De Futebol England Advance on a 4-3 Nail Biting PK Shootout! Sweden shocks Switzerland 1-0!

England and Colombia engaged in one of those knock down drag out brawls. Three Lions advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup on a 4-3 PK shootout win.

Sweden pulled the upset city special a 1-0 win over Switzerland.

England-Sweden will duke it out in the quarterfinals.

The Daily Mail:” When it came down to that last one, when England were one penalty kick away from a World Cup quarter-final, we peered, a nation anxious to see who would step forward from the pack.

Jamie Vardy, who takes them for Leicester, was unused. Jesse Lingard had apparently been banging them in during practice. Walking towards the end lousy and noisy with yellow shirts …Eric Dier.

Dier, a defensive midfielder or centre-half, fifth at best in the penalty ranks at his club, Tottenham. Dier, ordinary against Belgium in his only start of the tournament. Dier, who had a pass completion rate of less than 25 per cent in his first 24 minutes on the field here.

Dier? Anchor man penalty taker? Dier? Have we taken leave of our senses? Apparently not. Gareth Southgate, more than any England manager, knows the agony of the shoot-out. That was one of the reasons he had his squad going through the routine, day after day, in training. With hindsight, why did we ever doubt?

If Dier was the man to hold his nerve, there must be reason, some numbers, some profiling to back that up. Now let’s be truthful. It wasn’t the cleanest. A bit scuffed and Ospina got a hand to it. But not enough.

There it was, in the net. There England were: in the quarter-finals. And all down to penalties. Not just the shoot-out, but the one Harry Kane scored that should have put England through in normal time. The penalty that took what seemed like forever.

Southgate is coming off like Yoda at this World Cup. Even when he loses, he wins. And when Dier nailed that winning penalty, he became the only England manager ever to emerge victorious from a shoot-out at a World Cup. Considering his back story, this was redemption.

Three penalty finales, three defeats: that had been England’s story until now. From here, whatever this competition holds for this young side, there will be the belief they can cope. Even if it goes to penalties; especially if it goes to penalties. The Germans went home at the group stage, and England have started winning shoot-outs. From here, pretty much anything can happen.

This is a moment in time; a moment when the cards are falling England’s way. Sweden are a well-organised team that defeated Italy in a play-off, then battled their way out of Germany’s group and through a knock-out game with Switzerland. So respect is due.

Yet, it cannot be forgotten that at the quarter-final stage it was envisaged England might meet one of either Brazil or Germany and would then go home – if they even got that far. A match-up with Sweden for a place in the last four? Come on, an opportunity like this may never open again. At worst, England have a puncher’s chance; at best – well, better not to even go there.

When Jordan Henderson’s third penalty of the shoot-out was saved by Ospina, it looked as if Southgate’s group were about to embark on a familiar path, the nation the same. More torture; more heartbreak; more wry songs making light of pain and hurt, to mask how we really feel.

But this night was different. Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca missed for Colombia; Kieran Trippier scored for England and suddenly victory was a shot away. Yet here’s the bizarre thing. It might not even have been the most nerve-shredding penalty of the night. At least Dier got his over quickly.

Three minutes and 31 seconds. Three minutes and 31 seconds was the time between the foul on Harry Kane in the 54th minute, and the moment he put the ball past Ospina to give England the lead.

That is a lot of time for a young man to think. Not about himself, for in these moments, individual awards such as a World Cup Golden Boot are a trifle. This was time to think about his team-mates, his country, everyone whose kindness and guidance had brought him to this point.

About the nation watching, at home. About kids in school looking up to him. And yes, it’s only a game of football. But for three minutes and 31 seconds it must have felt like the world.

In the time elapsed between referee Mark Geiger pointing to the spot, and Kane converting the penalty that should have brought England victory in normal time, Kane must have tried to disappear into his little bubble of familiarity. Tried but, probably, failed. Mayhem was unfolding around him.

Colombia appeared to regard the award as the start of a symposium, as if the whistle and the pointing gesture were merely the prelude to an opening address by several players. Henderson, normally so cool, was shown a yellow card for flicking his head backwards towards an opponent who was particularly persistent in his attention. He made no contact, but it’s the thought that counts.

Finally, Kane stood over the ball, with only goalkeeper Ospina in his path. Just as it was with Dier: Tottenham versus Arsenal, played out on the world stage. Kane has always loved that fixture. He waited for Ospina to make his move – to the left – and struck it straight down the middle, his sixth goal of the tournament, equalling Gary Lineker’s total for England at Mexico in 1986.

He has now scored in six games straight for his country. The last to do that was Tommy Lawton in 1939. Kane feels a little Lawton-like, a little old school, a bit of a throwback. But Lawton never knew pressure like this for his country. He never did three minutes and 31 seconds, with the nation at a standstill, heart in mouth.

