Continental Championships - All Discussion In Here

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Smudger, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There will be plenty of football to watch this summer with three continental tournaments starting shortly. It will be an interesting guide to the state of play among some of the leading nations in the world and the emergence of stars of the future and in some cases the last hurrah for some old stagers.

    The Copa America will be held in Brazil from the 14th of June until the 7th of July. It will be held in 5 cities and six of the stadiums used in the 2014 World Cup will be utilized again. The favourites are the hosts but Uruguay and Argentina are also in contention though they are in rebuilding mode. The initial stage will be three groups of four teams. The top two in each group along with the two best third placed teams qualify to the quarter finals. Coverage will be solely on Premier Sports.

    https://copaamerica.com/

    The CONCACAF cup will be held gtom the 15th of June until the 7th of July. The holders and favourites are the USA. The tournament has been expanded to sixteen teams in four groups and will take place in the USA, Jamaica and Costa Rica. You can watch it on Freesports.

    https://www.goldcup.org/

    The AFCON will be held in Egypt between the 21st of June and 19th July. It has also been expanded to six groups of four teams. The holders are Cameroon but Egypt will fancy their chances at home along with the traditional heavyweight contenders from West and North Africa. You can watch it on Eurosport.

    http://www.cafonline.com/en-us/competitions/totalafricacupofnations,egypt2019/home
     
  2. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    What is premier sports for Copa? Do you have to pay for it?
     
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Unfortunately it is Jumbo. I think it's ten pounds a month.
    https://www.premiersports.com/football/copa-america-fixtures.html

    It may be awkward to watch some of the games given the kick off times are staggered at 8PM 11PM and 1.30 AM (BST).
     
    Jumbolina likes this.
  4. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The hosts are off to a sluggish start with a 3-0 win over a very defensive Bolivia. However it is how you grow into a tournament that counts so the old cliche says. Two more games tonight the pick being Colombia versus Argentina with an 2330 KO BST.

     
  5. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Brazil held by Venezuela 0-0. Argentina held by Paraguay to a 1-1 draw and that was fortunate as well. Uruguay look comfortably the best team of the three traditional powers of South America. It is safe to say that Qatar at this rate will be won by a European team. Brazil hardly look inspired and Argentina are a complete train wreck with a manager more incompetent than Maradona. That takes some doing.
     
  6. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    2 more 0-0 draws and 3 in the African Nations Cup yesterday.

    Is International football becoming defensive?
     
  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Looks to me in part as if the teams have not prepared well enough wfc4ever. The same applies to the Copa America. African and South American teams are at an disadvantage in recent years given their players play all over the place. It does help teams when most of their squad are geographically close or are drawn from a few sides.

    Brazil will take on Argentina while Peru who knocked Uruguay out on penalties will face Chile who did the same to Colombia. The only two goals in the Copa quarter finals were from Argentina although four were ruled out by VAR. What is shabby is the poor nature of the pitches which makes it ever so hard to control the ball.

    However I am surprised how poor Messi has been and growing up on potrero pitches he should have no trouble in controlling the ball on poor surfaces. Maradona at the Azteca scoring the goal of the century had no problem with a pitch that was in a very poor state.
     
  8. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    That would have been 20 years ago. It wouldn't be surprising if it was the kind of thing you get out of the habit of once you become accustomed to playing on lawns.
     
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the Copa America final will be between Brazil and Peru. But not without controversy. It should not be too surprising given the way CONMEBOL is run and the politics and deals behind the scenes but if the decisions the Ecuadorian referee made against Argentina were made in a European Championship there would be endless questioning. It even provoked a normally reserved Messi into calling the decisions in a post match interview as ********. And to be fair he has a point and more than one.

    I myself watched the game late in the night and right from the off the referee was rather one sided. A first challenge by Tagliafico was yellow carded. An identical challenge from Casemiro on Messi minutes later went unpunished as did several others. Lautaro Martinez went into the book after Sandro feigned a dive without any contact and it was quite sad to see Willian injured crawling off the pitch only to crawl back on to try and disrupt play as Argentina were in the ascendancy.

