World Cup Day 5: The Non-Marking of Kane

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While all the talk was about SBS coming in and rescuing Optus Sport, favourites Belgium and England got the job done in Group G.

The English needed a late goal from Harry Kane – who was unlucky not to have earned a penalty or two – to beat Tunisia, while Belgium cruised past Panama and Sweden edged South Korea in a dour contest.

The Wrap
Sweden 1 South Korea 0
Belgium 3 Panama 0
Tunisia 1 England 2

Good

Harry Kane: England’s man of the moment didn’t disappoint in the opening game, scoring a brace against Tunisia, including the game-winner in the 91st minute.

Rampant Belgium: In a tournament where favourites have sputtered in their first game (I’m talking to you Brazil and Germany), the Belgians slotted three past a weak Panama squad. That’s the way to start a World Cup campaign.

SBS stepping in: It’s hard not to laugh (cry?) at the irony of an underfunded public broadcaster coming to the rescue of a multi-million dollar telco.

Bad

The Marking of Kane: How you leave the most dangerous man on the pitch wide open in front of goal is a question only Tunisia’s defenders can answer.

Panama: Hey, they’re just happy to be here – and they can still laugh at the USA sitting at home.

Why not Zlatan?: Yeah I get the team chemistry thing – it’s very Scandinavian – but you can’t tell me Ibrahimovic couldn’t have been a weapon in that lacklustre victory over South Korea.

Ugly

Sweden v South Korea: A tough game to watch, with 43 fouls and just one goal. Tougher than putting together an Ekberg 6-panel shelf without an Allen key.

VAR: Admittedly it’s gotten a couple of decisions right, but there is still concern and confusion over when it’s used and how it stops the free-flowing nature of a game like football.

The Optus situation: All jokes aside – and here at Sportsbet we’ve made plenty of hay at their expense – the Optus streaming fiasco has been a blight on what should be a joyous time for fans of the world game.

What do you think?