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#301 Posted by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

That was super boring compared to Russia/Croatia

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#302 Posted by TheRealTurk (268 posts) -

I have to say, waiting under the 91st minute to sub on an extra attacker in a World Cup semi-final where you are behind was an extremely Roberto Martinez move.

Regardless. We are now halfway to the France-England final we know we all want.

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#303 Posted by OMGFather (922 posts) -

@liquiddragon said:

Mbappé Is an ass.

Yeah. There was no need for that time wasting with the throw-in.

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#304 Posted by frytup (1000 posts) -

I have to say, waiting under the 91st minute to sub on an extra attacker in a World Cup semi-final where you are behind was an extremely Roberto Martinez move.

Regardless. We are now halfway to the France-England final we know we all want.

Can't wait for five days of Waterloo references.

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#305 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4128 posts) -

I put too much stock into Belgium. An unimpressive performance and thinking back to the Japan match, I didn't exactly like much of it. I think they just showed up real well for the Brazil game. They're far too inconsistent.

France is a talented team. They're very in-tune with each other on the field, and the speed at which they can play can be fun to watch. They showed their true colors towards the end, though, and their unsportsmanlike behavior was very distasteful.

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#306 Edited by soulcake (2111 posts) -

Hope croatia wins. England can suck it with there non football BS.

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#307 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1618 posts) -

Come on England, let's get the job done tonight! France vs England in the world cup final will be a momentous event.

Dare we dream

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#308 Edited by jooink (3 posts) -

Messi's gone, I think the French team will be the champion

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#309 Posted by OMGFather (922 posts) -

@soulcake said:

Hope croatia wins. England can suck it with there non football BS.

What does this even mean?

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#310 Posted by Dudacles (1681 posts) -

I really hope Croatia win it. With Belgium gone, the team that tried to play football the most is out of it, and both France and England play incredibly boring, negative football I think. Croatia deserves to win it based on their willingness to play for me, but England will be tough tonight, and France will be very hard to beat in the final as well. Agh, too bad about Belgium. A sterling performance against Brazil followed up by a very tempered one against France.

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#311 Posted by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

I've watched almost every game of the WC (except when 2 were on at the same time) and maaaaaaaaaaaaaan my sleeping pattern is Bayonetta on PS3 levels of fucked...

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#312 Edited by BrunoTheThird (639 posts) -

Spain weren't great to watch, but they found a formula that worked for them and were hugely successful with it, for a time.

France have been very attacking and shown tonnes of quality in their last three matches, niggles aside; I can't really be critical of them or call that an overall negative way of playing the game. It's mostly been entertaining and straightforward football, and they outplayed Belgium no matter how you look at it. There's no such thing as a team 'deserving' it unless they've been treated like dirt by the other teams or been unfairly represented by the referee. If you lose, that's that really, you failed to overcome the other team, however different their play style. There's no rule about what ratio of defense to offense your game has to have to be deemed 'real football' or however you see it. Something like MMA is all about how different styles clash, and who comes out on top in the end; other Vs. sports can be similar in that regard.

Time-wasting and all that shit should be eradicated, if that's what we're talking about, but I would put England and France very, very low on that list of offenders. In the Panama match, we were grabbed and literally wrestled to the ground, niggled at, and were on the defense against shitty play of a different kind, coming out on top with a strong back line and scoring from well-played set pieces, which is a totally valid, important, and successful strategy that all football teams practice. It wasn't pretty because Panama aren't very good and tried to win via unbecoming methods.

The Colombia match was even worse. We were on the receiving end of even dirtier football, and became entrenched in a scrappy, sweaty mess of a game. It was a retaliatory and unbecoming performance from both by the end, but that thankfully didn't dictate the outcome when it went to penalties. From my view, that forcefully evened out the match in the end. This match is the only one I have had a big issue with; I think we've been strong otherwise.

