Monday, June 25, 2012

Euro 2012 Update*

The semifinals are set. Only four teams remain after the weekend's games...

Germany 4, Greece 2
The Germans dominated this game, although they struggled to finish their opportunities in the first half. This was a 1-0 game at the midpoint, and Greece tied it 1-1 in the 55th minute. But the Germans were relentless. Sami Khedira was finally in form and scored a goal. Miroslav Klose scored his bazillionth goal for Germany, and Marco Reus justified his spot in the starting lineup by scoring.

Greece scored on a late penalty. The German defense has looked vulnerable throughout this tournament, but their offense has been overwhelming. They scored 4 times and could have easily had 6 or 7.

They'll also enjoy nearly a full week off before their semifinal Thursday.

Spain 2, France 0
The French are always undermined by internal dissent, squabbling, bickering, whining, and general laziness. And the same goes for their soccer team. Florent Malouda was lazy, didn't cover Xabi Alonso at the start of a run, and Alonso scored. Alonso later added a goal after a penalty. It was his 100th game for Spain.

They'll play their neighbors Portugal in the semifinals Wednesday.

Italy 0, England 0, Italy wins 4-2 on penalty kicks
When English soccer commentators discuss penalty kicks, they always talk about pressure on the kicker. Even though the goalie has maybe a 10% chance of making a save. Because in England, missing PKs in big matches is a tradition. Usually they do it against the Germans. This time it was the Italians.

Italy will face Germany in the semifinals on Thursday.

There's no reason to expect the Spanish to lose. Unless Cristiano Ronaldo plays the game of his life for Portugal. Spain always seem to find a way to win close games, and I predict they'll do so again. They'll beat Portugal 1-0.

Germany might not have distributor Bastian Schweinsteiger on Thursday. But they'll be well-rested, especially compared to an Italian team that played extra time on Sunday. Germany wins 2-1.

And Germany wins the Final on Sunday, 3-2.

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