From Russia with love
This World Cup just keeps on giving, and I’m loving it. Two outstanding games of football yesterday, and whilst today’s 2nd Round matches lacked the same quality, the excitement was palpable as both games went the full distance and were settled by penalties.
The two keepers were unbelievable in the Denmark v Croatia game. After a dramatic start the game lacked quality. The Croats were nowhere near as good as they were in the groups and I felt Denmark had the upper hand as the game meandered into extra time. The competition will be worse off without Kasper Schmeichal’s passion and ability, but it was Subasic that won it for Croatia saving three pens. Modric showed nerves of steel to get back up to the spot to score in the shoot-out after missing a last minute penalty. Anyone know why the final defender wasn’t send off for the foul?
Before the tournament I never thought I’d be happy to see Russia progress. Spain passed the ball to death and had an early lead but failed to finish the hosts off, who admirably stuck to their task and wormed their way back into the game. So that’s now Germany, Argentina, Portugal and Spain out. It’s blooming marvellous isn’t it.
France looked good yesterday. They have pace, goalscorers and a strong back line. It was a cracker of a game, and oddly I even wanted the Argies to get a fourth, just so we got another half hour. It made the long football-free day on Friday worthwhile to start Saturday with that!
France were good, but Uruguay, who I forget have only a population of 3m, are not to be sniffed at. They will score goals and Cavani got a couple of beauts yesterday. That will be one finely poised Quarter Final. The top half of the draw looks to have a lot more quality and firepower than the bottom half, and I think we’ll see more goals again tomorrow, but tighter games on Tuesday.
This is a brilliant World Cup. One more sleep until the next game!