World Cup: The First Semifinal Match!

Well folks, those were some games on Saturday; I’m so pleased that Croatia went on, leaving Russia in the rearview mirror.

Today at 2 Eastern, it’s France v Belgium.  It should be a great match, one where I’m rooting for both teams!  I think Belgium has what it takes to win the Cup, but first, they need to overwhelm the young French team.  Exciting!

 

Enjoy today’s match, see you tomorrow for the final semifinal.

 






111 replies
  1. 1
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    I’m just glad Russia was eliminated.

  2. 2
    mad citizen says:

    I second that thought. Are we still just talking about football?

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    Allez les Bleus!

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    Belgium are the Red Devils, right? A win for them might hack off the Orange Devil (isn’t he and Macron best buds) so, rooting for Belgium it is.

  5. 5
    Chris says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I wanted them gone too. And yes, it is still about soccer! The Russians have made much of the fact that their team was made up of white, “real” Russians, in contrast to the mongrel teams of countries like France. So yeah, I very much wanted them crushed.

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    @The Dangerman:

    They’re not best buds. Macron was just enough of an egotist to think he could straighten out Trump in a couple of meetings. That… didn’t quite pan out.

  7. 7
    HumboldtBlue says:

    If nothing else we should see some of the finest attacking players in Europe battling it out today. Loaded rosters.

  8. 8
    Steeplejack says:

    I have been waiting for this thread!

    I can’t believe it, but my Cox Cable channel guide is showing that the England-Croatia match tomorrow will not be shown live (2:00 p.m. EDT) but will be delayed until 8:00 p.m. WTeverlovin’F.

    Anybody else seeing this? If Fox really does this, it will be a colossal fiasco. The chances of someone being able to not learn the result ahead of the broadcast are miniscule.

  9. 9
    The Dangerman says:

    @Steeplejack:

    If Fox really does this…

    Must not be Fox; my lineup (Charter Spectrum) has in live at 11a local.

  10. 10
    ruemara says:

    I can’t tell which colonizer to root for! I’m just thrilled Russia is out.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    @Chris: I think Macron was trying the soft sell approach under the theory that Trump won’t respond well to anyone who tries to force him to do things he doesn’t want to. The lurking variable, of course, is that Trump is so beholden to Putin that nothing will cause him to view European allies as allies. So I don’t blame Macron for trying.

  12. 12
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m hoping it’s an error in the schedule, but I’m nervous. Plus the schedule has the match on Fox Sports, not “regular” Fox. That is inconsistent with previous matches.

  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    @Steeplejack: I think telemundo and/or univision have been showing the games live.

  14. 14
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @ruemara: Wasn’t Belgium the worst colonizer? Those atrocities you hear about African warlords committing were first used by King Leopold.

  15. 15
    Steeplejack says:

    @Barbara:

    Fox has been showing the games live. That’s the point: this is a complete anomaly.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara:@Steve in the ATL: I’d like to say Belgium was more of a bastard in Africa than France was but as France is STILL mucking about with their former colonies…allez les Belgiques!

    EDIT: You’re not wrong about how terrible Belgium treated the populace of Congo, but at least when they got out they stayed out. France still has an outsized military presence in most of its former African colonies.

  17. 17
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chris:
    I admit I’m not a fan of soccer but that was great. I wonder how Russians rationalize that away? Must have been doping, those mongrel French!

  18. 18
    Chris says:

    @Yutsano:

    Did they really? Weren’t the Belgians complicit in overthrowing Lumumba and installing Movie I?

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Oh, probably the same way the German Nazis rationalized having leaders as “Aryan” looking as Hitler.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: Call your local cox provider. Do you mind telling me where you live, and I’ll pass on the info. I happen to know someone at corp. their main office in Atlanta.

  22. 22
    Paul W. says:

    I’m excited! The French team has been a lot of fun to watch, as has Belgium but I’m gonna have to say viva la France for now!

  23. 23
    HumboldtBlue says:

    France’s speed against the the likes of Fellaini and Verthongen is going to be key. Greizmann and Mbappe can cause an awful lot of problems for a slow-footed defense.