The Sweden game, for example, we won, and well. Nothing negative or anti-football about that performance. Exhilarating? No. If Raheem Sterling (a great player to be fair) had scored all the times he had the chance in this world cup, we'd be talking about more traditional football here with little complaints of negative play or whatever, but he hasn't, so you don't remember those opportunities come the final whistle, and it looks like a team that hasn't focused on goals coming from the striker. I can see how some would view that as boring or not in the spirit in some way, but it's not been intentional, more a by-product of our lacking in that area, which we've made up for in others.

I don't foresee any bullshit with Croatia, much like Sweden, as the two play admirably, and so do we when that's the case. When it's a scrappier team like Colombia or Panama, we are guilty of playing more on their level through frustration, but I can't criticize us otherwise, we've been good. Belgium only managed a 1-0 defeat against us. A win is a win, but to only concede once against that level of quality means you can't be so far from that yourself, and I think we deserve to have reached the semis.

So yeah, I don't hope England or Croatia 'suck it', I just want the best team on the day to be victorious, preferably without the antics we all find distasteful.

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#313 Posted by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

Is this shit coming home then?

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#314 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1618 posts) -
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#315 Posted by PolkaDuke (81 posts) -

It's coming home alright!

The team, that is.

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#316 Edited by Boonsong (1895 posts) -

It’s probably because I’m an asshole, but a part of me wants to see Croatia destroy England after seeing the millions of “It’s coming home” memes on Twitter. I know it’s not fair, and it probably won’t happen anyway.

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#317 Posted by BrunoTheThird (639 posts) -

Gooooooooal!

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#318 Posted by liquiddragon (2804 posts) -

!!!!

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#319 Posted by Boonsong (1895 posts) -

Lets go Croatia

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#320 Posted by liquiddragon (2804 posts) -

The World vs. England

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#321 Posted by SethMode (1331 posts) -

Fox Sports commentators not being able to find a proper word for "nuts" when Walker took a shot there was something else. Is this really an occurrence you're so unfamiliar with that you can't summon the word groin or crotch or even testicles? I think he said "where the sun don't shine" which just cracked me up all the more.

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#322 Edited by TheRealTurk (268 posts) -

England look really dead on their feet. Lucky to even get to extra time. I'm a little surprised Croatia has so much left in the tank after going all the way to penalties in the last two games.

@sethmode said:

Fox Sports commentators not being able to find a proper word for "nuts" when Walker took a shot there was something else. Is this really an occurrence you're so unfamiliar with that you can't summon the word groin or crotch or even testicles? I think he said "where the sun don't shine" which just cracked me up all the more.

My favorite occurrence of this was a couple of World Cups ago when a Scottish announcer (working for the BBC?) had the call "Ohhhh. Right in the daddy bags!" (It's hilarious with a Scottish accent).

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#323 Posted by liquiddragon (2804 posts) -

!!!!!!

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#324 Posted by Boonsong (1895 posts) -

YEEEEESSS

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#325 Posted by soulcake (2111 posts) -

Mmmmmm You got what you deserved England, fucking non playing Belgium to get to "easy" Bracket Glorious! There is a god!

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#326 Posted by BrunoTheThird (639 posts) -

Well done Croatia, that was another great goal, and a terrific match. Can't fathom how exhausted those guys are, Jesus. Mad props.

Really proud we got to the semis. I would have been proud if we only reached the quarters, but Croatia really brought the pressure on in the second half, it was hardcore. We should've been 2-0 up in the first half, and that'll haunt some of the players probably (Kane and Lingard), but it's the score at the end that matters, and the best team won. If England had never won the world cup before, I'd have been crushed we got so close, but I'm really upbeat there's a chance we'll have a new name on the trophy.

I'll be rooting all the way for Croatia in the final. Go go go!

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#327 Posted by soulcake (2111 posts) -

"The Boys are coming home"

:D

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#328 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1618 posts) -

Unlucky boys.... well proud of you all! Also, what is this Soulscakes deal? Get a grip

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#329 Posted by Boonsong (1895 posts) -

Great playing by England, they almost had it. Fantastic match

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#330 Posted by Shoguns_Decapitator (121 posts) -

Not getting a second goal in the first half was our undoing, Croatia were the much better side in the second half and in extra time, deserved winners on the night, congratulations to them and I hope they smash the Froggies on Sunday.

