De Futebol Thoughts from the 2018 World Cup

The 2018 World Cup is in the books. France is the champion. No one expected France to win the whole enchilada.

The French did.

This team flew under the radar. Everyone expected Brasil, Germany, Argentina, Spain and even Mexico to win it. Oh, how wrong the so-called pundits were.

The American press were building up the great pretender Mexico. After the Mexican win over Germany The USA press expected Mexico to make it to at least the quarterfinals.

Not so fast bucko, Brasil stood in the way and won with a strong 2-0 win.

Brasil lost to Belgium 2-0 in the quarterfinals.

Argentina barely made it out of the group stage. Thus, Argentinos earned the right to battle France in the round of sixteen.

In a matter of ten minutes in the second half France turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-1 advantage.

France won 4-3 however the final score was not the true reflection of how the French blew doors off of Argentina in that deadly eleven minute span to grab the match by the neck and choke the life out of a helpless Argentina squad.

The biggest surprise was Germany losing two matches in the group stage and thus bombed out and this quick exit shocked the Futebol world.

Japan almost made Belgium eat their own lunch in the round of sixteen. Belgium didn’t quit and scored three second half goals to win 3-2.

Belgium and France hooked up in the semifinals. The difference in the match was France’s lighten quick speed that led to the only goal in the match a header by Samuel Umtiti for the one nil win.

England came out of nowhere to earn a spot in the semifinals. Three Lions were the third youngest club in the World Cup. Nigeria was the youngest. France was the second youngest team assembled.

England lost a heart breaker to Croatia 2-1 in the semifinals. This devastating loss came on the heels of a thrilling 4-3 PK shootout win over Columbia the quarterfinals.

The two shockers of the 2018 World Cup were Russia making it to the quarterfinals. Russia defeated Spain 4-3 in a PK shootout. Spain crashed and burned out of the 2018 World Cup.

The other huge surprise was Croatia making to the finals against France.

The Croatians claimed Denmark, Russia and England on the way to the finals before losing to a superior French side 4-2.

Thus, in the end this 2018 World Cup was full of surprises however the quality of play was below par compared to other World Cups.

The cool thing about this World Cup the favorites wore the choke collar.

The Dogs won.

De Futebol France to the Semifinals with a 2-0 win over Uruguay!

France advanced to the semifinals with a 2-0-win Uruguay.

Uruguay came into the match minus one of their top players Edinson Cavani due to a calf injury.

France was too strong for Uruguay to compete minus one of their best players. Even with Cavani in the lineup France would have still one.

Belgium defeated Brasil 2-1 to advance to the semifinals against France.

The Daily Mail:” Antoine Griezmann may like to sip yerba mate and hang out grilling meat with his Uruguayan chums but his loyalties were not in question as a goal and an assist fired France into the last four of the World Cup.

Griezmann’s quandary had been one of the pre-match narratives since he once confessed to a deep affection for Uruguay reinforced by his close friendship with Atletico Madrid teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.

Godin is godfather to his daughter but there was no room for sentiment in Nizhny Novgorod.

Griezmann created the opener for Rafael Varane just before half-time and killed the Uruguayan fight when he scored the second from distance with the considerable help of a goalkeeping howler from Fernando Muslera.

France who move onto a semi-final in Saint Petersburg.

Uruguay without the galloping force of Edinson Cavani up front were simply not able to damage France as they had Portugal in the previous round.

Cavani picked up a calf injury after scoring twice against the European champions and, after days of cloak and dagger shenanigans around his fitness, he was named on the bench and was not even fit enough to come on when they were chasing the game.

Without him, and for all their fabled fighting spirit, Uruguay did not seem to have the same belief.

Luis Suarez bustled around, barging into people and trying upset the rhythms of the game but this time the task was too great against a very strong France team and they knew all hope had gone.

Gimenez was in tears on the field even before fourth official had put the board up to show five minutes of stoppage time.

Cristhian Stuani, who came in for Cavani, was lively in the opening stages and Hugo Lloris had to be out alert to punch clear and stop him reaching a knock down from Gimenez following a corner.

France were without Blaise Matuidi, who was suspended. Corentin Tolisso came in to replace him.

It was a tense and fractious opening as it always promised to be and early chances were scarce.

