Category Archives: World Cup General

England Heading to Semi-finals

England has done what no other team from the nation has done since 1990 – make it to the semi-finals. This is an accomplishment not even Beckham achieved. Saturday’s game saw England victorious over the Swedes 2-0 to send the U.K to the semi-finals and one game away from playing the finals.

Scoring first for England was Harry Maguire, their second came as a result of Dele Alli, who scored at the 59th minute of play. For Harry Kane, he felt the team was composed and in control and considering many are playing their first World Cup tournament, their performance has been one that was not expected. However, this has been a tournament that has been full of surprises.
When the clock brought an end to the game, celebrations in the United Kingdom were off the charts. Of course, they started well before knowing the odds of Sweden coming back and catching up to earn a draw and force a shootout were slim.

When you consider the likes of Beckham and Gerrard w,ere unable to achieve what this year’s team lead by Harry Kane has achieved is something to honour. England has not made it this far since 1990 and in the last tournament they failed to advance beyond the group stage.

What made the difference

A big part of the success came as a result of a young team and the guidance given by Kane and Coach Southgate. Kane stated after the game ended that he expected fans would be pleased and celebrating back home adding he imagines some good celebratory videos would be seen in the aftermath of the win.

Fans could be heard chanting at the stadium in Russia saying “On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way” If not for the large number of goals scored by the squad, England may not have made it this far, but with superior speed, agility and youthfulness behind them, they are strong contenders to go the distance and earn a place in the finals.

Maguire drove the first one home 30 minutes into the game. It was his first of the tournament and England’s 11th. England has been stellar in their passing skills and accepting a pass from Jesse Lingard put Ali in positon to score their second goal – fancy footwork goes along way.

Commenting on his goal, Maguire said, “We knew set plays would be key, and also that little ball that Jesse sent in for Dele, that was great. We worked on that in practice.”

The reality is, England proved to be too much for Sweden. Considering they were the underdogs and not expected to have advanced as far as they did, they were unable to break down the superior skill of the English team.

World Cup 2018: Germany boss Joachim Low admits side deserved to go out

After Germany lost in the group stage, Germany’s Coach, Joachim Low said he felt that they deserved to lose after the historic crash during the group stage. Germany were the defending champions going into this year’s World Cup and finished last in Group F after suffering a defeat to South Korea, a team many expected would not be much of a challenge for the Germans. It was the first time since 1938 that the country failed to advance.

For Coach Low, he said, “This is something for us to reckon with. This is historic. I am sure this will create some public uproar in Germany.”

The winners of Group F was Sweden, who beat Mexico 3-0. With Mexico advancing due to Germany’s loss, Mexican fans were on the edge as they watched, many in disbelieve as South Korea defeated the Germans.

When asked to expand on his comments, Low, who in 12 years of coaching had not made it to the semi-finals, explained,

“We saw Sweden had taken the lead, so we needed to keep the pressure up but our team was missing the ease of play and the classiness we usually have. So, we deserve to be eliminated, yes. At this tournament, we didn’t deserve to win again or move to the round of 16. We were eliminated not because we didn’t want to win but we never had the chance to take a lead at any point – we were always lagging behind, trying to keep up.”

While the match came down to the wire, both of the goals scored by South Korea came during injury time. The first of those was by Kim Young-gwon who scored with a close range goal that was initially disallowed after an offside call, then later overturned and allowed. The second came minutes later after Ju Se-jong tapped another past German goaltender Manuel Neuer to give the Koreans a 2-0 win.

Germany’s Epic Exit

For Germany, the end was anything expected. It was only the second time in history that Germany failed to advance beyond the group stage. They have advanced to the semi-finals in their last four World Cup tournaments and have made the final four in the World Cup with the exception of three times. They have made the final two twice and before the loss to South Korea, had yet to lose in a match against an Asian country.

Interesting World Cup Facts

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and it is also the worlds most watched sporting event every four years. Here are some interesting facts about the World Cup.

• Brazil is the king – Brazil has won the most World Cups hoisting the trophy five times. They have qualified for all 20 of the tournaments held. A couple of other interesting facts is their biggest defeat was when they hosted the World Cup in 2014 losing to Germany 7-1 in the semifinals giving up five goals in the first 29 minutes, which was also a record. On top of that the biggest attendance for a match in the tournament was in 1950, also held in Brazil, where at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro 199,984 spectators watched Brazil take on Uruguay.

• US peaks early – The best finish by the United States came in the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay where the Yanks lost to Argentina in the semifinals.

• Guns aplenty – in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 in a match with 60,000 fans a referee in the match ordered a search of the crowd and in excess of 1,600 guns were confiscated.

• Steal the bus – In the 1974 World Cup in Germany the Zaire team attempted to steal a bus they were given for the tournament and drove it back to Africa, but they were caught before leaving German soil.

• Qualifying match sparks war – In 1969 in a World Cup qualifying match between El Salvador and Honduras the aftermath was a war between the two nations where in the span of only four days 2,000 people were killed, and 100,000 were displaced.

• Hide the hardware – During World War II FIFA’s Italian Vice-President Ottorino Barassi, smuggled the World Cup trophy out of q bank in Rome and hid it under his bed. It remained there for most of the 1940’s, as there was a major concern at the time that the Nazis would steal it.

• Qatar spending big – The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, and while there has been much controversy surrounding their bid, there is no doubt they spent big in order to be the host. It is estimated that they spent more than 60 times what South Africa spent to host in 2010 and more than 15 times what Brazil spent in 2014. Much of the costs will be going to the outdoor air-conditioned stadiums in the country, where the temperatures can get sweltering in June when the tournament is held.

• Nice prize for a goal – The United Arab Emirates (UAB), surprisingly, qualified for the 1990 World Cup and prominent statesman Sheik Mohamed promised that every player for the team that scored a goal in the tournament would receive a brand-new Rolls Royce. Ismail Mubarak and Thani Jumaa were the two players that earned the new luxury cars netting the only two goals for the country.

• One and done – For every World Cup, but one the knock-out-final stage is used to crown the champion. However, in the 1950 tournament FIFA tinkered with the format and used a round-robin one, which was not popular and scrapped right away.