburg. The total number of goals now stands at 105.

    Argentina, who started the final round of group games bottom of Group D, had to win to keep themselves in the tournament; Nigeria and Iceland could also qualify for the next stage. In the second half, Nigeria had a penalty! Victor Moses waited for the keeper to make a move before slotting the ball calmly to his other side. As things stood, it would be Nigeria who were going through at the expense of their South American opponents – provided Iceland did not beat Croatia in the other match.

    Croatia, who had already made through to the next stage, were in no mood to let their standards drop as they chased a full house of wins in the group phase, going ahead in the second half of Match 40 at Rostov-on-Don through Milan Badelj. Iceland had it all to do, but they gave themselves a lifeline when Gylfi Sigurðsson blasted in an equalizer from the penalty spot. It was the Croatians who had the last word; Ivan Perišić netted the winner, and Iceland’s World Cup dream was over. Iceland 1–2 Croatia.

    Meanwhile, in St Petersburg, there was a review for a possible second penalty to Nigeria! Nevertheless, after checking the video, the on-field referee decided that handball by the Argentinian defender was not deliberate and did not give the second spot kick. Was he trying to atone for the number of soft penalties that had already been given in the tournament? What a significant decision that turned out to be, as, five minutes from time, Marcos Rojo fired in the winner for Argentina! Nigeria 1–2 Argentina! It is the South Americans who have made it through along with group winners Croatia – by the skin of their teeth!

    Sophie

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Sophie on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 16:37

    The element with atomic number 110 is named after Darmstadt, Germany. And 110 is the total number of goals in the tournament now – while the reigning World Champions Germany are out!

    Because Matches 43 (Kazan) and 44 (Ekaterinburg) (chronologically the 41st and 42nd) finished Korea Republic 2–0 Germany and Mexico 0–3 Sweden respectively!

    Again there was a VAR recommendation turned down after a review: in the first half of the Kazan match, Javier Hernández of Mexico appeared to handle the ball but the on-field referee was not sure that it was deliberate. It did not matter as three second-half goals (a shot by Ludwig Augustinsson which the Mexican keeper failed to keep out, a penalty by Andreas Granqvist, and an own goal by Edson Álvarez) gave Sweden a thumping victory and top spot in Group E. The result meant that under-pressure Germany, with Jérôme Boateng suspended, could still qualify for the knockout phase at the expense of Mexico with a victory over South Korea. They were awful, simply awful. The way they – and Mats Hummels in particular – squandered chance after chance to score was painful even for neutrals to watch. So, when the Koreans struck with two shock goals in added-on time (the first by Kim Young-gwon needing a VAR review to overturn an offside flag, the second tucked into a completely empty net by Son Heung-min with Manuel Neuer stranded in the Korean half of the field) they only had themselves to blame. The Asian side finished on a high, the Germans bottom of the group table. In a way, I am pleased that Mexico have made it through, despite having to endure a nervy half an hour or so hoping the Germans would not score at Ekaterinburg. It would have been very harsh on a side to be eliminated after winning their first two group games.

    Vera

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Vera on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 17:35

    There was a touching moment in the Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg moments before the final whistle in the other match at Kazan. “The Mexican and Swedish fans are celebrating hand in hand in the crowd here. They know what is about to be confirmed with Germany’s imminent defeat” (BBC).

    How nice it would be if we could all stand hand in hand with one another more often. If all the people in the world could join hands and celebrate the unbreakable bond of humanity of which we are all part.
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 21:31

    Matches 41 (Moscow (Spartak Stadium)) and 42 (Nizhny Novgorod) (chronologically the 43rd and 44th) finshed Serbia 0–2 Brazil and Switzerland 2–2 Costa Rica respectively, bringing the tournament’s goal tally to 116. Brazil and Switzerland advance to the next stage as Group E winners and runners-up respectively.


    I missed the games because I wanted to join the open circle at Ilford Spiritualist Church, but the results look pretty straightforward on paper and so I suppose I did not miss anything exciting. I am certainly delighted not to have missed the afternoon’s dramatic games, which I watched at The Great Spoon of Ilford – Korea Republic v. Germany on the pub television, Sweden v. Mexico on my laptop.



    Vera wrote:There was a touching moment in the Central Stadium of Yekaterinburg moments before the final whistle in the other match at Kazan. “The Mexican and Swedish fans are celebrating hand in hand in the crowd here. They know what is about to be confirmed with Germany’s imminent defeat” (BBC).

    They were united in celebrating Germany’s exit.




