2010 FIFA World Cup Third Round and Final
    Part 5

    The day before the final would be the ever typical third-place game in Liverpool between giants Brazil and plucky Ghana, the latter having gone down as the underdog team that everyone wanted to go all the way but alas they fell short against Spain. While many had hoped that Ghana would sign off with one last hurrah with a third-place victory over Brazil, hopefully becoming the first African team to do so.

    Sadly, reality hit the African team like a ton of bricks as Brazil would end up winning in a rather one sided game from the moment Robinho scored in the third minute then it would become clear that there was only going to be one winner. For most of the game, Ghana could never get a shot on target and it seemed that not only was the after effects of that dramatic extra-time game with Spain had taken it's toll plus how heartbroken that game had left them of how close they had come.


    A Bewildered Ghana during their match with Brazil

    In the end, a Robinho hat trick would ultimately see Brazil claim the third place spot and Ghana's epic adventure ended on something of a whimper but nonetheless on the team's return to Ghana, the nation came out to welcome their heroes with open arms and it seemed that the rest of Africa were behind them as well. For now though, they would now concentrate on efforts on qualifying for the World Cup in Australia...
    2010 15.png

    Final result of the Third-Place Game at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
    For some, the line up for the final was one that many had hoped for; Spain vs Germany. The European champions taking on the World Champions in a rematch of their last final in 2008 [1]. It would a tight game in which one wrong move could decide the game and the Germans felt the weight of history on their shoulders if they were to successfully defend the cup though the Spanish felt that after their victory at Euro 2008 that they were worthy to get their hands on that trophy.

    The first half would be goalless and even during the later period of the second half the score remained deadlock with thoughts turning of extra-time or even penalties. That said it was clear the extra-time both had played in their respected Semi-Finals had played a part in making both sides look weak, though it would be down to Puyol who found the back of the net for Spain to finally break the deadlock in the 73rd minute and surely no way back for the Germans [2].


    Spain celebrate taking the lead in the final over Germany
    Germany tried all they could to get back in the game but alas the moment the final whistle blew, Germany's title defence was over and Spain were the new winners of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory [3]. It might have not been a classic game by some and given how amazing the Semi-Finals had been, this final might have felt like a bit of an anti-climax but try and tell that to the jubilant Spanish team as they lifted the trophy at the Royal Box at Wembley stadium.

    Over all, England 2010 had been quite the eventual tournament and from the motherland of football, the World Cup would soon head to a brave new world of Australia in 2014, a nation that over the many decades since their very first appearance in 1966 [4] had embraced the FIFA World Cup to make the game rival the country's love for rugby and cricket. One thing was sure, the Aussies were going to put on a show for sure...


    Spain, 2010 FIFA World Cup winners

    2010 16.png

    Final result of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final

    2010 11.png

    Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup


    • [1] As with OTL.
    • [2] The final is pretty much the same as OTL 2010 Semi Final.
    • [3] Spain are winners like OTL, as you would get.
    • [4] As with OTL.
    And so here we are, the end of the 2010 World Cup and I think it was results that you mostly would expect. Anyway as always before, here are the teams ready to play for the 2014 World Cup in Australia:

    2014 1.png

    Qualified teams for the 2014 World Cup

    Who will win out of that selection? Next update will be a Euro update on the past winners up to 2012 and as promised, here are the winners for the host nations for 2018 and 2022...

    Until then, catch you all later!
    UEFA European Championship list of winners 1992 - 2012

    1992 - 2012

    Alright then, here is the long awaited updates on the European champions from 1992 up to 2012. A few different winners, a few different host nations and some nations which didn't quite, well, split...anyway here we are...

    Euro Finals 2.png

    Just a small update but hopefully your team did well and our next update will see us head Down Under...until then see you soon!


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      Euro Finals 2.png
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    2014 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
    Part 1

    For the first time in the history of the World Cup, the tournament was to be hosted Down Under and with the fact that Australia had experience in hosting a Rugby World Cup just over a decade ago, Australia was wanting to show the world that it could put on a excellent performance hosting the FIFA World Cup. With the World Cup being hosted far away from the Americas or Europe, it would see games broadcast in the evening which often saw many over in Europe watch the games in the morning much like what happened when the tournament was hosted in Japan [1].

    Despite this situation, many were happy to travel out to a new corner of the World that was wanting to show the world what football meant to it ever since Australia first went to a World Cup in 1966 [2] and a lot had happened to the sport Down Under in the near fifty years since then which has seen the sport increase it's appeal to rival that of either cricket or rugby. Now here was the moment for the nation to show the world what football meant for them.

    2014 2.png

    Seeding and teams for the 2014 World Cup
    One of the interesting bits of history made was that Australia had, as benefits of being the host nation, was that they would be a seeded team for the first time and with Ghana also having to be there thanks to a heroic run to the last four of the last World Cup [3], it was the first time that four continents would be represented among the seeded teams which in FIFA's hopes of having a true World Cup showed that things were all on the up.

    Australia as the host nation would open the tournament against a backdrop of a huge Melbourne crowd with a 2-1 victory over Yugoslavia, though it must be said that Australia's second goal came from a late penalty and it was a game that came close for the hosts to start off on the wrong foot with a draw. This though would come back to haunt the hosts as they drew with the Swiss in their second game with a victory over Cameroon needed to make things absolutely sure to go through. Thanks to a nip and tuck victory over the Africans, Australia won the group though their performances hadn't set the world alight.

    Australian players huddle before their opening match

    Joining the hosts would be Switzerland who had merited much praise for being an unlikely team to be a possible one to look out for while Yugoslavia just missed out on going through, that said there were many felt that they were cheated of a winning goal in their final group game with Switzerland which was marked offside though replays showed that it was just onside and many felt that they were cheated out in favour of the Swiss [4]. It wouldn't be only incident for sure...

    2014 3.png

    Final results of Group A

    Group B was quite a unique one as it featured three of the largest countries in the world, Brazil, USA and Russia all competing with little New Zealand being the odd one out and sadly their Australian adventure would be cut short by only getting a draw with Russia for their troubles. Brazil were expecting to win the group and with a easy 3-0 victory over Russia, things would take a shocking turn in which in a match with the Americans, Brazil underestimated them as thanks a penalty for the USA shortly before the break, they defended for most of the second half to record a huge victory over Brazil and many would call it 'the third miracle on grass', the first being the United States beating England in 1950 and the later being that famous game against the Soviet Union in 1990 [5].


    American players celebrate in their victory over Brazil

    While Brazil's performance raised a few eyebrows, the group saw the United States and Russia playing each other in a group for the first time since 1990 (on that occasion the latter was the Soviet Union). The two would play each other in their final group game and following the controversial annexation of Crimea some months prior [6] there was a lot of tension at that point in Russo - American relations. What happened would be one of the greatest World Cup games ever in which the United States won in a 4-3 thriller in which the Russians went 2-0 up at first, only for them to blow that fall 3-2 down but not before getting another goal but ultimately lost to a late goal to give the United States a victory over the Russians. After the madness of the aftermath of the Brazil victory, this one with all the tension going into it felt all that more sweeter. Who knows what the Americans could do now?

    2014 4.png

    Final results of Group B

    Group C would be tough group to decide on as all the teams had the ability to think who could go through, though many felt that the World Champions Spain would be going through. How very wrong everyone was to be. Spain would get off to a shocker losing 5-1 to the Dutch [7] and from then things went from bad to worse as another defeat followed at the hands of Chile which pretty much, despite a victory in their final game with South Korea, the World Champions had fallen at the first round [8].


    Chile celebrates their victory over Spain

    Perhaps the most surprising was of the Netherlands' impressive performance in the group and some felt that with this team could do something special and with this being on the 40th anniversary of the Netherlands' only World Cup victory [8], who was to say that this might be their year?

