Round of 16
June 21, 2019 8:51 AM   Subscribe

The Group Stage of the 2019 Women's World Cup is over, and the bracket for the elimination Round of 16 is set:

South Korea (Eliminated)

South Africa (Eliminated)

Jamaica (Eliminated)

Argentina (Eliminated)
Scotland (Eliminated)

New Zealand (Eliminated)

United States
Chile (Eliminated)
Thailand (Eliminated)

Local Times are CEST, Central European Summer Time, UTC+2
June 22: Germany versus Nigeria, 5:30 p.m. local time
June 22: Norway versus Australia, 9 p.m. local time
June 23: England versus Cameroon, 5:30 p.m. local time
June 23: France versus Brazil, 9 p.m. local time
June 24: Spain versus United States, 6 p.m. local time
June 24: Sweden versus Canada, 9 p.m. local time
June 25: Italy versus China, 6 p.m. local time
June 25: Netherlands versus Japan, 9 p.m. local time

1 favorite, 1 sleeper, 1 overvalued favorite for the Women’s World Cup knockout stage
2019 Women’s World Cup Predictions - Soccer Power Index (SPI) ratings and chances of advancing for every team, updating live.
Predictions For The Round Of 16 At The 2019 Women's World Cup

36 out LGBTQ participants in the 2019 Women’s World Cup

VAR is making the World Cup a literal game of inches
VAR is penalising goalkeepers unfairly at the Women’s World Cup

The USWNT Is On To The Next Challenge — With An Eye On France

Christiane Endler wants her star performance to be a statement for Chilean women’s soccer
Cameroon’s Nchout Ajara, a heroine on and off the pitch, can hurt England
Breaking a Scottish heart you didn’t know you had
posted by the man of twists and turns (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The VAR effects on penalty shots are striking to everyone, no matter whom you support. We expected "your toe was offside" changes in referee calls, but preventing keepers from anticipating the ball is going to put all the power on the offence and drag out the ends of tie games interminably. I wonder if there will be rules changes specifically to account for the effect VAR has on rulings.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 9:11 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]

Oh, so as not to abuse the edit button, this part of the article there explains what's in store:
Players are being put in a position where they are forced to invent a new technique in the 93rd minute of a vital match at the World Cup finals. The fact the Premier League has already announced VAR will not be used to monitor goalkeepers’ positioning at penalties next season is hugely telling.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 9:13 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]

IFAB's releasing a hotfix to goalkeeper encroachment, which is a totally normal thing to do, nobody worry
posted by suckerpunch at 9:17 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

posted by crush at 10:00 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Cancel it or put the game on during, the participants will thank you either way ;)
posted by solotoro at 10:06 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]

I hate VAR more than I hated the idea of VAR; for the reasons mentioned, beyond undermining the authority of the head referee. Four officials in a closet with a TV should not be deciding the outcome of matches.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:16 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Surely there has to be a middle way between the VAR as it is now and the single referee decisions from the past. Maybe the teams should decide when to call for a VAR decision ? And limit them to two times per half ?
posted by Pendragon at 10:22 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]

Surely 36 is an underestimate.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:33 AM on June 21

we are watching the World Cup in livethreads organized as Special Events on FanFare and as part of the MeFi Football Club
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:40 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]

They do disclaimer that they are only counting those officially out, and not including those "everyone knows" about.
posted by Quasirandom at 11:30 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Surely there has to be a middle way between the VAR as it is now and the single referee decisions from the past.

Might I suggest the VAR implementation used in the 2018 World Cup? That worked well. Decisions were fast, did not interrupt the flow of the game, and few had problems with it. (I think the argument against here is the Champions League RO16 and Quarterfinals, which was basically the same but used poorly by the refs.)

Regardless, it's really worth pointing out what's most at fault here is IFAB's recent rule changes (see the document titled "IFAB LoG changes and clarifications") - FIFA has a regrettable strategy of introducing new things during major competitions, and in this case, it's seriously hurt the quality of play. I mean, they usually introduce things like new balls with confounding flight patterns (remember 2010's Jabulani?) but the handball and goalkeeper encroachment clarifications have affected the competition in far worse ways.
posted by suckerpunch at 11:31 AM on June 21

Unfortunately, my schedule (and time zone) has caused me to miss a bunch of games so far. I'm a little grumpy about the VAR not-goals, though. Playing the goal in and referring it to VAR might let us avoid the indignation of being "robbed" by the ref, but it's also strangely unsatisfying. There was a nice suspense to the edge-case offside calls...and to the play that moved so fast that the viewer didn't notice if anyone was offside...that feels flat now.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:45 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Why is soccer going from 1 referee and a few linespeople straight to VAR everything without taking a stop at the obvious (to this North American) idea of maybe adding a few more refs to the pitch? Worried about the refs getting in the way? Basketball seems to do fine with half as many players on a court nearly 1/20 the size and they manage just fine with 3 referees.

It doesn't even have to be for every game - just major tournaments. MLB adds two more umpires to playoff games to work the outfield.
posted by thecjm at 3:59 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

The VAR upheaval of PKs is a mess. Keepers have always moved, and it's always been part of the game of "how (not) obvious was it in real time?" (Brianna Scurry had a pretty notorious getaway, if I recall correctly...)

At this point I think they should just take keepers out of the goal for penalties, move the ball to, like, midfield, and see what happens.
posted by TwoStride at 6:55 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]

Basketball seems to do fine with half as many players on a court nearly 1/20 the size and they manage just fine with 3 referees

Uh, the NBA has to put out a report everyday of all the mistakes their refs made in the final minutes of every game. And this is even with the help of their form of VAR (they call it something else) who sit in building in NY somewhere.

Also, you mentioned MLB, who has their own building of people watching video and deciding things.

Anyway, the problem isn’t VAR itself. It that’s VAR makes it possible to enforce the rule on the books, and that rule says the keeper can’t move of the line. The rule needs to change.
posted by sideshow at 7:29 PM on June 21

Should also mention: contrary to MLB, the VAR just tells the ref on the field it’s worth talking a look. The same person who would be deciding this is real time ends up making the decision. In the MLB, the umps get on the headsets and someone in Chelsea informs them if the call is overturned or upheld.
posted by sideshow at 7:32 PM on June 21

VAR is definitely a problem with regards to leagues deciding to overtly knee-cap the head official, instead of fixing the joke that is penalty kicks. "We don't trust you, and we want everyone else to know it." Is VAR really trying to legitimize penalty kicks? That's like putting scotch tape over a band-aid on an amputated limb.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:00 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

Is there no FanFare for this next round? I wanna discuss Nigeria's bad follow-through with studs up on kicks...
posted by TwoStride at 8:58 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

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