Continental Championships & World Cup Qualifiers For 2022

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by Smudger, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There will be plenty of football to watch this summer with three continental tournaments starting shortly. It will be an interesting guide to the state of play among some of the leading nations in the world and the emergence of stars of the future and in some cases the last hurrah for some old stagers.

    The Copa America will be held in Brazil from the 14th of June until the 7th of July. It will be held in 5 cities and six of the stadiums used in the 2014 World Cup will be utilized again. The favourites are the hosts but Uruguay and Argentina are also in contention though they are in rebuilding mode. The initial stage will be three groups of four teams. The top two in each group along with the two best third placed teams qualify to the quarter finals. Coverage will be solely on Premier Sports.

    The CONCACAF cup will be held gtom the 15th of June until the 7th of July. The holders and favourites are the USA. The tournament has been expanded to sixteen teams in four groups and will take place in the USA, Jamaica and Costa Rica. You can watch it on Freesports.

    The AFCON will be held in Egypt between the 21st of June and 19th July. It has also been expanded to six groups of four teams. The holders are Cameroon but Egypt will fancy their chances at home along with the traditional heavyweight contenders from West and North Africa. You can watch it on Eurosport.,egypt2019/home
  2. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    What is premier sports for Copa? Do you have to pay for it?
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Unfortunately it is Jumbo. I think it's ten pounds a month.

    It may be awkward to watch some of the games given the kick off times are staggered at 8PM 11PM and 1.30 AM (BST).
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  4. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The hosts are off to a sluggish start with a 3-0 win over a very defensive Bolivia. However it is how you grow into a tournament that counts so the old cliche says. Two more games tonight the pick being Colombia versus Argentina with an 2330 KO BST.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  5. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Brazil held by Venezuela 0-0. Argentina held by Paraguay to a 1-1 draw and that was fortunate as well. Uruguay look comfortably the best team of the three traditional powers of South America. It is safe to say that Qatar at this rate will be won by a European team. Brazil hardly look inspired and Argentina are a complete train wreck with a manager more incompetent than Maradona. That takes some doing.
  6. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    2 more 0-0 draws and 3 in the African Nations Cup yesterday.

    Is International football becoming defensive?
  7. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Looks to me in part as if the teams have not prepared well enough wfc4ever. The same applies to the Copa America. African and South American teams are at an disadvantage in recent years given their players play all over the place. It does help teams when most of their squad are geographically close or are drawn from a few sides.

    Brazil will take on Argentina while Peru who knocked Uruguay out on penalties will face Chile who did the same to Colombia. The only two goals in the Copa quarter finals were from Argentina although four were ruled out by VAR. What is shabby is the poor nature of the pitches which makes it ever so hard to control the ball.

    However I am surprised how poor Messi has been and growing up on potrero pitches he should have no trouble in controlling the ball on poor surfaces. Maradona at the Azteca scoring the goal of the century had no problem with a pitch that was in a very poor state.
  8. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    That would have been 20 years ago. It wouldn't be surprising if it was the kind of thing you get out of the habit of once you become accustomed to playing on lawns.
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the Copa America final will be between Brazil and Peru. But not without controversy. It should not be too surprising given the way CONMEBOL is run and the politics and deals behind the scenes but if the decisions the Ecuadorian referee made against Argentina were made in a European Championship there would be endless questioning. It even provoked a normally reserved Messi into calling the decisions in a post match interview as ********. And to be fair he has a point and more than one.

    I myself watched the game late in the night and right from the off the referee was rather one sided. A first challenge by Tagliafico was yellow carded. An identical challenge from Casemiro on Messi minutes later went unpunished as did several others. Lautaro Martinez went into the book after Sandro feigned a dive without any contact and it was quite sad to see Willian injured crawling off the pitch only to crawl back on to try and disrupt play as Argentina were in the ascendancy.

    However the chief talking points have to be the two penalty decisions which were quite blatant. The VAR official from Uruguay tried to contact the referee whose wife is Brazilian as well but without success. Apparently the radio frequency the security
    team of mad right wing President Bolsonaro who was in attendance prevented this from happening. Aguero was clearly tripped by Alves already on a yellow .Argentine players stopped for a moment while Brazil broke and eventually scored. The second was even more clear to see. A shoulder to the throat of Otamendi by Arthur Melo at a corner.

    Peru demolished Chile and Gareca stuck to his attacking philosophy. He may need to rethink this considering they were tonked 5-0 at the group stage by Brazil. The AFA must also be regretting not offering Garecaa contract after Sampaoli was sacked as Peru continue to improve and youngsters are fed into the team. The overall message from this Copa is that politics still affects CONMEBOL and that the teams from it are falling behind Europe's elite national sides. It is not helped bythe fact their players are so widely dispersed and it is difficult to arrange get togethers and training sessions. It looks like like Marcelo Gallardo of River Plate will succeed Scaloni who in fairness has done a decent job and the team has improved game by game.