    2014 5.png

    Final results of Group C

    For many, Group D was fairly easy to decide upon in which Belgium would win the group which was what happened as never lost a single game. With that the question was who would finish in second place which is a bit more harder to call by, in the end it would be Greece who would sneak through thanks to a nervy victory over Ecuador in their final group game. For Japan, a sense of frustration followed in which had they managed to get a victory over the Greeks in their second game then they would have gone through.


    Belgian players celebrate winning the group after victory over Japan
    All in all it was a fairly weak group which was one that not many gave much thought about it though many were left impressed by Belgium and with the hype around them going into the tournament, some felt that they might of had something to say in this World Cup and who knows what might happen the further they could go in this World Cup?

    2014 6.png

    Final results of Group D

    In what was madcap group of death between Columbia, Italy, Nigeria and Iran, the stand out team from the group would be Columbia who's great style of football would win them many admirers who would go one to not only win all their games but win the group by a mile and looked to be a dark horse for the World Cup. Joining them in the next round would be Italy [9] though not until after tense victory over Nigeria in a game in which was a winner-takes-all decider.


    Columbian players celebrate with a winning goal over Italy
    While the less said the better for Iran, Nigeria felt frustrated that had they managed to get a draw with Italy in their final group game then they would have made it into the knockout stages. That said, when Italy would be drawn in the next round, Nigeria might have felt that they might have dodged a bullet...

    2014 7.png

    Final results of Group E

    Group F was to be the star studded group as it would feature Argentina and Portugal and by that logic, Messi vs Ronaldo. Both teams would face each other in the opening match and both players would end up scoring though it would all lead to a victory for Argentina. For the South American giants, Argentina would go on to win the group and look the part in their hopes to win the World Cup.

    Messi meets Ronaldo in their opening group match

    Portugal would also join Argentina in the next round [10] though not the skin of their own teeth as they finished on level points and matching goals for with Ivory Coast, however the Africans had the bad luck of having one goal against them which proved to be fatal as it saw them make an early exit from the World Cup. Once again, another hard luck story for an African team.

    2014 8.png

    Final results of Group F

    Group G would end up seeing the exciting draw which had England and Scotland in the group, though there was the addition of Ghana and Costa Rica which the latter would stun England when they held them to a 0-0 draw [11] and caused much embarrassment back home. There was also the shock that Scotland managed to beat Ghana and this was to be the beginning of a disastrous World Cup campaign with them losing all their games to England and Costa Rica and finishing rock bottom without a single point. A far cry from their heroic run last time.


    England after scoring the winning goal over Scotland
    The two Home Nations would both end up going through to the next round and Scotland felt they had a chance to get the better of the English having won their last two games though it must be said they nearly suffered a loss to Costa Rica in which they were 2-1 down before rescuing it with two penalties. Ultimately it would be England that would win the group with a 3-1 victory over the Scots. How far would either go?

    2014 9.png

    Final results of Group G

    The final group would be said by many as the group of death and for good reason as it featured Germany, France, Mexico and Algeria. It would be a hard game to decide upon but what was certain was Germany winning the group though not without a surprise result draw with Algeria [12]. Funnily enough despite not getting a single victory, Algeria would draw all their games and sneak through into the next round though this was thanks to both France and Mexico suffering defeats both to Germany.

    France vs Germany in the group stage

    France much like in 2010 would suffer another embarrassing early exit with the blame being that France had the terrible luck of being stuck in a tough group and Mexico would bemoan the same fate and wondered if Algeria deserved to go through despite not winning a single game. Algeria would have pressure on them as now they were the sole African team left to play in the knockout stage. No pressure indeed...

    2014 10.png

    Final results of Group H
    With that, the group stage was compete and the knockout stage would bring up a few head turning ties. Who was going to go all the way Down Under...?

    • [1] As with OTL and TTL.
    • [2] In TTL at least.
    • [3] Ditto.
    • [4] Can't have a World Cup without controversy!
    • [5] Remember that ITTL?
    • [6] Real world events still happen as OTL.
    • [7] As per OTL.
    • [8] As with TTL.
    • [9] Who IOTL failed to get out of the group.
    • [10] Portugal IOTL failed in the group stage.
    • [11] As with OTL.
    • [12] Same result as Last 16 game though no extra time here.
    So there we are, the long awaited update for this TL! What has been your favourite group of these so far and what results made you raise a few eyebrows? Anyway as always, the last 16 fixtures:
    Australia vs Brazil

    Netherlands vs Greece

    Columbia vs Portugal

    England vs Algeria

    United States vs Switzerland

    Belgium vs Chile

    Argentina vs Italy

    Germany vs Scotland
    So as always, who will go all the way here? Until then, stay safe and catch you all later!
    2014 FIFA World Cup Last 16
    Part 2

    With he group stages out of the way, it was time for the last sixteen and by this point hosting a World Cup Down Under had proven to be quite a strange experience for those in Europe and South America in which while games in Australia would start at seven or nine in the evening, the timings meant that viewers in Europe would be watching games at round about ten or eleven in the morning while those in South America had the frustration of having to watch games at about five in the morning and this would be the case for Brazil in their round of 16 match with Australia.

    While it wasn't the first time that Australia had crossed paths with the South American giants, this was without question the biggest game that they had ever played and with a huge Melbourne crowd roaring them on, some felt that they had a small chance. It wouldn't start off well however as David Luiz scored after just eighteen minutes and from then on the hosts were pretty much on the backfoot throughout the match up until Brazil shot themselves in the foot when they gave away a penalty with nearly twenty minutes to go and the Hosts would equalise thanks to Jedinak and the game would go into Extra-time.

    Australian players celebrate after that spot kick
    During extra-time, the game became more even and the Brazilian players begin to show signs of frustration that it wasn't all going well for them though they had no one to blame but themselves for what looked like an easy victory and their failure to get a goal in extra time would come to haunt them as penalties loomed and now anything could happen. What followed would be one of the greatest World Cup shocks in history as the Australians held their nerves to win 4-3 on penalties with Brazilian star Neymar missing the vital kick that saw his country make an embarrassing early exit [1] and much ridicule for Neymar. For Australians, the 'Melbourne Miracle' would go down as one of the great Australian sporting victories of all time and who knows how far they could go on home soil?

    Later that evening as a nation celebrated widely into the night, there was also another game taking place in Gold Coast between the Dutch and the Greeks. After the drama in that last game, this game however would be something on an anti-climax in which from the start right until the end the Dutch would have no trouble taking down a plucky Greek team with two goals from Robben and Van Persie ultimately sealing a 2-0 victory for the Dutch and onwards to the last eight.

    Dutch players celebrate after the second goal is scored that pretty much seals the Dutch's rite of passage
    After this victory, there was also the small matter that 2014 also marked the 40th anniversary of the Dutch's sole World Cup victory [2] and there was now serious speculation in the Dutch media that this team might not only make the final but maybe even go all the way...

    The following day would arrive and with it the first game would be between the United States and Switzerland. To many this felt like an even match though some felt that the Swiss might just edge it and from the start of the game that might seemed like a good thing to think about as the American defence proved to be poor were had it not been from the goalkeeping actions of one Tim Howard, the United Sates would have been down 3-0 before the end of the first half at least. However the United States improved at right at the start of the second half, the Americans would get the better of the Swiss to break the deadlock.

    Some happy Americans after taking the lead
    The Swiss though didn't give up and the American goalkeeper Tim Howard would not only keep the score down at 1-0 but his actions would make him an internet star [3] and from all this, the United States marched on towards the Quarter Finals. While some would say that the Americans had their backs against the wall, many Americans wouldn't really care for that as their World Cup adventure Down Under went on...

