Learn English Through Football Podcast: World Cup 2018 – Semi Finals Review

Semi Finals Review

In this World Cup 2018 podcast, we discuss how our predictions went for the matches and before looking forward to the big one – the final this Sunday! There is also a short World Cup language section. For this podcast, there is a transcript for this report, which is great for learners and teachers of English, which can be accessed by becoming a patron (through Patreon). If you have questions or comments, drop us a line us at: admin@languagecaster.com.


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Transcript of the show (14th July 2018: Damon=DB)

Learn English through Football Podcast: 2018 World Cup – Semi Finals Review

DB: You are listening to languagecaster.com’s football-language podcast. Hi there everyone. Thanks for coming along to this World Cup podcast, great for all those who love football and are interested in improving their English language skills. My name’s Damon, and I’m based in Tokyo, which is scorching hot at the moment! Actually, I’m sitting on the balcony, so you may hear little bit of noise from around the town. It’s been strange not having any football for the last few days too after a month of constant matches. Although that’s meant I’ve been able to catch up with some sleep at least! Now, the tournament’s nearly over but we’ve got the final to look forward to. I don’t think many would have predicted that Croatia would playing for the biggest prize in world football; well done to them and of course to France, one of the pre-tournament favourites.


DB: We’ll take a look at that match at the end of the show of course. And the show will have a quick review of the semi finals and Damian and my predictions for those games. I’ll discuss a football language phrase from the World Cup and take a look at the Languagecaster World Cup predictions league table!

The semi finals – Review

Your listening to languagecaster.com (in German)

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in German. OK, let’s kick off with a look at the France versus Belgium game. Before this game Damian predicted a pragmatic win for the French, while hoping that Belgium would play an exciting attacking game. He was right on both counts, as Belgium really did try everything to unlock the French defence but it was France who saw off Belgium 2-0. For the other game, England v Croatia, Damian’s prediction wasn’t so accurate. He thought England would win quite comfortably 2-1, but of course they lost by that score in extra time.

As for me, well I did pretty badly! I had Belgium to surprise France 2-1 with Hazard starring, and although the little striker did play well it wasn’t to be for the Red Devils. I was a little bit closer with the England v Croatia game. I went for 1-1 and then penalties. It was of course 1-1 and extra time, but Croatia nicked a goal and there was no need for penalties.

Ow, as an England fan, I can’t complain really. Being in the semi finals was a great achievement for the team – remember it was one of the youngest at the World Cup –  and they didn’t do a lot wrong. In fact, they were very good in the first half and seemed in control of the game after going 1-0 up. It was half time and the equaliser that changed things. Unlike Croatia, they didn’t have another gear, and ultimately that showed they lacked enough quality. So, a bit sad to see them miss out on a great chance to get to the final, but happy that they can build on this experience.

As for the France v Belgium semi, I was talking about England lacking another gear, or being unable to improve, to raise their game to another level. It looked like France could always raise their game. They’ll be big favourites in the final.

Football language

DB: I just mentioned the phrase ‘find another gear’ there – to respond in a match and improve the level of play, and here’s another football language phrase from the World Cup!

It was from a week or so ago, but I’d like to explain the word ‘fluke’. The dictionary defines this noun as a surprising piece of luck; a chance occurrence. We can use this noun in football to describe a shot or a pass that was lucky in some way. So for example, in the Sweden v  Switzerland game, the Swedish striker Forsberg had a shot on goal that looked as though it would be easily saved. The shot lacked power and the keeper had it covered. However, it took a deflection, hit another player, and it changed direction resulting in a goal. The goal was a fluke. In the Belgium versus Japan game, too, there was a flukey goal – flukey is the adjective form. Belgian defender Vertonghen  headed a high ball back into the area, hoping the ball would reach a team-mate. However, the ball looped over the goalkeeper and into the far corner. It was a flukea flukey goal. There were no flukes in the semi finals however!

Contact Us

DB: Now remember you can always follow us via twitter, Facebook or Instagram and it’s easy to get in touch with us via our email at admin@languagecaster.com. On our site you can access our huge glossary of football phrases and cliches on our glossary page or why not just have a look at our archive of over 10 years of posts and podcasts on football!


DB: OK, let’s turn to the last weekend of football at the 2018 World Cup. If we take a look at the predictions battle there’s starlighter top with 51 points, that’s 3 ahead of Umid and Fitzpab. With 6 points to play for one of these three will be the champion! Fugesi is on 44 and Damian is a little further back on 41, while I am nowhere to be seen! To be honest I forgot to put a few scores in at the quarter finals! Excuses I know!

Belgium v England

OK, we’ve got the third place play off between Belgium and England tonight.

I’m going for a Belgium win. They’re just a better team. Both managers will make changes and give some of the squad players a chance to feel the atmosphere of a World Cup, so it could be the same result as in the last game of the group stages – 1-0 to Belgium.

France v Croatia

As for the final itself. The big one. The final! France v Croatia. I’m going for a 2-0 France win and they won’t need to get out of third gear! DF: BLAH

DB: OK, that’s it for this show. We’ll be back next week with a World Cup review, but until then, ta-ra!

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Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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