    However the chief talking points have to be the two penalty decisions which were quite blatant. The VAR official from Uruguay tried to contact the referee whose wife is Brazilian as well but without success. Apparently the radio frequency the security
    team of mad right wing President Bolsonaro who was in attendance prevented this from happening. Aguero was clearly tripped by Alves already on a yellow .Argentine players stopped for a moment while Brazil broke and eventually scored. The second was even more clear to see. A shoulder to the throat of Otamendi by Arthur Melo at a corner.

    https://streamable.com/1elgw

    Peru demolished Chile and Gareca stuck to his attacking philosophy. He may need to rethink this considering they were tonked 5-0 at the group stage by Brazil. The AFA must also be regretting not offering Garecaa contract after Sampaoli was sacked as Peru continue to improve and youngsters are fed into the team. The overall message from this Copa is that politics still affects CONMEBOL and that the teams from it are falling behind Europe's elite national sides. It is not helped bythe fact their players are so widely dispersed and it is difficult to arrange get togethers and training sessions. It looks like like Marcelo Gallardo of River Plate will succeed Scaloni who in fairness has done a decent job and the team has improved game by game.

    Messi cannot be blamed. He hit the post and from the rebound played in a pass across thearea that Kun with an empty net managed to miss, floated in a delicious free kick which Kun headed onto the underside of the bar,played in de Paul who shot wildly and also showed off his trademark dribbles at times. Showoff moment. Perhaps a loan to us ?

    https://streamable.com/zf0lx
     
    lowerrous likes this.
  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Argentina won 2-1 against Chile. But the biggest talking point is the sending off of Messi. If anyone needed further proof of the shockingly bad level of referees in CONMEBOL Marcos de Vivar of Paraguay confirmed it. After a nudge on Medel the Chilean retaliated by squaring up to Messi and was the clear aggressor. Messi merely stood his ground unwilling to dive but was also sent off.

    The referee had already proved his incompetence by then being chased by a group of Chilean players for several yards. Argentina dominated the match until the sending off with crisp passing at a high tempo while Chile whose ageing team will be difficult to replace struggled not helped by a hamstring injury to Sanchez. Messi set up Aguero and Lo Celso set up Dybala for his first ever international goal and until the sending off the interplay between the three which saw Dybala nearly score another was a joy.

    Chile managed to work their way back into the game with a penalty given rightly so for a foul by Lo Celso on the edge of the box but Argentina namely Kun missed two great chances to seal the game late on. Once again the refereeing has been abysmal. Had Messi stayed on the logical conclusion with Argentina running rampant would have been a very large win for the Albiceleste. The card for Messi will surely be turned over on appeal allowing him to participate in the first two games of the 2020 Copa held in Colombia and Argentina. Perhaps the referee after Messi virulently criticized the appalling refereeing in the semi final against Brazil was looking for an excuse. It has to be said referees from CONMEBOL are the worst in the world. Insecure and often aside from the Brazilian Campeanato and Argentine Primera refereeing in tinpot leagues. Hardly adequate preparation for the world stage.

    It also highlights the need for VAR to take precedence over the onfield referee in tackling major decisions and the need as in rugby for the reasons for a decision to be communicated to the crowd at the stadium and watching on television.


     
  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    In the AFCON the holders Cameroon are out and a major upset with Egypt being knocked out by unfancied South Africa on a late counter. Trezeguet missed Egypts best chance.

     
  12. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    I wholly agree that it is the VAR who should be making the final decision. It’s a farce that the VAR takes sometimes minutes looking at an incident from different angles and different speeds, only for the ref to do exactly the same at the side of the pitch. Then, what is the likelihood that the ref will come to a different conclusion?
     
  13. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Probably only got sent off because it was Messi .

    Ighalo doing well for Nigeria - scored 2 goals yesterday.
     
  14. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    More International success for our ex strikers - Richarlison netting for Brazil as they won the Copa America.
     

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