This semifinal match is the most pedestrian match at this level. England having scored their first goal within the first ten minutes of the start are behaving like those kids which failed marshmallow test- no plan- just grab the ball and run to the Croatian end. Kane had been offsided at least twice within twenty minutes.Scoring the first goal within the opening minutes of any football game against a mediocre team is a sure recipe for the standards of the game to hit new lows. Sure enough, I have quit watching after the first half an hour – watch! NOT the first half.England wants to be in the finals. That’s it. They have colonised Croatia and no need for keeping up the international standards of the game. Pity, when the result is the only thing.Yesterday, even after France had taken the lead, they didn’t let their game slacken to merely aim at possession, even though Mbappa was puerile enough to delay throws and free kicks of Belgium in the second half.Kane appears to be desperate to add some international WC goals to his kitty. Kane is not interested in being in position to feed the ball to some of his teammates who probably have a better view and chance, he is all tied up behind the Croatian defenders.France, despite having scored at the 51st minute, did string some poetic passes at the goalmouth of Belgium, though nothing fructified.Those flipped back passes, and pushes to vacant slots where teammates are likely to reach ahead of the defenders and other individual brilliance is what soccer is all about- jingoism notwithstanding. At least that makes great spectacle.With the exit of Brazil, standards have fallen to European club levels.Hope at least in the finals the traditional rivals would raise the standards of this spectator sport and not a statistical affair.
July 12, 2018