Daily Archives: December 6, 2022

Can You Tell a Country by Its Corner Kicks?

“Mexico did not seem to see it coming. As he stood by the corner flag, Argentina’s Rodrigo De Paul thought about slinging the ball into the penalty area, but then decided against it. Instead, he went short, clipping a gentle ball to Lionel Messi. Perhaps Mexico, at that point, thought Argentina was conserving possession, protecting its slender lead. Messi had other ideas. He eschewed the cross, too, choosing another short pass, this time to Enzo Fernández, on the edge of the penalty area. Fernández shimmed once, twice, and then sent a shot on a perfect parabola that took the ball beyond the reach of Mexico’s goalkeeper. The goal sealed Argentina’s win and — eventually — Mexico’s fate at this World Cup. …”
NY Times


Brazil 4-1 South Korea: Richarlison wondergoal, Tite’s dancing, Neymar one short of Pele’s record

“A rampant Brazil dominated South Korea at Stadium 974 to emphatically seal their spot in the World Cup quarter-finals. Tite’s side were full of confidence as they put four past the South Koreans in the first half, including another outrageous goal by Richarlison. There was so much to like about that third goal: Richarlison dribbling with the ball on his head, the two Brazil players involved in the build-up on the edge of the box being their centre-backs Marquinhos and Thiago Silva, and then there was their 61-year-old manager throwing shapes in the dancing celebrations. …”
The Athletic (Video)
BBC – World Cup 2022: Brazil put down the biggest marker at Qatar tournament

Qatar’s World Cup stadiums ranked — and the winner is not the big tent one

“Biggest travelling support? Saudi Arabia (OK, they got the bus). Loudest game? Uruguay v South Korea at Education City Stadium (must have been the Uruguay fans trying to drown the DJ’s K-pop medley). Best expected goal difference? Germany (never mind!). Ladies and gentlemen, this is the World Cup, where everyone and everything is counted and rated. …”
The Athletic

Croatia beat Japan: Livakovic’s historic shootout and ‘Samurai spirit’ falls just short

“The World Cup’s last 16 tie between Japan and Croatia always had the potential to be a nail-biter – and so it proved. Two dogged, ultra-competitive teams still could not be separated at the end of 120 minutes of football, resulting in the first penalty shoot-out of the 2022 finals. And it was Croatia who emerged triumphant, Dominik Livakovic emerging as the hero by making three saves and earning his country a quarter-final on Friday against Brazil or South Korea, who meet later on Monday. Here, we analyse the major talking points. …”
The Athletic

America, the Naive

“One of Gregg Berhalter’s charms is that he can’t be bothered. Unshaven, attired in the uniform of Team Schlub, he loped along the sideline as if it were still the height of the pandemic and he was enjoying his newfound freedom from showering. Standing in the technical area opposite him was the Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal, looking very much like an uptight high-school principal eager to reprimand Berhalter for his aggressive indifference. Van Gaal is one of the most experienced and meticulous coaches in the game, wise to the ways of tournament soccer and a shrewd pragmatist. …”
The Atlantic