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    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 16:14

    Matches 47 (Volgograd) and 48 (Samara) (chronologically the 45rd and 46th) finshed Japan 0–1 Poland and Senegal 0–1 Colombia respectively, bringing the tournament’s goal tally to 118. Colombia, who started the last round of group games in third place, go top of Group H, while Japan and Senegal finish level on points and goals for and against; it is Japan who get second place by virtue of having a better disciplinary record!
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 20:16

    In London, the 122 bus route goes (in one direction) from Crystal Palace to Plumstead. And 122 is the total number of goals after the group phase – while Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Crystal Palace played in one of tonight’s games. Matches 45 (Kaliningrad) and 46 (Saransk) (chronologically the 47th and 48th) finshed England 0–1 Belgium and Switzerland Panama 1–2 Tunisia respectively. Belgium and England are the Group G winners and runners-up respectively – and Belgium are now the tournament’s topscoring team with 9 goals.


    I had a friend called Paul who was a Crystal Palace supporter. He died in May 2012.



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    Sylvia

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Sylvia on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 16:18

    Ludwig van Beethoven’s Rondo a cappriccio in G major, Op. 129, is better known by the English title “Rage over a Lost Penny”. And 129 is the total number of goals in the tournament after a seven-goal thriller in Match 50 (chronologically the 49th of the tournament, and the first of the Round of 16) at Kazan finished France 4–3 Argentina.

    The result is perhaps not too surprising given Argentina’s woeful performance in their group games. After drawing with Iceland and getting thrashed by Croatia, they needed to beat Nigeria to progress – and they did, but only just. I thought they had turned a corner, but this match showed otherwise. Apart from two flashes of magic either side of the interval, a screamer by Ángel Di María from out of nowhere before the break and a deflection past the keeper by Gabriel Mercado of Lionel Messi’s goal-bound shot after, the South Americans did hardly anything. France had gone ahead early in the game with a penalty by Antoine Griezmann; after going behind, they did not take long to respond as first Benjamin Pavard scored with a strike that was as crisp and delightful as that of Di María and then the young and talented Kylian Mbappé netted twice to put the European side firmly in the driving seat. Sergio Agüero’s header in time added on was too little too late – and last tournament’s beaten finalists join last tournament’s winners in an early exit. Well, if you don’t play well at this level, you deserve to lose against better opposition – just as if you don’t take care of your belongings, you deserve to lose a penny and go raging over it.

    Vicky

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Vicky on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 20:34

    The word beseem, meaning “to be suitable for”, appears in William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 132. And 132 is the total number of goals in the tournament after Match 49 (chronologically the 50th of the tournament, and the second of the Round of 16) at Sochi finished Uruguay 2–1 Portugal.

    So, hours after Lionel Messi exits the tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo follows suit. During the group stage, I was very critical of Portugal, who I thought tended to depend too much on Ronaldo. True, he all but single-handedly rescued a point for Portugal with a man-of-the-match performance in the thrilling 3–3 draw with Spain. But he failed to fire on all cylinders in the games against Morocco and Iran – and Portugal struggled in those games. In this last-sixteen tie, however, I thought Portugal played much better as a team. They were just unfortunate to come up against a Uruguay side who are clicking into stride now following a sluggish start to the campaign. Luis Suárez was impressive – and his cross which Edinson Cavani headed home for the opening goal could not have been better executed. Portugal equalized in the second half when Pepe headed in a cross, delivered after a corner was taken short, but the scores did not stay level for long as Uruguay went on the attack and Cavani capped off the brilliant move with an exquisite left-foot curler.

    In the end, who could deny that it was a beseeming victory for a side playing as well as Uruguay?

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 17:07

    What is the matter with the big teams in this tournament? They are being eliminated left, right and centre. First Germany, then Argentina, then Portugal, and now Spain – beaten on penalties by Russia in Match 51 at Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium) (the third in the Round of 16)!

    The 2010 World Champions started well enough, going ahead through an early own goal by Sergei Ignashevich. Then they gave the initiative back to their underdog opponents, Gerard Piqué needlessly handling in the penalty area and conceding a penalty, from which Artem Dzyuba made no mistake. That goal put Russia on 9 goals as the topscoring team in the tournament jointly with Belgium – and that was it for the hosts. They were content to sit back and defend, forcing extra time, and then penalties. The hero of the shootout was goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who made two saves – one quite easily from an absolutely awful penalty from Koke, the other more spectacularly with his left foot from Iago Aspas, who was trying to slip the ball down the middle. Spain 1–1 Russia after extra time; Russia win 4–3 on penalties. And 134 goals in the tournament now (not including those in the (or any) penalty shootout).

    Michael

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Michael on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 21:10

    The UK comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” aired from 1988 to 1999 over 10 series and 136 episodes. And 136 is the total number of goals scored in the tournament now after Match 52 at Nizhny Novgorod (the fourth in the Round of 16).

