Another Day, Another Match Sweden 1 Korea Republic 0 – Bad advertisement for the Beautiful Game.
Fouls, fouls, fouls. Football is like life you enjoy some of it and the rest is a chore. Sweden v Korea Republic was one of the chores. Not a good advertisement for the Beautiful Game. Whenever you see almost 50 fouls in a match you know that it was a choppy game by two technically mediocre teams. VAR intervenes well after play continues with a penalty award to Sweden well after the referee waved it off. This exposes a serious dilemma for the traditionalist. What if Korea scored before the VAR intervenes? This was the third penalty kick awarded by the VAR over the referee’s call in 5 days. This surely does not bode well for the referees. 1:0 Sweden after a well taken penalty kick.
A pedestrian effort by Belgium 3 over pesky Panama 0 – What if Belgium improves?
Belgium’s awesome all-star lineup is enough to intimidate any team even before the kick off. Think about it: Courtios, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku, Vertogen, Dembele. They are likely, pound for pound, the most talented team in the World Cup. Too many foul calls that would never be called in European club football are called by the referees in most games so far. Referees must be under instruction to call a foul on almost every (even questionable) contact. Underwhelming effort by Belgium except for De Bruyne’s outside of the foot cross to Lukaku for the second goal. Gallant if not polished effort by the pesky Panamanians. As is their habit lately from about the 70th minute on, Belgium came to life and wore out Panama with a Lukaku third goal. What if they improve in future games? Watch out!
Harry Kane Salvages England’s Pride with a deep into injury time header. England 2 Tunisia 1
The match started out as a trailer for the movie “Monday Night Massacre in Russia.” Captain Kane delivered in under 10 minutes and it looked like it was not even a fair fight. Within minutes Tunisia is emboldened by England ineptness in front of net with Sterling and Lingard missing surefire chances. Southgate kept Rashford on the bench until the 70th minute. Why? He is a dynamo and can dictate play. England pride was finally saved, again by Harry Kane who has a neck to be in the right place at the right time and capitalize. Walker’s awarded the Tunisian an irresponsible penalty kick and the energetic Tunisian far inferior on an individual skill (and salary) level were just about to pull off a (somewhat) deserved tie. The English paper tomorrow morning are going to have a field day but not as big if it wasn’t for Kane winner.