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Ed Kavalee’s six rules for a frustrating World Cup group stage

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The Socceroos are done and dusted. Comedian Ed Kavalee looks at how Aussie fans can survive the remaining games of the World Cup.

It's all over. The group stage has left us with so much to talk about.

This has really been a transformational tournament already. VAR has played a huge part.

Marginal offside not being called has played a huge part and Tim Cahill played nowhere a big enough part. Anyway, the Socceroos are done and we must move on.

Why not call up a local German and say, "I know how it feels".

With the tournament turning for home, I thought I would reflect on how the Russian version has been unique.

Here are the six rules for a great/frustrating group stage:

1. Allegedly/possibly/probably/were definitely fixed games

For a variety of reasons, games that failed to be as competitive as they might have been.

Russia-Saudi Arabia. France-Denmark. Last quarter of Japan-Poland.

2. Amazing goals

Lionel Messi vs Nigeria is my personal favourite: Messi 31. Beats him in and away.

The touch on the thigh at full speed is perfect. Messi has converted every part of his body to a football-controlling surface.

3M should be shaving him to make high-grade adhesives.

External Link: Lionel Messi's goal between Nigeria v Argentina

3. The shocks

The Germans going out. 3 of 3 successive previous winners have gone out.

We must applaud Australia for a very clever tactic of getting knocked out early to prevent that happening to us.

4. VAR

These days anything could be a penalty or not a penalty. This is the best summary of the decisions so far.

Suffice to say a Swiss double tackle on a Serbian forward that would have gotten cheers from an NRL crowd. Not.

The lightest touch on a Frenchman who was trying to find a reason to fall over. Was. #Notbitter.

5. No clear favourite

The Belgians believe they can win.

For football fans, that's like saying Hufflepuff have a real chance in the Quidditch this year.

I should say here I'm not a Harry Potter fan, so if they win all the time then sorry.

6. New stars

None of these have really emerged yet. If Philippe Coutinho continues to be Brazil's best player, then he may be it.

Brazil star Neymar holds his hands to his face.

If that is the case Neymar Jr will take him out himself, or have to get himself an even worse haircut than his current one, to make sure he's still the centre of attention.

Who wins from here?

The Spanish have the best midfield, the Belgians have the most attacking weapons and the Brazilians have almost snuck under the radar.

Who knows? Why not ring up a local German and ask what they think?

One last thing. Those having a go about the way SBS presenters pronounce names are fools.

Without Les Murray, and all who have followed him, I would have no idea on how to pronounce many an exotic football game.

So much so that the legendary band TISM had this hit many years ago.

External Link: What nationality is Les Murray? From Australian band TISM

We miss Les, but we thank him for bringing us all his knowledge. Now let's get behind the [insert your team here].

Ed Kavalee is one third of Santo, Sam and Ed's Cup Fever. You can hear and watch their coverage over the course of FIFA World Cup on iView, ABC Listen app or wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

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