In five previous encounters between the two countries since 2002 there had been only one goal.

Kylian Mbappe showed glimpses of his devastating turn of pace but wasted the first clear opening of the game, mistiming a header on target when unmarked in front of goal and became flustered by Uruguay’s physical attention.

Lloris saved comfortably from Matias Vecino on the turn.

France dominated possession and took the lead, five minutes before half-time when a mistake in defence by Rodrigo Bentancur allowed Tolisso to steal the ball.

Bentancur’s attempted to regain possession quickly but his tackle was clumsy and felled the French midfielder.

Referee Nestor Pitana gave a free-kick and booked the Uruguayan, a yellow card which was met with a pained expression as Bentancur knew this would rule him out of the semi-final if his team were to make it.

Griezmann addressed the free-kick and clipped it into the penalty area with his left foot.

Varane timed his run perfectly, away from Vecino and across the front of Stuani, he rose and glanced a header inside the far post at pace. Muslera had little chance with this one.

Uruguay responded with a positive flurry of intent before the interval and forced Lloris into a brilliant save.

Again from a set-piece, this time delivered by Lucas Torreira and won in the air by Martin Caceres. Lloris sprang to his right and kept the header out with a firm right hand.

Diego Godin crashed in to try and ram the rebound into the roof of the net but blazed the ball over.

Oscar Tabarez did not wait long into the second-half to make two changes but his team were soon two adrift following a dreadful mistake by goalkeeper Muslera.

Griezmann was about 25 yards from goal, out on the left when he took a short pass from Tolisso and was given all the time and space he required to line up a strike on goal.

He struck it sweetly but straight at the goalkeeper and although there may have been a slight wobble in flight Muslera really should have kept it out.

Instead he panicked, pushed his palms at the ball and helped it into the net.

In fairness to Griezmann, he seemed to take little delight in his goal, perhaps slightly embarrassed to see it slither in as well as sorry for his Uruguayan pals.

There was little goodwill extended elsewhere because from this point the niggly nature of the contest worsened, with France happy to run down the clock by milking every bit of late contact.

Nahitan Nandez left an elbow on Tolisso and Lucas Torreira was late on Benjamin Pavard.

A mass skirmish was triggered when Cristian Rodriguez nudged Mbappe and everyone waded in when the teenager overreacted.

Luis Suarez, ineffective without Cavani, was in the thick of it.

Referee Pitana settled the dispute with yellow cards for Mbappe and Rodriguez

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5925943/Uruguay-0-2-France-Les-Bleus-World-Cup-semi-final.html

De Futebol A shoot out 4-3 win over Argentina! Uruguay Defeats Portugal 2-1!

France fell behind 2-1 in the early moments of the second half before scoring three second half goals to escape with a 4-3 win over Argentina.

France is now in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

The Guardians Jonathan Wilson:” Dreams can endure only so long before they are overwhelmed by reality – and there are few realities quite so brutally uncompromising as the pace and finishing of Kylian Mbappé, who scored twice and won a penalty in France’s 4-3 win.

After a grim trudge through the group stage, France, finally, are off and running and looking like potential champions. Lionel Messi, for all the hopes freighting his slight frame, will not be winning the World Cup this time.

Quite how Argentina have ended up as this strange botch-job of parts that don’t quite fit together, bound together by nothing more than the magic of Messi, is a question that cannot straightforwardly be answered but the fact is they are and, as such, were never likely to survive a meeting with a side that looked into their eyes and wasn’t cowed by their self-romanticising will to progress.

That will, though, remains ferociously strong. Until the midpoint of the second half, when they opened up a two-goal lead, the game was underpinned by the question of how France didn’t already have it won.

There had been talk of conjuring the repeat of 1990 when defeat to Cameroon inspired a defiant spirit that carried Argentina to the final and in some of the cruder challenges, it felt Argentina may be following the template rather too closely. But the difference between then and now is that that team could actually defend; this side can merely struggle.

The deployment of Messi as a false nine as Jorge Sampaoli, or whichever cabal of senior players picks the side these days, opted for a fourth different formation in four games, served only to deny the wide men a target when they got the ball in crossing positions.