And there was no let-up, no respite from there. One-nil isn’t a lead anyone is happy with going into the final ten minutes of a World Cup knock-out game. Better than trailing, of course. Better than shipping fo ur as England did to Germany at this stage in 2010 – but not good for the nerves.

When Kyle Walker gave the ball away and Colombia broke in the 81st minute, there would have been a collective national scream. Juan Quintero fed Juan Cuadrado on the overlap – one of those Colombians with a score to settle against the English game – but his shot was snatched and flew over.

Changes were made, the tension increased. It felt as if it was happening. The chance of lifetime. Almost too much to bear: and then it was snatched away, as every England fan feared.

Uribe hit a shot from range that Jordan Pickford tipped wide magnificently. A Colombian corner. England could handle those, surely. Up came Ospina, against the judgement of the bench – particularly when Colombia have players the size of Yerry Mina on hand.

He was the target, and he was the man the corner found. He outjumped Harry Maguire and headed the ball down. It reared up and was misjudged by Trippier on the line, his header only helping it on his way. Colombia were level, against the odds. Yet for England it felt painfully familiar. In the first-half of extra time it looked as if there would only be one winner: and it wasn’t the team in red.

Yet justice, over the full expanse of the game, prevailed. Colombia’s Wilmar Barrios was very lucky not to be dismissed for a butt on Henderson just before half-time. Geiger showed him a yellow card, probably the first time that has been considered the correct punishment for such an offence.

As they left the field for half-time, Barrios shook Geiger’s hand, and thanked him. A Colombian coach deliberately shoulder barged Raheem Sterling. It was a rather unpleasant scene and England were sucked into it at times. Colombian players made a meal of every challenge, but then Maguire dived, too. He could easily have been booked had Geiger spotted that.

Cameos from the shoot out? Well, Pickford’s save from Bacca obviously – and Marcus Rashford’s penalty. He has never taken one at senior level but he was second up here, England 2-1 down, smashing the ball left as if he was messing about with his mates. Credit Southgate’s influence there, too. This is a rare spirit England’s manager has engendered. Where it will take him from here, we can only dare to imagine.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5914489/Colombia-1-1-England-AET-England-win-penalties.html

De Futebol Brasil wins and Chile is out of the 2018 World Cup

Brasil blows out Chile 3-0. The loss killed Chile’s shot a 2018 World Cup spot. The loss drops the Chileans into sixth place with 26 points. Peru has 26 points tambem. Peru is a plus one while Chile is a minus one.

Chile is out and Peru is on to the playoff round of the 2018 World Cup.

The Daily Mail:” Alexis Sanchez and Chile will have to watch the World Cup from home after being dumped out of qualifying on a night of high drama in South America.

With all eyes on Lionel Messi and Argentina, who faced the real prospect of missing out on the tournament but ultimately made it through after coming from behind to beat Ecuador, Paulinho and Gabriel Jesus struck for a Brazil side long assured of their place to ensure Chile were the major casualties as they missed out on a play-off on goal difference as they were pipped by Peru.

Paulinho profited from an error by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to poke home the first before Manchester City man Jesus found an open net just two minutes later following a stunning piece of skill from Neymar.

Chile could find no answer as they desperately searched for a route to Russia, with Bravo sent up in search of a goal, but as play broke down Brazil cleared to Jesus who beat the Chilean goalkeeper in a foot race to find an empty net.

The back-to-back Copa America winners sunk to their knees and lay flat out on the turf at the final whistle, with the team ranked ninth in the world facing up to the prospect of having to watch next summer’s football festival from home.

The hosts went into the game as the only South American side to have punched their ticket and had the better of the opening exchanges in Sao Paulo and spent the majority of the half on the front foot, but only really tested Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal when Neymar scrambled through and forced the Manchester City goalkeeper to get down well to save at his near post.

Lionel Messi’s first-half rescue act for Argentina, which saw the Barcelona man strike twice to turn things around and give them the lead in Ecuador after conceding early, left Chile in a precarious position as they slipped to fourth, knowing falling behind would see them down to fifth and facing the prospect of a play-off against New Zealand.

But they stood firm heading into half-time and managed some late pressure on the Brazil back-line without ever forcing Ederson into action in the Brazil goal.

Chile, though were in serious trouble as the hour mark approached, with Brazil scoring twice to cast major doubts over their place in Russia. First, Paulinho profited after Claudio Bravo spilled a Dani Alves free-kick into his path, before Gabriel Jesus found an open goal when slotted in by Neymar just minutes later.

As it stood Chile were missing out completely, but the picture changed again when Colombia took the lead against Peru, which saw Sanchez and Co jump back into the play-off place.

