Löw made tactical changes and nobody could say that they did not work out. He moved Lahm to right-back and Müller to the right wing, where they combined effectively while Miroslav Klose, recalled at centre-forward, chased wide to harry the France full-backs. In central defence, Per Mertesacker paid for his lack of pace with his place. “Per had a marvellous reaction when I told him,” Löw said. “He said, I know how I can help the team.” … [Read more...] about Germany reach World Cup semi-finals as Mats Hummels header sinks France
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Mercifully there was incident in the latter stages. There was a mêlée that followed Alvaro Pereira's strong challenge on Jérémy Toulalan – Domenech stepped on to the pitch as he felt "the Uruguayans were trying to provoke one of my players" – and Lodeira was distraught to see red so swiftly after his introduction. The great young hope of Uruguayan football had already been booked for dissent when he jumped into the tackle on Sagna that compelled the Japanese referee, Yuichi Nishimura, to dismiss him. … [Read more...] about World Cup 2010: Ten-man Uruguay and France begin with stalemate
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the denouement of the season was a disaster as Sporting finished third in the table, failing to qualify for the Champions League, before the damaging defeat to the minnows Aves in the Portuguese Cup final, who have been a top-flight side for only three seasons. Having already complained about fans being allowed access to the private car park at the club’s training ground, the attack on Dost, Jesus and several other members of staff a few days before the final proved to be the final straw. … [Read more...] about Sporting meltdown casts shadow over Portugal’s World Cup buildup
France were crowned World Cup champions on Sunday afternoon, after beating Croatia 4-2. Despite skepticism before Russia 2018 kicked off, the tournament has been widely hailed as a success. But did your team contribute to the tournament’s success or did they freeze on the big stage? … [Read more...] about How did your team fare at the 2018 World Cup?
8. There’s science in penalty-taking Holland’s kicks were clinical against Costa Rica. Then, four days later, two players refused to take one and they lost 4-2. But science says it’s not a lottery. Among the historical World Cup data from analyst Robert O’Connor: the side kicking first win 60% of the time; players aged under 22 score 85% of their kicks, over-22s score 78%; keepers dive low and away from the centre of their net 94% of the time. Overall the ideal taker is young, left-footed, with a “well-established pre-shot routine” and wearing a red shirt. Today’s tailored facts: Argentina have won four out of five of their shootouts, Germany four out of four. One was against Argentina, in 2006. … [Read more...] about World Cup 2014: 11 things the tournament taught us