World Cup: Wrapping Up the Group Stage
World Cup Watch: Wrapping Up the Group Stage
Wrapping Up the Group Stage
As we go to press, Groups A and B have played two games, and the other six have played just one. This coming week sees the last of the 7am games over the next four days, then four days of group finales, with two games being played simultaneously – one televised on Fox and Telemundo, and the other on Fox Sports 1 and Universo.
Shaky performances early on from most of the favorites; for the first time ever, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and Spain all failed to win their openers.
See a preview of the knockout round next week, and much more info on the tournament – including where to watch it, and what to drink with it – at our World Cup hub, austinchronicle.com/worldcup.
Thu., June 21
7am: Denmark-Australia (C, FS1)
10am: France-Peru (C, Fox)
1pm: Argentina-Croatia (D, Fox)
Fri., June 22
7am: Brazil-Costa Rica (E, FS1)
10am: Nigeria-Iceland (D, Fox)
1pm: Serbia-Switzerland (E, Fox)
Sat., June 23
7am: Belgium-Tunisia (G, FS1)
10am: South Korea-Mexico (F, Fox)
1pm: Germany-Sweden (F, Fox)
Sun., June 24
7am: England-Panama (G, FS1)
10am: Japan-Senegal (H, Fox)
1pm: Poland-Colombia (H, Fox)
Group Stage Finales
Mon., June 25
9am, Group A: Uruguay-Russia (Fox), Saudi Arabia-Egypt (FS1)
1pm, Group B: Iran-Portugal (Fox), Spain-Morocco (FS1)
Tue., June 26
9am, Group C: Denmark-France (Fox), Australia-Peru (FS1)
1pm, Group D: Nigeria-Argentina (Fox), Iceland-Croatia (FS1)
Wed., June 27
9am, Group F: Mexico-Sweden (Fox), South Korea-Germany (FS1)
1pm, Group E: Serbia-Brazil (Fox), Switzerland-Costa Rica (FS1)
Thu., June 28
9am, Group H: Senegal-Colombia (Fox), Japan-Poland (FS1)
1pm, Group G: England-Belgium (Fox), Panama-Tunisia (FS1)
What We Know So Far, by Group
Group A: This one's almost decided: Russia and Uruguay have each won twice, and will advance; surprisingly, Russia has looked by far the better of the two, with eight goals in two games.
Group B: Portugal-Spain's 3-3 draw was the game of the tournament thus far; Cristiano Ronaldo is a god; but they still both need results in their last games to move on, and both Iran and Morocco are tough outs.
Group C: An unconvincing France squeaked past Australia; likewise, Denmark edged a very lively Peru. Those two favorites can wrap up spots today, but really, there's little to choose among the four so far.
Group D: Leo Messi's missed PK in a draw with Iceland leaves Argentina needing a result today against Croatia, who muddled through against Nigeria on an own goal and a penalty in an otherwise even game.
Group E: Switzerland played hack-a-Neymar and was rewarded with an ugly 1-1 draw with Brazil; Serbia beat Costa Rica but probably doesn't have the talent to hang with the other two.
Group F: Mexico exposed Germany in a solid 1-0 win; were the defending champs overconfident, or overrated? Next up is sturdy Sweden, who kept a long shutout streak alive against South Korea.
Group G: Belgium's "golden generation" may need to improve, despite a 3-0 pasting of hapless Panama; England's young guns impressed, beating a pretty solid Tunisia behind a Harry Kane brace.
Group H: Senegal beat Poland, Japan beat 10-man Colombia – neither of those were supposed to happen, but then this was the least predictable group heading in.
England's opener against Tunisia was the country's most-watched broadcast of the year, outdrawing the royal wedding... Iceland's first-ever WC game reportedly earned a 99.6% share there, though some 8% of the entire population is currently in Russia... U.S. ratings are solid if unspectacular, with Mexico-Germany leading the way. Through the first four days, Austin had the third-highest ratings in the nation (behind D.C. and Providence)... Best Fox announcers thus far: newcomer Aly Wagner for her insights and analysis, Jorge Perez Navarro and Mariano Trujillo for their enthusiasm and timing.
Local Viewing Options
With game times starting as early as 5am, and the latest kickoffs coming at 1pm, a number of venues are opening early, and/or offering breakfast and lunch options. I'll have more complete listings next week, but here are a few early highlights: Mister Tramps Sports Pub & Cafe (8565 Research) will be showing every WC game with 20 TVs to choose from... The Tavern (922 W. 12th) will be showing every game, even though they are a European-based bar, and will be showing all the games on their 32 big-screen TVs... Haymaker (2310 Manor Rd.) will be open for every game, with drink specials and breakfast available until 10:45am... Salvation Pizza (51 Rainey) will be opening early at 10am to show the games with special breakfast tacos for $4.50, as well as $3 mimosas and $4 Bloody Marys... B.D. Riley's (1905 Aldrich & 204 E. Sixth) both locations will be open for all matches after the first round with drink specials... Crown & Anchor Pub (2911 San Jacinto) will be showing every game during their WC special hours, which are 9-2am. They also have local and craft beer specials all day every day, including an all-day happy hour on Sundays... Black Sheep Lodge (2108 S. Lamar) will be open for every game, with drink specials, including $3 Whitestone Konverter Kolsch pints and $12 pitchers, and breakfast available until 10:45am... Native Hostel (807 E. Fourth) will show every game of the WC. They will have drink specials, as well as a 1v1 soccer tournament with prizes... Little Woodrow's (Burnet location) will be opening at 7am to show the matches, and breakfast tacos will be available upon opening. Sixth Street & Tech Ridge locations will be open for 1pm games. All locations will have worldly bucket specials available throughout the tournament.
KNOCKOUT ROUND SCHEDULE:
Round of 16
Sat., June 30
9am C1 vs. D2 (Fox)
1pm A1 vs. B2 (Fox)
Sun., July 1
9am B1 vs. A2 (Fox)
1pm D1 vs. C2 (Fox)
Mon., July 2
9am E1 vs. F2 (FS1)
1pm G1 vs. H2 (Fox)
Tue., July 3
9am F1 vs. E2 (FS1)
1pm H1 vs. G2 (Fox)
Fri., July 6
9am Saturday's winners (FS1)
1pm Monday's winners (FS1)
Sat., July 7
9am Tuesday's winners (Fox)
1pm Sunday's winners (Fox)
Semifinals & Final
Tue., July 10
1pm Friday's winners (Fox)
Wed., July 11
1pm Saturday's winners (Fox)
Sat., July 14
9am Third-Place Game (Fox)
Sun., July 15
10am Championship Final (Fox)