You’re welcome, Canada.
We did it boys.
Not in the way I expected, because we’re Scotland, but we did it.
We beat Egypt 3-1 in the first game and then watched with raised eyebrows as Germany struggled by Canada 1-0 with a goal in the 85th minute, but then understood that result a little more as we could only get a 0-0 draw with the Canadians. It turns out that 2026 Canada has five big, physical and talented defenders who are really hard to do anything to.
I was hoping that Germany would win their game against Egypt as that would give them six points, guarantee qualification and maybe make them take their eye off the ball a little for our game, but somehow they drew, meaning all four teams were still in the hunt going into the final round of matches.
A draw would be enough to put both us and Germany into the knockout phase, but if Germany won then a Canadian victory or a big Egyptian victory, (goal difference counts), would send us back home.
Then it turns out 2026 Germany had some issues up front - their defence was good and the midfield was the right mix of creative and combative, but they’d work the ball to the final third and then run out of ideas as their forwards just didn’t offer much.
In added time at the end of the first half, this happened…
That turned out to be enough as not only did Scotland progress out of the group phase for the first time in their history, we even won the group!
Up next is the Ivory Coast and whoever wins that game gets to play the winner of… Brazil vs Finland.
Whatever comes next now against Cote d’Ivoire I feel like I can retire FIFA 17 now, with a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner for Scotland.
Which is perfect, because FIFA18 just went on sale and the free FIFA18 World Cup Expansion comes out in five days.
I don’t have a lot to add other than say that I am loving these, keep them coming!
I hope you meant that, because one of the primary reasons I’m doing the Scotland thing is because of a good friend who’s a Scot and was bemoaning their failure to qualify for, well, anything recently.
So when I managed to get Scotland to their first ever knockout game ever, it made sense to just record the whole thing.
People who for reasons unknown don’t want to watch someone else play FIFA quite poorly for 31 minutes can enjoy these shortcuts.
This is all in “Be A Leg End” mode, where I’m controlling only the player with the marking above his head. I can shout “dude, give me the ball!” but that’s pretty much the extent of the control I have over the tactics and the other 10 players.
Congrats on a hat trick and making it to the next round. I hope that Finland somehow beat Brazil. While Cote d’Ivoire couldn’t handle you, the Scottish defense looked pretty darn solid.
I can’t do the whole awesome breakdown, but I just want people to know, since a VERY good friend of mine is running a certain pool, that Poland just won the World Cup. Thanks to my son.
So we can all just chill out and not worry about any of these silly matches that are about to start tomorrow.
Haha! I’m not sure if Scotland winning a single knockout game is more or less fantastic than Poland winning the whole thing. Especially given how anaemic Poland looked in the tournament.
Enough of flashbacks to 2018 though, clearly 2026 is where it’s at and…
…I got Brazil in the Quarter final.
Scotland have previous with the Selacao, having met them five times in World Cups, drawing once and losing four times, so this was expected to be the end of our run.
Brazil were still powered by Neymar and Grabriel de Jesus up front, with Casamero running the show in midfield, but Neymar wasn’t at the peak of his powers any more and he turned into something of a black hole for the Brazilians as they constantly fed him the ball on the left and then he’d do two slow stepovers and either knock the ball back out to the fullback, or fire it into the middle where four giant Scotsmen were waiting to hoof it clear.
So the game rolled toward halftime at zero-zero, until with 45:00+3 on the clock the Scots swung a corner in, it was only half cleared and then a nice pass from Ryan Fraser put Ollie Burke in completely free and he looked calm as he rolled a finish passed Edelson for 1-0 Scotland at half time.
As mentioned above Scotland have taken the lead against Brazil before, so we weren’t getting too excited, but then just before the hour McGarry picked up the ball with his back to goal halfway inside the Brazilian half, turned and split two defenders and was then cut down on the edge of the area by Jailson dos Santos who earned a yellow card for his trouble.
Ryan Gauld stood over the free kick and his accuracy is bad enough he’d probably miss his own funeral, so I wasn’t expecting much, but the tiny number ten hit a peach of a left footed curler over the wall and into the corner for 2-0!
This annoyed the South Americans and they could have been level inside two minutes as Blair Hunter made two world class saves, firstly pushing Neymar’s low effort around the post, then reacting in an instant when a rocket from de Jesus hit John Souttar right on the edge of the six yard box. Hunter was going right, but reached back left and flipped the deflection up and over the bar.
Immediately after, the ball broke to midfield and Scotland worked it to Ryan Gauld on the left side of the Brazilian area. A cross in caused a scramble and the ball pinged around a bit until rolling out to the edge of the box where McGarry was waiting…
That seemed to be enough for Brazil and they never really threatened for the rest of the game. In the 85th minute Ryan Fraser was put through one-on-one, but saw his chip turned over the bar and that was that. The Blue Brazil were too good for the foreign knock-off version and Scotland’s first World Cup semi-final awaits!
Nice write-up (again)!. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t play?
Thanks for letting me know! Discourse can never work out if it likes Streamable or not.
Nice shot! Or actually: great shot! Nice doesn’t quite suffice somehow…
Yeah. My son and I were pretty upset about that. Since they have my favorite player and all.
Spurs are working out in LA right now…well, not the guys who had deep cup runs. They’re getting a few weeks off still.
Wait. Were there any players on the Spurs who didn’t have deep cut runs? It seemed like the whole team ran deep.
I can’t remember whether it was you or @Chappers who brought this to our attention.
Chris Eriksen is probably the best player there in Cali – Denmark didn’t get too deep.
And Sonny is with the squad in California as well. South Korea also failed to get out of Group, though they beat Germany!
But no: Kane, Trippier, Lloris, Sanchez, Aldeweireld, Vertonghen, Dembele, Dele, Dier, etc.
Ha! Your kid has a lot of jerseys. :)
With regard to the article… concussions, cost… the world’s game is a lot cheaper in general and now that football injuries are being talked about more, that’s going to shift some athletes elsewhere.
Might want to keep kids away from soccer as well, unless and until they outlaw headers.