That place was again lost with 10 minutes to play as Peru grabbed an equaliser against Colombia and, with Chile desperately looking for a leveler, Jesus slotted the second as he beat Bravo in a foot race after the visiting goalkeeper had been sent forward for a corner.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4968360/Brazil-3-0-Chile-Alexis-Sanchez-dumped-World-Cup.html#ixzz4vAADL0jE

De Futebol Messi’s hat trick leads Argentina to a berth in the 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi led the way with a hat trick to lead Argentina’s destruction of Ecuador 3-1. Couple this win with Brasil’s shut out 3-0 win over Chile and Peru and Colombia tied one all gave Argentinos third place and a spot in the 2018 World Cup.

Peru earns a playoff spot with their one all tie against Colombia.

Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia have their tickets punched for the World Cup.

The Guardian wrote on the Argentina win:” Argentina conceded after just 37 seconds in their must-win game against Ecuador, but Lionel Messi came to the rescue as his side booked their place at next summer’s World Cup.

The No10 hit a brace in the first half in Quito and capped off a stellar performance as he completed his hat-trick with a stunning chip over keeper Maximo Banguera just after the hour mark.

Romario Ibarra stunned the away fans – and perhaps all of South America – as he nodded on a ball lofted high into the danger area and sloppy defence from Argentina allowed the Ecuadorian space to slot it in past Sergio Romero in the opening minute.

But Messi, who is now the all-time leading goalscorer in South American qualifying, played a deft one-two with Angel di Maria to level things up after 12 minutes and then put his side in front eight minutes later with a strike from just inside the box.

Ecuador continued to press in search of an equaliser as Argentina failed to kill the game off, allowing the home side to attack well into the second half.

It was a moment of brilliance which proved to be the difference. The Argentina talisman took the ball in space about 40 yards out from goal, weaved his way to the edge of the box and was able to lob Banguera – six yards off his line – as he lost his balance and fell to the floor.

Argentina were looking in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup in Russia going into the final group games, following a torrid campaign in which they had only scored 16 goals in 17 games.

Low points were numerous, and a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in March saw the end of Edgardo Bauza’s short stint as boss as Jorge Sampaoli took the reins.

Since then, three draws put Argentina on the brink of not making the World Cup for the first time since 1970. They then travelled to Quito – a place where they have not won since 2001 – but bagged all three points to guarantee a trip to Russia.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/11/lionel-messi-hat-trick-secures-argentinas-passage-to-world-cup

De Futebol Chile is a step closer to making the 2018 World Cup

Chile scored a late goal to beat Ecuador 2-1. Alexis Sanchez nailed the match winner in the 86th minute.

The Daily Mail:” Chile survived a late scare to beat Ecuador 2-1 on Thursday and keep alive their hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia as they moved into third-place in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia with the fifth-placed side facing Oceania champions New Zealand in a two-legged play-off.

With just one game remaining, Brazil are the only South American side to have guaranteed their spot, with Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru all dependent on results in Tuesday’s final round of matches.

Copa America champions Chile have perhaps the toughest task in their final match, against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

The five-times world champions have never lost a World Cup qualifier at home.

Chile have failed to sparkle this year, losing three of their last four qualifiers before Thursday.

However, Tigres striker Eduardo Vargas helped them back to their winning ways with a goal after 22 minutes.

Alexis Sanchez stole the ball on the edge of the box and fed midfielder Jorge Valdivia and his pass left Vargas in space 12 yards out to crash the ball past keeper Maximo Banguera.

Romario Ibarra equalised for Ecuador with eight minutes remaining but Sanchez was on hand three minutes later when Banguera could only parry a shot on the edge of the six-yard box.

Sanchez then had the simplest of tasks slipping the ball home for the winner.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4954198/Chile-2-1-Ecuador-Alexis-Sanchez-nets-late-winner.html#ixzz4ugpJJTOQ

De Futebol-Argentina in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup

Argentina and Peru tied nil-nil.

The Daily Mail:” Argentina and Lionel Messi are on the verge of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970, stumbling to a 0-0 draw against Peru before a capacity crowd in Buenos Aires.

Only one round of qualifying remains in South America.

Argentina, the runner-up to Germany in the World Cup three years ago in Brazil, plays on Tuesday against Ecuador in the thin air of Quito in the Andes.

The Argentines are in sixth place, with the top four teams advancing automatically. The fifth-place team can advance by winning a playoff against New Zealand.

Brazil has already qualified, and drew 0-0 against Bolivia on Thursday. Brazil has 38 points, followed by: Uruguay (28), Chile (26), Colombia (26), Peru (25), Argentina (25) and Paraguay (24).

Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia are eliminated.

It’s too close to call. But Uruguay is expected to get through the final round on Tuesday. After that, four teams are chasing the two automatic spots.

