WWC France 2019: Quarterfinals

Well that was quite the round of 16. A lot of heartbreak, some drama and more VAR shenanigans that we would like but here we are:

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Thursday 6/27

Norway v England: It’s coming home from the cold cold north

Norway had to go to PK’s with Australia which they aced while the Matilda’s were not up to the task (even Kerr missing). On one side, Norway has advantage of having experienced it, on the other they played way longer. Their rival, England, had more trouble with Cameroon than the final score would let you know. Things got so bad VAR-wise that it looked for a bit as if Cameroon was just not gonna continue. They finally did but never recovered emotionally. England was clinical, but showed a lot of weaknesses in their back half. I’m not sure if the English ladies are as pk adverse as the lads, regardless: it’s coming home!

Friday 6/28

France v USA: D-Day

France won against a feisty Brazil (in which is probably Marta’s goodbye) in a game that went to extra time, but had a close call if not for the VAR disallowing a Brazilian goal in the 87 minute (in this case fairly, she was super offside). France now faces the USA, which really tells you that they really didn’t plan this bracket properly for the hosts. The US had way more problems than expected with Spain, they looked slow on top, with Morgan probably still suffering from the previous injury and their keeper made a horrible mistake that Spain’s best player, and one of my favorite players of this cup, Hermoso gladly capitalized. I would not put the US as favorites on this match

Saturday 6/29

Italy v Netherlands: La Cenerentola

Italy’s Cinderella run continues after defeating China without much problems. We are in truly dark horse territory. This is interesting given that before the tournament, one of the dark horse candidates were The Netherlands. The Dutch had to go thru Japan which suffer one of the tournaments biggest heartbreaks when an unintentional handball in the area was called at the last possible minute. This is hard to call, I’d go with the Dutch. Should be fun

Germany v Sweden: Ride of the Valkyries

The other favorite besides the US, the Germans have cruised thru and, unlike the yanks, had no trouble in their round of 16 match against Nigeria. They still haven’t conceded. In front they have a Swedish team that finished Canada’s Sinclair’s career which was no small feat. I don’t think this will be an open game, should be for the Germans

In soccer other competitions:

Gold Cup 

Honduras continues to be surprisingly awful, Mexico had a ton of trouble against Martinique of all teams while Costa Rica lost against Haiti which just throws a wrench into everyone’s plans as now they will face Mexico in the quarterfinals. Oh and the US took revenge against Trinidad and finally looked good

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Copa América

Things kinda leveled out and the quarterfinals have more less the usual suspects. Uruguay is the best and most consistent team so far

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