    Later that day would have Belgium take on Chile and despite the South Americans holding their own in the group, very few expected them to get the better of a Belgium team that many felt was one that was going to go on to bigger things. This confidence however would take a shake in which Chile would get the first goal and Chile's work rate would stun the Belgians in which it became clear that the Europeans had underestimated their opponents and this would get worse in Vargas, who scored Chile's opening goal would net a second and suddenly it was looking to be yet another upset.


    Some happy Chileans after their second goal
    Despite being 2-0 down, the Belgians didn't gave and pretty much would dominate the second half yet they could not seem to find a goal up until the 78th minute in which it became a dramatic game in which Belgium looked more likely to score again and maybe win it. However Chile held their nerve and stunned their opponents to dump them out of the World Cup and progress to the next round [4].

    The following day would see another South American nation attempting to try and make it would be Columbia who had gained a few followers thanks to some impressive performances but standing in their way would be Ronaldo's Portugal [5] and thanks to Nani, they would score quite early in the game in which many felt was going to be a victory for them. However not long later, Columbia would get a goal back after just five minutes and another fifteen minutes later would see Columbia turn the game around thanks to Rodriguez and suddenly it wasn't all looking good for Portugal.


    It's not all going for well for them...
    During the second half, Portugal looked like a rattled team and even Ronaldo couldn't help them as Columbia seemed to grow further and further into the game and this would all stack up thanks to Rodriguez getting his second and Columbia's third goal in injury time which would be enough to send the Portuguese back home and send the Columbians through. One could see an early lack of European teams in the last eight...

    That evening would see England [6] taking on Algeria, the sole African team left in the World Cup, in Perth. While many had England down to win the match, that was not something to be confident about given the amount of shock results so far and some even thought Algeria had a chance to knock out England. Despite having a large crowd backing England, most of who were English expats living in Perth, England looked poor with Algeria having several chances to try and win the game but yet failed to do so throughout ninety minutes and the game would thus move into extra-time. A horrible thing to happen as just two minutes from the start of extra-time, Rooney popped up to put a ropey England in front.


    Hard luck story of Algeria after going behind England in Extra-time
    Algeria tried everything they could to find another goal yet England held on right at the death with not much to play for, England scored again thanks to Sterling and many would agree it was a score that didn't reflect on how the game had gone. Algeria would though get a goal back with not much to play for though did deserve it and with that the English sneaked through [7] though many would agree that England didn't deserve the victory...

    The final day of the round of sixteen would bring about rivals Argentina and Italy together [8]. The Italians had squeezed their way through [9] while the Argentines had stormed through their group and some felt that this would be a victory for Argentina. However the game itself would be a tense affair in which the game would be end-to-end in which at one point Argentina or Italy could have been 2-0 had either been better in front of goal. Great for the neutrals but sure as hell far from easy viewer if you were either Italian or Argentinean.


    Messi in action with Italy
    The game became something of a rubbish game of football in which neither side wanted to lose and the 0-0 score pretty much told everyone what to expect. However just as the game was about to go to a shootout, Di Maria would score for Argentina with a few minutes left in extra-time which crushed Italian hearts and to add more salt to the wound, Messi scored in injury time to give Argentina victory. It was far from a good game and not man gave the Argentines much of a chance...

    The final match of the round of sixteen would be Germany vs Scotland in which no one gave Scotland a chance to pull of a shock victory. Despite holding the Germans at bay for nearly twenty minutes of the first half, the Germans would score first though there would be an unlikely equaliser for Scotland thanks to an own goal from Hummels. Germany however would get back in front in the 34th minute but not before Scotland stunned the Germans again with a goal before the break with the game poised at 2-2 and who knows what might happen next?

    Germany vs Scotland in the Round of 16

    Throughout the second half though, Germany would get back to their game plan and pretty much be very much in front of the Scots and the Germans scoring for a third time in the 54th minute which ultimately put an end to the Scots' World Cup hopes and in front of a large expat Scottish crowd in Geelong. With that though was the end of the round of sixteen and soon the Quarter-finals would begin that stared quite a number of unlikely suspects...

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    Final results of the 2014 Round of Sixteen
    • [1] Like IOTL, Brazil are in a shootout in the Ro16 but lose here which butterflies away that game...not sure what TL goes better for Brazil here TBH...
    • [2] ITTL at least.
    • [3] Yes, those memes about him still happen like with OTL, because why not?
    • [4] Compared to OTL in which Chile I felt were unlucky to lose to Brazil and should've been in the last eight at least. They get it here though...
    • [5] They've done a wee bit better here as IOTL they went out in the first round.
    • [6] England like Portugal have done a little bit better here.
    • [7] The game is pretty much like OTL's Germany vs Algeria game except have England in Germany's place here.
    • [8] Given the amount of times that they have faced each other at the WC ITTL that's likely to happen.
    • [9] As with Portugal and England, Italy do a little better here too.
    So here we are at last. Not sure if I've got the times right if a World Cup was hosted in Australia unless someone could correct me if I've got them right. Anyway a few shock results there and as always, here is the Quarter-finals.
    Australia vs Netherlands

    Columbia vs England

    United States vs Chile

    Germany vs Argentina
    So who will go through and what has been the biggest shock result so far here? Until then, stay tuned for more!
    2014 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
    Part 3

    Although for the host nation this was not the first time that they had ever been in the last eight, the hype going into this game made this game was the most important that providing everything went well in their favour against the Dutch then Australia could be within sight of the last four for the first time on home soil. With a huge TV audience and a partisan crowd in Melbourne backing the team, Australia did well and were quite unlucky not to be in front though it did look clear that the Dutch hadn't turned up during the first twenty minutes of the game.


    Australia vs the Netherlands in the last eight
    The Dutch would though start to play well and the game throughout the first half be a truly open game in which either side could have been 2-0 up given how even things were. However the second half would end up being more in the Dutch's favour as they began to pile pressure on the Australians in their hunt for the breakthrough yet tough Aussie defending stopped that from happening and the game went into extra time.

    As Extra-time would progress and the Dutch grew more and more into the game, it became clear that Australia's attacking style of football had gone and that they were clearly playing for penalties and that idea might have done had it not been in the last minute of the game in which from a free kick, Van Perise would get his head onto the ball and score to send his country into the last four and break Australian hearts everywhere.


    Contrasting emotions after the final whistle
    For the Netherlands, the dream of reaching their first final and getting their hands on the cup for the first time since 1974 [1] were now looking like a real possibility while for the Australians, it would be a case of 'what might have been' had they either held on long enough to the end or had taken their chances in the first half. For the host nation, their dreams of glory on home soil were gone.

    After the nail biting tension of that last game, many didn't know what to think when Columbia and England prepared to face off each other in Sydney. That all said those in the know felt that this England team wasn't that good [2] and in turn the Columbia team looked like a team that would cause damage to England and that was what happened. Despite the large support England had with then Down Under, this Columbian would take the lead after just 24 minutes and the English were getting pulled apart as the South Americans tried but oddly failed to find another goal in the first half.

    Some happy Columbians after taking the lead on England

    Columbian good luck would take effect in the second half in which they would add to their lead with two more goals while England failed to cause much problems for the South Americans not being able to find the back of the net and it would be a game to forget about as Columbia would run out as 3-0 victors and would progress to the last four for the first time in their history [3].


    England are going home after a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Columbia
    It has to be said that Columbia had become the team that everyone wanted to win due to how well they seemed to play and even some began to think that just maybe a new name would be on the trophy this year...

    The following day would see an unlikely match up with the United States taking on Chile, both of whom were hoping to make it to the last four for the first time since 1930 and 1962 respectably [4]. The game is more remember for the Chilean media in the build up in which they brought up the 1973 Chilean coup d'état in which had been allegedly supported by the United States which added to a degree of tension to the game which with hindsight was probably was a mistake to make to stoke up Chilean support [5].

