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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Source: AP/Press Association Images

Another day, another load of top tournament games. Email us at sport@thescore.ie, tweet us @thescore_ie or with the hashtag #ScoreWCHangout, post a message to Facebook, or leave a comment below.

Rest days? Shmest days.  Like you, we’re more than happy to have the short tournament hiatus behind us — for now — and the action back on the telly.

As we speak, Germany and France are under way in a mouth watering European, loser-leaves-town showdown.

Expect Manuel Neuer to get sent off or Cabaye to score form the halfway line. Thsi World Cup is nuts. You can follow the action here. 

We’re on the couch for the rest of the night with two epic games in store but our man in Brazil, Mikey Stafford has taken TheScore.ie’s place in the Maracana press box.

This is his view:
https://vine.co/v/MUdD0ltPhdp

Not bad of a Friday afternoon.

GOAL! As Darragh Maloney said with a smile before kick-off: you can’t write off the Germans.

Jogi Loew’s side have opened the scoring against Les Bleus through one of my favourite players Mats Hummels. Follow the action here with football brainbox, Eoin O’Callaghan.

And here’s Mikey in Brazil:  “Greetings from the Maracana, where we were lucky enough to have a perfect view from behind Toni Kroos of that free-kick. The Bayern Munich/Manchester United/Real Madrid playmaker floated it perfectly across the goal and in the battle of centre halfs Mats Hummels was too clever and too strong for Raphael Varane, who he pushed off before guiding a perfect glancing header off underside of the crossbar. Lots of Germans here, needless to say they went a little bonkers. I, ahem, revised my match preview upon seeing team Joachim Low picked and I really can’t see them losing this game now they are in front.”

tumblr_mpffbxutNZ1rm4mpho1_500 Source: Seinefeld a Day Tumblr

It’s the Fourth of July and we’ve got a red, white and blue prize to give away this evening.

We all love football — particularly during this past month — but we’re partial to the American variety too. We’ve got a pair of VIP tickets to the Croke Park Classic next month which includes sideline passes and a hotel stay for two.

What do you have to do? Guess the minute the last goal will be scored in the Brazil-Colombia game later.

If there’s a cuople of right answers, we’ll draw names and shoot-outs don’t count. If there’s no goals at all we’ll draw all the names. Go!

This is interesting:

As I type Neuer makes a great one-handed save from Valbuena and then Benzenma knocks the ball off a defender and it goes behind. This one’s opening up nicely.

In the RTÉ studio, Neil Lennon is next to Ronnie Whelan. The former Celtic manager looks and sounds like he had the time of his life in Rio. What have you made of the punditry so far this tournament?

“Every time there is a major sporting event we hear about the hit to productivity. Hours wasted tuning into the matches and employees not showing up for work. Although there may be truth in these reports, few talk about the increase in morale and camaraderie that comes about from these tournaments. So, let’s focus on the positive and put in place a few strategies to stay productive and still enjoy the rest of the World Cup.”

Read Ciara Conlon, on how to stay productive during the World Cup. That’s preuming you were productive before the tournament, of course.

Even if the football was rubbish the past few weeks, at least we had the music.

This is one of the tunes Off The Ball have been using — for Joe Molloy’s intro, I think mainly — on a nightly basis. Gold:

Source: Luaka Bop/YouTube

Some mascot controversy, is reaching us from Brazil. To quote thousands of dads on sidelines up and down the country every weekend: “there’s no way that young fella is under age”.

And we’re back! Follow the second half here. 

Keep those last-goal predictions coming for a chance to win those Croke Park tickets. *Insert topical Garth Brooks joke here*

Half-time bants from Lineker as Ruud Guillet sits next to the man he controversially dropped at Newcastle.
https://vine.co/v/MUpaKIiir6H

File under ‘uh-oh’.  This just dropped in on the AFP newswire:

“Voodoo dolls of Colombian star James Rodriguez, candles in Brazil colours and prayers to deities, Neymar and co are getting full support from the World Cup hosts’ Afro-Brazilian religions.

“Before every game, Helio Sillman lights four yellow, green and blue candles in the colours of the national flag and places them in a rectangular box representing a football pitch. He places dolls inside and sends them “strength and energy,” with the help of orixas, the gods of macumba and other religions that mix Roman Catholic and African beliefs.

‘I place charms made of grains to bring them luck, an amulet to neutralize negative vibes, a cristal and a sun to give them energy, and in the middle orixa necklaces to protect them,’ Sillman told AFP.”

I think Jimym R will be grand, regardless.

Andre Schurrle’s come on for Miroslav Klose at the Maracana. And he’s made an impact already, fizzing a ball across the famous corridor of uncertainty.

Olivier ‘Looks Good In His Jocks’ Giroud is warming up on the line for France meanwhile. Follow the game minute-by-minute here.

Interesting news line from Guillem Balague:

Full-time! Given the teams and the stage we’re, that was probably the most disappointing game of the tournament so far.  But, despite a late effort from Benzema, Germany march on.

Peter Collins just said the Germans were efficient.

That’s your lot for now then. We’ll be back with live coverage of the Brazil-Colombia game, of course, and Mikey Stafford will file reaction and analysis from the Maracana throughout the evening.

Thanks for your company. We’ll keep keep the comments open for competition entries til kick-off later.

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