What a tourney it’s been so far, huh? Today we wrap up the first games for every team left and start with the second game for the hosts. This includes the first game for DFO Darlings
We’ve already had a few upsets including Mexico’s victory over Germany and Brazil’s tie with Switzerland.
At least the Brazilians still have their TV shows:
Let’s get right to it!
5:00 AM Pacific
Colombia v Japan
Balls: I expect a thrashing. I expect a lot of Japanese porn star metaphors/similes in the comments because that defense is super suspect and the Colombian offense is potent.
Fun fact: One of my best friends in the world is Colombian. He is married now and lives in Boston (spits on the ground Don T-style), but in his single days in LA, he once had a one-night stand that ended in anal sex.
He is my hero.
Predicción: A handy 4-0 Colombia win.
Hippo: Japan is a bunch of shite and that one guy from Spurs who’s really good. Oh shit, I checked and Son is Korean. Those fuckers are even more boned than I thought they were. It’s Coca Cabana time!
Predicción: One-upping Los Balls, 5-nil to Colombia.
Litre_Cola: I am on the Colombian bandwagon and they should destroy the Japanese who really haven’t gotten it together in the lead up to the tournament. James (pronounced James) is a weapon and his partner up front Falcao is no slouch either.
I expect them to terrorize the back 4 of Japan and they should win this handily. Getting off to a good start in this group will give them even more swagger due to Brazil and Argentina faltering.
Predicción: Columbia 3- Japan 0. Stupid work will have me missing this one.
Don T: Yesterday there was an earthquake in Osaka that left, at least, three dead and 300 injured. Several Japanese players have family in the affected area and the coach acknowledged the situation:
The psychological impact is something I’m slightly worried about at this point. We are consulting with [the players] and hope they will settle down.“
Shock and grief are different states, and their effects in people are not standard. In March 2011 was the earthquake in Japan that also wrought a tsunami and a nuclear incident. Around 16,000 were killed. The Women’s World Cup in 2011 was played in Germany three months later. The Japanese women were an ordinary team, the shortest in average height. During the tournament, the Japanese coach motivated the players with videos from the disaster. The Japanese won the Women’s World Cup, which is an event worth revisiting in its own merits. It shouldn’t become a measuring stick, or reduced to a talking point, regarding the Japanese men’s performance in Russia. Thus ends the dreary part of this post.
Colombia’s coach, José Pékerman, said James Rodríguez is a game time decision. That’s what Gol Caracol reported yesterday.
For discerning gamblers: Colombia’s El Tiempo “extraofficially” informed that two lineups without James are set, and both feature Falcao as lone striker.
For degenerate gamblers: I called “heads” for James starting, and the coin landed on the bed of a speeding pickup (25,000 to 1 shot).
Predicción: Colombia 3: Japan 0; James sits.
Wakezilla: As I already covered in the Japan preview ,there are three things that you must remember about Japan: 1) Never take a shit in a public restroom because an attractive woman with no legs may cut off your limbs. 2) If a really attractive Japanese woman wants to have sex with you, chances are she’s either a magical fox that is going to roast you for banging an animal, or it’s a spider demon that’s going to eat you; and 3) Japan’s lesser footy team is trash this this World Cup cycle.
As for Colombia, this is the perfect first game for them. James should build up his confidence with a goal or two, which is something he desperately needs. Apparently he’s on his way to the MLS. For that not to happen, one would think he’ll need to be extra measty to impress European clubs and his now official girlfriend– but long term mistress– Helga Lovekaty.
Predicción: In Japan, there’s a monster named Akaname, that has a comically large tongue in order to clean up a bathroom that is covered in shit all over the place. I’m not saying that Akaname is going to clean up the field after the first game that Japan gets annihilated, but the monster is going to get a tingle on the back of its neck after Colombia beats Japan 4-0.
8:00 AM Pacific
Poland v Senegal
Balls: My Polish co-workers are super excited about this World Cup. They should be pretty happy after watching this game as I expected the Poleroos (to steal from SonOfSpam) to win easily. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read SonOfSpam’s preview for a hearty laugh.
Predicción: A handy 2-0 Poland win.
Hippo: Yes, I plan to re-read Spam’s glorious handiwork in-between matches, perhaps multiple times. I am super happy about anything I am still able to enjoy multiple times in one sitting. Dunno much about Senegal beyond the Merseyside midfield duo of Mane (attacking, Redshite) and Gana (defensive, Bitter Blue WOO!) – they are really good, but probably not quite Lewandowski good. Still, I think Poland might be a tad overhyped, and they drop a point here in a barnburner.
Predicción: Badass 2-2 Draw.
Litre_Cola: Two very different styles at play here. I have a few good Polish friends and they have a wedding to attend that has had to be moved back 3 hours due to Poland playing on Sunday. Needless to say they are jacked, Polish weddings are a vodka-fest for 3 days, if the boys get on a roll that wedding will be bonkers. I am hoping for that outcome. Mane is not on the level of Lewandowski and can get pushed off the ball a hell of a lot easier. The Polish back four should push him around and make it a long day for the Senegalese attack.
Prognoza: Polska 2 Senegal 0. Let the party begin.
Wakezilla: I am legitimately pumped and intrigued by this matchup. Poland’s national lesser footy team is a poor man’s Croatia. They have a very solid squad whose core is participating in their last World Cup. It’s time for them to take that next step and make it to at least the quarterfinals. With that said, they have won two of their last four—which includes losing to Nigeria.
