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Match mash-up - Euro 1st round reviewlets

I've only been able to watch a few games in their entirety, and what follows are my brief and not unbiased thoughts, observations, and predictions.

Group A

Poland vs. Greece, 1-1

Russia vs. Czech Republic, 4-1

I didn't watch any of these games. I'd like to say it was only because I was at work all day, but the truth is that I just didn't care that much (sorry, Susanne!). I did catch the end of Poland-Russia today, and after the other games I'd watched, they just seemed like a bunch of exhausted oafs lumbering around. I would be absolutely astonished if any of these teams made it to the semifinals.



Group B

Denmark vs. The Netherlands, 1-0

I only watched this game up until the Denmark goal by Krohn-Dehli, but I think the teams were pretty evenly matched and it could have ended in a draw or even gone the other way. The Netherlands had a lot of opportunities in the first half, with Van Persie, Robben, and Barcelona's Ibi Afellay looking dangerous. But maybe I just have trouble taking Denmark seriously after watching Leo try so hard to be diplomatic before the World Cup.

Germany vs, Portugal, 1-0

This isn't called the group of death for nothing. This match could easily have ended in a draw with a little more luck for the Portuguese; they had a lot of chances, and I think that some of the ref's calls were rather harsh. All of the Real Madrid players - Cristiano Ronaldo, Coentrao, Pepe, and MotM Mesut Ozil - worked very hard, and it was easier to appreciate them when they weren't competing with my own team ;). (Although, what was up with CR7's shorts?) It looks like Germany and Denmark will be going ahead in this group... but I don't think it's a fait accompli by any means.



Group C

Spain vs. Italy, 1-1

I watched this match with a friend who supports Italy, and the sad thing is that we were both grateful for the draw. Spain has been looking for a replacement for recovering striker David Villa, and I am here to tell you that Fernando Torres is not it. Ditto for the attempts of Arbeloa, Pique, Ramos, and Jordi Alba to fill a Puyol-sized hole in the defense. At least Spain had San Iker to make some miraculous saves, MotM Andres Iniesta as a perpetual threat from the midfield, and Cesc Fabregas to score the equalizer. They also seemed to be passing more slowly and less precisely than usual; apparently the Barcelona boys blame the grass.

Ireland vs. Croatia, 1-3

I didn't see this one, but I'm sorry about the result for jezziejay's sake. Just not sorry enough to root for Ireland against Spain on Thursday.



Group D

Ukraine vs. Sweden, 2-1

I haven't seen this game, but I can't help suspecting that the fact that Ukraine is hosting the Euros might have impacted the result (*cough* South Korea).

France vs. England, 1-1

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching France in this game - they played with the fluidity and precise passing that I have come to expect from Spain. Even Benzema seemed to be working a lot harder than when he waits around for his RM teammates to give him the ball right in front of goal, although Sami Nasri was the one to score. Unfortunately for them, those English guys are big and tough, and when all else fails, they just body block the ball. Plus Wayne Rooney will be back from suspension after the next game. Despite the draw, I predict that both of these teams will go on to the quarterfinals.



Those of you who have been watching, please chime in to agree, contradict, and/or add your own impressions from any of these matches!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
damigella_314
Jun. 13th, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
Group A looks like they really, really wanted to make sure that Poland passed the first round. As for Russia-Poland, I'm just glad it ended without any violence. They have a heavy undigested past between them.

Group B is crazy in the opposite way. They're all good teams - Portugal would have deserved a tie with Germany, and it's a pity only two from the four will go on. PS The latest Spiegel has an article allegedly about Ronaldo - who ends up being a comparison with Messi, very much in favor of Messi :). Too bad I couldn't find an English translation.

Group D I haven't seen any matches of, but it also seems a weak one - neither France nor England have done well recently. Still, they could recover and both make it to the quarter finals.

I now saw Italy-Spain, and it was a great game. We could have lost, we could have won: the tie was probably a honest result. Most importantly, there's hope for us. Balotelli drives me crazy, alternating great skills with almost childish stupidity - he now already has a yellow card, which he deserved. Di Natale did a great job, as did Cassano, but the best was clearly Buffon.

On the sad side: an Italian journalist declared having had sex in the past with one of the National team. Cassano was asked for a comment and had been warned that such a question would come up: he answered "I hope there are no froci in the team, but if there are any, it's their problem." Frocio (singular) is an extremely insulting slang word for male homosexual.

I cannot imagine how gay football players (and young men wanting to become such) in Italy must feel now.
flywoman
Jun. 13th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
Group A looks like they really, really wanted to make sure that Poland passed the first round.

Ah. Yeah, not surprising.

Group B is crazy in the opposite way. They're all good teams - Portugal would have deserved a tie with Germany, and it's a pity only two from the four will go on.

Just saw Portugal-Denmark (very exciting!) and most of Germany-Netherlands. So Germany will go on for sure, but Portugal still has a chance, depending.

PS The latest Spiegel has an article allegedly about Ronaldo - who ends up being a comparison with Messi, very much in favor of Messi :).

LOL, the comparisons are bound to be even less flattering for poor Ronaldo after today's game...

We could have lost, we could have won: the tie was probably a honest result. Natale did a great job, as did Cassano, but the best was clearly Buffon.

I agree.

I cannot imagine how gay football players (and young men wanting to become such) in Italy must feel now.

I heard about this incident on ontd_football. What an asshat.



Edited at 2012-06-13 08:54 pm (UTC)
damigella_314
Jun. 13th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
What an asshat.
The comments on the Corriere della Sera website were of three kinds:

20% This is disgusting, he should be rebuked/fined/kicked out of the team.
30% Who cares? His playing count, not his thoughts.
50% Great to see someone who has the courage to say what so many think.

And Germany-Netherlands was great! [And to quote my Hous-y son, Mario Gomez is really good-looking.]
flywoman
Jun. 13th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
50% Great to see someone who has the courage to say what so many think.

Um, yeah. Great.

Mario Gomez is indeed really good looking. I credit his Spanish side ;).
jezziejay
Jun. 13th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Cassano's comments even made our news today - asshat doesn't even begin to cover it. I heard it on the way home from work today, and there was an interesting - but very sad - discussion about homophobia in football today. Very much alive and 'kicking', and unfortunately, acceptable.

Watched the Germany/Holland game. Germany are looking good!

I didn't see this one, but I'm sorry about the result for jezziejay's sake. Just not sorry enough to root for Ireland against Spain on Thursday. LOL! We're going out for the match tomorrow night...expectations are low :)
flywoman
Jun. 14th, 2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Are there any professional sports in which homophobia isn't considered acceptable? :(

Germany is indeed looking really good. My heart says Spain, but my head says Germany.

Have fun watching the match tomorrow night... or enjoy drowning your sorrows with friends and family, whatever!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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