The World Cup Brief – Final Part

The end is here. After sixty four football matches have been and gone, France were the last team standing. Overall, I’d say that’s probably fair because no other team has been as consistent as Les Bleus. Here are the last two ten word reports of the tournament…

14th July: Third Place Playoff – Belgium 2 – 0 England
Belgians take deserved third place as they beat England again.

15th July: World Cup Final – France 4 – 2 Croatia
French too strong for brave Croatians as Mbappe shines bright.

 

Right, now for a few little awards…

Best Team: France, obviously.

Best Player: Tough one, but I’m going for Eden Hazard.

Best Match: I’d like to pick an England game, but for me it has to be France vs Argentina in the Second round. 4 – 3 and Mbappe on fire. And, of course, Argentina losing!

Best Goal: Difficult one to choose. I think I’m going for Benjamin Pavard’s goal for France against Argentina. Such technique from a defender to strike the ball and keep it low into the goal.

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The World Cup Brief Part 7

The Semi-finals! England are still in the competition!! Is football coming home at last? Well, it may be a step closer after tomorrow, but for now, here are the ten word reports for the semi-finals…

10th July: France 1 – 0 Belgium
French sneak goal then hold off Belgians to reach final.

11th July: Croatia 2 – 1 England (aet)
England boss the first half, Croatia surge into the final.

So, it’s not meant to be for England. Football has missed the flight home after all – probably too busy in the duty free shop. Still got the matter of a Third Place Play-off against Belgium, and no doubt a large proportion of England will be French on Sunday…

The World Cup Brief Part 6

It’s the Quarter-Finals. Some big names are absent – Spain, Portugal, Germany and Argentina all knocked out, and there are some others daring to dream – *cough cough* England, for example. Any way, here are the ten-word reports…

6th July: Uruguay 0 – 2 France
French benefit from keeper howler to knock out toothless Uruguay.

6th July: Brazil 1 – 2 Belgium
Samba stars beaten by promising Belgian team for semi-final spot.

7th July: Sweden 0 – 2 England
Southgate’s young Lions stifle Swedes and make whole nation happy.

7th July: Russia 2 – 2 Croatia (3-4 pens)
Hosts luck runs out as Croatia head into semi-final heaven.

What a Semi-final line-up!!

The World Cup Brief Part 5

So, we’re down to the nitty gritty of the tournament. No second chances. Win or go home. It’s knockout time!! Here are the Last Sixteen matches with my ten word treatment…

30th June: France 4 – 3 Argentina
Les Blues hold off Argies in exciting seven goal thriller.

30th June: Uruguay 2 – 1 Portugal
Cavani brace more than good enough to beat one-dimensional Portugal.

1st July: Spain 1 – 1 Russia (3-4 pens)
Hosts dig deep to knock out disappointing Spain on penalties.

1st July: Croatia 1 – 1 Denmark (3-2 pens)
Modric relief as Croatians hold nerve in penalty shoot-out victory.

2nd July: Brazil 2 – 0 Mexico
Brazilians comfortably dispatch Mexico thanks to Neymar and Firmino goals.

2nd July: Belgium 3 – 2 Japan
Last gasp Chadli winner puts Belgium through, breaks Japanese hearts.

3rd July: Sweden 1 – 0 Switzerland
Swedes win nervy game by single goal as Swiss toil.

3rd July: Colombia 1 – 1 England (3-4 pens)
England overcome late Colombian equaliser to finally win on penalties.

The World Cup Brief Part 4

We have gone through thirty two of the sixty four games in this tournament, which means we’re at the half-way stage. Some teams are already out, others already guaranteed a place in the knock-out stages. Here are the last round of group matches all in one place, with each of the knock-out rounds getting a round-up all to themselves.

25th June: Uruguay 3 – 0 Russia
Tournament hosts soundly beaten as Uruguay finally hit their stride.

25th June: Saudi Arabia 2 – 1 Egypt
Saudis cancel out Salah’s goal and sign off with win.