Certainly it did nothing to add a defensive stability. Is all very well to play, as Sampaoli promised they would, with a knife between their teeth, but only if you can actually catch your opponents to use it. Argentina’s lack of pace is a problem that will never easily be resolved, and certainly not by playing the sort of high line they attempted early on. Perhaps Didier Deschamps’s France have become a fluent attacking unit; perhaps Argentina just made them appear so.

Thirteen minutes had gone when Ever Banega miscontrolled 30 yards from the French goal, allowing Mbappé to burst forwards. Nobody came close to catching him until Marcos Rojo hauled him down. Antoine Griezmann, who had already pinged a free-kick against the bar, rolled in the penalty. Six minutes later, Mbappé’s pace almost undid them again as he raced onto a quickly-taken Pogba free-kick and was tripped on the edge of the box by Nicolás Tagliafico, who was perhaps fortunate to receive only a yellow card. For them to play so high with defenders so slow against an attack so quick seemed mystifying.

Having scored one brilliant goal, Argentina, as they had against Nigeria, then added a second with the least implausible body-part available to them, as Messi’s ball back into the middle was deflected in by the left foot of Gabriel Mercado. Could they cling on? They could not, and didn’t even come close.

It took just nine minutes for Benjamin Pavard to conjure a goal the equal of Di María’s, cuffing a volley from the edge of the box into the top corner. Seven minutes after Argentina were cut apart on their right once again – the full-back areas have been a major problem all tournament. Lucas Hernández’s cross fell for Mbappé and he turned sharply to score again. As Argentina chased, the gaps simply grew wider and, from Olivier Giroud’s touch, Mbappé capitalised again. At 19, he is already a wonderfully efficient footballer.

Yet still Argentina were not quite finished, Sergio Agüero heading in a late third. From the grave, the hand thrust up through the soil, but it got no further. Argentina at last were done.

Deschamps’s side has been criticised for its ungainliness and its caution, for being too much about substance and not enough about style. On the day he became the longest-serving manager in France’s history, Deschamps could perhaps reflect that a little planning and a little stodge goes a lot further than a slow and shambolic defence and a nostalgic faith in a bastard spirit.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/30/france-argentina-world-cup-last-16-match-report

Uruguay defeated Portugal 2-1.

ESPN:” Two goals from Edinson Cavani earned Uruguay a place in the World Cup quarterfinals as they ended the dreams of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal with a 2-1 win in Sochi.

Cavani headed home before the break and, soon after Pepe had headed a second-half equaliser, scored the winner with a superb curling shot.

Portugal had been first to threaten, Joao Mario getting down the left and crossing to the far post where Bernardo Silva could not steer his header on target.

With six minutes gone, Bernardo Silva made progress down the other flank and laid the ball off to Ronaldo, who blasted a first-time effort straight at keeper Fernando Muslera.

But a minute later, Uruguay led when Cavani and Luis Suarez combined in style, Cavani’s pass finding Suarez and his cross converted by the striker at the far post, the ball seeming to go in off his face.

At the other end, Jose Fonte steered a downward header across goal and behind, although he appeared to be fouling defender Matias Vecino, and at the other end Suarez saw a cross deflected over after another sharp run had created danger.

Back came Portugal but, after a good spell of pressure, Joao Mario’s cross was too deep for Ronaldo and Muslera claimed.

Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes then combined well but the latter’s cross was headed clear before it could reach Ronaldo.

As play switched to the other end, Fonte brought down Suarez for a dangerous 25-yard free kick and the forward’s low shot was well saved by Rui Patricio.

Ricardo Carvalho’s free kick eluded both Ronaldo and Fonte, with the half-hour approaching and Portugal yet to create a clear-cut chance.

Ronaldo then had an opening when Rodrigo Bentancur conceded a free kick for a foul on Guedes 25 yards out, only to blast his effort into the wall.

Martin Caceres and Nahitan Nandez combined to create a chance but the move ended when Cavani was unable to control an awkwardly-bouncing ball, and with five minutes remaining until the break Joao Mario made a promising run down the left only to slip.

In the final moments of the half, with Suarez down following a challenge from Raphael Guerreiro, Portugal won a corner that came to nothing before a half-chance was steered wide by Cavani at the far post.

Diego Godin cleared as Joao Mario sent in the first cross of the second half, and Ricardo put in another that was dealt with by Godin before it could find the waiting Ronaldo.