    The American team prior to the match with Chile

    It would be a game that from the get go, Chile were by far the better team and this was evident as by the end of the first half they were already up by two goals to nil and there didn't seem anyway back for the Americans. That all said during the open part of the second half, the United States did get a goal back and the game did look like it might have a further twist in the tale.

    In the end however with less that twenty minutes to do, the Chileans add a third to their tally and ultimately would dump the United States out of the World Cup. For a nation celebrating their first appearance in the last four for the first time in 54 years and the media build up to the game, the country would celebrate like crazy and their dreams of World Cup glory were now not a pipe dream.


    One very happy Chilean team on reaching the last four

    For the United States, their long wait for an appearance in the last four of a World Cup goes on...

    The final Quarter-final would be contested between Germany and Argentina, curiously the only two teams left in the tournament that had multiply World Cups to their name. It was stated that the Germans were slight favourites having play no extra-time compared to the Argentines who had barely scraped past Italy with two very late goals which many felt that they were very lucky to do so.


    vs Germany in the last eight
    The game was pretty even for the first part of the game, however a rare mistake from Kroos for a misplaced header would have Higuaín make the most of it and fire it into the top left of the net to give Argentina the lead [6]. Germany were left rocked by this early set back and tried to get back into the game but this would only get worse right at the start of the second half in which Messi would add to Argentina's lead [7] and in the end the Germans despite being what some felt as the better team would make an exit and Argentina would go through.

    It was a horrible result for the Germans who felt that their team was by far a better squad and that some rare mistakes from them had ultimately caused their downfall to put an end to their Australian adventure. For Argentina, it was another return to the last four and with the rest of the teams left in the tournament, it seemed like this was their World Cup to lose now.

    And that face tells you what you need to know

    With that game over, it now looked to be one of the most unlikely last four World Cup semis ever with three South American nations and only one European team. Would Europe's grip on the cup be finally lifted and the cup be on it's way to South America at long last? Time would tell this in this truly upside down World Cup in more ways than one...

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    Final results of the Quarter-Finals at the 2014 World Cup
    • [1] ITTL as you should know by now.
    • [2] They are slightly better than OTL's 2014 team but not by much...
    • [3] Always felt that they deserved to be in the last four compared to Brazil, here they do so here.
    • [4] As with OTL.
    • [5] Yes, this might be crazy but given how some newspapers and media always does something stupid in the build up of a certain game E.G England/Argentina Falklands War, then it's likely you'd see something here.
    • [6] Probably the only ASB thing about this...Higuaín doesn't have the aim of a stormtrooper! :p
    • [7] As he almost did in OTL.
    Well then, what a strange last four that is. It's quite strange that once this WC is over, we have only to do and thus, the TL will go on hiatus until 2022...anyway here is the last four fixtures:
    Netherlands vs Columbia

    Chile vs Argentina
    Who will be in the final then? Until then...see you all soon!
    2014 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
    Part 4

    To say that the last four for this year's World Cup was quite an unlikely one that many weren't expecting would be an understatement. Though there were two former World Cup winners there such as Argentina and the Netherlands, there was also the surprise appearance of Columbia and Chile in which while the former had never been this far before in the tournament, it was it fact the first time Chile had been in this position since they hosted the World Cup in their own backyard in 1962 [1].

    The first of these games would between the Dutch and Columbia in Sydney on a chilly evening though it would be the South Americans getting first blood in the game after just ten minutes though the Dutch would respond about fifteen minutes later in which that would that as half time came around with the score level at 1-1. No one really knew how the game was going to go...


    Netherlands vs Columbia in the first half during the Semi Final
    During the early exchanges in the second half, Columbia looked more up for it and would be awarded for their efforts when Quintero scored from a corner kick in which he headed it home in the box and the feeling that Columbia were going to make it to the final were starting to look like a promising reality. However Van Perise would get his country back on level terms with a free kick and it was starting to look like that the game was going to go to extra time...a crazy game.

    It would be that man again who would come up on top to header in a last minute winner before injury time and that well and truly broke Columbian hearts in which they couldn't respond and the Dutch would seal their place in only their second ever final, their first since 1974 [2]. Across the Netherlands there would be massive street parties for this victory though many Columbians felt that they were robbed of victory.


    One happy Dutch team as they make it to the final
    Whatever who was on who's side, there was no doubt that for the Dutch it was a long time coming for them to make a long awaited appearance in a final which had been too long. Now the question was who would be the team they'd face in the final...?

    The following evening in Perth, it would be an all South American affair as Chile prepared to take on Argentina for a place in the final. Much like the first final it would be a manic game in which Messi would open the scoring for his team only for then for Chile to cancel out that lead in which the first half ended with the score at 1-1. It would be Chile however that would find the back of the net at first in the second half in which saw them complete a turn around and was there a huge shock on the cards?


    Messi after putting Argentina 1-0 during the Semi-Final

    Thankfully for Argentina, Agüero would hammer home two goals in near successful to put Argentina 3-2 up and this Semi-Final was turning into a complete frenzy in which only could happen in South America, albeit it was set in Australia. Chile though would not give in and came close a few times after that third goal to snatch a dramatic late equaliser. Surely it couldn't be done...?

    Alas it wasn't meant to be for Chile for near the end of the game, Rojo would hammer in the fourth and final goal for Argentina which would break Chilean hearts for not being able to reach their first final while Argentina were finally back in a major final once again. Much like across the Netherlands, there would be mass celebrations across Argentina (though not all over South America for good reason) and the hopes of getting the hands on a third World Cup were now just a game away...


    Victory in Perth for Argentina

    And so it was, it would be the first meeting of these two sides ever in a final [3] and after how dramatic both Semi-Finals had been, many were hoping the final would really be a goal fest that would be one to remember, though one mustn't' be too excited when it comes to finals...

    2014 14.png

    Final results of the 2014 Semi-Finals

    • [1] As with OTL.
    • [2] No 1978 or 2010 final ITTL.
    • [3] As with above regarding 1978.
    So there we are then, feel a bit dirty updating this given the whole story regarding the Super League that's going on. I'm with the rest saying that it should be banished but I'm just one voice here. Anyway it is OTL Semi-Final meeting for TTL's Final, will it be any better and who will come out on top? Find out next time!
    2014 FIFA World Cup Third Place Match and Final
    Part 5

    As with tradition, the day before the final would be the Third place play-off in which this would be all South American affair between two unlikely opponents in the form of Columbia and Chile. Though this was only the second time in Chile's history that they had placed in this sort of match [1] this would be Columbia's first time and it would be the latter team that many wanted to win due how well they had played throughout this World Cup.

    If Chile thought that things might go better for them here unlike in 1962 then they were in for a rude awakening in which Columbia would end up ripping apart Chile in 3-0 rout in which they might have gotten more though many felt that the reason for Chile being so poor was how the Semi-Final with Argentina had made them exhausted and this wasn't including the fact they were heartbroken still after coming so close to reaching the final.

    Chile vs Columbia in the Third Place game in Adelaide.

    All in all, Columbia would end their World Cup campaign on a high note and returned back to Columbia as heroes with many hoping that they could do one better in 2018 and for Chile, they would hope things would be looking up too. With that all done, it would soon be time for the final over in Melbourne.

    2014 15.png

    Final result of the Third Place game at the 2014 World Cup

    At long last on a chilly evening in Australia, the 2014 World Cup would take place between the Netherlands and Argentina. Playing in front of the second largest crowd in the history of the World Cup next to 1950 [2] it was all adding to feeling of a huge occasion and for both countries there was a huge amount of pressure and this would be reflected in the game itself.

    While Argentina had been in a few finals since 1986, they had failed to win it since then while on the other half their opponents had not been in a final since their sole victory in 1974 [3] and it would be clear that one team's hoodoo would finally be broken here though the final itself would be a drab and disappointing affair in which the weight of history on both teams was clearly evident with both sides more interested in trying to cancel each other out.

