June 23, 2018, Day Ten
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary, Day Ten, chronicles FIFA ref Szymon Marciniak’s foibles, and three intense matches.
The day began with the second game of Group G between Belgium and Tunisia, which ended up being a blowout performance by the Belgians who won 5-2. There was little to note in this match, other than the padding of goals from Premiership strikers, as the winner was expected and he loser was simply outclassed.
In the day’s second match the second game of Group F between South Korea and Mexico we were treated to a tectonic plate shaking match that went Mexico’s way 2-1, with Carlos Vela at the 26th off a penalty, and Chicharito at the 66th off a nice counter, enough to seal the deal while allowing Son Heung-Min a 90+3 consolation score.
The match was tough, played at a frenetic pace, filled with goal scoring chances gone missing, and fouls (24 called against South Korea alone) and saves a plenty. But it was Mexico’s game to win and they nearly earned their passage to the second round.
The day closed with the second match in Group F between Germany and Sweden, in Sochi and the game ended a disgraceful 2—1 to Germany thanks to FIFA’s Polish referee Szymon Marciniak. In over 98 minutes of playing time he managed to call barely more fouls on two of the planet’s roughest and foul-prone bitter rivals than those officially called against Neymar alone in Brazil’s game with Switzerland. The twenty-five called fouls on the teams—combined—were one more than were called against South Korea alone earlier in the day!
The FIFA ref disallowed the clearest penalty yet committed in this cup and then took his sweet time with the second yellows to the point that Jerome Boateng’s double-yellow-red only occurred in the 82 minute when his infractions should have had him out of the match in the first half alone. The number of away-from-the-play fouls (headbutts, shoves, trips, kicks when on the ground) and outright aggression were constantly on screen but somehow not caught by the referee or VAR!!!
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary today chronicled the tragic use and misuse and under use of VAR at the cup. If the refs are going to ignore the video footage the rest of us can clearly see, then what is the point of pretending VAR has a role to play?
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary found that the media seemed content to argue there was some equivalency between the dives players took and the no-calls the refs have made in this cup. Papa begs to differ, the dives took place in the same proportion as they have any European season, for instance, but once it became obvious the refs would not call even the most obvious of fouls, then embellishment became the only way to attract enough attention to get the fouls called in the first place!! Players, particularly the targeted talented ones, are concerned and rightfully so. In two recent matches alone, the combined called fouls, always many fewer than are actually committed, were 54—Brazil-Switzerland (30) and Mexico-South Korea (24).
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary will continue to keep tabs on the tournament’s scorers to see if the initial goal scoring tendency continues, as so far, of the 66 goals actually scored in the cup (5 more have been own goals for a total of 58 tallies) 20 (30%) have been converted by La Liga players while 23% (15) have been scored by Premiership stars. The remaining 47% have been scored by all other leagues combined.
On Sunday, at 8:00 AM EST, in Nizhniy Novgorod, England and Panama meet in their second game of Group G, followed by the second game of Group H between Japan and Senegal in Ekaterinburg, at 11:00 AM EST. The day closes with the key Group H clash between Poland and Colombia, in Kazan, at 2:00 PM EST.
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary Predictions
Twenty-nine games played. 64% correct calls
Right calls–(18)—Correctly called for Russia over Saudi Arabia, Uruguay over Egypt, Portugal-Spain draw, France over Australia, Denmark over Peru, Croatia over Nigeria, Sweden over South Korea, Belgium over Panama, England over Tunisia, Senegal over Poland, Portugal over Morocco, Uruguay over Saudi Arabia, Spain over Iran, France over Peru, Brazil over Costa Rica, Belgium over Tunisia, Mexico over South Korea, and Germany over Sweden.
Papa made an “push (no call)” on the Iceland-Nigeria game, but called it for Iceland after the cup began, so this prediction is not credited as right or wrong (1).
Wrong calls–(10)—Called for a Morocco-Iran draw which ended with a 1-0 win for Iran off a Moroccan own goal at the 90+5 minute mark. Called for an Argentina win over Iceland which ended in a draw after Lionel Messi had a penalty saved. Called for a Costa Rica win and Serbia won 1-0 on a wonderful 56th minute free kick goal.
Called Germany over Mexico, and the CONCACAF champion simply outplayed the current champions to earn a historic 1-0 win. Called for a Brazilian win in what turned out to be a 1-1 draw between the overly fouled Neymar and the Swiss. Called for an easy Colombian win over Japan but instead the South Americans imploded for a loss. Called for Egypt over Russia but the latter cruised to a 3-1 win. Called for a Denmark win over Australia that ended in a 1-1 draw. Called for a draw in the Croatia v Argentina match that ended with a 3—0 win for the Croats. Called for a Serbia-Switzerland draw which instead ended in a 2—1 Swiss win.