There could have been more exciting matches or more dramatic endings in this tournament, but none have been more exciting combined with a higher quality of play than this one. Argentina were staring into the abyss, like Germany today, giving the game an air of comedy, but they remained fierce until Lionel Messi pulled them out of the fire. Germany mostly took the opportunity to save itself, at least for a few days, although it still had to wait until the last minute to hear the governor’s call.
Germany tweaked their formation slightly to face Spain head-to-head in this game, excluding Kai Havertz from the front line to put Leon Goretzka in midfield, essentially mirroring a 4-3 formation. -3 of Spain by having Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich pair up with Pedri and Gavi. It left Thomas Müller up front on his own, making Germany a little uncomfortable after all their good tackle. And the way to really get to Spain might be to try to overload the aging Sergio Busquets in their midfield and Rodri has no place behind him. But it will take quite a bit of tires to do that with the World Cup fate of a team in the balance.
What we got was the two teams trying to press and coordinate with each other in the same way, with the full-backs of both teams rising up the pitch trying to gain possession and keep the money. each other’s wings. While Spain had more possession and played the whole game knowing that A. they still had Costa Rica on the schedule and B. their +7 goal difference would get them out of almost any deadlock. In the qualifying round, both teams were looking for liquid and danger. Gavi and Pedri play the game as if they too can see the TV view you and I have and can make the plays and passes we require based on our panoramic vision. Jamal Musiala continued to weave his way past defenders on a whim. It was the best Hagler-Hearns game we’ve ever had, with two top quality teams unafraid to throw punches at each other and worry about counter punches the other time.
Spain opened the scoring thanks to Jordi Alba, who should have been too old to still hit the touchline and provide assists the way he did 10 years ago, putting it up. table for Alvaro Morata. cheeky ending with the outside of his feet. Germany had to retire after that and received the reward when Niclas Füllkrug was able to benefit from Musiala overcame the Spanish defence, plunging him into the net.
Füllberg is a great story, as he was playing in the second division last season and would not have been on the team had Timo Werner not been injured. He has scored 10 goals for Werder Bremen this season, and this is only his third time playing for his country at the age of 29. Germany coach Hans Flick must have figured it out. worst if they need a goal and can leave Fullkrug in his place. coming to Werder, he can do the same thing he did to Werder. Take notes, Haji Wright.
The game lacked many chances and shots, partly because both Germany and Spain lacked sharp finishes at the top of the pitch and partly because both teams were close and fiercely manned. Neither of them could find a final pass or a pass until the second half. But the display quality is the highest we’ve ever seen.
Other results: Japan 0 – 1 Costa Rica
This is what happens when you let Japan hold the ball. They don’t really create much without the extra space they find on counter-attack, and even if they can create chances they don’t have anyone reliable to finish for them. Japan held the ball 57% against Ticos but only launched 3 shots on target. It’s fair to Costa Rica, who really looked preoccupied this time, unlike the last time they stomped on from Spain.
And they had a bit of luck, as Keysher Fuller’s finish was like a change, completely sending Shuichi Gonda into the net when he jumped a little too early and didn’t complete it:
Both of these results establish the group as the Chaos Group on Thursday, as all four teams were able to make it through.
Belgium 0 – 2 Morocco
Now this is a team that doesn’t care. In the latest on why Roberto Martinez is a babbling idiot, it looked like he gave his Belgium team at least attack in a 4-2-3-1 today, but with Kevin De Bruyne works wide on the right side of the attack. It’s great if all you want him to do is throw crosses, but he’s become the best midfielder in the world for many other reasons and possibilities. That also forces the attack to revolve around Eden Hazard in the midfield, who is both old, has lost his fitness and training due to not being able to play regularly for 3 seasons. De Bruyne was effective when he took the lead of three or four at Man City. Basically, Belgium gave him a chance, and it was Michy Batshuayi, who everyone knew wasn’t the answer. No wonder Belgium looks completely devoid of sparks or excitement.
And if Martinez doesn’t get his formation or tactics right, then his job should be to create harmony or energy in the team to take charge of that and let the talent in the team (admittedly the talent). old ability) is shown. Belgium got through this match with all the flavor of their boss’ son’s trip to the mitzvah bar. The Moroccans didn’t really have to go to great lengths to hold onto the Belgians, nor did they appear threatening when attacking with speed. All it takes is a single mess of Tibault Courios and that’s it.
Croatia 4 – 1 Canada
The good story doesn’t work. Neither do their own analytical statistics. Yes, Canada played better than Belgium in the opening match. Yes, they should have one, but it’s also their responsibility to not get it done. Now they don’t have to worry about either, because today they found a way to finish, as Alphonso Davies finally scored his first World Cup goal in just three minutes. And then they were kicked in the butt thoroughly. The 4-1 scoreline doesn’t lie like the 1-0 score against Belgium. There is no injustice from the football gods here.
Canada tried something similar to what the US did against England, which was to set up defenses in a 4-4-2 to cut off the Croatian midfield from defense and use their wingers to attack. Try and spring attack against full-backs is not all. Fast. Here’s the problem: America’s midfield has very mobile and energetic players. Canada’s midfield features Atiba Hutchinson, 39, who moves like a buoy on ice (and Canada should consider bringing him on after this game). When any of Croatia’s midfield wants to drop a little deeper to receive the ball, he can’t keep up. Or when they wanted to dribble past him, they did it while encountering only toilet paper resistance. So, even with the lead, Croatia took a 2-1 lead in the first half thanks to midfield dominance and they could easily find killer passes. To be witty:
Canada attempted to switch to a 3-5-2 formation after half-time, but Hutchinson remained out, Modric, Kovacic and Brozovic continued to play, and Canada were lucky they didn’t score more than two goals. . So Canada’s World Cup is over, their hapless underdog story has been beaten before we have time to care. But don’t worry, that doesn’t stop their journalists from acting smug:
He’s not crazy, really.
Goals for the day
Not the best goal, but because it was too late and too dramatic, Fuller’s goal had to bring Costa Rica all 3 points.
Does VAR damage anything?
That was avoided today, and in fact, the speed with which Antonio Rüdiger’s goal for Germany in the first half was ruled out for offside is a testament to how this system is supposed to work.
Did Alexi Lalas say anything stupid?
That duck too, As they say, even God rests on Sundays.