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#331 Posted by Ascara89 (99 posts) -

@boonsong: I think that's really generous, they didn't create a chance from open play all game

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#332 Posted by soulcake (2111 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Still salty about Belgium loosing against France :D.

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#333 Posted by Aegon (7287 posts) -

Ah, the meme is coming home.

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#334 Edited by BrunoTheThird (639 posts) -

It was a close one, despite the big difference in quality between the two sides in the last hour. I was so into the tension, and despite being through the ringer multiple times in the tournament, Croatia pulled through to reach their first ever final. It's a fairytale in many ways. I'm really happy it was them we lost to, and not France in the final, which wouldn't have been quite so dramatic. (Though I'm also half Italian, and they've won it four times, so I'm unfairly part of two champion nations which always removes the sting out of losses hugely, ha.)

I'll be a bit annoyed if they don't beat France. C'mon!

On a side-note, I refuse to lower myself to gleeful hostility. It's never pretty.

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#335 Posted by Richfairhall (21 posts) -

Good match, disappointing seeing England lose and just fall apart defensively. Croatia deserved the win and I hope they beat France. I'll take 3rd or 4th any day after being bottom of the group last world cup. May the best teams win in both the 3rd place match and final.

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#336 Posted by soulcake (2111 posts) -
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#337 Edited by Atlas (2709 posts) -

Croatia totally deserved to win that match. We were super excited for England, especially after scoring so early, but I dunno, after the 30th minute or so you could see major cracks forming in their confidence. It's like they finally realised the enormity of the stage they were on and what they were trying to do, and they all as one tensed up and started making mistakes. And Croatia, who've been riding an emotional roller coaster through the knockout stage and kept their heads, were perfectly set up to punish them for it. Sterling was making terrific runs in the first 30 mins or so, putting the fear in the defenders, and England were pressing well. Modric wasn't on the ball much, probably due to Henderson pressuring him and thanks to more space on the flanks. Once Croatia's defenders lost the fear, they really grew into the game, the whole team did. Vsaljko's cross to Perisic was brilliant, as was the finish, and England's defending on the Mandzukic winner was a massive give up, a waving of the white flag. Experience and poise won out over youth and exuberance.

It's a terrific platform for England to build on going forward. It's a team that looks like they want to wear the shirt, and they looked like they enjoyed playing at the World Cup. Southgate looks like the right man for this team. Also don't forget that England won the U20 and the U17 World Cups last year, so more talent is coming. Considering how we felt as a nation after Iceland two years ago, this WC run was a massive achievement. I was less than a year old the last time England made a WC semi-final - I turn 29 next week, so I'm just old enough to remember Euro '96. It felt good to see England on the big stage again. Hopefully we'll see more of it.

I fully expect France to destroy Croatia in the final. I won't be rooting for either team, although I've sort of championed France this whole tournament because we all knew how talented they are and they finally started showing it in the knockout stage. They almost let themselves get beat by the Australians, for chrissake, but they sorted things out when it mattered. No reason to hate France or the French - we're a pro-Europe household. And Croatia winning it all would be quite a story.

And how amusing that England got to play two meaningless games against Belgium, at the same World Cup.

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#338 Posted by BallsLeon (453 posts) -

Less go Croats!

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#339 Posted by SethMode (1331 posts) -

Yeah, as much as I would love to see Croatia win, this just feels like it's going to be drubbing with how exhausted they surely must be by now. Hopefully I'm proven wrong, because, just as it was nice to see France beat Brazil in 98, it would be nice to see the underdog shock everyone.

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#340 Posted by Sanj (3196 posts) -

Gutted, but Croatia played better overall. Hats off to them.

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#341 Posted by pweidman (2764 posts) -

Croatia played gutsy and clean again. France may have more talent but I'll be rooting big-time for the little team that could. <3

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#342 Edited by OMGFather (922 posts) -

@sanj said:

Gutted, but Croatia played better overall. Hats off to them.