Guerreiro fired over from the edge of the box after a corner had fallen to him, and then Ronaldo laid the ball back to Adrien Silva, whose shot was deflected behind for a 55th-minute corner.

From it, Portugal were level as Pepe stormed in to head home from Guerreiro’s delivery and grab the goal that they had increasingly threatened since the break.

But parity did not last long, Cavani steering a brilliant curling finish into the corner after 62 minutes following Bentancur’s beautifully-weighted pass into his path.

Cristian Rodriguez came on for Bentancur as Uruguay made the first change, Portugal taking off Adrien Silva and bringing on Ricardo Quaresma soon afterwards.

With 20 minutes remaining, Bernardo Silva hooked over after Muslera had failed to hold a ball in the area under pressure, and then a Ronaldo strike from outside the box came back off a defender.

Guedes made way for Andre Silva and goal hero Cavani, limping after a knock, was replaced by Cristhian Stuani befoe Guerreiro sent another effort over as the game entered its final quarter of an hour.

Bernardo Silva drove in a low cross that deflected over as Portugal began to run out of time, and then Nandez was replaced by Carlos Sanchez for Uruguay.

Quaresma bent a cross towards Ronaldo, but just over him, and Bernardo Silva’s low ball in was cleared before Manuel Fernandes came on for Portugal in place of Joao Mario.

Ronaldo sliced another attempt wide and was booked for protesting after the referee declined to give a foul on Quaresma — but neither he nor Portugal could find a way through in four minutes of stoppage time as Uruguay held on to their lead to set up a quarterfinal against France on Friday.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/undefined

 

De Futebol Uruguay Defeated Ten Man Russia 3-0 to win Group A!

Uruguay defeated Russia 3-0 to win Group A.

Portugal and Iran tied one all in Group B

Spain and Morocco tied two all so.

Uruguay will taken on Portugal while Russia and Spain hook up.

The Guardians Nick Ames:” The opinion among Russia’s more phlegmatic observers has been that, vibrant and positive as the early stages of this World Cup have been, it would be wise to extract every last ounce of fun from the party because reality will soon bite back. At some stage life will return to normal and the euphoria around the national team’s performance is one uplifting aspect that, on this evidence, may not last a great deal longer.

This defeat had no impact on the hosts’ progression from Group A but it was a reminder that, against practised opponents with a dash of quality, they will hit a ceiling on any normal day. Uruguay sailed past them with an efficient, unfussy display, aided by an early Luis Suárez free-kick and an own goal from Denys Cheryshev. By the time Edinson Cavani had sealed the issue the game had long since fizzled out and Russia, who lost Igor Smolnikov to a first-half red card, must now seek to make this a bump in the road rather than a juddering halt.

Samara considers itself to be one of the country’s more passionate football venues and there was certainly a more raucous, partisan atmosphere than local fans had produced in Moscow or St Petersburg. Russia had never played here before and, coupled with the dramatic swing in sentiment towards Stanislav Cherchesov’s side over the past 10 days, it made for something fresh: the boisterousness of a provincial city equipped to love its team.

Suárez’s goal was something of a buzzkill, then, and perhaps the most alarming aspect for Russia was that it came from the kind of error Saudi Arabia and Egypt showed little capacity to exploit. Uruguay were always going to present a step up in quality and it showed when the right winger Alexander Samedov played a careless pass backwards into his own half. Suárez was onto it smartly and the result, after his initial centre had been cut out, was a rash foul by Iury Gazinsky on Rodrigo Bentancur. The position of the free-kick, 18 yards out and central, already looked like a gift for Suárez and when a bout of wrestling in the wall opened up an angle to Igor Akinfeev’s left his prospects increased further. He made no mistake, finishing low inside the post, and Russia’s momentum had hit its first sizeable hurdle.

They flickered in response, Cheryshev drawing an uncertain save from Fernando Muslera on the latter’s 100th international appearance and Artyom Dzyuba bouncing a header over. The attacking pair have been two of the foremost stars in a group stage of unexpected Russian success stories; it was in keeping with this game’s start, then, that its next unhappy accident befell one of them.

It was Cheryshev, unable to avoid being struck by Diego Laxalt’s left-footed shot, who diverted the ball past a scrambling Akinfeev to effectively kill the game. The effort, aimed back into a crowded box after a corner had been half-cleared, was going well wide; Cheryshev had already scored three goals at the right end in the previous two games but now had an own goal to his name.

