June 20, 2014

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 11 comments

Costa Rica should really be 2-0 up at half time here. Ruiz's header was great, but a minute before Campbell was bundled over from behind in the area by Cheillini and the Ref somehow didn't see anything.

Costa Rica's high line is bonkers - they're so high they're pressurising Buffon on goal kicks. It only takes one mistake from the defence or the linesman to let Balotelli in, but if they can keep this up all game then they're really making Italy uncomfortable.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:53 PM on June 20, 2014

Pretty impressed with Costa Rica so far in this game and in this tournament. Very fluid passing and really taking it to the opposition, instead of sitting back against allegedly superior competition.

But yes, one well-placed through ball and that back line is potentially screwed.

posted by holden at 01:26 PM on June 20, 2014

The line by the (CBC broadcasted) announcer at the end of the CR/ITA game was great: "They knocked off two teams in the world top ten, and sent home England without even having to play them."

It was a weird game for me to watch, as I was pulling for Italy to win (so England could have a chance) but wanted Costa Rica to win because I'm always going to pull for an underdog like that.

The Italy/Uruguay game is going to be interesting, but Italy only needs a tie to move on due to tie-breakers. If Costa Rica had scored one more goal, then Uruguay would have had the tie-breaker. If Costa Rica had won exactly 3-1, and Uruguay/Italy had tied in the final game, then they would have had to draw lots to determine the 2nd team to qualify.

posted by grum@work at 02:06 PM on June 20, 2014

In the last five minutes I was hoping for some sort of madness to end in a 3-1 victory for Costa Rica, so after a final game draw we'd have the group decided with a FIFA coin flip (bribery optional, but recommended).

Bravo to the Ticos - they alternated between a really high pressing line and clogging the passing lanes and Italy had no idea what to do with it.

Bravo to the Italians for being called offside 11 times. New Milan manager Pippo Inzaghi will be delighted.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:23 PM on June 20, 2014

From the Detroit Red Wings twitter feed....

posted by tommybiden at 02:50 PM on June 20, 2014

I don't understand how, with Italy's well established reputation for falling down at the slightest touch or breeze, (Note: I was pleased that they seemed to have moved past those antics in their first match with England, but they were back in fine form this afternoon.) that the referee awarded so many fouls to them. Conversely, the referee looked the other way on multiple occasions--including the should-have-been penalty kick in the first half--when the Ticos went down.

posted by bender at 03:07 PM on June 20, 2014

Conversely, the referee looked the other way on multiple occasions--including the should-have-been penalty kick in the first half--when the Ticos went down.

The (CBC broadcasting) announcer kept bringing that up every time the Italian players would go down with the slightest of touches and draw a foul.

"If that contact drew a foul, then how come Campbell couldn't draw one in the box for a penalty?"

It would have definitely have been a bigger talking point if the game had ended in a draw or Italian win.

posted by grum@work at 03:53 PM on June 20, 2014

Hey, how about that Clayton Kershaw, eh?

posted by hincandenza at 07:45 PM on June 20, 2014

How about that Swiss defense. Looks like Mr. Cheese was the backline coach for today's match because, well, holes.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:56 PM on June 20, 2014

Swissair indeed.

ESPN's cruel streak was shown in the fullness of its splendor as the cameras lingered attentively on the woeful faces of the Swiss faithful when France went up 2-0 then 3-0.

Would that it were due to a hatred and mistrust of hidden money, but alas, more likely that it was due to some producer having once been scorned by an Alpine shepherd girl.

posted by beaverboard at 01:19 AM on June 21, 2014

I've just now seen a still shot of the concussive knee to the head that Pereira took during the Uruguay-England match. Don't have the courage to post it. His facial features had been rearranged in the manner of Picasso.

posted by beaverboard at 01:29 AM on June 21, 2014

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