Indeed. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up in the first half, and were made to pay for that. Completely decimated us in the 2nd half, we could barely get the ball let alone keep it. Proud to reach the semis. People joke about the "it's coming home" but you know that was never about the trophy to begin with - well maybe it evolved into that for a lot of fans. But something has come home, the appreciation for the team and support. We can move on to better things from here hopefully.

Hope Croatia win the final, always good to see a new name on the trophy and for a little country it'd be an incredible achievement. Hard to see past France though. They'd be tougher to break down and probably happy to sit back on a 1-0 win.

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#343 Posted by Cagliostro88 (1232 posts) -

Ivan <3

Now the croatians have 60 mlns of italians behind pulling for them.

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#344 Edited by Acura_Max (664 posts) -

And here I was hoping for an England v France final. It's a real shame too since there probably would have been alot of memes coming out of that match up.

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#345 Edited by GaspoweR (4894 posts) -
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I was not necessarily rooting for England but I really like it when crowds of people sing along

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#346 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4128 posts) -
@pweidman said:

Croatia played gutsy and clean again.

(Preface that I'm Bosnian/Croat) I don't know if I'd call their play this game "clean." They were play more than physical to the point of being blatantly dirty. It was extremely disappointing to watch as I was rooting for them in my full Croatian attire. The officiating was terrible all around, in favor of no one as a whole, but there was a lot of unsportsmanlike physicality throughout the match from Croatia; more than I ever care to see.

This match was something else to watch. It was as if four teams were playing tag-team match, with how much swinging of momentum there was. Croatia came out strong, puttered out and then returned to form for long end of the match. Meanwhile, England slowly worsened throughout. England's athleticism was far and away better than Croatia's and seeing how easy it was for them to run after every loose ball was frightening, considering France is even faster.

Croatia is going to have to perform to their full potential for every single minute of the final to pose a threat to France. This up-and-down form isn't going to cut it. I'll be honest, I have low expectation for Croatia but anything can happen. It truly is a wonder they've made it this far. Just gotta bring good fundamental football to the finals and clean up a lot of the mistakes that were being shown today. I'm extremely proud enough as is.

Igraj moja Hrvatska!

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#347 Edited by Bonbonetti (74 posts) -

I was rooting for Belgium, France, Japan and Croatia from the start, so I'm glad to see two of my favourite teams in the final.

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#348 Edited by Qrowdyy (360 posts) -

What a game! Croatia completely won me over. A lot of heart, a lot of guts. You could see their exhaustion in their sloppy crosses/passes in the first half, but they toughed it out and got the W.

England on the other hand folded like a house of cards. They seemed more gassed than the Croatians despite having one of the easiest routes to the cup. Very disappointed in them.

Go Croatia!

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#349 Edited by thomasnash (1099 posts) -

Absolutely gutted about last night. It was clear that our team had issues, and mostly the it's coming home memes were self-deprecating, but I had allowed myself a little hope - particularly as they seemed to be plugging the gaps with each game. The performance against Sweden was our strongest all tournament I think.

But last night - Kane was just missing in action. Goal aside Trippier had a sloppy game (even his goal, I think, was fortunate. I reckon Subasic was carrying an injury from the Russia game). Dele Alli seemed to be dead on his feet after 45, and I don't know how we got out-stamina'd by a team who had played two bouts of extra time in the knockouts. Decent defending after a lucky goal in the first half, but the wheels came off precipitously after half-time.

And although I think Southgate has done well, and is a breath of fresh air after a lot of shitty managers, his tactics were poor last night. Made some poor subs, and really needed to do more to switch up our tactics because we just weren't creating chances.

Edit: Also, the idea that we did anything egregious in our Belgium game can get fucked, tbh. Belgium made just as many switches for that match, and even if the draw had fallen differently it would have been a perfectly reasonable thing to do to give some players from the bench a run out. It's not like we did a Japan for the whole match.

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#350 Posted by Boonsong (1895 posts) -

Let's go France!

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