Unlike Poland, Senegal’s core players are young and have multiple World Cup cycles left. This is a team that I think is talented enough to take a run at the quarter finals this year and solidify themselves as legitimate contenders for the world cup in 2022. . The key matchup is Lewandowski versus Koulibaly, who is also about to get paid a ton of money by a top European and club. Whomever wins this battle likely wins the game.
Predicción: I really want to pick Senegal. However, their manager was quoted recently as saying that Senegal isn’t focusing on shutting down on Lewandowski. If you aren’t going to focus on Lewandowski, you’re going to have a bad time. Poland wins 2-1.
Don T: African teams have yet to get a point in this tournament, and I think Senegal and Sadio Mané will correct that situation. Naturally, most of my assessments are 85% wishful thinking.
The first and only other time Senegal made the World Cup, in 2002, they reached the last eight. In their first game of the tournament, Senegal defeated France, the defending champion, and went on to reach the last eight (the second African team to do so in a World Cup). A player from that team, El Hadjii Diouf, spoke recently about Senegal’s success in that tournament. The way Diouf tells it, Senegal had success because the players were relaxed: “We were there to have fun, no stress”. The coach at the time, Bruno Metsu (a Frenchman), kept things loose. But once Senegal won the first knockout game, the President sent an envoy to impose a stricter operation to keep the team focused. Two days before the game, against Turkey, the players only saw each other at training and lunch. Says Diouf:
The rest [of the time] was in your room, looking at the ceiling, playing the game hundreds and hundreds of time in your head. I got drained, mentally and psychologically. That’s the feeling everyone had.
Senegal lost in extra time: “That spontaneous thing we had, we lost it. We were playing with the psychological hand-brake on”.
This Senegal team is coached by Aliou Cissé, who was a player for that 2002 Senegal World Cup team. He is the only black head coach at the World Cup, and is confident in his team and in Africa being a bountiful source of playing and coaching talent: “We have no inferiority complex with European countries“. Tut tut, Cissé; that’s the motto of the Polish team.
Predicción: Senegal keeps it loose, gets the twbs over Poland, 1-0.
11:00 AM Pacific
Russia v Egypt
Wakezilla: Another intriguing match where Russia can advance to the round of 16 with a win and Egypt needs at least a draw to stay alive in the competition. With midfielder Alan Dzagoev out for the rest of the tournament, Russia’s depth will be challenged. That means Golovin will have to step up and provide more offense. With his club putting him on the transfer market, this is a great opportunity for him to shine while getting paid a ton of money.
Mo Salah will start for Egypt, which will make things very interesting. Salah is a difference maker, but I’m not sure he’s as ready to go as the EFA says he is.
Predicción: Egypt is going to be fired up to stay alive in this tournament and to have Salah starting. However, hosting teams have special privileges and get the benefit of the doubt more often than not. As a result, I expect Egypt to get hosed on a call, resulting in a 1-1 draw.
Balls: All Russia has to do today is get a win or a tie and they’re in the next round. The question still remains about Mo Salah’s health after he did not play in the opener. I say it won’t matter. Russia will keep riding the 5-0 wave they got in the first game all the way to the beach.
Predicción: A handy 1-0 Russia win.
Hippo: Sorry, Internet Dad, but I have to say it. Motherfuck Russia. They are a crap side (outside of a surprisingly good midfield) given a cake draw (Saudi Arabia and the Ruskies are the two worst sides in the field, Egypt a one-man band), and cheated like mad to get el torneo to begin with. Somehow they found the time amidst all the democracy undermining and targeted assassinations, which it is now apparently American policy to reward. On the pitch, Team Sphinx wisely saved Mo Salah so he could play 90 in this’un, he gets one in the first half for a 1-nil lead, and nets a late winner to snatch the game and hopefully keep these dickholes out of the next round.
Predicción: Egypt 2, Putins 1.
Balls Note: To be fair, Americans perfected the democracy undermining and targeted assassination business in the 60s and 70s in Latin America, so… game recognize game yo.
Hippo Riposte: This is indeed fair Karma in many ways for Los Estados Unidos, but not in how it benefits the fucking Trump GOP. Still, Fuck You America tag forevs! Also, too bad Henry Kissinger is too old (maybe ded??) to jerk off to this conversation.
Don T: I saw that Russia vs Saudi Arabia game. The 5-0 was 65% Saudi incompetence, 30% Russian performance, and 5% the black cloud that hangs over all Russian official acts. As to Egypt, it was far too complacent in the Uruguay game, showing no urgency whatsoever in attack. Salah may remedy that, but he ain’t a magic wand, even if fully fit. Which he ain’t.
Predicción: Russia 1 : 0 Egypt
Litre_Cola: This is the late game? Jesus, I was going to sneak out of work and go for a pint. Might as well save the escape plan for another day. LISTEN HERE SHEEPLE! THE RUSSIANS PAID OFF THE SAUDIS AND PROBABLY THE EGYPTIANS TOO! THEY ARE COMING FOR US SOON TOO!
прогнозирование : Russiya 2 Egypt 1. I for one welcome our new overlords.
*Balls a 1-0 score is known as a TwBs as he thinks that is the most riveting score in sports.
Balls Note: A handy TWBS, then? A TWBS handy? Wait, that sounds dirty…