    The Belgians, however, counter with the excellent attacking trident of De Bruyne–Lukaku–Hazard. Should be a hell of a match.

  24. 24
    ruemara says:

    @Barbara: Telemundo & Fox Sports Spanish has. I hate giving Fox a dime or a view.

  25. 25
    Steeplejack says:

    @JPL:

    I live in NoVa, just outside D.C.

    I got on the Cox website and tried to do a live “chat,” but I gave up trying to penetrate the automated-response levels before I could get to a “Yes, I really want to talk to a live person” button. Didn’t feel like calling, because the wait time is usually interminable and the chance of getting someone who could answer any questions seemed remote.

    I’m probably sounding a little hysterical, but this is just so weird. Fox is about to show France-Belgium live today, so what’s the problem tomorrow?

    And, yes, the schedule has Telemundo showing the match live (thanks for the reminder, Barbara), so that means I don’t have to prep the isolation tank.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: the fox app is awesome

  27. 27
    mali muso says:

    Allez les Bleus! Their roster is very diverse and has a lot of players with West African origin, so in lieu of an African team…they get my vote.

  28. 28
    eric says:

    @Yutsano: The English are in the other semi final…..message: colonialize the world and you will have a better futbol team in 10 years.

  29. 29
    Steeplejack says:

    Okay, 61° and 77% humidity at start time in St. Petersburg (9:00 p.m. local time).

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    @raven:

    Yeah, it is good. I have used it in the past. But it looks like Telemundo will be my go-to tomorrow if this Fox bullshit stands.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: It would have to be a local decision.

  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    @Steeplejack: I’ve never used it for programming, but have found the online chat with a rep invaluable in dealing with Fox incompetence and malice over billing screw-ups.

  33. 33
    Mary G says:

    @Mary G: Ugh Cox, not Fox, you fucking Autocorrect from hell.

  34. 34
    SRW1 says:

    In the initial phase of the game the Belgian lawn chess looks more effective.

  35. 35
    Mary G says:

    @Steeplejack: Reading comprehension fail on my part, sorry. Read your post, or so I thought, to say you tried calling and not chatting when in fact it was the other way around. They are probably inundated with other furious fans.

  36. 36
    Onkel Fritze says:

    @SRW1: Seems to me that the Belgian defense could be a bit shaky.

  37. 37
    SRW1 says:

    @Onkel Fritze:
    Indeed, they are a bit speed challenged. If they don’t watch out, France will do to them what Belgium did to Japan and Brazil.

  38. 38
    Mike J says:

    Russia will need agricultural subsidies to replace ruminant housing because this game is a barn burner.

  39. 39
    mali muso says:

    Whew…that was close. Lloris!

  40. 40
    HumboldtBlue says:

    What a save, and what a period of steady pressure by the Belgians.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: Sent a text. The person I know reviews complaints every morning when he first rises in the morning. So might as well let him know now. I’ll call later and see what he knows. They are really working to improve customer service and I’ll tell him about the chat problem also

  42. 42
    Mike J says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I can’t believe it, but my Cox Cable channel guide is showing that the England-Croatia match tomorrow will not be shown live (2:00 p.m. EDT) but will be delayed until 8:00 p.m

    WTTG, channel 5 is the Fox affiliate. Their web site shows it being aired live tomorrow.

    No idea why a cable company would change a broadcast time, or that they’re even allowed to.

    Worst case, hook up a cheap antenna. You can get one for $10 get all the local channels OTA.

  43. 43
    mali muso says:

    arg, come on France! Get it together.

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:

    @JPL:

    Thanks. My mania has subsided. I was going to set an on-screen reminder about the match and was just so surprised to find that (apparently) Fox—or the affiliate here—is not showing it live. If it’s true, it seems like a colossal gaffe right up there with the legendary “Let’s cut away from the last minutes of this tight Jets game so we can start Heidi on time.”

