Is a country that is struggling to stay in the top 100 of the FIFA ranking worth writing about? Does anybody even care about “soccer”, when there’s baseball, ice-hockey and other games, that use the name “football” for themselves?
The US continued their unbeaten streak under manager Bruce Arena on Sunday, after starting the last phase of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with two losses which led to the sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann. Even though Mexico remained at the top of The Hex after this match, the American team left with their heads held higher as they depart having drawn Mexico at the Estadio Azteca for just the third time in World Cup Qualifying history, doing so with a framework that deviated from their usual system of play.
The Belgium national team have had quite an impressive journey since Roberto Martinez’s arrival.
The final of EURO 2016 is upon us. The hosts, France, are met by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal after they overcame Germany and Wales respectively in the final four.
Hosts France will join Portugal in the final of Euro 2016 after a 2-0 victory over Germany. Despite the Germans’ dominance for most of the game, Joachim Low’s side were unable to find a breakthrough in Marseille, and instead found themselves crashing out of the tournament they were so heavily fancied to win.
Wales met Portugal in the first semi-final of Euro 2016, as Real Madrid teammates Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo went head to head for the first time at international level. With both teams landing on the more favourable side of the knockout draw, each had the opportunity to make an unexpected finals appearance.
In stark contrast to the previous night’s tight affair, France made their way to the semi-finals with ease as they breezed past a disappointing Iceland side. Deschamps opted for an interesting asymmetrical 4-4-2 formation with Pogba at the 6 whilst Iceland went for the same 4-4-2 which knocked England out in the last round.
Accipicchia! Meine Güte! Probably the two best teams of the Euro tournament had to battle each other in the quarterfinal. After 120 minutes full of tactical brilliance, passion and drama, Germany won the penalty shootout and sent Italy home.
Wales and Belgium contested the second quarter-final of the 2016 European Championship in Lille on Friday evening. Throughout the tournament Wales have established a reputation as one of the strongest outfits in the competition from a tactical perspective. Belgium on the other hand are rightfully seen as a case of misguided talent as they frequently fail to show the levels of performance their players are capable of.
The quarter finals of this year’s European Championship kicked off as Portugal faced Poland in Marseille on Thursday evening. Both sides arrived at the game unbeaten in the tournament so far, however Portugal had not won a single game in normal time yet and Poland had only won their opening game in that time period. What followed was a display somewhat typical of both teams’ performances in the competition thus far.