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2 hours ago, Joe Willie White Shoes said:

I am not a soccer fan, but I will say that the two games today - Spain/Croatia and France/Switzerland were among the most exciting soccer games I ever saw.    14 goals in 2 games (10 total after half time) and many near goals. That is more than you get in 10 games most times.  And the 4 goals in the last 10 minutes in both games.  Very unusual.  

 

But then we get the fiasco that is penalty kicks.  As a sports fan, I can say that deciding games in a championship in this ridiculous manner is just a huge black eye for the sport.  It's equivalent to deciding an NBA playoff game with a free throw shooting contest or an NFL playoff game with a FG contest from 30 yards out.  Or a baseball game with pitchers throwing pitches and the first to throw a ball rather than a strike loses.  Can't the powers of the sport design something - anything else? How about 8 on 8 for 15 minutes after extra time and take another player off each team every 5 minutes after that until you are down to 6 on 6. At least it resembles soccer and not a skills competition where one miss out of 5 determines the winner and the goalie just guesses right or left and hopes the ball hits him or the ball misses the cage,  It is just a horrible way to decide a game.  

The players are just exhausted so the options are limited, I actually think those gimmicks would be even less reflective of the better team. It also sounds like a sh*tty thing to ask a player to leave the game they've put so much into. It's not fair to keep them going or to individually remove them. It would be a completely different sport you're asking them to play. 

I love the shootouts. They're dramatic yet also simple. There's a lot of skill and nerve that goes into it. I wouldn't quite compare it to free throws as goals/penalties are much more of a novelty in football than field goals/free throws are. Also the other sports have far more emphasis on rotation and resting so there's nothing like the fatigue there is at that point in a soccer game. These guys have more games to play in a few days, you can't keep running them into the ground. Removing space and opening up more space would only ask more of them. 

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2 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

I remember not too long ago Switzerland was all about defense, with some ridiculous 4 game or so streak in the World Cup where they didn’t allow a goal (with the match results typically being 1-0 or 0-0).

Forgive my ignorance…When did they shift their style so drastically?  

I'd say it's a variety of things. 

Petkovic their manager has always been about high pressing and aggression. He really values fitness levels and you could see that paying off towards the end of the game. I'd say also that they would have had getting out of the group as their goal for the tournament and after that there was nothing to lose. The French weakness was clearly their full backs and they went out to attack them, Rabiot is a box to box midfielder and even with injuries it's ridiculous to see him there. 

But yeah Switzerland and Sweden used to always be among the most tedious teams to watch. Nearly rivalling the Irish in that area, alas we're still the world champions of sh*t football. 

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13 hours ago, BroadwayJoe12 said:

Croatia - Spain was the most exciting game of the tournament so far, unfortunately not the outcome I was pulling for. Could never stand Spain, always a bit whiney in my opinion, but they were the better team.

Sorry for the momentary thumbs down, after all i´m from Spain. 😀

Anyway, not doing to bad with such a new and young squad.

Let´s see how we do against the swiss.

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6 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

I remember not too long ago Switzerland was all about defense, with some ridiculous 4 game or so streak in the World Cup where they didn’t allow a goal (with the match results typically being 1-0 or 0-0).

Forgive my ignorance…When did they shift their style so drastically?  

I was as stunned as you.  My French-born Mom in the afterlife must have uttered a resounding "putain!". 

 I don't follow the Swiss team much.  But they came out with a very aggressive plan.  Well done by those guys who just never gave up attacking, even when all seemed lost.  Kudos to the players and manager.

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I know this issue has been around for years but it just seems to be getting worse.

Am I the only one in favor of retroactively penalizing players and/or their teams for obvious dives intended to fool the referee?

Mbappe is a great player, one of the very best in the world but he actually stole a penalty with a clear dive in the game against Portugal and he tried to do the same thing twice more in the same game!  Each one more ridiculous that the last.  Fast forward to the game yesterday and he tried to do the same thing again in a play right before they VAR ended up giving a penalty to the Swiss.  Throwing himself to the ground in the box with clear daylight between himself and any hint of contact at all.

