Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Euro 2008: Days 4 & 5

Group D: Greece, Sweden, Spain, Russia

  • Spain 4-1 Russia
  • Greece 0-2 Sweden

  • Both games went as per plan with Spain and Sweden winning as expected.

  • David Villa increased his market price with a hat-trick for Spain. Only teams such as Real Madrid and Chelsea might be able to afford Villa now and he is surely out of Arsenal's market price.

  • It was good to see Cesc get his first international goal for Spain, even though it was an easy effort.

  • Russia's poor defending made Spain look quite good. Time and time again, Russia could not pick up the Spanish forwards on their cross-cutting runs. Spain's second goal involved Iniesta's defense splitting pass for Villa, but Iniesta had tried that same pass before in the game, especially for Torres.

  • 7 errors too many:
  • Sweden's second goal against Greece involved a comedy of errors from the defending Euro champs. After a Swedish goal-kick was sent upfield, a Greek player incorrectly sent his header upwards and backwards which resulted in his fellow Greek team-mate failing to control the ball and conceding a needless corner. From the resulting corner, the Greek keeper (Antonis Nikopolidis) failed to punch the ball firmly and another Greek player headed the clearance poorly on the edge of the penalty box. Now, despite all this Greece could have been fine but yet another Greek player kicked his poor clearance directly to a Spanish player. In all the chaos and confusion, no Greek players picked up Freddie Ljungberg who was left on his own. Nikopolidis saved Ljungberg's shot and the resulting save was not cleared, allowing Hansson to bundle the ball over the line with his knee. It appeared that the Greek players were still in shock from the first Swedish goal and were mentally not ready as they let in the second goal 5 minutes later. Greece's fairy tale run from Euro 2004 has finally ended.

    Group A, second round of games:

  • Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal
  • Switzerland 1-2 Turkey

  • Portugal booked their place in the Quarter finals and Turkey knocked out the co-hosts Switzerland, thus avenging their defeat at the hands of the Swiss in the 2006 World Cup qualifying games. The 2006 World Cup play-off games between Switzerland and Turkey were a violent affair. Even though the Euro 2008 game between the two on Wednesday was not one for the faint hearted, the blood visibly present on two Turkish players faces was the result of accidental clashes. So the final group game between Turkey-Czech Republic now becomes a one game play-off where the winner will make the quarters as both teams are currently tied with the same number of points and goal difference.

    1 comment:

    Pacze Moj said...

    I think Turkey (0:2 & 2:1) are level on goal difference with the Czechs (1:0 & 1:3)... which might mean penalties!