Let’s eulogize the departed

Wales and Qatar - Oh they got it! Wales and Qatar! They ate it! Way way too bad! They got it! Wales and Qatar! (that’s a little Sleater-Kinney joke for all you lovely people).


Ecuador - They should have beaten The Dutch but couldn’t find a winner and got their chins above the bar for just an instant before crashing to Earth. They will likely be back, as a majority of the squad was under 25 and Ecuador has been one of the hotbeds of development lately. But it’s a lesson in that in a short tournament, you better win the games you dominate, as they did against the Netherlands. With Qatar being so terrible, everyone got a free spot on the bingo card and the sample for everyone was down to just two games. Ecuador, quite simply, didn’t score enough while doing most everything else right.

Iran - I would love to touchdown dance on Carlos Quieroz ending up on his ass again, just as he did in the AFCON, just as he did in African qualifying, because he’s one of the last true authors of sufferball that is such a chore to watch. Hopefully more nations will move on from the Quieroz type and attempt to play their way out of the group stage instead of just trying to repel, repel, repel. But limited teams will always think this is their surest way to gaining points in a group stage, and because of that managers like Quieroz will still have jobs.


But the Iranian players will be missed, who risked so much in this tournament. Their no-selling their own anthem in the first game reportedly got their families back home threatened. They showed everyone what place sports can hold in a society, and gave more oxygen to the protests and movements back home that will hopefully author significant change there. They took on far more than just trying to get Iran to the Round of 16 for the first time, which is more than enough pressure for any player. Applause to them.

Did Alexi Lalas say anything stupid?

He was definitely feeling his oats at halftime, claiming Iran “wanted no part of this game,” given the way they had sat back and tried to defend and created nothing. Which makes one wonder if Lalas had watched Iran or a Quieroz-led team play before. But would it make any difference if Lalas actually watched any other games?


Also his power rankings bit every day is a Geneva Convention violation.

Did VAR fuck anything up?

Boy we sure thought it was going to with the handball on Shaq Moore or the late penalty shout on Carter-Vickers, didn’t we? But neither were anywhere close to being worth a look, and thankfully we didn’t get the one ref in the booth having a bad day who just wanted to fuck shit up. Phew.


Did Qatar fuck anything up?

More stories of fans with rainbow attire being detained before ultimately being let go, which just smacks of doing it to do it because all the security must know how this ends by now. They just want to harass fans now.


Anything else?