Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spain 0, Portugal 0, Spain Wins 4-2 on PKs

I hope no potential soccer fans were watching this game. The blandness of it may have permanently pushed them away from a sport that's typically much more entertaining to watch at this high level of play.

Spain have now gone 11 straight games in major tournaments without losing (10 wins, 1 draw). But their margins have been tight. Six of those 10 wins had 1 goal margins. And now they have a win with a 0 goal margin.

Portugal's offense is Cristiano Ronaldo. That's the biggest and essentially threat they have. He had a few chances, and he's been good in this tournament, but he couldn't finish in regulation. Then in a perplexing move, he didn't take a penalty kick. He was slated to kick 5th for Portugal, who were kicking after Spain in each round, but the Spanish clinched victory before he had a chance to take his PK. It was a truly baffling decision.

Spain don't mesmerize like Brazil, or score goals in bunches like Germany. They grind teams down. They don't make mistakes, they possess the ball well, they have a great keeper, and they have a number of guys who can take advantage of mistakes and score opportunistic goals.

That's why they've won 16 of their last 18 major tournament games. That's why they won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010. That's why they're in the Finals of Euro 2012 on Sunday, waiting for the winner of the Germany/Italy match.

Photo Credit:
AFP Photo/Pierre-Philippe Marcou

No comments:

Post a Comment