It is not just Mbappe, you can put Raheem Sterling near the top of that list as well but a simple fix is if, upon post game review there was a clear and obvious attempt to deceive then Issue a retroactive yellow or worse.   A clear and obvious attempt to deceive and not just a judgement call on actual contact but flinging yourself to the ground when no contact has taken place at all.  I imagine the players will get caught up in it for a while and then they will adjust and stop doing it, the same way they adjusted to other rules changes like the one about passing back to the keeper and him then not being able to handle the ball.

I am a big fan of the old "if it hurts don't do it" thing. 

<edited to add>

Don't mind me, just a nervous Englishman picking himself out a nice razor blade for when the Germans stick it to us again on the big stage.  Actually this looks like a German engineered blade, how perfect is that?

d1gqgbr-237e33b6-c1d8-4a99-b43a-eff7e14ce411.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwic3ViIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTpmaWxlLmRvd25sb2FkIl0sIm9iaiI6W1t7InBhdGgiOiIvZi8xMTBmNTgzMy03ZWIzLTQ4N2EtYjc1MC0zNDZlZWU2OTlkMGMvZDFncWdici0yMzdlMzNiNi1jMWQ4LTRhOTktYjQzYS1lZmY3ZTE0Y2U0MTEuanBnIn1dXX0.lE8PbD6N_ng9cbRK-vEFYhX0mVZ1FnU3xMVvyYRxXz4

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After the last two matches yesterday, this one is a complete snooze fest.  Outside of a great chance by Germany, very boring match.

EDIT:  Close one for Kane/England right before half.   Sterling continues to be England's best player.

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24 minutes ago, Irish Jet said:

Werner you f*cking trash.

As a Chelsea fan we have never seen that before.  Nor have we seen him failing to get back onside after a turnover.

Unwatchable dogsh1t from England.  Germany are not much better.

Saka looks like the only one willing to run at opposition players.... again.

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Everyone on Earth was expecting a goal on that Mueller breakaway.   Terrible miss from one of the classic great scorers.  I still can't believe he shanked it.  

And told ya Sterling was the best England player on the field.  His goal was beautiful.

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1 minute ago, Irish Jet said:

Muller with literally the worst performance I have ever seen.

Right?  I still don't believe someone of his caliber missed it.

Doesn't matter anyway.  Gorgeous goal by Kane.   Sorry, IJ.  England's through.   Congrats, EM31.

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13 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

Right?  I still don't believe someone of his caliber missed it.

Doesn't matter anyway.  Gorgeous goal by Kane.   Sorry, IJ.  England's through.   Congrats, EM31.

An ugly win is still a win.  Planning to take in the Sweden vs. Ukraine game with great interest now.

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1 minute ago, EM31 said:

An ugly win is still a win.  Planning to take in the Sweden vs. Ukraine game with great interest now.

If you guys decide to play up tempo, no way you lose to either.  Free up Sterling to do his thing.

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4 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

Fantastic finish with a goal at the 120th minute.   Otherwise, pretty dull match.

England get to face a worn out Ukraine team in Rome on Saturday, Probably a Ukraine team a man down if that challenge was as bad as the replays looked,   No excuses for Southgate and Co. this weekend. 

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4 minutes ago, EM31 said:

England get to face a worn out Ukraine team in Rome on Saturday, Probably a Ukraine team a man down if that challenge was as bad as the replays looked,   No excuses for Southgate and Co. this weekend. 

That challenge was awful.  Looked like he had a broken bone.  Even worse was them making the Ukraine player walk half way around the field to the bench.  What, no carts or stretchers in Glasgow?  

On paper, no way you should lose the game on Saturday.  Your roster is loaded and you're clearly the better team.  It's just a matter of executing and getting your asses into the semis.  I think England wins big.

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28 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

That challenge was awful.  Looked like he had a broken bone.  Even worse was them making the Ukraine player walk half way around the field to the bench.  What, no carts or stretchers in Glasgow?  