    Messi cannot be blamed. He hit the post and from the rebound played in a pass across thearea that Kun with an empty net managed to miss, floated in a delicious free kick which Kun headed onto the underside of the bar,played in de Paul who shot wildly and also showed off his trademark dribbles at times. Showoff moment. Perhaps a loan to us ?
    lowerrous likes this.
  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Argentina won 2-1 against Chile. But the biggest talking point is the sending off of Messi. If anyone needed further proof of the shockingly bad level of referees in CONMEBOL Marcos de Vivar of Paraguay confirmed it. After a nudge on Medel the Chilean retaliated by squaring up to Messi and was the clear aggressor. Messi merely stood his ground unwilling to dive but was also sent off.

    The referee had already proved his incompetence by then being chased by a group of Chilean players for several yards. Argentina dominated the match until the sending off with crisp passing at a high tempo while Chile whose ageing team will be difficult to replace struggled not helped by a hamstring injury to Sanchez. Messi set up Aguero and Lo Celso set up Dybala for his first ever international goal and until the sending off the interplay between the three which saw Dybala nearly score another was a joy.

    Chile managed to work their way back into the game with a penalty given rightly so for a foul by Lo Celso on the edge of the box but Argentina namely Kun missed two great chances to seal the game late on. Once again the refereeing has been abysmal. Had Messi stayed on the logical conclusion with Argentina running rampant would have been a very large win for the Albiceleste. The card for Messi will surely be turned over on appeal allowing him to participate in the first two games of the 2020 Copa held in Colombia and Argentina. Perhaps the referee after Messi virulently criticized the appalling refereeing in the semi final against Brazil was looking for an excuse. It has to be said referees from CONMEBOL are the worst in the world. Insecure and often aside from the Brazilian Campeanato and Argentine Primera refereeing in tinpot leagues. Hardly adequate preparation for the world stage.

    It also highlights the need for VAR to take precedence over the onfield referee in tackling major decisions and the need as in rugby for the reasons for a decision to be communicated to the crowd at the stadium and watching on television.

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  11. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    In the AFCON the holders Cameroon are out and a major upset with Egypt being knocked out by unfancied South Africa on a late counter. Trezeguet missed Egypts best chance.

  12. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I wholly agree that it is the VAR who should be making the final decision. It’s a farce that the VAR takes sometimes minutes looking at an incident from different angles and different speeds, only for the ref to do exactly the same at the side of the pitch. Then, what is the likelihood that the ref will come to a different conclusion?
  13. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Probably only got sent off because it was Messi .

    Ighalo doing well for Nigeria - scored 2 goals yesterday.
  14. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    More International success for our ex strikers - Richarlison netting for Brazil as they won the Copa America.
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Copa Libertadores semifinals will be shown on the BBC Red Button for anyone interested. Starting at 0020 GMT 06/01/2020 for River Plate v Palmeiras and 2215 when Boca Juniors take on Santos.
  16. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    They are down to 10 men but a shocker for River Plate.

    Losing 3-0 at home to Palmeiras.
  17. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    So more of a Broken Plate?
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  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Gallardo will be extremely unhappy. Dominated the match and end up losing 3-0. Three shots on goal for Palmeiras well a header and two shots all resulting in a positive scoreline for the Brazilian side.

    Carrascal after missing a couple of decent enough opportunities then commits a mad reckless challenge to put his team further in trouble and moments later concede a third. It's a mighty tall order for River to recover from. Armani was poor again. It is amazing how Scaloni still keeps picking him as the Argentina goalkeeper when Martinez should stroll into that spot. His inability to communicate with his defence and his rashness caused the first goal while Paraguayan Rojas also had a dreadful game. Certainly no replacement for Quarta who is kicking his heels at La Viola.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
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  19. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    That was a pretty poor game. Boca with a couple of decent chances, Santos claiming a penalty. Little technical skill on display or indeed artistry. It's a sad reflection of how any decent youngsters are cradle snatched out of the continent leaving behind other kids, journeymen and old professionals and do we mean old.

    Incredibly vertical as a game, full of transitions with Boca doing their best Watford impersonation of not finding the right ball in the final third. Oh for the days when both sides would have had a midfield general masterminding operations. Just to see the grace of a Riquelme again at the chocolate box. It does not help Boca that they seem to turn their backs on academy products. Almendra again on the bench, Maroni out on loan in Italy. The other Marinho failed to shine as well along with the highly rated Kaio George.

    Out of the four sides River Plate showed the most cohesion, technical play and flair and yet find themselves on the verge of elimination. Second legs next week again on the red button.
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  20. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Well River Plate almost did it.

    Won 2-0 and had a goal and 2 penalties ruled out by VAR!!

    Albeit the decisions were right I think .