That will leave two teams trying to reach the playoff, which looks like Argentina’s only route. It must win at 9,350 feet in Quito and get some help.

Argentine will require all the luck they can get after a disappointing night in front of their home supporters.

Their players, led by Messi, all trudged off the pitch at full-time. Every single of them appeared disappointed with the outcome and know their destiny is now out of their hands heading into next week and the crucial match against Ecuador.

It is a game they really must win if they are to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4954122/Argentina-drop-World-Cup-qualification-contention.html#ixzz4uizvrYcI

De Futebol Brasil-Bolivia tie nil-nil

Brasil and Bolivia tied nil-nil in the high altitude of La Paz. Brasileiros are the top dog with 38 points.

Globo Esportes wrote:” com a Bolívia na altitude de La Paz, nesta quinta-feira, pela penúltima rodada das Eliminatórias da Copa, em um duelo que teve o goleiro Lampe como grande destaque. O atacante Gabriel Jesus, que viu três finalizações suas pararem no boliviano, deu parabéns ao rival após a partida. Apesar do placar igual, o jogador do Manchester City disse que a seleção brasileira mostrou mais uma vez seu comprometimento mesmo já classificada para a Copa.

– Três chances que não costumo errar. De cabeça ainda estou treinando, aprimorando, mas não posso errar, eu sei. Fui lá e falei para ele parabéns pelas defesas. A gente sabia que não seria fácil, tivemos chances claras, mas não conseguimos ampliar para gol. Saímos daqui de cabeça erguida, porque a gente batalhou, correu e conseguiu segurar a equipe deles – disse.

Ao todo, a seleção brasileira contou com onze oportunidades de gol, parando ou em Lampe ou sofrendo com a altitude de 3640 metros de La Paz, a capital boliviana. Gabriel Jesus admitiu o cansaço por conta da geografia em sue primeiro duelo em um cenário como este.

– Senti um pouco de cansaço, é normal. Primeira vez que jogo em altura assim. Pega, é normal. Conseguimos jogar, colocar o ritmo. Infelizmente, a bola não entrou hoje. É descansar para que nos próximos jogos conseguimos fazer outro belo jogo e marcar os gols. O físico pega bastante. O domínio da bola é em relação ao campo, que não estava legal, mas não podemos reclamar, é entrar em campo e jogar, enfrentar as dificuldades.

O Brasil fecha as Eliminatórias na última rodada (18ª) diante do Chile, na arena do Palmeiras, em São Paulo, na próxima terça-feira, às 20h30 (de Brasília). Líder isolado e já garantido no Mundial da Rússia, uma vitória confirma a ótima campanha do time comandado por Tite na competição, cujo aproveitando é de 74.5 % até agora, com 38 pontos.

https://sportv.globo.com/site/programas/copa-2018/noticia/gabriel-jesus-parabeniza-goleiro-boliviano-e-elogia-garra-brasileira-na-altitude-de-la-paz.ghtml

De Futebol

Bolivia upset the apple cart with a 1-0 win over Chile.

The Daily Mail:” Chile fell to a 1-0 defeat in Bolivia as their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup suffered a major blow on Tuesday evening.

Juan Carlos Arce scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after Chile’s Marcelo Diaz was penalised for a handball in the area.

Substitute Alejandro Chumacero was sent off for the hosts for a second booking in added time but Bolivia held on in the high altitude of La Paz.

The result means Alexis Sanchez’s side sit precariously in the final automatic qualification spot in the South American section – level on points with Argentina who host Venezuela later on Tuesday night.

Bolivia had won their last two home matches and started on the front foot, with Arce firing just wide following Pablo Escobar’s short corner in the sixth minute.

The hosts then failed to take advantage of a Chile error when Marcelo Martins missed the target with a header after Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo blundered in his attempt to clear a corner.

Bravo was called into action to deny Diego Bejarano while Juan Valverde placed a header just wide as Bolivia dominated the first half.

Chile struggled to carve out openings and their first real chance came towards the end of the opening period when Arturo Vidal’s effort was blocked wide from six yards out.

And they fell behind when Diaz blocked Flores’ effort with his arm and the referee awarded a spot-kick – Arce stepped up to drill a powerful effort past Bravo.

Chile had a penalty shout of their own turned down when Jordy Candia appeared to block Esteban Paredes’ header with his arm but the referee rejected appeals.

Bolivia substitute Chumacero was sent off for a second booking in the closing stages after kicking out at Pablo Hernandez but the match ended in a deserving win for the home side.

It’s Chile’s second successive loss and leaves them sitting precariously in fourth position above Argentina on goal difference.

The victory does nothing for Bolivia’s chances however – they have no hope of qualifying for Russia 2018.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4855864/Bolivia-1-0-Chile-Match-report.html#ixzz4rw4uPexC