Today’s footie

June 18, 2014 • 4:33 am

Here are today’s matches; unfortunately, I have visitors and will miss them all though I’d like to see the Netherlands play again, and Spain vs. Chile would be fun.

Brazil can’t be too happy with its team now. . . .

Screen shot 2014-06-18 at 6.30.54 AM

. . . and the Google Doodles continue to have a World Cup theme. This animated version (click on screenshot to see) appears to show a kid practicing on the roof of a favela:

Screen shot 2014-06-18 at 6.28.21 AM

21 thoughts on “Today’s footie

  1. Brazil aren’t helping themselves by adopting the England one-day cricket team policy of only picking 10 actual players and having one guy in the lineup who doesn’t appear to do anything at all.

    I suspect we are also seeing the consequences of the extreme conditions, that it is just too hot and humid to play a proper pass-and-move game. If even Brazil and Spain can’t manage it, what chance anyone else? I’ve a horrible feeling those excellent early games were a blip.

    1. I thought yesterday’s Brazil v Mexico game was rather good, actually. The fact of the matter is that Brazil are no where near as good as the pre-tournament hype suggested and it was encouraging to see a team defend as well as Mexico did. Their goalkeeper played a blinder as well.

    2. Dunno.

      I always thought that the English ODI team were 1 guy who does stuff and another 10 who were rubbish?

  2. I’m not a regular watcher of professional ball, but my daughter was a high school goalie. We thought the Mexican GK was awesome.

    As for shots directed at the keeper: if they are hard enough, the keeper will likely punch the ball and be out of position for a second shot. And there’s always the Russian keeper.

    Bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is. You shoot at the keeper because if he’s any good, that’s where the goal is, and he’s lined up to minimize your angle.

    It seems that even at the professional level, the number of gifted shooters is low. I see lots of shots that remind me of high school ball.

    1. They change the characteristics of the ball over time. I remember world cups where shots would be frequently rocketed in from 25 or 30 yards. I think the ball used now is lighter and it’s more difficult to control a shot from distance.
      20:45 uk time and spain are 0-2 against chile at half time. They need to win to have a realistic qualifying chance. Won’t be sad to see the back of spanish tiki taka football (annoying, close passing, keep possession, grind down the opposition).

      1. Modern soccer balls don’t absorb water like the old ones did, that’s for sure. But the dry weight of a soccer ball is still about 425 g; to my knowledge they haven’t changed that law. So unless a lot of past world cup games were played on waterlogged fields, there is no reason to think that the ball was necessarily heavier.

        If goals from outside the box have in fact decreased in recent years, it’s more likely that 1) goalkeeping has improved (keepers are bigger and more athletic these days)and 2) defenses are better at closing down shooters.

        1. Yes, could be faster defenders closing down players. Don’t seem to see so many goals from free kicks though. Ball may not be lighter but there are often comments on the flight of the chosen ball. The goal from a long shot certainly seems to be rarer. Tomatoes don’t taste the same either.

        1. Same. I had Spain and Chile going through but not only were Chile and Netherlands able to exploit Spain’s weaknesses, Spain was completely unable to exploit their opponents’.

          Five times in 19 tournaments has a defending Champion been eliminated in the first phase. Three of those times in the last 4 World Cups (2002, 2010, 201). (First tourney doesn’t count as there was no defending Champ.)

        2. Not unusual for holders to fall in opening round. They have no competitive games in 2 years prior to competition due to pre qualifying. Could be a factor.

          1. Aren’t you confusing “holders” with “hosts”?

            Spain had to qualify for this WC, as had Italy for the 2010 WC. That’s already 2 of the last 3 accounted for. Maybe the rules were such in Ye Olden Daeys, but not anymore.

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