Semi-final – England versus Croatia

Croatia play England this morning at 6:oo am (NZ time) in the second football world cup semi-final.

The winner will play France in the final at 3:00 am on Monday morning (NZ time).

England, Croatia win world cup quarter finals

In the early hours (NZ time) England beat Sweden 2-0 in the third football world cup semi final. Hoes of something great are rising in England.

WTF is SWEENG?

England’s semi-final opponent is still to be determined, with the Russia versus Croatia game due to start soon.


Russia v Croatia 1-1 after 75 minutes of game time.

Still 1-1 at the end of normal time, so the game will go in to extra time.

Both scored goals in extra time, ending 2-2, so now a penalty shootout.

Croatia win the shootout 4-3.

Russia did very well to get this far, they were ranked 70 going into the tournament. Croatia was 20.

Semi finalists:

  • France versus Belgium (Wednesday 6:00 am NZ time)
  • England versus Croatia (Thursday 6;00 am NZ  time)

 

Germany crash out of world cup

 

Germany were, as usual, one of the favourites for the football world cup currently running in Russia, but they started badly with a loss to Mexico. This put pressure on them.

They were able to scratch out a win against Sweden with a last minute goal.

But they have just lost to South Korea 0-2, so have finished bottom of their pool.

Bittere Tränen der deutschen Fans auf den englischen Titelseiten

„Der Weltmeister hinterlässt eine gedemütigte Nation“

This is a major upset – but sports can be like that.

New Zealand lose to Fiji in League World Cup

Last week New Zealand lost to Tonga in the league World Cup.

Tonight they lost to Fiji in the quarter final. They couldn’t score a try – the final score was 4-2 to Fiji. Good for them, woeful for the Kiwis.

That’s a terrible outcome, but the whole tournament has not been riveting. I guess the only plus so far is there are more than two or three teams that are capable of getting into the final.

Updated:


From news.com.au:

The lead story on Australia's news.com.au.

NZH: Reaction is swift and savage to Kiwis’ shock loss to Fiji

Rugby league fans and world media are reacting to the Kiwis’ shock loss to Fiji, calling it disappointing and embarrassing.

 

New Zealand lose to Peru

New Zealand’s All Whites had a praised 0-0 home draw in the first leg of a Football World Cup qualifier, but were undone 0-2 by Peru in Lima. Given the big difference in world rankings this was creditable albeit disappointing loss for New Zealand.

It was always going to be difficult for the All Whites. They don’t have the benefit of playing much together – whoever happens to be available are collected from around the world not long before big games. This is far from ideal for team building.

Peru was ecstatic, it will mean their first world cup appearance for three decades. Reports suggest it was a deserved win for them. Good on them.

The All Whites are likely to continue to struggle in a very competitive football world, with our best players spread around the globe. They are ranked currently 122 – Peru is 10, so a two nil loss doesn’t seem too bad.

 

New Zealand v Peru

The much lower ranked New Zealand football team has been praised for holding Peru to a 0-0 draw in Wellington in the first leg of a world cup qualifier.  So the teams have flown to Peru for the second and deciding leg on Thursday.

New Zealand will still be underdogs, but they are in with a feasible chance.

NZH: What the All Whites need to do to qualify for the World Cup

They will be heading into Thursday’s second leg in Lima having kept a crucial clean sheet at home.

Here’s what the All Whites need to do to in the second leg to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.

Benefit from the away goals rule

The All Whites will progress to the World Cup finals with any kind of win on Thursday, whether it comes during normal time, extra time or penalties.

But thanks to the away goals rule, they could also make it through with a draw.

World Cup playoff ties are decided by the aggregate score over two legs. But in the event of a draw, the team that scores more away goals will qualify.

This means the only score that will lead to extra time and potentially penalties will be another goalless draw after 90 minutes.

By not conceding at home in the first leg, the All Whites will take a slight advantage into the second leg – knowing that any goals scored in Lima will also act as a tiebreaker.

If the score does remain 0-0 at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go into extra time where the away goals rule will still apply. If the match is still goalless after that, the tie will be decided by a penalty shootout.

So a draw will get New Zealand through as long as they score at least one goal. That will still be very difficult against Peru, as will limiting Peru to scoring no more goals than New Zealand, but the dream is alive.

Women’s rugby world cup final

This deserves a post of it’s own, the highlights of the women’s rugby world cup final, with the Black Ferns beating England 35-29.

Black Ferns win semi-final

Women’s rugby gets nothing like the coverage of the male version, and the Black Ferns get a fraction of the attention of the All Blacks, but they have been having a very good world cup in Ireland.

They have just beaten the USA in a semi-final 45 to 12.

RNZ:  Black Ferns into Rugby World Cup final

The Black Ferns have made it to the final of the Rugby World Cup, with a 45-12 victory over the US in their semi-final in Belfast this morning.

The Americans were competitive in the first half, but the New Zealanders took control in the second half, playing the majority of the game in the opposition half, and dominated possession.

The Black Ferns scored seven tries in total, with four of them to winger Portia Woodman.

That was a very good try on the way to an excellent win.

The Black Ferns will play either France or defending champions England in the final.

England have had some big wins too, beating the USA in a pool match 47-26. And France beat Australia 48-0!

Website: Women’s Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup draw

The draw – or at least the preliminary draw, has just been made for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Who knows how strong South Africa will be by then. Or the All Blacks. Or Italy.

Still over two years away with quite a few gaps to fill in.

Why McCaw wants a new flag

McCaw shared this picture on Facebook this morning. Photo / Facebook