This had all happened by the midway point in the first half. It almost got worse for Russia when Akinfeev saved at the feet of Bentancur but another reminder of their mortality would follow soon enough. Smolnikov, one of three newcomers to Cherchesov’s starting XI, had already been booked when, nine minutes before the break, he chopped down a full-flight Laxalt. There was nothing to question about Malang Diedhiou’s instant reach for the red card and on an oppressively hot evening you wondered whether in a perfect world everybody would have called things a day there.

For long periods nothing happened to sway anyone who held that view. Uruguay kept possession to moderately good effect and threatened a third when Cavani rolled Sergey Ignashevich, who recovered well to deny the chance. The home fans, unwilling to let the occasion slide completely, kept the noise up and would have had something to cheer about if a VAR referral had awarded Russia a penalty after Diego Godín caught Dzyuba with a stray arm. That particular physical tussle had, until then, been anticlimactic and the review offered Dzyuba nothing to show for it. The centre-forward had bullied and buccaneered to cult-like effect against Egypt before scoring a beautifully taken goal; here he looked very much a player whose calendar year has been spent in exile at Arsenal Tula.

Another striker, Cavani, was more constructively involved throughout but was frustrated that Suárez, who would have laid on an easy chance if his radar was functioning, overcooked his pass after another Russia mistake. Cavani looked like a player who needed a goal and duly got it at the death, snaffling up a rebound after Akinfeev had saved from Godín. Uruguay had hardly been at full tilt but then they tend to save their most pugnacious fare for the big guns. The question for Russia, though, is whether they have used up the last of their own strength.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/25/luis-suarez-uruguay-russia-world-cup-2018-group-a-match-report

De Futebol Uruguay wins 1-0! On to the next round

Uruguay is on the round of sixteen with a less than convincing 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

The Daily Mail:” Luis Suarez scored on his 100th international appearance to send Uruguay through to the knockout stage along with hosts Russia as Saudi Arabia and Egypt were eliminated from Group A.

The Barcelona star became the first Uruguayan to score at three different World Cup finals when he prospered from another Saudi blunder midway through the first half in sweltering Rostov.

It was just as well too because it was a second flat performance at this tournament from a team boasting the likes of Suarez and Edinson Cavani following an unconvincing win over Egypt in their opener.

For the Saudis, there was at least a measure of redemption in the wake of their horror show against the Russians. They remain on a 12-game winless streak at the World Cup going back 24 years, and will be hoping to sign off with a win against Egypt in what is now a dead rubber.

They had endured a miserable start to the tournament following that embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Russia in Moscow. Even their team flight to Rostov had gone badly after one of the engines caught fire.

The nation’s sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh had to apologise to Saudi heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after admitting that the team gave ‘less than five per cent effort’ in their Group A opener.

Football federation chief Adel Ezzat went one step further by naming and shaming three of the players – goalkeeper Abdullah Almuaiouf, striker Mohammed Alsahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi – while vowing they would face a ‘penalty’ by a state not known for its leniency.

Being dropped is the very least they could have expected, and it was no surprise to see coach Juan Antonio Pizzi name all three on the bench as he made a total of four changes.

On the other hand, Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez made just two as the inclusion of Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez meant that the South Americans started with seven players over the age of 31.

If there was any hope for Saudi Arabia, it was Uruguay’s difficulty in breaking down Egypt in their opening game before winning with a late goal. It was a similar story here for the first quarter before the favourites capitalised on more kamikaze defending from their opponents to take the lead.

Replacement goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, winning just his second cap, rushed out to meet a corner in the 23rd minute but ended up flapping at thin air under pressure from Diego Godin. Suarez was waiting unmarked to meet the ball with a side-footed volley from close range.

At that stage, you feared another Saudi collapse but they actually rallied to create two chances before half-time.

Both efforts came from Hatan Bahbri who cut inside from the right after 26 minutes and unleashed a fine effort that forced Fernando Muslera to tip the ball over his bar.

Bahbri should have done better three minutes later when Godin lost track of Yasser Alshahrani’s cross from the left. The ball fell at the No.9’s feet and he seemed to be caught by surprise as he steered his effort over.

