ExtraTime Talk Podcast #7: World Cup Group Stage, VAR, Round of 16, and More

In this episode of the ExtraTime Talk Podcast, the team discussed the group stage of the Fifa World Cup, the introduction of VAR, and previewed the coming round of sixteen. The panel shared their opinions on what has been an excellent World Cup so far.

ExtraTime Talk Podcast #7

Group Stage

Spain v Portugal was one of the best matches of the Group Stage. There were some exceptional goals from Portugal’s Ronaldo and Spain’s Nacho. Sometimes the early stages of a tournament can be cagey and uninspiring, but not in this case. Everything that fans love about football seemed to shine through in this match. Brazil v Costa Rica also entered the discussion, and the panel enjoyed the fact that Brazil provided some late goals and drama.


From the discussion, it’s fair to say that VAR is still a work in progress. The technology must not remove the explosion of emotion from a football match with delays. Additionally, there must be consistency in implementing VAR. There has been a little bit too much controversy, particularly in the England v Tunisia match and the Iran v Portugal match.

The Round of 16 Predictions

The team also made predictions for the round of sixteen matches. One of the most intriguing topics was Brazil v Mexico. Mexico defeated Germany in style during the group stages, but South Korea also managed to defeat the European giants. In summary, it’s somewhat difficult to judge Mexico’s caliber, but they will certainly be tested by Brazil.

The Colombia v England match allowed for some healthy debates. Some predicted a close match that will end with penalties, and others predicted a thrashing. Perhaps this difference in opinion can be attributed to England’s performances so far. England eased by Tunisia and Panama but failed to show killer instinct against Belgium.

The Latter Stages of the Tournament

The team’s excitement came across in the discussion about the latter stages of the tournament. People agree that the knockout rounds are where the action heats up and produces thrilling moments. Considering that Messi and Ronaldo have departed the tournament, there are a number of players that can step up. Kylian Mbappé, James Rodriguez, and others have the ability to light up the upcoming matches.

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