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike J:

    Telemundo, if the current schedule is correct.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: I sent him another text, but I know his day consists of meetings, meetings and meetings. lol

  47. 47
    Mike J says:

    @Steeplejack: Fox 5’s schedule says it’s live tomorrow.
    http://www.fox5dc.com/tv-listings

    Maybe ask them if the Cox listings are wrong. (202) 244-5151

  48. 48
    Tony Jay says:

    Very even game, so far. Both sides playing some nice stuff in attack, coming up against well-drilled defences in depth. They’re trading periods of domination, but it looks to me like the first team to up the tempo and break at pace will have a great chance of opening the scoring.

    Where did that first 45 go?

  49. 49
    mali muso says:

    @Tony Jay: Yeah, they seem pretty evenly matched.

  50. 50
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Good refereeing.

  51. 51
    Bostonian says:

    I thought Lukaku looked pretty slow in the first half. Just sort of jogging around, sometimes putting his hand up. The only time he was actually in a good position the ball just bounced off him.

  52. 52
    Tony Jay says:

    @mali muso:

    They’ve both got real attacking threat, though the French coach is a lot more devoted to the principle of defence springing into attack than Roberto “Defence? Explain this concept, please” Martinez. It’s really hard to call, except to say that I can’t see this staying 0-0, and I don’t think 1-0 is going to do it for either team.

  53. 53
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike J:

    I’m over it! The Cox schedule is probably wrong, but if it’s not I’ll watch on Telemundo.

  54. 54
    Tony Jay says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Yeah. The teams are making it easy for him though. No diving, no stamping, no histrionics. Just two quality sides bringing it with confidence and skill.

    If England do go through against Croatia tomorrow the Final is going to be one hell of a challenge.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: It should be on live, he’s not sure why the listing says otherwise.

  56. 56
    Tony Jay says:

    Umtiti Rises!

    France 1-0

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    Umtiti scores off a corner! France 1-0 Belgium.

  58. 58
    mali muso says:

    Woot! I knew there would be a score as soon as I took a moment to walk away. lol. The ball went in the net just as I came back in the room. On y va!

  59. 59
    raven says:

    @Tony Jay: The officiating?

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    Fellaini reacts a split second too late.

  61. 61
    Onkel Fritze says:

    Very high quality game so far. With Belgium a goal down, it’ll only get better.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    Matuidi is quietly having a brilliant match for France.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    A camera spots Sir Mick Jagger in the crowd. Are The Rolling Stones touring Russia?

  64. 64
    mali muso says:

    daannnng, that was a beautiful set.

  65. 65
    Tony Jay says:

    France are turning it on now, but Belgium won’t panic. Plenty of time for them to hit back.

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    France are asking some hard questions of Belgium’s defence right now.

  67. 67
    Tony Jay says:

    @raven:

    It’s good. The best referees are the ones who don’t have to do very much and let the game flow. It’s probably due to the implications of VAR really sinking in. Why bother diving when you won’t get the decision and risk a booking?

  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:

    @JPL:

    Yeah, the on-screen schedule’s probably wrong. As a career programmer/​debugger I was struck by the fact that it seemed like an improbably complicated mistake to be just a simple omission. But, hey, they do happen.

  69. 69
    Onkel Fritze says:

    @Amir Khalid: Just finished their tour in Warsaw on Sunday. Guess where he’s gonna be tomorrow.

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    @JPL: Steeplejack, They don’t change the programming, so he is going to have someone look into why the guide says that. You can relax because he is assured that it is gonna be live.

  71. 71
    Tony Jay says:

    @raven:

    Oh, sorry, I misunderstood what you meant. No, not the officiating. I meant that both France and Belgium are looking so dangerous and capable that England will face a real challenge if we do get to the final.

  72. 72
    Bostonian says:

    Bogus yellow card on Hazard. Barely touched him.

  73. 73
    raven says:

    @Tony Jay: Thanks!

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    In related news, I splurged and ordered a pizza to get me through today’s match. My usual delivery guy, a Moroccan who knows his soccer, thinks Croatia is going to win it all. Ugh.

