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abhorsen.

Soccer/Football

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starbuck

WE WON!!! (i'm late, i know :P but i was celebrating!!) 🇭🇷🇭🇷:bliss:

i can't wait until the match on wednesday, idk if we'll win but i'm happy we even made it to semi finals! :D

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Slide

After that match I can't really see anyone but France winning on Sunday. Yes, even if England win tomorrow. I thought Belgium have been good enough this tournament to have a chance at taking them down, but honestly France have, I think, put in a more consistently quality performance than any other team this WC.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to rock back and forth as a bundle of nerves for the next twenty-four hours. Croatia, if you chase a complete set on taking your knockout games to penalties we're going to have words, win or lose. My heart can't take that again. I don't know how you aren't all dead.

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Sleepingbagonthesofa

YESSSS! 12 years after the world's most perfect headbutt France are back in the final!:yay:And after a game like that they deserve it. 

 

 It's not like Scotland are ever going to qualify again, this is as good as I'm ever going to get guys!!!! 

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Aphoride

France have been imperious this WC. Honestly, Slide, I completely agree that they've put in the best and most consistent performances of every team. They had a bit of a slow start at the beginning, but they've only ever improved, and I was expecting so much more from that game last night - as much as I enjoyed it - because I was expecting more from Belgium, tbh. Belgium just couldn't replicate their form against Brazil, and France were too solid at defending for them to take too many chances. 

I'm disappointed for Belgium, but, yk, France should really have had the Euros two years ago - they were the best team in that tournament too, but lost out to a Portugal who looked transformed in the final, having been rubbish all tournament - so I don't begrudge them it too much :P

Tentatively hopeful for this evening. Croatia look like they're limping a bit as a team, and I think as long as we stay together, put in a good defensive shift and keep Modric fairly quiet, we have a good chance of going through. 

(Ohmygosh that sounds mad to even say "have a good chance of going through" to a WC final... 😲😲 :wub::wub:

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Slide

Keeping Modric quiet? Not optimistic. :D We have some talent in midfield - my respect for Lingard only grows and I'm bound by blood to swear at all Man Utd players - but I fear Modric is of a level above them. The man is absolutely a class act, a star player with none of the pomp and circumstance of others of his ilk. He's not the tip of the spear, he's the shaft.

However, I have faith in our defence and faith in our set-pieces, against which Croatia have been vulnerable while they're one of our strengths. I think that we can do it. But if I were in Croatia's shoes right now, I'd be looking at England and thinking, "tough nut to crack, but we can do it." Despite having spent a lot of time swearing at Sterling in the Sweden game, we need him to do 90% of the same thing all over again with Croatia, as he did make space, he did press the Swedish defence. He just needs to not be so greedy when he's got a goal opportunity and feed back to the likes of Kane when it's smart. But I don't fancy either side against France in the final.

Still, hey, unless Griezmann or Mbappé can score four goals in the final and Kane goes goalless for the next two games, Harry's probably bringing back the Golden Boot! Third place match goals still count, right?

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starbuck

Limping as a team? :P well, well, well :shifty: :loveshower:🇭🇷:bliss::loveshower:

 

I can't believe we're in the final!!!!!!!!!!! 

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Slide

By sheer chance I've seen Croatia's matches more than any side save England themselves. They are scrappy and determined and so, so skilled. England dominated in that first half but couldn't sink a vital second goal - and then went to pieces. Croatia kept winning the ball, and they kept on keeping it, and an equaliser was absolutely inevitable. We were weak on our wings when those have been part of our strength, with players like Trippier not able to do their thing for whatever reason. We were weak and it was exploited and Croatia showed their technical prowess. Modric got out of whatever box he'd been kept in, and things got bad, and Croatia deserved that goal.

It could have still gone either way after that, I felt; England got their mojo back once it was 1-1, but again, Croatia are just the team that Will Not Die. I commented that was what separated the good from the great at the end of the England-Tunisia match; normally, in injury time, at 1-all, England would wait and limp to a draw, but Harry Kane kept on and was in the right place at the right time to score the winning goal. Thing is, that's Croatia as a team.