    Naturally they weren’t too happy at the end though.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
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  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So an all Brazilian final at the Maracana.

    The best side in the competition nearly did it. Should have done it and were denied what was a clear penalty. Palmeiras are pretty average. As for Boca. I think our defence is infinitely better. A complete shambles from Miguel Angel Russo. No idea what the formation, tactics or anything else were. Looking at their first half effort and not even stung into action by Marinho hitting the post, one would think it was a pre-season friendly. Maradona must have been turning in his grave. A complete absence of skill or craft and desire. Santos deserved it and could have won by more. The two starlets Kaio George and Marinho taking the eye along with the dimunitive Venezuelan Soteldo. Once again another Colombian the bang average Frank Fabbra committed assault and was sent off.

    Santos should have the edge for the final. The sides did not meet in the Paulista last season (the Sao Paulo championships) which Palmeiras managed to win. Once again it has to be stated the skill and flair that is associated with South American football was very much noticeable for it's complete lack of presence.
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  22. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Yes saw the game earlier .

    Boca didn’t start playing till 3-0 and that red card was madness !

    Don’t expect a classic open game in the final I guess .
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  23. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Expect a lot of tactical fouling , clutch and grab. Santos should be the favourites if their forward line clicks. Palmeiras have little to offer.
  24. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The most excitement in a drab affair and one that the Maracana will quickly consign to history was the fracas between the appropriately named Tarjeta Roja trying to timewaste and Palmeiras Riben Rocha. Red for Roja and a yellow for the player. Did it affect the outcome of the match ? As said before it is a pity the technical level on display was poor. Our own Pedro at the same age is a better player than the much hyped Kaio Jorge.
  26. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Looks likely that CONMEBOL will agree to move WC qualification rounds three and four to just prior to the Copa America this summer. Australia and Qatar have pulled out of the tournament citing concerns over COVID. So two teams will have to be found I presume from CONACAF.
  27. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    That won't please the clubs - players basically players 2 qualifiers rounds then a tournament in the summer when they might need a break.

    Then there is the Olympics for some teams.
  28. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There is nothing they can do under FIFA guidelines. CONMEBOL are doing this so national sides do not get weakened and the players not having to choose whether or not to come and then quarantine at a vital stage in the European season. So clubs cannot have it two ways. As for the Tokyo tournament I know for certain Argentina already have their squad selected barring one or two spots. The IOC changed their guidelines so that players who have aged beyond the limit but missed out for obvious reasons last summer can still play.

    There is no cross pollination between players selected for the national teams for the Copa/WCQ and that for the Olympics. If a player is selected for the former they will not be in the Olympics. Will be interesting though to see where some players might end up. Marcos Senesi outstanding again this season was pencilled in for the Olympics but might now be chosen for the Copa/WCQ.
    wfc4ever likes this.
  29. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I heard Tim Vickery say that because covid is out of control in Brazil Boca Juniors I think are having to play a Brazilian side in Uruguay.
    He also said Cavani wants to play for Boca next season.
  30. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Home kit for Argentina in the Copa America and subsequent qualifiers. An absolute horror. Why mess about with a classic kit ?

  31. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member






    CONACAF is still not down to the actual final groups, CAF have already had their preliminary matches along with the AFC. CONMEBOL has suspended all of the March qualifiers and is yet to reschedule them. Perhaps before the Copa America this summer or at a later date.
  32. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Have they been playing with wax or tie dying, batik or whatever it's called?
    Ridiculous mess.
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  33. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    It has been poorly received. I expect Adidas were thinking it will be a money spinner for them and the AFA who get a cut are thinking along the same lines. It is an abomination. I had the same thoughts as you IBB although batik is very refined that they had let loose a junior designer with some blue and white dye and sponges. Why they feel the need to mess about with what is one of the most recognizable and classic kits in world football is beyond me. The Brazil kit in 1994 had a huge crest splashed on it and Team USA had a hideous second strip as well. Maybe Croatia will end up with miniature squares this time around.

    You can understand clubs changing kit designs a little over time but national teams especially those with a long pedigree it is a big no no.
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  34. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    It's a queer fish and no mistaking it Smudger.
    I see it in tennis apparel on a regular basis,designers run out of ideas and colours to an extent.
    They all end up by re issuing previous shirts,witness Nike with the return to the Agassi faux denim kit of the 90s this year.
    Sometimes the best idea is to leave well alone. It's not what you put in,it's what you leave out as I heard Mrs Weaver say in 'The Good Life' yesterday!
    Smudger likes this.
  35. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Been reading about the Turkey v Netherlands game reffed by our very own Michael Oliver .

    Apparently there is no VAR and maybe more surprising no GLT which has upset the Dutch as the y supposedly had a goal not given which maybe saw the ball go over the line .

    Is this going to be the case at all World Cup qualifiers?

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