Due to the low demand for soccer updates for this blog, I’ve decided to stop bombarding my readers with (near daily) recaps of Euro 2012. That’s not say you should stop watching the tournament, in fact you should start watching more of it now that teams are starting to be eliminated and the knockout picture begins to come into focus. This tournament gets more exciting by the day, and I expect more of the same between now and the July 1st championship match. Hopefully I can still keep your interest with my posts about the tournament and I will try to limit them to every three days or so from now on.
What’s Happened Since My Last Post
Match 9: Greece 1 – Czech Republic 2
Match 10: Poland 1 – Russia 1
Match 11: Denmark 2 – Portugal 3
Match 12: Netherlands 1 – Germany 2
Match 13: Italy 1 – Croatia 1
Match 14: Spain 4 – Republic of Ireland 0
The most surprising results in this batch of games have been the displays by the Netherlands and by Italy. After two matches (both losses) the Netherlands sit at the bottom of the group of death with a -2 goal differential (which is used as a tiebreaker, if necessary). A win in the Netherlands’ next match would not even guarantee them getting through to the quarterfinals, and they have a tough task in trying to beat Portugal on Sunday. The Italians on the other hand, currently sit in third place in Group C, two points behind Spain and Croatia (who match up in the early game on Monday) and the Italians need a result in that game and to defeat Ireland in the later game on Monday. If Spain and Croatia were to tie then the Italians would be eliminated no matter what (joining Ireland who was knocked out of contention today after their loss to Spain).
The most exciting matches of the tournament so far have been both matches yesterday (matches 11 and 12). Both matches had the back and forth feel that makes international soccer incredible to watch (if you can respect that soccer is a slower paced sport than what Americans are used to) and the goals in those matches were truly world class. It also definitely helped that Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal had a horrible game yesterday, even having my friend who doesn’t watch soccer saying that he spends too much time on his hair that should be spent practicing. That’s what this tournament is about, there are going to be heroes and goats for each and every country, and the best teams are able to compensate for lack of production from some of their star players by having other guys step up, and that’s what happened yesterday when Silvestre Varela came off the bench and ended up scoring an 87th minute goal to beat Denmark 3-2.
The Weekend Ahead
Friday (Noon and 2:45 PM EST)
Match 15: Ukraine vs. France
Match 16: Sweden vs. England
Saturday (Both games at 2:45 PM)
Match 17: Czech Republic vs. Poland
Match 18: Greece vs. Russia
Sunday (Both Games at 2:45 PM)
Match 19: Portugal vs. Netherlands
Match 20: Denmark vs. Germany