I don't really fancy their chances against France, still, but I have such a soft spot for an underdog. France are traditionally my secondary. In 1998 I was living in France, I watched that France-Brazil game surrounded by French people and we cheered and danced that night away. I reckon I'll be happy whoever wins on Sunday.

As for England... If someone had said at the start of the tournament that we'd reach even the quarter finals, I'd have been happy. We saw England in their first match have the resilience to snatch a win in the final minutes, when in the past we've curled up and waited to be Average. We saw England trounce an opponent they outclassed, instead of dithering our way to an uneasy victory. We won a knock-out game comfortably, we won a penalty shoot-out, and when we lost, we went down fighting.

Can't be too sorry.

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greisful

I'm late to the conversation but the game today was absolutely wild and so entertaining.

I'm not much of an expert when it comes to skill and analyzing the players and such, but I thought both Croatia and England played really well today. They certainly provided an entertaining game to watch.

There is a special place in my heart for Luka Modric. That man is so determined and such a skilled player. Anyways, I'm rooting for Croatia to win Fifa although I'm sure France will be a tough team to beat.

To be honest when the World Cup started I honestly thought Croatia and France would be the last people to make it to the final and yet here we are.

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starbuck

ayy, this was an awesome game!!! :loveshower:

of course i'm a bit sad we lost but we played beautifully and i'm really proud we won second place! :bliss::bliss:🇭🇷

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Aphoride

It was such a good game. I was almost kinda worried that after the great games in the rest of the tournament that the final wouldn't live up to the hype of the games before it, but yk, it was so, so good. As a final it had everything: drama, bloopers (that Lloris mistake, the Mandzukic header), every debate in football currently (the Griezmann dive/no dive/pre-empted foul/etc., the handball-or-not-handball via VAR), and a pair of great goals from Mbappe and Pogba. 

I'm disappointed for Croatia, because they played so well - they were definitely the better team in the first half and it should really have been 1-1 going into half-time - but they left everything on the pitch, and they were classy and dynamic. 

France were just too good on the day - they've almost been too good for everyone this tournament, and yeah they had a bit of luck in VAR and referee decisions going their way, but they had such composure to hold firm when Croatia kept attacking and attacking and attacking and such talent to produce those last two goals. 

Such a great tournament, though, and though I do think it would have been fairer for it to end 3-2 (a better reflection of the game, imo), I'm kinda pleased for France because they've been so good and so adaptable to whatever team they're playing, and I don't think you can really say that they didn't deserve to win? 

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Slide

France were certainly not the better side this game. Watching Croatia today, I'm kind of boggled I imagined England could beat them (though Croatia didn't play quite so well in the semi, oddly). They just keep fighting, they dominate the ball, and they play lovely football. It's why I wound up rooting for them against Russia, as Russia try to shut down play at every opportunity, which just becomes frustrating to watch - but Croatia keep on kicking. Referee decisions were against them, no way was that a foul against Griezmann, no way that was a freaking hand ball. Croatia got beat but they should hold their heads high. But. Pogba and Mbappé's goals were beautiful. France still demonstrated their quality. And one match does not make a tournament, and France have been outstanding all tournament; adaptive and skilled.

YES as I'm writing Modric got Golden Ball, good lad.

I've not got this into a World Cup in a while. A tournament can be a very special experience; if you engage, enthuse, absorb, it can be seared in your brain. Where you were, who you were with; snapshots in your lives. It sounds melodramatic when I'm just describing a sport, but seriously. I throw my doors open to all my friends, put my TV on, and some of those who show up are football fans, some of them aren't but if they'll ever watch a match it'll be for the World Cup. We're usually nerds who don't much care for sports. We still all lost our heads together in the Panama match, the Colombia penalty shoot-out. That's stuff I'll carry with me.

It's been emotional. ;)

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starbuck

i think both teams were great for the whole tournament and honestly, if it's not us, i'm happy it's france that won!

and @Slide - i absolutely know what you're talking about haha. everyone in croatia knows what they were doing and where they were in 1998 when we won third place :D and it's the match that everyone mentions every time we play in a big competition - i guess 2018 is going to replace it now :) 

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