On this week’s football-language podcast we look back at a wonderfully exciting set of World Cup qualifiers that took place over the past ten days. We also introduce two new football-language phrases connected to those World Cup qualifiers including ‘results go your way‘. We also look ahead to a new round of matches from the Premier League this weekend including the big game between Liverpool and Manchester United which of course will feature in our regular football predictions competition. For those who wish to practise their English, there is a transcript below to help with reading and listening (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).
Learn English Through Football Podcast: World Cup Qualifiers and Liverpool vs Man Utd
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Transcript of the show
DF: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everybody my name is Damian and I am here in a bright, sunny London and hopefully Damon is on the other end of the line in Tokyo? Damon, how are things there in Japan?
DB: Hi there Damian, they’re pretty grey, wet, rainy… yes, not so good weather wise but other than that pretty good. What have we got on the show today?
DF: Well, today’s show has a big World Cup theme as we look back first at some of the good, the bad and the ugly from the football week, before explaining some football language that has emerged from the week, including the phrase ‘results go your way‘ – and then we’ll be looking ahead to the Liverpool-Manchester United clash in our weekly predictions.
DB: Come on Liverpool!
DF: Now Damon before we look at the good, the bad and the ugly, did you manage to watch any of the World Cup football?
DB: Unfortunately, I found it very difficult over here in Japan to watch the games. How about you?
DF: Oh yes. I watched lots and lots of it. It was really, really great stuff and we might as well start off there with the good because it was such a fantastic week of international football! Nail-biting finishes, huge shocks, controversial ‘ghost goals’, terrific comebacks and some wonderful stories from all over the globe as teams tried to qualify for next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
In the European section it was a very good week for Iceland as they defeated Turkey away and then Kosovo at home to qualify top of a very tough group and make their first ever World Cup finals. Wasn’t it fantastic Iceland?
DF: Another team making its competitive bow is Panama…
DF: …from the CONCACAF region after an amazing night of football action in the North and Central American section. The United States were favourites to make it through the hex but they slipped up against Trinidad and Tobago allowing Panama to get through thanks to Román Torres’ late winner in their game against Costa Rica as well as another late-winning goal for Honduras in their match against Mexico. Dramatic stuff indeed.
DB: Yes, it was dramatic and there was more late drama in the African qualifiers when Liverpool’s Mo Salah scored a 94th-minute penalty against Congo to send Egypt through to the World Cup for the first time since 1990, while in the Asian play-offs Syria and Australia went to extra-time before Tim Cahill’s second goal of the game saw the Australians through to an inter-continental play-off against Honduras in November. And what about South America?
DF: Wow! With one game to go there was a real possibility that Argentina would miss out on the World Cup for the first time since 1970. They needed to beat Ecuador away – at altitude – on Tuesday night to stay in with a chance of making it to Russia 2018 and despite going a goal down within the first minute of the game they came back to win 3-1 thanks to an amazing hat-trick from Leo Messi to book their place in the finals next year. What a… the three goals were fantastic. Remarkably, the current Copa America holders Chile missed out after two defeats in their final two games with Peru making the play-offs – and they will play New Zealand in November. And talking of play-offs, Damon, both Irish teams will be involved in the European play-offs in November as they both finished second in their respective groups. The Republic of Ireland battled to an impressive (and very, very tense) victory over Wales on Monday. I watched that with my brother, oh my God, it was so ne…we were so nervous; while Northern Ireland finished as runners-up behind Germany. So, a great week of international football with more to come in November as we find out the names of the last nine sides to qualify for Russia.
DB: Yes, but it wasn’t all good news though was it? Of course with all the excitement involved with the winners and qualifiers it was bad for those who did not make it to the finals. Holland, who played a World Cup final in 2010 and finished third four years ago, will not be in Russia next year and neither will the current African champions Cameroon after they lost out to Nigeria. Perhaps the biggest shock though was the USA’s defeat in Trinidad which left them in fifth place in the hex and out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986. Huge amounts of money and resources has gone into the US game and they were expected to easily come through the group but they never seemed to recover from a poor start and so they will be watching the tournament from the sidelines.
DF: That’s a huge story isn’t it Damon? It really is.
DF: How about ugly Damon?
DB: Well not ugly but bizarre. Gordan Strachan, Scotland’s ex-manager (of course he resigned after not qualifying for the World Cup), he blamed his nation’s failure to qualify for the World Cup on genes. That’s right, he blamed the DNA of Scottish players who apparently are too short to compete! Go and tell that to Spain, one of the smaller teams height-wise but surely one of the most successful in recent years. What a weird excuse!
DF: Oh dear Gordon, oh dear.
You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Irish).