    Netherlands vs Argentina during the 2014 Final
    Even with the game going into extra-time neither side could break the deadlock and after 120 minutes of pure dreadful football, the game ended 0-0 and would go to penalties and for the crowd of over 100,000, there was a good chance that more than one of them wanted their money back in what many would call as one of, if not the worst, finals ever and millions more back home, sans in Argentina and across the Netherlands, might have felt the same about the game [4].

    On spot kicks, it would be Argentina that would hold their nerve as they would win 4-2 on penalties and while the Dutch's wait to be reunited with the World Cup would go on, for Argentina however the long wait was finally over and their third triumph and the whole country would celebrate for a whole straight week and while many in other countries, especially their jealous South American neighbours [5] would say it was an awful final, try telling that to the average Argentine.


    Argentina players react on the winning penalty which confirms them as World Champions

    With that, the 2014 World Cup was finally at an end and for Argentina's Messi, he would finally sit alongside Maradona as a World Champion. Australia had shown the world that despite being what many felt wasn't a traditional football country, they had shown the world what they could do and it did show that the World Cup was now truly a World Cup and not just a European and South American affair, though with 2018 on the horizon, would there be a winner from outside those two continents...?

    2014 16.png

    Final result of the 2014 World Cup Final

    2014 11.png

    Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 2014 World Cup
    • [1] As with IOTL in 1962.
    • [2] As with OTL.
    • [3] Mixed blessing for the Dutch here, they might have a World Cup to their name ITTL yet have failed to reach another World Cup final since 1974.
    • [4] So as you might guess, the final is pretty much the exact same as OTL Semi Final which IMO was one of the worst World Cup Semi-Finals I've ever watched.
    • [5] In South America, that is always going to happen! :p
    Finally we are at the end of 2014 here and 2018 will be here soon. So yeah if you were thinking a great final, well, it is typical of how most finals go in which are always frustrating affairs and not surprisingly always end up like that. That Semi Final as I mentioned along with Euro 2020 Semi-Final with Scotland and Israel, Raith Rovers vs Brechin play-off and Scotland vs Kazakhstan and San Marino are some of the worst games I've had the misfortune to subject myself to.

    But anyway, here are the teams for 2018:

    2018 1.png

    Few differences here to OTL and who do you think will win or do well in 2018 here? Find out next as we go to Russia...
    2018 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
    Part 1

    Four years after Australia put on a fabulous show for the World Cup, the tournament would return to Europe with it being held in Russia for the first time. The choice of hosts were though were filled with suspension due to politics and a series of doping claims relating to Russian sport despite winning the vote [1], many in the Russian media blamed years of negative attention on Russia were to blame for this.

    Qualification would though bring a number of stocks such as for starters two of the final four, Netherlands and Chile, would fail to qualify [2] which would cause chaos with the seeding system as Columbia, the only other team other than 2014 winners Argentina to make the final four last time, would find themselves as the third placed ranked seeded team at the tournament. They weren't the only shock absences though, Italy failed to qualify after losing in a play-off against the Swedes [3], Yugoslavia would fail after a Play-Off with Scotland though this was thanks to certain events in the country that might had left the players having their minds thinking of other matters [4]...

    Away from Europe, the failure of the United States to qualify was a shock to many [5] and their fans would have the frustration of watching the tournament from home. With that, things were going to look different for this World Cup though it did see the return of Peru after a long absence and the first appearance of Panama [6].

    2018 2.png

    Final seeding and pots for 2018 Draw
    When the groups were arranged, many expected things to go rather the same with the all the seeded teams to go through, few expected how many shocks the 2018 World Cup would act out though [7]...


    2018 3.png

    Final results of Group A
    When Russia were drawn with a group featuring Denmark, Senegal and Saudi Arabia, the hosts might have felt that they had gotten lucky and this was evident in the opening match when Russia would smash the Saudis 5-0 [8] and the draw the following day with Denmark and Senegal made many think Russia had a chance to go through, however this would go off the rails when they lost to Denmark, who went on to win the group as many expected, while Russia would only be able to muster a draw with Senegal, who went on to finish second [9], in which saw the hosts finish in third and failed to make the last 16 [10].


    The Russians during their victory over Saudi Arabia...all before it went wrong...
    Russia's failure to make it to the next round did not go unnoticed by many, mainly by the Western Media who took in some cruel joy at Russia's misfortune [11] and for many Russians that was the end of the World Cup for them. Despite that fact, there was still a long way to go just yet...


    2018 4.png

    Final results of Group B
    From the get go in Group B, France were expected to walk the group and while they would win it, they started off on a rather flat note of only getting a draw with Australia before victories over Northern Ireland and Peru sealed their place into the next round. Australia would end up in second place though it would be seen as nervy games mainly with the game with Northern Ireland in which they had to come back from 1-0 down otherwise they might have gone out.


    France vs Australia at the 2018 World Cup
    Peru nearly made it through the group stage unbeaten had they held onto a draw with France but the latter would get a late goal to win the group while Northern Ireland would end up being a flop gaining only one point. Nonetheless it was a final group table that many felt was what many expected it would end up as. How far would either go into the rest of the tournament?


    2018 5.png

    Final results of Group C
    Despite being World Champions, Argentina's nearly disastrous qualification campaign for the World Cup was well documented [12] though they were awarded what seemed like a decent group featuring Tunisia, Poland and Scotland. However things got off on the wrong foot as they could only get a draw with Tunisia in which they would have to rescue themselves with a nervy 1-0 victory over Poland before finishing with a brutal draw with Scotland, the latter who would win the group with the World Champions finishing in second place.


    One shell-shocked Argentine team after their poor draw with Scotland
    Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the group was Poland in which despite many thinking they would reach the knockout stage, they finished bottom of the group [13] and it was overall a bit a strange set of results that not many expected and despite them going through, few expected the champions do go far...


    2018 6.png

    Final results of Group D
    It is always expected that no matter the situation, Brazil always win the group and when they saw who they had in the group they must have felt they would walk this. However things would go badly wrong in the opening match with Wales in which they lost and their hopes suddenly looked bleak. They would however record comfortable victories over Japan and Sweden as well as winning the group yet only on goal difference with the Welsh breathing down their necks.


    One happy Welsh team after their victory over Japan books their place in the next round
    The Welsh, still riding on their success at Euro 2016 [14], had gone into the World Cup feeling good about themselves and that victory over Brazil was a statement to everyone to show how serious they were. Question was though was if it was justified...?


    2018 7.png

    Final results of Group E
    Group E was one seen by many as Spain and England being the two that would go through and that would be the case in what was otherwise a fairly uneventful group which the only thing of note was that Panama would play in their first World Cup though lost all their games. England were still reeling from an awful Euro 2016 experience [15] and needed a good run at the World Cup to put the misery behind them. Other than defeat to Spain in their second game, victories over Morocco and Panama would be enough to put England through.

    England during their rout over Panama

    Spain would win the group to perhaps the surprise of nobody though their final match with Morocco would be a nail biter as they came within minutes of beating Spain and it would only be a late equaliser that denied the Africans victory over Spain. It would be yet another story of what might have been though had they done so, they along with England and Spain would have all ended up with six points but Morocco's poorer goal difference would have doomed them either way. Oh, if only...


    2018 8.png

    Final results of Group F
    Group F would record perhaps some of the biggest shocks in which despite the Germans going into this World Cup feeling like they could do this as they started off with a win over Iceland though it was a rather lacklustre performance. Things would go from bad to worse with a defeat to Mexico before their World Cup hopes ended in disaster with a shock 2-0 loss to South Korea [16] with the Mexicans winning the group and South Korea making it into second place.