25th June: Iran 1 – 1 Portugal
VAR controversy aplenty as Ronaldo penalty miss costs group win.

25th June: Spain 2 – 2 Morocco
Spanish get out of jail thanks to late Aspas equaliser

26th June: Australia 0 – 2 Peru
Peruvians too good for Aussies in final game for both.

26th June: Denmark 0 – 0 France
Tournament’s first goalless draw as both teams in cruise control.

26th June: Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia
Brave Iceland exit with defeat against much changed Croatian side.

26th June: Nigeria 1 – 2 Argentina
Messi and company deny  unlucky Nigerians with late Rojo winner.

27th June: South Korea 2 – 0 Germany
Holders knocked out thanks to injury time sucker punch goals.

27th June: Mexico 0 – 3 Sweden
Sweden win comfortably to ensure they join Mexico in qualifying.

27th June: Serbia 0 – 2 Brazil
Samba stars do just enough to win and top group.

27th June: Switzerland 2 – 2 Costa Rica
Swiss pegged back twice but still through to last sixteen.

28th June: Japan 0 – 1 Poland
Japanese come up short against Poland but still go through.

28th June: Senegal 0 – 1 Colombia
Colombia win to top group, Senegal miss out through indiscipline.

28th June: Panama 1 – 2 Tunisia
Tunisia win battle of the minnows in dead rubber game.

28th June: England 0 – 1 Belgium
Belgium win the battle of reserve teams to top group.

The World Cup Brief Part 3

We’re into the second week of the tournament, and the group stages are now taking shape. Teams are going to stake a claim for the next round over the next few days, and so here are the next games to get my ten word summary…

21st June: Denmark 1 – 1 Australia
Australians benefit from VAR decision to deny Danes vital victory.

21st June: France 1 – 0 Peru
Mbappe winner sends France through and consigns Peru to exit.

21st June: Argentina 0 – 3 Croatia
Messy Argentina unravel as classy Croatians run riot to qualify.

22nd June: Brazil 2 – 0 Costa Rica
Late, late Brazilian show as Coutinho, Neymar overcome Costa Rica.

22nd June: Nigeria 2 – 0 Iceland
Africans finally come to World Cup party and dazzle Iceland.

22nd June: Serbia 1 – 2 Switzerland
Swiss exploit Serbian defensive lapses in crucial late comeback win.

23rd June: Belgium 5 – 2 Tunisia
Rampant Belgians tear through leaky Tunisian defence to win handsomely.

23rd June: South Korea 1 – 2 Mexico
Impressive Mexico book place in second round with comfortable win.

23rd June: Germany 2 – 1 Sweden
Reigning champs snatch unlikely, undeserved win to keep hopes alive.

24th June: England 6 – 1 Panama
England wipe floor with Panama after five first half goals.

24th June: Japan 2 – 2 Senegal
Senegal lead twice then pegged back twice by dogged Japanese.

24th June: Poland 0 – 3 Colombia
Classy Colombians on form to give toothless Poles marching orders.

The World Cup Brief Part 2

The first weekend of the tournament is out of the way, and so here are the next lot of fixtures to get my ten word review treatment…

18th June: Sweden 1 – 0 South Korea
Koreans pay the penalty as Swedes open account with win.

18th June: Belgium 3 – 0 Panama
Three goal burst flatters Belgians as they beat tournament debutants.

18th June: Tunisia 1 – 2 England
Last gasp winner for Kane salvages deserved win despite referee.

19th June: Colombia 1 – 2 Japan
First red card of tournament for Colombians as Japan victorious.

19th June: Poland 1 – 2 Senegal
Late Polish comeback not enough to peg back ecstatic Senegal.

19th June: Russia 3 – 1 Egypt
Own goal starts Russian goal glut as Salah falls flat.

20th June: Portugal 1 – 0 Morocco
Early Ronaldo goal the difference but Morocco keep floodgates shut.

20th June: Uruguay 1 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Suarez goals wins match as Uruguay still struggling to perform.

20th June: Iran 0 – 1 Spain
Costa knees in winner as Iran refuse to roll over.