Today’s footie

June 29, 2014 • 4:31 am

There are two games and I can watch only one. Guess which one?

I’m not sure that the knockout-round games are streamed on Univision. If they’re not, could someone post below how to watch them on a computer?

Screen shot 2014-06-29 at 6.04.18 AM

I finally found some highlights; here are those between Colombia and Uruguay yesterday. Rodriguez’s first goal was astounding: off the chest, and then whirled around and fired it into the net (it hit the crossbar first). But why does his jersey say simply “James”? Do they not use last names in Colombian football?

I can’t find embeddable highlights of Brazil’s game vs. Chile, but you can see them all here).

Below is Hulk’s disallowed goal for Brazil. It clearly hit his upper arm, so the referee made the right call. I always wonder how one guy on the field can keep track of everything!

I really dislike settling matches on penalty kicks. They should just keep adding 15-minute overtimes until someone scores. Chile played gamely, and I’m sad for them.

The Google doodle is back to being football-themed; click on it to go to the schedules (after you click on the screenshop), clikc on the FIFA icon at upper right:

Screen shot 2014-06-29 at 6.03.40 AM

64 thoughts on “Today’s footie

  1. I agree with you on the penalties, Jerry. After playing a team game for over 2 hours, they just switch to a completely different game to decide the outcome. They may as well have a sprint race around the pitch or an arm-wrestling competition. Really dumb!

    By the way, why are they called penalties, when nobody is being penalised?

  2. Many players use only their first (“Christian”) name on their shirts and it is not specifically Colombian. Example include Zlatan Ibrahimovitch and Memphis Depay. If you watch The Netherlands today you will see that he Depay) plays (if he plays at all) with ‘Memphis’ on his shirt; in this case it has to do with a grudge against his father.
    The ref (in this case Björn Kuipers) is not alone, there are four officials active.
    BTW I think Kuipers has a better chance to make it to the finals than his playing compatriots.

    1. I think most South-American players bear their first name or a nickname on their jersey.

      Some because there is not enough place for their whole name. Examples from team Brazil: Neymar Jr stands for Neymar da Silva Santos Jr, and Hulk stands for Givanildo Vieira de Souza.


    2. Re Kuipers, he will be sent home, alongside the other refs from countries still in the competition, after a certain point.

      Not sure if that is the round of 16 or the round of 8 (quarter finals).
      But he’s probably going home now.

      This of course for fairness, to prevent the appearance that a ref would influence the potential opponents of his country’s team.

  3. The NHL came up with a great way to settle ties. Start taking players off the field! It doesn’t change the nature of the game, but it speeds up the scoring. I think it would work well with soccer. Maybe even take the goalie out? I agree, there’s nothing good about penalty kicks.

  4. One method to stream the games live is to use either BBC iPlayer or ITV (the latter is showing the NEDvMEX game tonight:

    Not being in the UK (like me) means you’ll have to use a VPN to fool the website into thinking you’re in the UK. The Google Chrome extension “Hola Unblocker” has been doing it rather nicely and is dead-easy to use.

    They’re good quality streams and have British commentary and punditry (often with legendary ex-players like Cannavaro, Henry, and Seedorf).

  5. “I really dislike settling matches on penalty kicks. They should just keep adding 15-minute overtimes until someone scores.”

    Impractical I think. Some games would just never end. Besides, after 120 minutes of play in punishing heat, players are often close to exhaustion, so that adding even more time could pose a serious health risk.

    Besides, penalty shootouts can be so dramatic. If a game has gone on for 120 minutes in grinding stalemate, the spectators are entitled to a bit of excitement at the end. And I say this as an Englishman, whose national side invariably loses when matches go to penalties!

    1. The alternative of super-long matches can also be exciting. What about the Isner–Mahut tennis match at Wimbledon in 2010 which lasted over 11 hours? As the teams get exhausted they’re more likely to make mistakes, bringing the end closer.

      1. I disagree. As it takes more skill to score a goal than to prevent one, the chances of a game being decided actually go down.

        Both extra time games so far providing evidence for this, as all teams involved were so knackered nobody had any energy left to even chase a ball, let alone get a goal in.

        The effect is probably exacerbated by the fact that goalkeepers’ performance doesn’t suffer so much, as they don’t run much.

