After what has been an enthralling round of Group Stage matches, yesterday was a complete stinker.
For a start, Senegal became the first team in World Cup history to exit the tournament on the yellow card rule, also making it the first time since 1982 that no African team has made the knockouts.
Then you can factor in the truly dire ending to the Japan – Poland match, where Japan settled for a 1-0 loss with 10 minutes to go.
The BBC sum it up quite well:
They passed the ball around their defence and midfield when they had it, never crossing the halfway by more than a few yards. They let Poland – for whom this was a first win of the tournament – play in non-dangerous areas.
The crowd booed and whistled…
The shambles of the final five minutes in a stat:
Not that the late matches were much better, or rather the England – Belgium clash in particular.
Both teams fielded significantly weakened teams, and the first half was a complete bore. The only goal of the match came in the 51st minute, when Adnan Januzaj curled a great strike into the top corner.
What followed next was the highlight of the evening – enter Michy Batshuayi:
Bang – right in the noggin.
Still nowhere near as embarrassing as Neymar’s world record roll, and not even in the same league as the celebrations that Jesse Lingard pulls out his locker:
Stop it, Jesse.
To his credit, Michy took it like a champ:
Nice, but he’ll never be as cool as Lukaku.
I guess with all the African teams now out, the neutrals will be supporting Belgium and
Lionel Messi Argentina. Right?
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