FIFA World Cup 6/16 Recap

Saturday brought four more exciting games. Here’s a look back at what happened, and where things stand.

France 2, Australia 1

  • Goals
    • France: Griezmann (PK, 58′), Behich (Own Goal, 80′)
    • Australia: Jedinak (PK, 62′)
  • Cards
    • France: Tolisso (Yellow, 76′)
    • Australia: Leckie (Yellow, 13′), Risdon (Yellow, 57′), Behich (Yellow, 87′)

It wasn’t the prettiest match, but France escaped with a 2-1 win in a game in which they were rather heavily favored. This was the first match where we saw the new replay system in full force, helping to award the first penalty kick of the game. It was then used again to confirm a handball giving Australia a penalty kick as well. Video review was used a third time when Pogba’s deflected shot off of Behich barely made it in the net, and goal line technology was used to make sure it went in. Say what you will about the VAR, but they ended up getting several very important calls correct in this game as a result of its implementation.

Argentina 1, Iceland 1

  • Goals
    • Argentina: Ag├╝ero (19′)
    • Iceland: Finnbogason (23′)
  • Cards
    • Argentina: None
    • Iceland: None

At times, this match felt like watching a hockey game where Argentina had a man advantage power play the entire time, taking shot after shot, while Iceland parked the bus in the defensive zone, and used their bodies to deflect as many shots as they could. In the end, Argentina had 26 shots and 73% of the possession, which has to make this draw that much more disappointing for them. Props to Iceland however, who showed that they would not back down from any challenge, and who became the smallest country in World Cup history to draw a match. As the commentators put it on TV, this is a win for Iceland, and there aren’t too many other ways to spin it.

Denmark 1, Peru 0

  • Goals
    • Denmark: Poulsen (59′)
    • Peru: N/A
  • Cards
    • Denmark: Delaney (Yellow, 86′), Poulsen (Yellow, 90+3′)
    • Peru: Tapia (Yellow, 38′)

This was another match in which the team who arguably played better offensively didn’t get the result they wanted. Despite 52% of the possession, and more importantly, 17 shots, 6 on goal (compared to Denmark’s 10 and 3), including a missed penalty kick, Peru left the match without a point. Both of these teams desperately needed points in a group that France looks destined to win, so Peru has to be particularly disappointed with this result, which hurts their chances of making the bracket drastically.

Croatia 2, Nigeria 0

  • Goals
    • Croatia: Etebo (Own Goal, 32′), Modric (PK, 71′)
    • Nigeria: N/A
  • Cards
    • Croatia: Rakitic (Yellow, 30′), Brozovic (Yellow, 89′)
    • Nigeria: Troost-Ekong (Yellow, 70′)

Simply put, Croatia played a much better all around match than Nigeria did. They created much better shots and opportunities, and the score reflects that. The own goal at 32′ wasn’t much of an own goal as it was a great Croatian opportunity that just happened to brush past Oghenekaro Etebo on its way into the net, and the penalty kick was for an absolutely insane tackle that would have taken down a quarterback in the NFL. The better team clearly won here, and Croatia reminded everyone that this group isn’t just going to be given to Argentina without a second thought.

Updated Standings from These Groups:

Group C

  1. France – 3 points (GD: 1)
  2. Denmark – 3 points (GD: 1)
  3. Australia – 0 points (GD: -1)
  4. Peru – 0 points (GD: -1)

Group D

  1. Croatia – 3 points (GD: 2)
  2. Argentina – 1 point (GD: 0)
  3. Iceland – 1 point (GD: 0)
  4. Nigeria – 0 points (GD: -2)

Matches on 6/17:

Costa Rica vs. Serbia (8:00am Eastern)

Germany vs. Mexico (11:00am Eastern)

Brazil vs. Switzerland (2:00pm Eastern)

Sam Smith

Sam has been with MSB since 2015. He covers stories ranging from all things Maryland to breaking national stories, specializing in the NFL, and college football and basketball. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where he attends Southern Methodist University (SMU).

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