June 24, 2018, Day Eleven
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary, Day Eleven, chronicled the second game of Group G, in Nizhniy Novgorod, as England and smallest of minnows, Panama, met. The match was the expected laugher with a 6—1 score and only Jesse Lingard’s 36th minute beauty of a curler from just outside the front of the box was anything to write home about.
In the second game of the day Japan and Senegal met in Ekaterinburg in a Group H showdown. It was one of the more exciting games of the cup so far due to both the intensity of play and the Japanese output that seemed to at times nullify the Senegalese upper hand in technical skill and physical size. The match ended up 2—2 with a mix of pretty and silly goals but with a result that put their groups’ two pre-tournament favorites to progress in a win-or-leave situation in their clash later in the day.
The last match of the day pitted two teams who had higher hopes of moving on. The key Group H clash between Poland and Colombia, in Kazan, was slated to be a group decider and ended up being so if for very different reasons. Senegal and Japan have performed so well, the former showing its ample class the latter taking full advantage of their few opportunities, that this group became openly competitive since Colombia’s opening implosion.
Then came this match and Colombia’s redemption. Radamel Falcao got his first goal, Yerry Mina skied to head in his off a ridiculously perfect James Rodriquez chipped cross and Juan Cuadrado scored a gorgeous breakaway again off another perfect James assist. The match was no contest once the Colombian’s found their rhythm, which occurred right after their first goal, just before half-time.
Now, after Colombia’s comprehensive 3—0 win, despite the fact that Senegal, Colombia, and Japan will all want wins in their last group match only Colombia can afford to draw and advance.
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary found that Germany’s classless celebration after their unfair, last-gasp victory over Sweden, has caught FIFA’s eye and they have “opened a disciplinary case” against the Germans. Now, no case is being considered that might address the officiating by FIFA’s Polish referee Szymon Marciniak, but that must be another story, right?
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 80 goals actually scored in the cup (5 more have been own goals for a total of 85 tallies) 28% (22) have been converted by La Liga players while 28% (22) have been scored by Premiership stars. The remaining 44% have been scored by all other leagues combined.
On Monday we will learn who moves in what slots in Groups A and B as concurrent matches among all eight teams will take place. At 10:00 AM EST, in Samara, Russia and Uruguay will decide who tops Group A, while at the same time in Volgograd, Egypt and Saudi Arabia bow out with their consolation match. At 2:00 PM EST, in Saransk, in Group B, Iran and Portugal meet with the winner advancing, while concurrently at Kaliningrad, Spain and Morocco meet with Spain needing a win to outright win the group. If Portugal beats Iran by the same score Spain wins by it will be down to fair play point deductions, and at this stage Spain has the edge there -1 to Portugal’s -2.
Futbol Papa’s World Cup 2018 Diary Predictions
Thirty-two games played. 68% correct calls
Right calls–(21)—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, Germany over Sweden, England over Panama, Senegal over Japan, and Colombia over Poland.
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.