On paper, no way you should lose the game on Saturday.  Your roster is loaded and you're clearly the better team.  It's just a matter of executing and getting your asses into the semis.  I think England wins big.

Never put it past the English to outthink themselves, play cautiously and give up a stupid goal early.  This team has 50+ years of pathetic failure in their pedigree.

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2 hours ago, EM31 said:

Never put it past the English to outthink themselves, play cautiously and give up a stupid goal early.  This team has 50+ years of pathetic failure in their pedigree.

You know the soccer world is thinking this.  Time for them to step up.  No more excuses.

Not sure why, but I'm suddenly feeling an England-Italy final.  If that happens?  I can't be your friend anymore.  lol

 

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2 hours ago, munchmemory said:

You know the soccer world is thinking this.  Time for them to step up.  No more excuses.

Not sure why, but I'm suddenly feeling an England-Italy final.  If that happens?  I can't be your friend anymore.  lol

 

From your lips to God's ears.

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9 hours ago, EM31 said:

Never put it past the English to outthink themselves, play cautiously and give up a stupid goal early.  This team has 50+ years of pathetic failure in their pedigree.

Denmark are a challenge if they get by the Czech Republic. They’ve been incredible in their last couple of games and are riding an emotional wave after what happened to Eriksen - If they get that far you’ll feel something special is happening.

England are huge favourites to get to the final though, it was a dream bracket. Belgium would have been the biggest challenge IMO but if De Bruyne and Hazard are out then they’re toast. 

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5 hours ago, Irish Jet said:

Denmark are a challenge if they get by the Czech Republic. They’ve been incredible in their last couple of games and are riding an emotional wave after what happened to Eriksen - If they get that far you’ll feel something special is happening.

England are huge favourites to get to the final though, it was a dream bracket. Belgium would have been the biggest challenge IMO but if De Bruyne and Hazard are out then they’re toast. 

The Denmark game if such a game happens would feel a bit like the Croatia semi final in the world cup.  On paper I thought England were the more talented team but the other team had a little bit of magic happening around them at that time and in that place.  This Denmark team feels like it would be a bit like that that but on steroids.

In any event, first things first and Ukraine is not a foregone conclusion.  Neither are Denmark for that matter.  The thing about teams who are on a magic carpet ride is that all of that can come to an end quite abruptly.

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Colossal mistake by the referee making himself more important than a European championship quarter final that is in the balance at 1-1.

The opportunity exists to go from a yellow card to a red but next to no chance of going the other way because they don't want to embarrass a referee.  Black eye for FIFA today and that referee should never get another major game to officiate.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, EM31 said:

Colossal mistake by the referee making himself more important than a European championship quarter final that is in the balance at 1-1.

The opportunity exists to go from a yellow card to a red but next to no chance of going the other way because they don't want to embarrass a referee.  Black eye for FIFA today and that referee should never get another major game to officiate.

 

 

Merely following in the footsteps of Mike Dean, Uriah Rennie etc.

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Awful PK attempts by the Swiss.   This after Spain squandered at least several chances to win in extra time.  Spain advances.

IMO, the Swiss defender with a reckless challenge from behind warranted a red card.

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1 minute ago, munchmemory said:

Awful PK attempts by the Swiss.   This after Spain squandered at least several chances to win in extra time.  Spain advances.

IMO, the Swiss defender with a reckless challenge from behind warranted a red card.

That was not a straight red IMO, and even if the ref thought it might be then he should have given the yellow and taken a look at the replay.  Horrible decision on many levels.

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8 minutes ago, EM31 said:

That was not a straight red IMO, and even if the ref thought it might be then he should have given the yellow and taken a look at the replay.  Horrible decision on many levels.

I think it's a red, but have said forever that all red cards should be reviewed on the spot.  How many times have we seen these dunce refs send off guys for essentially nothing?

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Two sides with all the talent in the world and not afraid to move forward and attack.

What a breath of fresh air this game is,

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12 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

Nice, entertaining half with plenty of attacking by both sides.   Tons more to see before this one is done.

Don't want to jinx it for you buddy but the book may be closing on this generational Belgian squad.

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