Australia 1 – 1 Denmark
Another good performance from Australia here on the back of giving France a scare in Matchday 1.
This is made all the more impressive by the fact they were behind after on seven minutes when the Danes star man Christian Eriksen puts them ahead with a lovely finish.
Australia though shows the same fighting spirit as they did against the French and equalise on the 38th minute via a penalty from ‘300’ extra Mile Jedinak who also scored from the spot in the first game.
The spot-kick came on the back of a dubious VAR decision where Yussuf Poulsen is adjudged to have intentionally handled the ball in the box.
An entertaining game finishes 1-1 and the Danish coach claims after that his players were tired before acknowledging that his opponent’s are in the same boat in terms of coming in after the demands of a long season, therefore, nullifying the excuse he was trying to use for their failure to win.
The Ozzies aren’t going home without a fight and if they can add goals from actual open play then they might be onto something.
France 1 – 0 Peru
The French look more at it here than in their first game.
In the first half, they create a hatful of chances and eventually convert one via precocious PSG striker Kylian Mbappé who’s already an established international at only 19.
His 34th-minute strike gives them a well-deserved lead over a Peru team who get a nosebleed when they get close to the French box.
I actually watch this one in the presence of my uncle who is terminally ill but still plans to see the end of the World Cup. He nods in the affirmative when I ask him if he’s been disappointed with the tournament so far.
At halftime, I journey from the south of the city back to my home in the north and walk through the door to see that the score is still the same.
In the dying embers, Peru falls under the same speel that afflicted Saudi and decides they are going to make no attempt to score and are happy to exit after only two games.
Their wish is granted with the final whistle.
The full-time analysis team lament how France reverted back to their rubbish display in the first game in the second half.
So it sounds like I didn’t miss much then.
Argentina 0 – 3 Croatia
In the final game of the day, much is expected between two of the best footballing nations here.
Having disappointed in their first outing surely Argentina must shine tonight.
Things don’t look good though as they miss an open goal in the first half and otherwise produce nothing with Messi almost anonymous.
In the second half, their performance descends into farce as goalkeeper Willy Caballero shins a back pace to Croatia strikerAnte Rebić who finishes with aplomb.
Luka Modric then curls in a beauty from outside the box to put the game beyond an Argentian team who look into total disarray and a late third is added on the counter-attack by Ivan Rakitić as the Argentina defence are torn a new one.
This World Cup has been a disaster so far by the Argies with Messi a shadow, the defence a shambles and the manager making inept tactical decisions and misguided substitutions.
Thye now need Nigeria to do them a favour tomorrow against Iceland to put their destiny back into their own hands in the final game against the Africans but in this form, you wouldn’t fancy them against San Marino.
God knows what I was doing putting a tenner on them to win the thing.
I mean this could be the worst Argentina team ever and I’m not overstating that.
Day 9: This is more like it.