First Match!

Whether it is a college football game or the World Cup, every setting has a certain protocol for how you have to negotiate the process.  The World Cup is no different.  The shuttles from the hotel are infrequent and marginal.  The media center opens at 10 AM for a 5 PM game.  It wouldn’t matter except that your choice of seats at the match depend on when you arrive.  I left on a 9:30 AM shuttle to be their at 10 (it’s a 10 minute drive).  The driver couldn’t figure out how to get there and we arrived at 10:10, still not bad.  The media centers are great, plenty of space, fast internet.  I got in trouble for not having registered my pocket wizards, remember Russia is a police state.  Anything that transmits except for a cell phone must be registered.

The field which is also where they will have the semifinals and finals is pristine (Luzhniki Stadium).  Apparently, in Brazil and Russia, women come to the stadium to get there picture taken in order to get a modeling contract.  The women below probably had more pictures taken of her than any two players.

Moscow, Russia- July 1, 2018: Russia vs Spain, round of 16, 2018 World Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always interesting, some think the scenes of the World Cup are better than the matches!

The game was frankly awful.  75% possession for Spain who still rarely attacked.  They scored early and seemed content to pass laterally without attacking.  That was until the hand ball, penalty kick and tied score.  90 minutes of game time, two 15 minutes of overtime and still 1-1.  Penalty shootout.  Finally something exciting.  I was lucky to be on the right end of the field so that I didn’t have to move.  The Russian goal keeper Igor Akinfeev really stepped up[ and stopped two shots for a Russia victory, the lowest ranked team in the World Cup.

Moscow, Russia- July 1, 2018: Russia vs Spain, round of 16, 2018 World Cup. Final score Spain 1, Russia 1, Russia wins 4-3 on penalty kicks.

Moscow, Russia- July 1, 2018: Russia vs Spain, round of 16, 2018 World Cup. Final score Spain 1, Russia 1, Russia wins 4-3 on penalty kicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say this was profoundly exciting and aroused the types of responses that make for great pictures.  The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Moscow, Russia- July 1, 2018: Russia vs Spain, round of 16, 2018 World Cup. Final score Spain 1, Russia 1, Russia wins 4-3 on penalty kicks.

Moscow, Russia- July 1, 2018: Russia vs Spain, round of 16, 2018 World Cup. Final score Spain 1, Russia 1, Russia wins 4-3 on penalty kicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So great match, had to edit quickly and than realized that there was a shuttle at 9:20, raced to the shuttle spot, missed it by five minutes and the next shuttle was in 3 hours.  Found a taxi, all is well that ends well.

The bad news is that my long lens is having a focus problem.  All of my images at 400 mm are soft, hopefully Canon Professional Services will be able to help.  Spent 1.5 hours today trying to figure it out, micro adjustment and the interventions didn’t work, we will see.  If it doesn’t work, hopefully I will get a loaner.

All for today, England v Columbia in the AM.

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