    2. “I say this as an Englishman, whose national side invariably loses when matches go to penalties!”. There seems to be a belief among british footballers that practising penalties is pointless because you can’t replicate the pressure. This may have something to do with the failure. Imagine the extra pressure if you’ve never taken a penalty before (in a competitive game) and you haven’t even practised taking a penalty. Alan Shearer talked about another player, who was about to take a penalty, asking what he should do.

  6. The solution to breaking a deadlock after 120 minutes is so obvious, I’m amazed FIFA hasn’t implemented it already. After 30 minutes of extra time, a siren sounds and …. Multi-ball!!

    On a serious note, as heartbreaking as it is to lose on penalties, penalty kicks are part of the game. I don’t agree with those who say it’s akin to a coin toss – taking penalties is a skill just like any part of the game. Now, the team that played the best football in the preceding 120 minutes may well be inferior penalty takers and end up losing the game, but I have no problem with that.

    1. Saying “they’re part of the game” means “we have to keep doing it because we’ve always been doing it.” And some of us clearly DO have a problem with using penalties to decide games.

      Rules can be changed, you know.

      1. They have changed the rules. In the 90’s they changed overtime to the sudden death Golden Goal, then they switched to the Silver Goal rule, and then eventually back to the current rules. I agree with you that PKs are an unsatisfying way to decide a winner, but I also agree that after both teams have had over two hours to win it the standard way it’s not unreasonable to try something else.

        1. The penalty shoot-out is,indeed, unsatisfactory. But rather the the kind of representative government that we know as “democracy”,nothing better has been found in spite of many attempts.In the course of normal play, the penalty kick is designed to punish the use of foul-play where a goal is otherwise more than likely to be scored, It is an integral (essential,I would argue) part of the game.

          1. I don’t see anything wrong with overtimes until someone scores. After all, it works in baseball. And it would be a legitimate goal. You haven’t demonstrated that it’s an essential part of the game (“integral,” of course is tautological here because it is indeed something that’s part of the rules).

            1. I can agree with you,Jerry,that the “Golden Goal” method (which is what you propose) is no worse than the penalty kick shoot-out as a way to decide a draw between sides who will be all played out after 120 mins. It has been tried and then discarded,for better or worse.Sorry for the sloppy tautology; what I wished to say was that if the penalty kick,per se, were eliminated then it would become a different game.

            2. As I’ve said above, I think the problem is the combination of excessive fatigue and the fact that this reduces the chance of any goal being scored quite drastically.

              Goals are really rare in soccer compared to other sports, that’s because it’s difficult to score already. At some point the outfield players will be too exhausted to get the ball past a not-so-tired goalkeeper.

              The tennis example is a good one, but you can actually play tennis pretty much standing still. Soccer, not so much. (e.g. you can’t stay close to the opposition goal due to offside).

      2. I’m certainly not advocating penalty kicks because “it’s always been that way”. I’m saying the act of taking a penalty kick is just as much a part of the game as scoring in open play. It’s not like draws AET are decided by a tennis match – they’re decided by a completely legitimate form of the game: taking penalty kicks.

      3. I think penalty kicks are fine and the teams should and do practice for them just like any other aspect of the game. Excellent players in many cases kick excellent penalties (e.g., Ronaldo “de Lima”). Yes, it is very different than hanving the teams play each other but the skills required for making good penalties are very relevant to the game as well.

      4. I would personally prefer to see something more akin to normal play. Ice hockey shootouts I think are the best balance between keeping it short but staying close to normal play.

        Something like, two attacking players v one defender and a goalie, start from the kick off spot (the defender as normal, outside the centre circle), and have one shot at goal within 15 seconds. Alternate and repeat until there is a difference, sudden death from the first attempt.

  7. ALl of the games are streamed ESPN online. Whether you can watch them depends on your internet provider.

    1. I’ve had no problem watching the feeds off ESPN3. All of the games have an ESPN3 feed, in addition to their ESPN or ESPN2 feed; if the screen says, “You aren’t subscribed”, just keep looking for an EPSN3 feed. [I don’t subscribe to any of the appropriate services, and I’ve watched all the games on-line.]