    A picture that tells you all you need to know...
    The Germany the team would be treated as a laughing stock and certain historical jokes about Germans in Russia became widespread on social media and the less said the better [17]. For Mexico and South Korea, the two nations' fans would form an unlikely friendship from this and it was anyone's guess as to know how well both might do out in Russia.


    2018 9.png

    Final results of Group G
    Group G would feature the up and coming Belgian team who, to everyone's prediction, won the group with ease but also became the only team in all the groups to win it with a perfect nine points. Also in the group were Uruguay, Costa Rica and Egypt, though the latter were expected to do well thanks to a certain Mohamed Salah in their team, but following an injury he suffered prior to the tournament his performance was far weaker than it should have been and the Egyptians would finish rock bottom with no points to their name [18].


    A Belgian team with their job done
    The team following the Belgians in second place would be Uruguay who's only loss in the group came of course to the Belgians losing 3-2 though it would be seen by many as one of the greatest games in terms of being frantic. Oddly enough while most eyes often look to either Brazil or Argentina, Uruguay felt that with the team they had they had a chance to being something of a dark horse...


    2018 10.png

    Final results of Group H
    The final group would see 2014 third place winners Columbia in a group with Iran, Portugal and Nigeria. While Columbia would win the group as some predicated, many expected Portugal to also be going through however in keeping with shock results, that wouldn't turn out to be the case. The team making it into second place would be none other than Iran who would qualify after snatching a late equaliser in their final group game with Portugal [19] which dumped the Europeans out and saw Iran make it to the knockout stage for the first time in their history [20].


    Iran players celebrate after confirming their place in the last 16
    With that final shock result, the final 16 teams had made it through and it was fair to say that the usual suspects that many would expect to go through was something of a shock was an understatement, though for everyone else it made this World Cup feel more open and who knows what more shocks were to follow next?

    • [1] Despite the vote being more fairer much like OTL 2026 WC voting plan, there is still those problems associated with Russia much like OTL.
    • [2] Both fail to qualify like OTL.
    • [3] As OTL.
    • [4] To answer questions about Yugoslavia here, yes, in 2017 the country does eventual break apart, more peacefully thankfully, though only Slovenia, Croatia and North Macedonia are independent, the rest remains as a rump Yugoslavia state. Expect to see Croatia or Slovenia sometime ITTL soon...
    • [5] As OTL, though more so given how bigger the sport has become in the USA ITTL.
    • [6] As with OTL
    • [7] I think you all remember the shock results from OTL too...
    • [8] Same result as OTL.
    • [9] Senegal here DO reach the knockout stage and are not screwed over like with OTL, speaking of which...
    • [10] Yes, Russia goes out in the group stage here and are worse off from it.
    • [11] Sadly, you would possibly expect this to happen.
    • [12] Same problems as with OTL.
    • [13] Poland flop as per OTL.
    • [14] And guess how Wales did here...?
    • [15] Less said the better as you all know how things have ended up here...
    • [16] Yes, South Korea's glorious moment still happens here though even better as they get out of the group stage here.
    • [17] I think you all remember the certain jokes about Germans going into Russia...
    • [18] Yes, Egypt are no better here much like OTL.
    • [19] As per OTL.
    • [20] Certainly ITTL at least and yet to happen in OTL...
    At last, the long awaited update and hopefully it was worth the wait. I have been busy with many other things such as my redux TL and other writing work. But as always, the final 16 fixtures as follows:
    Denmark vs Australia

    Scotland vs Wales

    Spain vs South Korea

    Belgium vs Iran

    France vs Senegal

    Brazil vs Argentina

    Mexico vs England

    Columbia vs Uruguay

    So there we are, who do you think will win and why, always like hearing some more descripted answers such as predicted score lines and such :) Until then, catch you all later!
    2018 FIFA World Cup Last 16
    Part 2

    In the first match of the round of 16 would see an all Celtic affair in Kazan in which Scotland would do battle with Wales. In days gone past, Scotland would ultimately be the team on paper to come out on top and they had given the Welsh a few bloody noses in that time, however this Welsh team was different after coming off from a high of Euro 2016 [1] and were willing to finally get one over the Scots who were coming into the game thinking that natural order would be restored. At first it did looked to be just that when Ryan Christie slotted home a penalty to give Scotland the lead...however the joy would be short lived as not long into the second half, Sam Vokes cancelled out the lead to make the game level.

    Some happy Welsh players after Vokes' goal
    The second half would be a role reversal in which after that goal, Wales were out for blood and would keep the Scots stuck in their own half for most of the second half. That being said as injury came about about with the score still at 1-1, extra-time was looming but it would be Gareth (hammer of the Scots) Bale who would break Scottish hearts everywhere with a freekick right at the death to knock the Scots out of the World Cup. Following the result, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan would resign [2] and for Wales, the party was only starting...

    Later on that day would be a unusual matchup with Denmark and Australia and it was a game that Denmark started the brighter with Eriksen scored after just seven minutes but Australia would get back into the game with a penalty and from then on it would be a tense game in which neither could break the deadlock after ninety minutes and the game would move into extra time [3].

    Denmark vs Australia in the last 16
    It would be extra time in which things would turn on their heads as in the 98th minute, Tom Rogic would fire home the goal that confirmed Australia from coming from behind and from then on things got tense as the Danish players lost their heads from frustration and Rogic would end up putting the Danes out of their misery with the third and final goal to give Australia victory and onwards into the last eight.

    The following day started off with Senegal, Africa's last remaining team in the World Cup, taking on the French. Not much was expected from the Africans but thanks to Niang, they would shock the favourites by getting an early lead and some felt that a shock was on the cards. However it wouldn't take long for France to score from a penalty and the first half ended 1-1 and still all to play for.


    Happy French players
    The second half would end up being a rout as two more goals from France would finally sink Senegal to give them a comfortable 3-1 victory and ultimately a game that no one would deny that France deserved the victory. Question was now if this French side could go all the way...?

    Later on that day would see an epic clash of Brazil meeting arch rivals and current holders Argentina. Both sides hadn't really performed to the best of their abilities especially Argentina and both sides were under pressure to perform and this was reflected in the first half in which neither seemed to lay a glove on each other and the first half ended in a cagey 0-0 draw. No one knew who would come out on top.


    Brazil vs Argentina in the last 16

    The second half would be a different story as from the moment the deadlock was broken by Neymar for Brazil, there was only going to be one victor and another not long later from Firmino would see Brazil defeat Argentina 2-0 [4] and the latter's grip on the cup was ripped away and the hurt of losing it to their arch rivals was felt by many in Argentina and the question was simply now, 'what now?'

    The following day would open with Spain taking on a plucky South Korea who after their shock victory over Germany were thinking that they had a chance to cause another upset on Spain. However reality would hit the Koreans in the face as the game would end up being a one-sided affair in which Spain controlled from the off and the final score would an easy 3-0 win for Spain.


    Spanish players after their victory over South Korea
    Despite the defeat, the South Koreans could go home with their heads held high that they had done better than what most expected from them and if they keep their up and qualify for 2022, who knows what the future might hold for them? For Spain, just another step closer to try and reach to the top once again...

    When Belgium and Iran were drawn together, it was pretty much looking to be an easy victory for Belgium. That said, Iran were happy to finally make an appearance in the last sixteen for the first time [5] so not many were expecting much from them. That said they would frustrate the Belgians and against all the odds would stun the Belgians by going into half time with the score deadlock. Surely not...?


    Iranian players prior before their match with Belgium
    Amazingly, Iran held onto a 0-0 score line as it became clear that they were hoping to take the game to extra-time up until the last fifteen minutes when Belgium finally broke the deadlock and finally break hearts with a second goal in injury time. While it was a result that at face value would be a result that some expected would happen, Belgium did make heavy work of the game and there was a fear that this might come back to haunt the Belgians later one...