  75. 75
    Onkel Fritze says:

    @Steeplejack: Clearly a terrorist. Careful with that pizza ;-)

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: lol You can order one for tomorrow too!

  77. 77
    Tony Jay says:

    Belgium should start upping the tempo in their attacks. France can deal with balls into the box pretty well, so if they’re to be unlocked Belgium need to shift that ball quicker and open gaps for the front three to exploit.

    France are defending very well, though.

  78. 78
    Onkel Fritze says:

    @JPL: Does he deliver intercontinental?

  79. 79
    Tony Jay says:

    Hazard’s got such lovely feet, vision, skill, passes like a dream. You can see why Real Madrid are probably going to make him Ronaldo’s replacement.

    De Bruyne’s gone off the boil, though. Not often he puts as many balls into Row Z as he has tonight.

  80. 80
    Bostonian says:

    @Chris: with nice Russian names like Fernandes, amirite?

  81. 81
    Tony Jay says:

    How is that not a free kick? Giroud just dumped Hazard on the edge of the box. I take back everything nice I said about the ref, he’s a prick.

  82. 82
    mali muso says:

    Lloris saves it again!

  83. 83
    Bostonian says:

    Officiating fail. Clear foul against Hazard.

  84. 84
    eric says:

    @Bostonian: which one?

  85. 85
    Tony Jay says:

    This should be a very tasty last 10 to 15 mins. Belgium need a goal and you can’t help but think there’s at least one more goal in this game.

  86. 86
    mali muso says:

    @Tony Jay: Sure feels like it.

  87. 87
    Bostonian says:

    @eric: lol I cannot type fast enough to keep up with them

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @Bostonian:

    Racists who are full of shit? What are the odds?

  89. 89
    Tony Jay says:

    This in De Bruyne tange? Or aiming for Wolfman’s head?

  90. 90
    Bostonian says:

    Lukaku too slow again

  91. 91
    Yarrow says:

    I just started watching a few minutes ago and wow, you can feel the tension.

  92. 92
    Tony Jay says:

    Come on Belgium, we want extra time!

  93. 93
    mali muso says:

    A lot can happen in five minutes…

  94. 94
    Tony Jay says:

    6 minutes to go. What can the Belgians do? Carve open one chance? The French will be only too happy to take advantage of any gaps they leave.

  95. 95
    Onkel Fritze says:

    The Belgians are waffling.

  96. 96
    Tony Jay says:

    Naughty Mmm-Bop. Nice foot control though.

    Shit, Griezemann should have finished it then.

  97. 97
    Bostonian says:

    Yeah Mbape that’s totally how you play this game

  98. 98
    Tony Jay says:

    Naughty by Vertingen, and stupid. Why give France the ball?

  99. 99
    Tony Jay says:

    Last chance for Belgium. But they need the ball.

  100. 100
    Tony Jay says:

    Times up. France must be in the final now.

  101. 101
    Bostonian says:

    If Lukaku had been awake the Belgs would have had a better chance

  102. 102
    mali muso says:

    Les Bleus!

  103. 103
    Onkel Fritze says:

    Dammit. Seems like every time I pick a team, it’s the kiss of death for them.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    France in the final. But this was a really close 1-0.

  105. 105
    Tony Jay says:

    Got a bit shirty by the end, but that was a good game. 20 solid minutes of defensive grit by France to keep Belgium from equalising.

    On to tomorrrow. Whoever goes through knows that beating France will take a hell of a performance.

  106. 106
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Nothing like a staff meeting that last just fucking long enough for me to miss the entire second half.

  107. 107
    Onkel Fritze says:

    Very mature performance by France, not only today. That’s the way to win titles.

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:

    Well, c’est la vie, as some would say.

    Looks like a little executive time for me is in order.

  109. 109
    trollhattan says:

    France v England, France v England…so little history there it’s hard to imagine how they’re going to size each other up.

  110. 110
    donatellonerd says:

    and people won’t stop honking their effing horns. but my daughter’s very happy.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I’m happy the hated Belgians lost.

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