Saudi had to make a change before the interval when Taiseer Aljassam pulled a hamstring as he overstretched for the ball, but was rather bizarrely retrieved from the tunnel and thrust back into the action for a few moments before Hussain Almoqahwi was ready to come on as a replacement.

However, they continued to match their highly-rated opponents whose slender lead was looking increasingly precarious as the second half progressed.

Tabarez sent Lucas Torreira and Diego Laxalt in an attempt to raise his team, and they almost added a second just after the hour mark when Cavani’s excellent cross picked out Carlos Sanchez but his header flew well over the bar.

Cavani also went close on two occasions but, ultimately, Suarez’s strike was enough to send Uruguay and Russia through. However, the South Americans will need to raise their game in the second stage if they are to justify their tag as dark horses to win the World Cup.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5866003/Uruguay-1-0-Saudi-Arabia-Luis-Suarez-knocks-Egypt-World-Cup.html

De Futebol Uruguay Wins their Opener with a Hard Fought 1-0 win over Egypt

It sure looked like Uruguay would tie with Egypt. Luis Suarez and company were frustrated with the Egyptian defense. A tie was in the cards until Jose Maria Gimenez noddled home the rock past the helpless keeper in the 89th minute to secure a hard fought 1-0 over Egypt.

Luis Suarez’s perfect corner kick into the box set up the match winner for the Uruguayans.

Russia blew out Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup held in Russia.

Russia and Uruguay each have three points however Russia is the top dog on goal difference over Uruguay in Group A. The Russians are plus five while the Uruguayan’s are plus one.

The Guardians Jonathan Wilson:” Slowly, slowly, it had been coming. After 80 minutes in which almost nothing had happened, other than the non-appearance of Mohamed Salah, Uruguay in the final minutes had just begun to increase the pressure. There was a volley from Edinson Cavani pawed away by Mohamed El Shrawy then a free-kick smacked against the post by the same player and then, finally, with a minute to go, José Giménez rose to meet a right-wing corner with a powerful header and Uruguay, for the first time since 1970, had won their opening game at a World Cup.

But much of the game had seemed to conform to the stereotype of modern international football. The better teams can defend and can hold their shape, and very few sides have the cohesion to attack with the pace or precision to break them down. That was exacerbated here by a pitch that seemed to have been insufficiently watered. As in the early stages of the opening game, before Saudi Arabia’s implosion, there was a sense that the ball was sticking, reducing further the pace of attacks.

The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action – and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games. And the brightest of those this season, was missing. After all the excitement of Thursday, and the overblown response to one line from Héctor Cúper in a press conference that was replete with equivocation, Mohammed Salah did not start. He had seemed tentative performing some basic windmill exercises in training and his only involvement here was to elicit a great roar from the Egyptian fans as he trotted out to warm-up and then another cheer – and a chorus of Happy Birthday (he turned 26 on Friday) – when he was shown on big screens midway through the first half.

But much of the game had seemed to conform to the stereotype of modern international football. The better teams can defend and can hold their shape, and very few sides have the cohesion to attack with the pace or precision to break them down. That was exacerbated here by a pitch that seemed to have been insufficiently watered. As in the early stages of the opening game, before Saudi Arabia’s implosion, there was a sense that the ball was sticking, reducing further the pace of attacks.

The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action – and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games. And the brightest of those this season, was missing. After all the excitement of Thursday, and the overblown response to one line from Héctor Cúper in a press conference that was replete with equivocation, Mohammed Salah did not start. He had seemed tentative performing some basic windmill exercises in training and his only involvement here was to elicit a great roar from the Egyptian fans as he trotted out to warm-up and then another cheer – and a chorus of Happy Birthday (he turned 26 on Friday) – when he was shown on big screens midway through the first half.

When a corner did drop to Suárez on the edge of the six-yard box after 24 minutes, he mystifyingly dragged his shot wide. There were other chances, one kept out by the right boot of Mohamed El Shenawy and a one on one in which the keeper dived at his feet. But slowly the chances began to mount up and in the end, Egypt cracked, the first goal they had conceded at a World Cup since Mark Wright’s header in 1990.

It was not pretty from Uruguay, but it was enough.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/15/egypt-uruguay-world-cup-group-a-match-report

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