No disrespect to Carlos Bacca, but the Colombian forward's status as AC Milan’s premier forward has somewhat come to symbolize the seven-time European champion's fall from grace. More industrious than stardust, Bacca simply isn’t cut from the same cloth of Andriy Shevhenko, Filippo Inzaghi or Marco van Basten.
Goals from Nestor Araujo and Hirving Lozano were enough to see Mexico through to the semifinals of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Russia took an early lead through Aleksandr Samedov, but Yuri Zhirkov’s red card in the 68th minute extinguished any hopes of a Russian comeback.
Portugal’s 4-0 victory over New Zealand consigned Mexico to a runners-up finish in Group A, setting up a semifinal match against, most likely, either Germany or Chile.
With one match left for each of the eight nations in the Confederations Cup and no team yet qualified for the semifinals, the competition is tighter than Andy Carroll's man bun.
Despite sitting atop Group A after its less-than-convincing win over New Zealand, Mexico could go home early if results don’t go El Tri’s way. And while Germany and Chile are, as expected, in comfortable positions in Group B after their sedate draw Thursday, Australia and Cameroon are both still alive.
Arsene Wenger has done something special with his most recent Gunners team.
Despite missing out on the Champions League for the first time in his career, Wenger has managed to instill a sense of team unity that’s the envy of Europe.
Five minutes into the Confederations Cup group B match between Chile and Germany, two Arsenal players combined for the game’s opening goal.
Gunners defender Skhodran Mustafi passed to Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, who, after a one-two with Eduardo Vargas, fired home off the left post.
Australia vs. Cameroon did not matter in any larger sense. Both teams are almost certainly eliminated from the Confederations Cup. God, it was fun though. Both teams played on the front foot, and both teams, while not being good enough to affect the international soccer paradigm very much, are good enough to do one or two cool moves before taking a heavy touch and colliding with a defensive midfielder.
The game was like the show 24: entertaining, violent, fast-paced and utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Look, here's a goal:
With the Russia World Cup less than a year away, we here at The18 asked ourselves who are the best (and worst) fans in the world.
We’ve compiled a list below of superlatives to break down what makes each country’s fans unique, for better or worse.
Note: We limited results to nations that are or have been regular World Cup qualifiers. Scroll to the bottom for the best and worst fans.
Oribe Peralta, enemy of the free people of New Zealand with six goals against the Oceania side, might’ve saved Juan Carlos Osorio’s job with a match-winning goal against the Kiwis in the 72nd minute of El Tri’s 2-1 victory.
After an impressive showing from Mexico in their opening 2-2 draw with European champions Portugal, El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio made eight changes to his side because he’s the tinker man. As a result, Mexico spent the opening 45 minutes looking disjointed, blunt and second best.
Spain will approach the 2018 World Cup as a nation largely in transition. Nobody’s ready to write off the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas, but this could well be the last World Cup for all of them.
We can all breath easy. Cristiano Ronaldo is fine.
After a massive scoreless streak of one game, Ronaldo needed less than eight minutes to finally get back on the scoresheet against Russia.
Ronaldo came into the Confederations Cup with a five-match scoring streak, having scored 48 goals in 52 starts during the 2016-17 campaign. But the Portuguese star couldn’t even score in the 2-2 draw with Mexico in the tournament opener.
With the FIFA Confederations Cup in full swing, the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia is officially less than a year away.
For fans who are planning on making the trip to cheer on their country, they can expect to spend about $2,500 on travel, lodging, tickets, food and other miscellaneous expenses for a week-long trip. Although only three teams have officially qualified for Russia 2018 (Brazil, Iran and Russia), it'd be a smart move to start saving up now for fans of nations positioned well in qualifying.