Sunday, June 25, 2017

Confederations Cup semifinals

There are not major surprises in the two semifinals of the Confederations Cup: the European champions and the World champions each won their groups, followed by the Latin American teams, namely the South American champions and the North American champions. So the semi-finals will be as follows:
  • Portugal-Chile: Portugal seems like a team that really wants to win this tournament, while Chile are certainly also committed, but look shaky. Chile often starts their matches well, but second half often seem tired, and in particular their defense seems vulnerable, led by a Claudio Bravo who does not seem too confident. I think the European champions will make it to the final.
  • Germany-Mexico: Joachim Low is experimenting with this German side, and although they have not looked like the best team in the world, they have made it to the semifinals through victories over Australia and Cameroon, and a tie with Chile. Mexico have been up and down, looked bad against New Zealand, but took points from their European counterparts of Portugal and Russia, and could certainly surprise a German side that is not wholly invulnerable.
The Russian hosts have been a disappointment, only managing a meager victory against a mediocre New Zealand, but were not up to the task against qualified opposition. It does not augur well for the World Cup, as Russian fans will not be motivated if their team is eliminated early on. The African champions of Cameroun were also disappointing, despite low expectations, but it shows that a potential African world champion is very far away. In the meantime Australia did well representing Asia, and New Zealand fulfilled all low expectations of the champions of Oceania.

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