Yesterday’s football derby was brilliant! We’re now headed for the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup and that is something of course. Russia put up a great fight, England dispersed any doubts that we might have had about the team, and Belgium is indeed the underdog that we have all long suspected it to be! The games that transpired yesterday are worthy of our admiration and quick examination. So, without further ado, let’s focus on what happened yesterday.
Russia vs Croatia
To say that the game was easy for either team would be an overstatement. Croatia really had a close run and the game was undecided until the very end, come to think of it. Russia set out with a clear advantage in the first half, scoring once in the door of its opponents and raising the hopes of everyone that the country may yet continue. Croatia, however, saw its way clear with 2 goals that followed. At the time of the crunch, when people thought that Russia will continue. Still, Russians fought back bravely and managed another goal, which extended the goal with another 30 minutes.
Amid the general exhaustion, penalty shots were going to determine the outcome of this match. Hopes were that Russia can repeat its feat against Russia. The goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev even fended off one of the shots, but his counterpart from the Croatian team was also a man not to allow too many shots in his own goal. And so, Russia lost a step before the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup.
It’s definitely a bitter disappointment to think about it, but then again the country did perform very well and if it keeps its forms and manages to replace its ageing starts with fresh blood, we can see a much stronger Russia in 2022. Until then, Russia may at least be consoled by the fact that Brazil and Germany have been both losing their pace.
England Overwhelms Sweden
It has not been exactly a challenging game, to begin with. England established its dominance quickly and scored two points which secured it a win in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup. With the results settled here rather quickly, it’s not entirely surprising that things have transpired the way they did. England demonstrates impenetrable defence which afforded it the opportunity to attack at full bore. Sweden also had a good defence, but it breached under the inexorable push of the English.
What To Expect?
Well, the World Cup has become European as many have joked. It’s true. Now what remains to be seen is who the next World Champion will be. But that’s not exactly easy to call, or is it?
France, England, Belgium, and Croatia will all be playing for the most prestigious football spot. It’s not surprising however that these teams have made it to the finish line. After all, they have been primed as the favourites for a long, long while. Germany and Brazil could have performed much better, of course, but they didn’t and they will have to live with the consequences now. Not that we are intentionally mean.
Belgium has outdone everyone’s expectations of course. At this point, it would be difficult for us to call the outcome of any of the upcoming matches. In the games that we looked at before, it all seemed rather self-evident, but things may have changed quite significantly since, and there lies the problem that we would rather not address.
These are the four teams that are arguably the strongest. We haven’t seen them play up against each other, which is indeed a problem come to think about it, and we will have to do our due diligence in order to spot any discrepancies in the playstyle.
Conversely, the only team that has shown no weakness is France so far. Even if the other teams also proved their football mettle, France has been the one national squad to truly push ahead and overcome most of the barriers that have been coming their way. France had a speckless run that is truly a feather in the cap of the nation. It would be immensely interesting to see how things pan out for France from here on!