    The final day of last 16 games would begin with Mexico locking horns with England. Curiously this would be the fourth time that the two nations would across each other and on all those occasions England had won all of them [6]. Despite England looking quite good over the Mexicans, it wouldn't be until a free kick headed on by Harry Kane in the twenty third minute of the game that would put England in front yet despite this there wasn't really much effort to show for England's efforts. Would that come back to bite them?


    A smile from the goal scorer

    The second half would finally see England get their second goal from a penalty scored by, who else, Harry Kane. However it would be a stunning volley from Hernández for Mexico, rather oddly, in the sixty-sixth minute that see Mexico begin to fight back and this would see England put under pressure and they found their lead threated. Sadly for the Mexicans their bad luck in the round of sixteen led to their downfall and once again England had gotten a victory over them to move on to the last eight...

    The final group game would be an all South American clash with Columbia and Uruguay. However with all the typically rough South American play the game would end up being a infamous game in which the match would end up more like a fight club than a football game [7]. Uruguay would score first thanks to Cavani but after that it would be foul after foul until Columbia snatched a late equaliser by Mina to take this wretched man into extra time.

    More than high kicks when these two come to blows...

    Cavani would in the end be the one the help put Uruguay back into the lead that his goal would help his country win the game, however it would be a game remembered for six yellow cards and two sending offs from the Columbians who utterly lost their heads towards the end and with how rotten the game was, many were happy when it was over though it wasn't a good game to end the round of sixteen on.

    With that, it was all over and strong looking last eight was beginning to take shape and who would end up coming out on top here...?

    2018 11.png

    Final results of the Knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup (A.N Yes I messed up with France vs Senegal, I'll fix it later)

    • [1] Guess how Wales did there ;)
    • [2] He resigned IOTL in 2017, here it is a year later.
    • [3] The first 90 mins of the game are much like OTL's group game with the two.
    • [4] Similar things to OTL, much like then Brazil won in the Ro16 2-0 and Argentina went out at the same stage.
    • [5] Iran do better here ITTL as you'll notice.
    • [6] If you look back on this TL.
    • [7] To give you an idea how bad the game is, it's like OTL England vs Columbia game though ten times more nastier as you can imagine.
    So there we are, the long overdue update you've been waiting for. Hope you are all enjoying your day wherever you are and as always, the Quarter-final fixtures:
    Australia vs Wales

    Spain vs Belgium

    France vs Brazil

    England vs Uruguay
    Who will win and by what score, pleased to see many on here got a fairly correct score line for most games. Until then, see you all soon!
    Last edited:
    2018 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
    Part 3

    It would be on July 6th in which the first Quarter-final would take place between Australia and Wales. Though many expected the Euro 2016 runners-up [1] to give the Socceroo's a battering, what followed would be one of the more craziest games in this World Cup in which just after two minutes, Jedniak scored the opening goal after thanks to some slack defending from the Welsh and the Dragons would end up having to chase the game and would though getting a goal back from Allen just before the break.

    If Wales thought in the second half they would get the better of Australia, they were to be in for a shock in which Australia retook the lead in the sixty-eighth minute and looked set to be on course for a shock victory and make it to the last four. But the lead would not last long in which Bale came to the rescue just a few minutes later and thus the game would end up going into extra time.


    The Australian team following the goal that puts them up at 2-1 up
    It would be during extra time that Wales would be awarded a controversial penalty that despite being given the all clear from VAR, the Australians felt there was a dive involved and it would be from the spot that Bale would step up and score the winning goal to give the winning goal to put Wales into the last four for the first time [2] while the Australians were cursing their luck that their Quarter-Final stigma would remain for now. Question now was how far Wales could go as their supporters celebrated their victory long into the night...

    Later on that day would see the meeting of the former World Champions taking on what many claimed to be the team that seemed set to go on and win the World Cup, Belgium. Despite the hype surrounding them, it didn't seem to bother the Belgians as in just over half an hour, the Belgians would roar into a 2-0 lead and never did seem like looking back and it was hard to say if this team was that good or this Spanish team's time was over.

    Even in the second half, Spain would struggle to get a foothold into the game and Belgium looked like a side that was hungry to score another goal to really rub it in yet some credit had to be given for them not giving in and even managed to get a goal back to give them hope. Sadly that goal would be nothing more than a consolation as Belgium would be victorious in a 2-1 win and moved onwards to the last four for the first time [3].


    Spain vs Belgium in the Knockout stage
    Funnily enough it would be the only Quarter-final in that World Cup that would not go into extra time which explained a lot how well organised this Belgium side was and with how easily they had dispatched the Spanish, it showed everyone how serious this side was for going all the way. Question was, could they do it...?

    The following day would begin with England taking on Uruguay in which many felt might be quite a tasty encounter though what was served up was a bad tempered and tense game in which neither side seemed more interesting trying not to lose than win. Uruguay weren't helped that some of their players were already on a yellow card and it would be a game best left to be forgotten about. England would get a penalty in the thirty-seventh minute but in a shocking turn of events, Kane would hit the post and the first half would end in a 0-0 draw and that told you what you needed to know how brutal this game was.

    The second half was no better as England did look to be the better team trying to score yet Uruguay had resorted into something to akin like Columbia in the last round by kicking lumps out of the players. Nothing happened in the second half other than some yellow cards going up and the match would move into extra-time and it would be then in which from a header from Maguire, the deadlock would finally be broken to give England a scrappy yet justified victory [4].


    A defeated Uruguay after their loss to England

    England would be unhappy how rough this Uruguay team had been to play against but nonetheless happy that they had moved into the last four and hoped that their World Cup hopes would start to look more promising. Question was now, as with the others who had made it, could they really do it?

    As the old saying goes, the best is served for last and it would be in a mouth-watering clash with Brazil and France, both of who were considered strong favourites for the cup and seeing one of them go out would open up the competition. In those ninety minutes audiences everywhere were to be treated to a madcap affair in which Brazil took the lead first, only for France to get back in it from a spot kick. The first half would end 1-1 and the second half, like the first, began with Brazil taking the lead again only for France one again to get a goal back.

    The ninety minutes would end 2-2 and it was considered already as the best game in the tournament and extra-time had not been played yet and who knows how well that would end up. That period of play would not have any goals but would be a thrilling goal in the battle of domination and the game would end up going to penalties and it was hard to say who would hold their nerve.

    France vs Brazil in their Quarter-final tie

    In the end, it would be France that missed two vital kicks while Brazil held their nerve to banish the demons of their humiliating exit to Australia in similar circumstances four years ago [5] and thus Brazil would go through and France were dumped out of the World Cup [6]. Brazil would end up be the sole non-European team left in the tournament and now this was where the real fighting began to see who would win now...

    2018 13.png

    Final results of the 2018 Quarter-finals

    • [1] Yes, Wales made it to the final ITTL but lose out to France who win Euro 2016 on home soil.
    • [2] ITTL and yet to happen for OTL...yet.
    • [3] They win in the Quarter-final by the same score line as with OTL.
    • [4] England move into the last four with Uruguay going out at this stage both as like OTL.
    • [5] Look back on TTL's 2014 WC.
    • [6] Changed results for Brazil and France in which the former do better than OTL while the latter much worse, no WC win for them here.
    There we are then, eight now become four and here is the Semi-Finals as they stand:
    Wales vs Belgium

    Brazil vs England
    Who will win by what score line and why. You know the rules and we are getting near the end of this TL which is something I haven't thought about until now. Still, hope you are all doing well and until then, catch you all later!
    2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
    Part 4

    In the first Semi-Final of the tournament, it would be an unlikely mismatch in which the highly fancied Belgians would take on a plucky Wales team in what would be a re-match of their Euro 2016 Quarter-Final game in which the Welsh stunned Belgium [1]. Few expected Wales to get this far but many expected Belgium to not only crush the Welsh and get revenge but end up getting into the final for the first time.