    Mathias Jørgensen gave Denmark a breathtakingly early goal, which was cancelled out by a breathtakingly swift response by Croatia through Mario Mandžukić. Late into extra time, Croatia had a penalty. Luka Modrić stepped up to take it but Kasper Schmeichel saved it. So, with the score Croatia 1–1 Denmark after extra time, we had a penalty shootout for the second match running. Again it was a goalkeepers’ show. Schmeichel followed up his extra-time penalty save by saving two more – but Danijel Subašić save three, and Croatia won the shootout 3–2.

    What a crazy tournament it has been! Whose World Cup will it be anyway? Who can say?

    Sylvia

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Sylvia on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 16:17

    Beethoven composed no fewer than four overtures to his opera Fidelio, one of them being now known as the Leonore Overture № 1, Op. 138. And 138 is now the total number of goals in the tournament now after Match 53 at Samara (the fifth in the Round of 16) finished Brazil 2–0 Mexico.

    Well, South Korea gave Mexico a lifeline in the final round of group games, but the Mexicans didn’t make it last very long, being simply outplayed by a Brazilian side who, it seemed, could put no foot wrong. Mexico had their chances, but they were few and far between, and Brazil could have scored more than just the ones by Óscar Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino in the second half had it not been for some terrific saves by the Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

    On the basis of their performance in this match, Brazil must be one of the favourites to win the tournament now. Can they go all the way and claim the biggest prize in world football for a record sixth time? We will find out when the fat lady sings.

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 20:25

    It is deep into time added on at the end of the match. Japan have a free kick. Keisuke Honda curls it over the wall, and Thibaut Courtois saves well, pushing the ball behind for a corner. The corner is taken short, and when the cross comes in, Courtois gathers the ball comfortably. A swift counterattack is then launched by Belgium. With time ticking down, this is surely the last attack of the match. The balls falls to the feet of Nacer Chadli, and it ends in the back of the net.

    So, after the fall of some big names in the tournament, two more big names survive the same fate today, one fairly comfortably, the other having to do it the hard way. Match 54 at Rostov-on-Don (the sixth in the Round of 16) looks straightforward on paper: Belgium versus Japan. It turned out to be anything but. After a goalless first half, underdogs Japan stunned the favourites with two quick goals from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui. If Roberto Martínez’s men thought they were going to coast through this match, it needed those two to bring them to their senses. It was then that the tournament topscorers upped their game. First, a high and looping header by Jan Vertonghen, which could have gone anywhere, landed under the bar and into the net. Then substitute Marouane Fellaini equalized with one of his trademark headers. And then, with extra time looking likely, Chadli broke Japanese hearts with the last meaningful kick of the game. Belgium 3–2 Japan. And Belgium are now up to 12 goals in the tournament, which has now seen 143 goals.

    Melissa

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Melissa on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 16:42

    Sparrows (of which the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) are found in the UK) are songbirds belonging to the family Passeridae. It is from the Chinese name for “sparrow”, 麻雀 (máquè), that we get the name mahjong, a game is played with 144 tiles – and 144 is the number of goals in the tournament now after Match 55 at Saint Petersburg (the seventh in the Round of 16) finished Sweden 1–0 Switzerland.

    Both sides were evenly matched – that is, evenly matched in terms of lack of skills, so many chances going begging. Just one goal was enough to separate them in the end, Emil Forsberg’s fierce strike deflecting off Manuel Akanji into the top corner. In the last minute of time added on, while Switzerland were pressing for an equalizer, they were hit on the break, and and Michael Lang saw red for a foul for which a penalty was initially given; on review, it was changed to a free kick on the edge of the area, but the red card stood.

    And Twitter must be now full of chirpy tweets from Sweden fans delighted with their team for making the Quarter-finals for the first time since 1994.
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 21:31

    During the penalty shootout in Match 56 at Moscow (Spartak Stadium) (the eighth of the Round of 16) David of Ospina of Arsenal saved a penalty for Colombia! But Colombia themselves failed to score two of their spot kicks, crashing one against the woodwork and having the other saved by Jordan Pickford – and England win the shootout 4–3.


    For the fourth knockout game in a row, we had a goalless first half. It was a bad-tempered match, and it was no surprise that the ill-feelings led to a penalty for England in the second half. Harry Kane held his nerve to slot in his 6th goal of the tournament. England held on until additional time, when Jerry Mina headed Colombia level from a corner to bring the tournament goal tally to 146.


