World Cup Diary Day 2: England, USA, Netherlands
After eight years, you forget what it was like at the end of the abyss, and all the things you imagined since USMNT qualifying actually took place on the field. And the feeling that you could kiss anyone in front of you was so mad that it could take a human’s life in an instant. No one watches sports for entertainment. What’s Fun So? Fuck you if you want to have fun. It’s about feeling everything else, so there’s rarely anything good. Anyway, let’s break down what we did on the first day of the 2022 World Cup.
Match of the day – Wales 1, USA 1
We’ll get into the game in-depth firsthand, but it’s the only fun game of the day, unless you’re British. The US opened exactly the 45 minutes they wanted. The problem is that FIFA still requires a team to play the full 90 minutes, although you never know how that might change in the future (see what happens if by some miracle , Qatar lead or draw in a match in the 70th minute, but more on this also in a second). Wales overtook the US in the second half, though not in any particular direction, but it all paid off with a penalty after Walker Zimmerman’s stupid tackle on Gareth Bale to the player. This kicks the ball up from the dot 11m. the only time anyone noticed him in the whole game. The final 20 minutes, thanks to the new policy of overtime being decided by the cokehead in this tournament, were frenetic and unstructured, but neither team had a chance to decide the winner.
Other results: England 6-2 Iran
Things couldn’t have been better for England, who spent about half an hour playing with their food before letting Jude Bellingham, soon to be the most expensive midfielder in history, open the scoring. When there was a goal in front, Iran had no plan to attack and also seemed to give up in defense, the Three Lions rushed to attack. Harry Kane or Bellingham or Declan Rice can all pass the ball to their wingers, be it Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish, as Iran simply never gets close to them. Once those guys are in space, you can forget about it. England managed to concede two goals, perhaps out of boredom, but they stretched, bent and disrupted the Iranian defense however they wanted.
G/O Media can receive commission
Netherlands 2-0 Senegal
The fear was that Senegal without Sadio Mane would be an absolute bore, and so that happened to the Netherlands. The Dutchman didn’t look too cynical either, trying to get past Sengal’s rather solid midfield and creating only sporadic chances. It was a tournament full of abstract goalkeepers, and Éduoard Mendy was happy to take the torch from Qatar’s Saad Al Sheeb, chasing a butterfly when there was a cross to deal with that he was out of range. 5 feet:
Mendy wasn’t finished yet, as he netted an own goal for Davy Klassen after just a hint of Memphis Depay’s shot. Senegal didn’t deserve much when they created so little, but they could have seen everything to grab a point if their keeper hadn’t been moved to Strawberry Fields in the second half.
Goals for the day
Tim Weah’s was a beautiful finish from an elegant American counter, but had to give it up to Saka’s hammer-like volley:
You want more passion in the dentist waiting room from the Iranian defense there to get to Saka, but there’s no arguing what he’s come up with.
Does VAR damage anything?
No, they leave that to Qatar and FIFA.
Is Qatar or FIFA okay?
And how! The day started with FIFA’s decision that the teams planned to have The captain wears the armband “One Love” now not allowed to do so and any captain breaking the rules will be yellow carded on the spot. The seven FAs intending to do so have backed off.
While it sounds really weak when the rather empty captain’s armband gesture comes across as outrageous when threatened with a penalty on the pitch, it’s important to remember how many layers this protest has to filter through. to then it’s up to the players.
It was FIFA that brought this tournament into zero tolerance land. Then any member of FIFA will work together to stop it, except they are too busy counting their bills out of order. Perhaps any collection of real governments could augment, but they need oil and natural gas too much. There were probably a few more levels that could have done something before the player was asked to be a symbol of defiance in what turned out to be an impossible gesture now.
And again, this happens just as England’s Harry Kane will be the first to wear it. Is this something sent down the chain from the Qatari rulers? Did FIFA just predict this is what they would say? Are they doing it out of fear? We know a beer ban at stadiums on the eve of the tournament can mushroom into bigger things, and here we are.
That’s bad enough, but Grant Wahl has a story to tell before the USMNT game:
Looks like someone told stadium security that Wahl could be the elite football journalist in this country and gave him a bull’s horn to clearly show how the government wants to run it. not the best idea, although it’s too late now. Putting the idea of ”sports cleaning” even turned into a farce.
Are we done yet? No! Of them ticket application failed before England’s match, leaving a series of fans stranded outside the stadium while the England team was kicking.
In addition, FIFA stated that the Netherlands-Senegal match had 3,000 more fans than the stadium’s stated capacity. You tell them:
And to continue, the Iranian fans want carry the flag of Persia, a symbol of the protests taking place in that country, had them confiscated. This tournament is going well!
Did Alexi Lalas say anything silly?
“MLS Cup Champion Gareth Bale.” Just stare at it, marvel at its beauty…
“He’s Here” Award
Ismaila Sarr provided one of the few Senegalese moments, prompting Denzel Dumphries to finally enter the ax-cut brasserie on the lounge.
You get injury time! And you get trauma time! And you get trauma time!
There has always been a school of thought that 10 or 12 minutes of extra time should be a regular occurrence, since the amount of time the ball can play in football is very little. Apparently, FIFA decided to try and market this fix in a tournament. England and Iran played 117 minutes, despite serious injuries. Senegal and the Netherlands played 102. America and Wales had 10 minutes of injury time to come back in the second half. This will get silly later in the tournament, just watch.