    From the off, Belgium started off as by far the better team and Wales failed to get a player into the box, let alone try and get a shot on target yet despite all this Belgian pressure, they couldn't find a break through in the first half and it became clear that Wales would have to end up defending. It wouldn't take long into the second half in which Belgium would get their long awaited and much deserved goal that seemed to have them set on course for the final.


    Lukaku with the opening goal over Wales
    Despite having that lead, Belgium found it difficult to extend their lead and when Wales were awarded a free kick, Bale would fire in a stunner worthy of a Semi-Final to put Wales back into the game from against the run of play with just over ten minutes to go which would end up taking the game to extra time, just what the Welsh wanted. In a classic case of 'parking the bus', Wales would end up sticking back in their own half and rarely troubled the Belgian defence and a rather dreadful period of extra-time ended and it would go to penalties.

    In the end, it would be the Belgians that held their nerve and finally put an end to Wales' plucky run and dump them out of the World Cup, a victory that many expected though it was fair to say the Belgians made hard work of it and many across Belgium would celebrate as the nation celebrated for reaching their first ever World Cup final [2]. Surely this would be their year?


    Despaired Welsh players after their loss on penalties

    The following day would see another British team play in the other Semi-Final in which England would take on Brazil in what many expected would be a tense game in which anything could happen and things would get off to a flyer when England would take the lead from a Trippier freekick [3] and now Brazil found themselves on the backfoot to try and get back into the game.

    Things would get worse for what was clearly a ropey Brazil side when Sterling was handed the ball from an assist from Kane to tap it into the net just before the end of the first half to double England's lead [4] and with that it looked as though the Brazilians would have a mountain to climb with England sitting nicely with a 2-0 lead and looking set to meet Belgium in the final.


    England after their opening goal
    If England did think that Brazil were going to roll over for them then they were to be in for a nasty with just a few minutes into the second half in which some bad English defending saw them switch off and allowed Brazil to score to give themselves the best possible start to make a comeback and that second half would clearly see Brazil become by far the better team and now England had their backs to the wall with another Brazilian goal looking like a sure possibility.

    Sadly for Brazil, England held their nerve as Brazil ended up failing to score despite so much pressure on England and thus, England progressed to the final [5] for the first time since the 1990 final [6] and much like in Belgium, there were celebrations across the country. For Brazil, it was a sad end for what they hoped would be another final for them but alas it was not meant to be.


    General reaction of how most Brazilians feel after their Semi-Final loss
    So now the final would be once again an all European final in which England will take on Belgium to decided who would win the World Cup and achieve eternal glory?

    2018 14.png

    Final results of the Semi-Finals of the 2018 World Cup

    • [1] As with OTL Euro 2016.
    • [2] ITTL at least.
    • [3] As in OTL.
    • [4] As what almost happened IOTL if Kane simply crossed the ball to Sterling in the game with Croatia.
    • [5] They went out at this stage IOTL.
    • [6] ITTL at least.
    So there we are and we are getting near the end for TTL! One more update to go and that'll be that. Hope you have been enjoying this TL, until then, catch you later!
    2018 FIFA World Cup Third Place Match and Final
    Part 5

    Prior to the final, as always as what had happened for many years now would be the case of the third place game. Wales would be having to take on Brazil and despite the Welsh starting off quite well, it would be Brazil who would score against the run of play thanks to Paulinho but nonetheless Wales didn't give up and they would quickly get back into the game thanks to a rocket of a shot from Vokes and the game became quite open despite what many will say is quite a pointless game in some ways.

    Though the game didn't get much viewing due to how it was seen by many as a dead rubber game, there were some controversy in the game for the Welsh as they claimed that the referee and VAR seemed to have some bias in favour of Brazil which was demonstrated in which Bale would score just before the break yet for some reason the goal was never allowed even though there didn't seem to be any sign of offside anywhere. Whatever the reason, there was an angry scene at the end of the first half in which the Welsh players were arguing with the referee over the goal that never was.


    Bale during the game with Brazil

    The second half would end up being a nervy game in which neither side being able to able to find an opening goal though the Welsh are still angry about the goal that was disallowed and this would see Brazil slowly get back into the game in which finally would see them find the winning goal from Silva which saw Brazil come out on top and eventually win the tie.

    Though they hadn't won the World Cup, this victory was mere consolation for them though Wales would be happy overall of the fact that they had gotten this far and thus there was much to be hoped for what they hoped would be a promising run for Euro 2020. With that game though, it was now time for the main event in Moscow...

    2018 15.png

    Final result of the Third-Place game at the 2018 World Cup
    The following day was time for the final and it was to be the much fancied Belgium team against a young England team. Though it wasn't the fact that this wasn't a bad England team, it was just down to the fact that they were to lock horns with a Belgium team that not only was packed with some fine talent but where a team that many expected to win with many claiming them to be their 'golden generation' and perhaps had the weight of the world on their shoulders with every neutral fan in the world watching.

    To what everyone expected, Belgium pretty much dominated the game right from the get go with them going ahead just before the half hour mark. After that goal, many expected to see Belgium score again and put themselves way out of sight of England yet this was when things began to change in which for some reason they couldn't seem to score and that would be how things ended at half time with England sniffing that they had a chance...


    Belgium vs England in the final
    The second would see the Belgians start off well as before yet there was more determination from England this time and the Belgian's failure of not scoring again would come back to haunt them as England scored in the fifty-seventh minute which while not against the run of play was indeed something no one expected and that was how after ninety minutes how the score would end with neither finding a winner and Belgium had only themselves to blame for letting the game slip like this [1].

    Extra-time would come and go and yet nothing could separate the two as both seemed to cancel each other out though Belgium did look somewhat more better. With that it would come down to penalties and it would be a nerve shredder in which it would be a shock result and something of an upset as England held their nerve to beat Belgium 5-4 on spot kicks and England would become the unlikely world champions of 2018 [2].


    The victorious England team of 2018 in Moscow

    Belgium's defeat was greeted with many feeling gutted (other than those in the Netherlands for good reason) that the favourites had failed to win the cup but many would point out that their failure to add to their lead during the first half when they were by far the better team was ultimately their downfall and the age old rule of never holding onto a 1-0 lead in an important game for large parts of the game came to bite them in the backside.

    Reaction in England was one of joy and disbelieve (not so in Scotland, Wales and across Ireland that is) that they hadn't expected to achieve this victory and now they pinned their hopes on getting more glory at Euro 2020. With all this though, another World Cup was over and in 2022, the World Cup would return to Africa with the hosts being Morocco [3] with plans to expand it to having 48 teams and thus, make it into even more of a true World Cup....[4]

    2018 16.png

    Final result of the 2018 World Cup Final

    2018 12.png
    Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 2018 World Cup
    • [1] If this sounds familiar then yes, it does go along like OTL Euro 2020 final, though the other way round...
    • [2] Before anyone says anything, I had this outcome planned months ago and has nothing to do how England did in the recent final though there are similar vibes here. One thing that is simialr is the Belgium's 'golden generation' fails to deliver here like OTL.
    • [3] No Qatar here, Morocco will host it for 2022.
    • [4] Rather fitting note to end on if you ask me.
    So there we are then, the final update (for now that is) for this TL. I want to thank you all who have followed this TL from the start as I didn't know if an expanded 1996 WC would be of interest but is has been good to see many take a liking to it and to wrap it all up, here is the summery of all WC finals ITTL:
    WC Finals.png

    So before we go, what was your favourite tournament here and why? Plus I have plans for another football TL to work on that while not be original will be one though that I hope can be finished unlike some certain others that couldn't finish this particular subject. Anyway until then, take care and I hope to see you all soon and this song fits the ending me thinks! :)

    The End (for now!)