The United States women won their fourth World Cup title, defeating the Netherlands to defend their crown in Lyon.
To kick off their 2019 AFCON campaign, South Africa took on traditional powerhouses Cote d’Ivoire in Cairo. Stuart Baxter’s charges lined up in a 4-4-2 shape with Percy Tau playing as a secondary striker/playmaker next to Racing Strasbourg’s Lebo Mothiba, who occupied a more traditional target striker role.
Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand lined up relatively similarly in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia playing as a front-man with strong tendencies to drift to either wing, particularly in potential counterattacking moments. His movements would be balanced by Fulham FC’s Jean Michael Seri, whilst veteran Max Gardel and Nicolas Pepe provided the threat from out wide.
Scoring 10 goals in the first 2 games, with convincing overall display, system flexibility, whilst using several newbies in the starting line-ups are all definite factors that makes these 2 wins even more impressive.
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.