      Also, the tactical cam is available to all visitors: no commentary, just a widescreen view of the entire field, all the time. It can be very

  8. I don’t think Univision is streaming. Here is there World Cup page in Spanish – the Google translation of it does not appear to have a link for streaming:

    I watch Univision over the air – Channel 66.1 in Chicago. From Hyde Park, an indoor antenna will work as long as you have a digital television and don’t need a converter box.

  9. Brazil and Chile was live streamed on Univision yesterday.

    I’m also of the opinion that PKs are not good. It clearly encourages inferior teams to lay back, pay defense and take their chances in PKs. It seemed Chile was guilty of this toward the end of yesterday’s game.

  10. Jerry, you’re always welcome to come up to the north side and watch games in my front room. Free scotch provided. ☺

  11. Mexico 3 X Netherlands 1 (just started)
    Costa Rica 1 X Greece 0

    Late Predictions (or preferences)

      1. Damn. What a finish and what looks like a dive from Robben…..let’s see if Ochoa can save them again…

      2. I thought it was a lot hotter than that…38C/100F- that’s why they had
        official water breaks for the first time ever.

      1. It was a dive, but it was also a penalty. The defender did clip (barely) Robben’s foot and Robben then made the most of it.

        1. Apparently Robben has admitted to diving and has apologized on dutch tv.

          Looking for source….

    1. Mixed feelings about this game. I think the Dutch saved the game with “total football” when the most influential movement in the game was the stultifying Catenaccio of Italy. (late 60s into the 70s). In the last 2010 WC, Holland played like the Italians of yore so maybe I should look at them more objectively.

      I like Mexico and Mexicans – our neighbors who put up with so much from us. Whenever I see a Tea Partier with a “Give Us Back Our Country” sign, I think that by the same reasoning we should give the Western third of the US back to Mexico (or the whole place back to the Indians). Given how Mexico played in qualifying, I expected little from them. Panama led the US 2-1 in Panama in the 91st minute. The US scored two quick goals to win. The outcome of the game made no difference to the US and I thought they might take some pleasure in losing and eliminating their greatest rival. But they did not and saved Mexico from elimination.

      So I feel bad for Mexico – and even worse for Panama.

      1. Me too. I picked Ned in the finals, but liked that Mexico turned it around after dismal qualifying play. Robben was fouled in the first half with no call. He could have played through the trip by Marquez at the end.

  12. That was a tremendous game.
    During the first half Mexico outplayed the Dutch, but could not capitalise.
    Dos Santos scored a marvellous goal early in the second half and from that moment the Dutch kind of awoke, put tremendous pressure on the Mexicans. We should not forget it was played at 40 C. certainly not a temperature the Dutch are used to. So all credit to the orange men there.
    A really ferocious shot by the otherwise uncharacteristically obscure Wesley Schneider in the 88th minute, and a controversial penalty (are there uncontroversial penalties?) in injury time saw the Dutch home.
    This is the third time in four matches the orange men came back from behind, shows some grit, methinks. As is often said, they are the best team never to have won.
    I really hope they will do this time.

    I’m quite confident the sprinkling Costa Ricans will beat the dogged Greeks. I mean, I’ve noting against the Greeks -on the contrary-, but this young and fizzy Costa Rican team would steal anybodies heart

    1. Please explain the word “codec” for the benefit of female readers (also, if you ever use the word “taffeta”, explain for men)[it’s snark!]

      As for the penalty, Robbens admitted diving earlier in the game, for which he should have been yellow-carded. As for the last one, while clearly a penalty under the rules…I still think the ref should have let it go, considering the circumstances- he wasn’t obstructed from taking a shot or making a play on goal; surrounded by four opposing players; dying moments of elimination game etc.

      1. The rules don’t really work like that, tho…

        The Belgian red card being one example, the Italian red card another. The ref can’t pass a penalty due to “mitigating circumstances “.

  13. Shame it was decided by a dive from Arjen Robben (he’s infamous for diving). FIFA have decided that football shouldn’t use TV evidence. In the UK cricket, rugby and tennis have used TV evidence (or some other technology) to judge close decisions for years. I assume it’s the same in the U.S.

    1. Except it wasn’t a dive, Robben just made the most of what contact was there.

      Conversely the Mexican players that both tackled Robben in the penalty area in the first half did get away with it, but nobody seems to mind that, which I find a bit odd.

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