Basner

Teacher, Professional Phila DOOPer, Expat-in-training

EURO 2012 Group Stage 1/3

on June 11, 2012

I’ve made my picks for Euro 2012. In short, I’d be happy with Spain, Germany, or The Netherlands winning and/or making it to the final. I’d also be happy to see Ireland make it out of group, though that may be a stretch. Here’s some thoughts on the first round of group stage play…

Poland 1-1 Greece

Euro 2012’s opening game was certainly dramatic. Red cards, suspect refereeing, saved PK’s, and drama galore. Poland’s backup goalie Tyton is temporarily a national hero. But with Poland’s regular goalie out for the next game with a red card, it remains to be seen how well the co-hosts can manage for the full 90 without the Arsenal keeper.

Soviet Russia 4-1 Czech Republic

The Czechs started strong with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but that’s where it seemed to end for them. Russia ran rampant with Dzagoev scoring a brace. Not the result I wanted to see, since I’m still bitter about them winning the ’18 WC. Plus, Heather is part Czech, so there’s that. In other news, Russian fans need to “czech” their racism at the door. Making monkey sounds at players and getting in fights with stadium stewards does not bring pride and glory to Mother Russia.

Netherlands 0-1 Lego land Denmark

One of the major favorites of the tournament, my Clockwork Orange had a gear loose all game. Despite shots (not necessarily on goal) in the double digits, the Flying Dutchmen couldn’t buy a goal for love or money. Both teams put up a 4-2-3-1 starting formation, which seems to be the fashionable formation for Euro 2012. And I have to say I love it. I do want to see more out of the 2012 World Cup finalists, though.

Germany 1-0 Ronaldo Portugal

I’ll admit I didn’t watch most of this (sister’s dance recital). All I’ll say about this is if Portugal advance out of the group stage, blame Alexi Lalas.

Spain 1-1 Italy

This should’ve been an amazing game to watch. Filled with skill, drama, and the human hurricane known as Mario Balotelli. Sadly, wasn’t nearly as interesting as I was hoping for. Spain definitely went the route of possession and the old “pass the opposition to death” route that we’ve seen with RM and FCB. And with Italy having a match-fixing scandal hanging over their heads (again), perhaps their minds weren’t fully in it. All I can hope for is more drama and excitement as they go on.

Croatia 3-1 Ireland

Someone mentioned on the Twitter that the “luck of the Irish” really refers to centuries of starvation and oppression. The Irish certainly had that brand of luck with them against Croatia. Shame, that. Incidentally, MLS was making mention of Keane (who plays for LAG) during the game. Which brings up the question: how many MLS players are in Euro 2012? Willing to bet just the one or two.

England 1-1 France

The Entente Cordiale was again put to the test as these two teams came together. The Three Lions seemed to rely on a counterattacking offense and just seemed to camp in their defensive third for much of the game. Both sides had more than a few chances frustrated: France by GK Joe Hart, England by the laws of physics. Then came the second half with a lack of imagination and quality in the final third by either team. I found myself just willing the game the end after about the 75th minute. Good for England to get the point, but I want to see more out of them.

Sweden 1-2 Ukraine

I don’t care. I just don’t. Don’t get me wrong: I heart Sweden and I’m part Ukrainian. But I can’t see anything dramatic or exciting coming out of this game. UPDATE: So I might have been completely wrong about this game. Multiple chances, Zlatan and Sheva scoring. Actually quite an exciting game. This is what England v France should’ve been like. 

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