    So, England have won a penalty shootout for the first time in a World Cup tournament. The only other time they won a penalty shootout in a major tournament was against Spain, in the quarterfinals of Euro 96. England and India were playing a Test match at Lord’s at the time – and in those days you could watch cricket on the BBC. I remember flipping between channels to watch both the football and the cricket. And the hero of that successful penalty shootout for England was goalkeeper David Seaman – another Arsenal man!



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    Vera

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Vera on Fri 06 Jul 2018, 16:35

    The word “praise” occurs thirteen times in fourteen verses in the King James Version of Psalm 148. And 148 is the total number of goals in the tournament now that Match 57 at Nizhny Novgorod (the first of the Quarter-finals) has just ended Uruguay 0–2 France.

    Raphaël Varane gave France the lead in the first half, heading in from a free kick, and, in the second, a howler by the Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera let in Antoine Griezmann’s shot for the second.

    Commiserations to Óscar Tabárez’s men – especially Luis Suárez, whose behaviour in this tournament has been wholly irreproachable – but praise ye the men of Didier Deschamps, for they are the first to make the Semi-finals.

    Vicky

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Vicky on Fri 06 Jul 2018, 20:42

    The traditional English sonnet is written in iambic pentameter and consists of 14 lines. And 14 is the total number of goals scored by Belgium – out of 151 in the tournament – after Match 58 at Kazan (the second of the Quarter-finals) ended Brazil 1–2 Belgium.

    So, there are only European teams left in the tournament – four of whom have never lifted the trophy before. Roberto Martínez’s men were given the perfect start when Brazil’s Fernandinho headed into his own net from a corner. The lead was doubled not long after when a brilliant counterattacking move was capped with a perfect finish by Kevin De Bruyne. Brazil needed to find something from somewhere in the second half, and they did when substitute Renato Augusto headed a Philippe Coutinho cross past Thibaut Courtois. It was the only time the Belgian goalkeeper was beaten in the match – indeed, had it not been for him, Brazil might have scored a few more times, and then … who knows?

    By the way, it is technically more correct to say that Belgium have only scored 13 times in the tournament as 1 of their goals is an own goal by their opponents. The official FIFA website distinguishes between goals for and goals scored: the latter excludes own goals. And surely the side scoring the most goals in the tournament so far must be one of the favourites to win the tournament now? To see them play is like watching poetry in motion.

    Michael

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Michael on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 16:47

    Mary Pickford was the second winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress. And Jordan Pickford just has got to be the Man of the Match with his goalkeeping heroics in Match 60 (chronologically the 59th, and the third of the Quarter-finals) at Samara – after which the tournament is up to 153 goals.

    England got the lead in the first half when Harry Maguire towered above the Sweden defence to head home a corner from the left. The second goal also came from a header, Dele Alli being in the perfect place to meet Jesse Lingard’s delicious cross from the right and put the ball beyond the reach of the Sweden keeper Robin Olsen. But it was to Olsen’s opposite number that the match belonged, as the Swedish players just could not find a way past the Everton stalwart – not that they threatened the England goal often enough, anyway. Sweden 0–2 England in the end.

    On the basis Pickford’s performance, England fans will definitely hope not to have to have a replacement goalkeeper picked for him in the Semi-finals.
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    George
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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  George on Sat 07 Jul 2018, 21:16

    157 goals in the tournament after Match 59 (chronologically the 60th, and the fourth of the Quarter-finals) at Sochi finished Russia 2–2 Croatia after extra time (1–1 at the end of normal time). The scorer of the opening goal was Denis Cheryshev!



    Croatia won 4–3 on penalties.


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    Vicky

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Vicky on Tue 10 Jul 2018, 20:09

    The French word for “marmoset” is ouistiti. This is the word that the French say instead of the English “cheese” when smiling for a photographer – according to the episode “Middle Muddle” of QI. Perhaps they could achieve the same effect by saying “Samuel Umtiti” – the name of the goalscorer in Match 61 at Saint Petersburg (the first of the Semi-finals), which finished France 1–0 Belgium and brought the total number of goals in the tournament to 158.

    Dave

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    Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup

    Post  Dave on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 17:06

    The tournament ends with 169 goals at an average of 2.640625 per game. Two records are set in the tournament, for the number of own goals (12) and of penalties awarded (22). Both were seen in Match 64 (the Final) at Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium), in which France beat Croatia 4–2 to become the winners of the tournament. On Wednesday, Croatia had beaten England 2–1 after extra time in Match 62 (the second of the Semi-finals) at the same stadium. The team with the most goals for, 16, are Belgium, who beat England 2–0 in Match 63 (the Play-off for third place) at Saint Petersburg yesterday. And it is England’s Harry Kane who proudly carries away the Golden Boot with 6 goals in the tournament.

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