DB: OK, this week’s quiz question is all about the Liverpool-Manchester United rivalry which continues later… in about one hour… when they face each other in the Premier League. We want to know what were the results of the two games between the sides last season. What were the scores in last season’s Premier League games between United and Liverpool? And we’ll have the answers at the end of the show.
DF: Right, we’d just like to remind people to get in touch with us and spread the word if you like our show and our site. It is always great to hear from our listeners and you can, of course, email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow us on all the usual places, so that’s twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Now there was one comment this week about transcripts for the show; so if you are listening to us then you can find the transcript by coming along to our site and finding this week’s post. If you are a teacher out there, we’d love to know if and how you are using the transcript with your students.
DB: Yes. And if listening on a phone or a hand-held device then you should also be able to read the transcript while listening to us. Right, next up we explain some football language that emerged from the week.
Football Language: Results go your way
DF: Right Damon, I’m going to start with the phrase ‘results go your way’. During the latest set of World Cup qualifiers some sides were relying on other teams’ results in order to make it to Russia for next year’s World Cup finals – they needed other games to go their way. So, for example, the Republic of Ireland had to defeat Wales to guarantee second place in the group and a play-off place but if results had gone their way and Serbia had lost at home to Georgia then they would have qualified directly – they did not have their destiny in their own hands but instead were relying on other results to go their way. Panama were another side that were relying on results to go their way as a win over Costa Rica would not have been enough to qualify directly. They had to wait for a favourable result from the Honduras vs Mexico game to help them qualify which of course did happen – results elsewhere went their way and they qualified for the first time in their history.
Damon, do you know any other football language from the week?
Football Language: To be seeded
DB: Yes, I’m going to talk about the phrase ‘seeded‘. We’ve just had some World Cup qualifying matches taking place and the word ‘seed‘ has cropped up in lots of articles about football competitions like the World Cup and the Champions League. A ‘seed‘ in football is a team that has been chosen as a strong team that has preferential treatment when deciding a group, for example. When using the phrase it is often used as a verb, in the passive, be seeded. So, for example, at the last World Cup, there were eight teams that were seeded based on the FIFA rankings, including Spain, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. These ‘seeds‘, seeded teams, could not be put in the same group. Now, obviously being a seeded team is a big advantage, as they avoid other strong teams.
DF: Good stuff. I know that Ireland have not been seeded for the upcoming play-offs so we will have to play a stronger, seeded, team such as Italy or Switzerland – yes, no problems with that. Right, next up we have this week’s predictions.
DB: OK, let’s remind ourselves of the current leader board. Johnny Magicboots is still in front of Alex r-r (or Alexrr), those two have 47 and 46 points respectively. They’re followed by you Damian on 40 and then me on 35! Now, remember it’s three points for the perfect score and one if you get the right results. Come along and join in!
Predictions: Liverpool vs Manchester United
DF: Right, Damon, the first game is of course Liverpool versus Manchester United. This is a big game for your team Liverpool in many ways. What do you reckon?
DB: Well, the form book says Manchester United but as everybody knows in these big games the form book goes out the window. I’m going to follow my heart 4-0 to the Reds.
DF: It was going so well for the logic and then suddenly 4 came out of nowhere! I love the cliche there… I think they will cancel each other out and it’s going to finish 1-1.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
DF: Next up we have a London derby that features bottom of the table Palace hosting Chelsea who are hoping to bounce back after their defeat against Manchester City in their last match. What do you think, Damon?
DB: Now, will Crystal Palace get their first goal? Will Crystal Palace get their first point? Will Crystal Palace stop Chelsea? No, I don’t think so. 2-0 to Chelsea in this London derby.
DF: I think I am going to go for a draw which will see Palace finally getting a goal and a point – 1-1 for me. But really… yes, 1-1, OK.
Manchester City vs Stoke City
DB: Alright, next up we feature leaders Manchester City who are taking on injury-hit Stoke. What do you think?
DF: I think City will win but maybe only by 2-1. You?
DB: I think Manchester City are going to steam roller Stoke City. I’m going to go for a 3-0 win.
Quiz question answer
DB: OK, and before we go here’s the answer to the quiz question. We asked what was the score between Manchester United and Liverpool in both of their league games last season. Damian?
DF: Well, both games finished in draws: 0-0 at Anfield and then 1-1 at Old Trafford. And we’ll have another quiz question next week. Damon, would you take a draw?
DF: In today’s game?
DF: OK, fighting talk!
DB: Alright everybody, that’s it for this week. Enjoy all of the football – come on you reds – and catch you next week. Ta-ra!
DF: See you next week when we will be looking back at some of the Champions League matches including Spurs versus Real Madrid and then next weekend, Damon, sees Tottenham taking on Liverpool!
DB: It does indeed.
DF: Bye bye.