The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, is now six days old and for the 2nd time we will see teams play thier 2nd set of games. There has been a lot fo good exciting football – we have now seen all the teams and groups in action. I will be writing a daily blog article with the salient features of all the games. Please send us your thoughts and comments on the form below. – Filip v d Plas-
DENMARK – PORTUGAL 3-2
The Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo did not have a great night yesterday and was certainly glad that the final whistle had blown – at least his team had won.
It was hard to believe we were actually seeing the world’s most expensive footballer squandering 2 fabulous 2nd half chances – chances that probably even my grandmother could have shot in.
In the end it was Silvestre Varela, a late substitute, who did what Portugal needed to be done and made a great goal just 3 minutes before games end. This at least spared Ronaldo the uncomfortable reality that he had failed and would face the general opprobrium of the Portuguese fans had Portugal just ended the game with just a tie and only one point.
Having said all of that – I have often spoken of a ‘Gomez-type-of’ goal draught, and shown great sympathy for Gomez and Robben in my previous articles because they are great players– and I will be generous and extend this same type of sympathy for poor Ronaldo. He is also was a great player and remains a great player. These types of ‘bad-times’ happen to many players and they pass – look at Gomez with his great two goals last night – nobody would have thought this would happen after his CL performance against Chelsea.
The 27-year-old Ronaldo seems a different player in a Portugal shirt – he did stay on the field to applaud the Portugal fans at the end of the game but after 21 appears for his country has only scored only 5 goals in tournament play.
Yesterday’s encounter between Denmark and Portugal was a compelling game and helped Portugal’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals. It left poor Denmark cursing their luck to not see out the game after working so hard to come back from being down from 2 goals in the first 45 minutes.
Morten Olsen’s Danish Team actually had more ball possession than Portugal – and if you follow that type of thing – according to UEFA stats made over 200 passes more than Portugal. However they were in the end let down by a vulnerable defensive, their Achilles heel, and were thoroughly punished for this by a formidable Portuguese offence.
Read match report in UK INDEPENDENT BY Jack Pitt-Brooke - http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/silvestre-varela-finds-the-late-finish-to-get-portugal-and-cristiano-ronaldo-out-of-jail-against-denmark-7848816.html
Denmark’s team consisted of ;S. Andersen – Jacobsen , Kjaer , Agger , S. Poulsen – Kvist , Zimling – Rommedahl , Eriksen , Krohn-Dehli and Bendtner
Portugal’s team Rui Patricio – Joao Pereira , Pepe , Bruno Alves , Fabio Coentrao – Miguel Veloso ,Raul Meireles , Joao Moutinho – Nani , Cristiano Ronaldo – Helder Postiga [ and substitue goal scoring match winner - Silvestre Varela ]
NETHERLAND – GERMANY 1-2
The match between the traditional rivals in the “Group of Death” is over and Mario Gomez provided the cutting edge to lead Germany and defeat the Orange Dutch team yesterday – Netherlands 1 Germany 2.
However accolades on the German side should be shared – and not only obviously for Mario Gomez who was man-of-the-match by any standard. However we should point out the great game played also by Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Mats Hummels and laud also the German National Coach Joachim Löw.
Schweinsteiger did exactly what he is paid to do and overcoming his recent poor form showed that the center of this team – the controller if you like – is back in a good way and was involved in both German goals.
Who says Germans do not have a sense of humour? Joachim Löw the national trainer is both German and has a boyish sense of humour – yesterday mischievously knocking the ball out of the hands from a Ukrainian ball-boy on the sidelines. Löw is in many ways very un-German in that he is very emotional on the sidelines and does not suffer fools easily – especially if they are his top bosses in the DFB or ‘Deutscher Fußball-Bund ‘! Germans like him for this and his team players also.
This blog reported in a controversy about the singing / or not singing of the German national anthem by German player that is was Low who took the correct position and not Beckenbauer. http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/06/19/franz-beckenbauer-should-stick-to-what-he-does-best-and-otherwise-shut-up/
Leading up to this game the German coach said the right things emphasizing the good relationship and mutual respect which exists between the Dutch and German football players and down-playing the divisive past.
This is in stark contrast to the gutter press ‘cretin-like right wing tabloid ‘ ‘Bild’ which caters to the intellectually challenged in Germany. This is the same paper that this same week had a headline laughing at Holland’s loss to Denmark and also unveiling a monument in Berlin near its offices to the moronic American President Reagan. http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/ronald-reagan/gedenktafel-fuer-ronald-reagan-24611256.bild.html and to read why Germans and Berlins detest him read – http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/no-street-no-square-no-respect-what-does-berlin-have-against-ronald-reagan-a-744569.html
If you read German or know how to apply Google Translate see an excellant article about Mr Low and how he handles his critics — http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/bundestrainer-joachim-loew-demonstratives-desinteresse-fuer-die-kritiker-1.1382477
Dutch coach Van Marwijk brought Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in an effort to breathe some life into the team at the interval but it was still Germany who looked more threatening, with Mats Hummels just seemingly able to maraud at will into the Dutch box – unchecked by the useless goofy Dutch defensive duo of Mathijsen and Heitinga.
The Dutch goal keeper Maarten Stekelenburg has not looked good –either against Denmark or Germany – however with the useless goofy Dutch defensive duo of Mathijsen and Heitinga in front him perhaps he could be forgiven.
One can speak of both clinical German finishing and tough perseverance, in the sweltering Ukrainian heat-wave which obviously affected both teams equally. However it was the Dutch team that looked more wilted by the heat then the Germans and seemed a bit more out of steam – perhaps staying in cool northern Poland and only travelling into the heat on game day was not such a great idea after all.
While the game was full of tension it was never really thrilling, but the result is a real testimonial which shows Germany as serious contender as tournament winners while correspondingly undermines any real Dutch aspirations.
Read also article in Guardian UK “Euro 2012: Bert van Marwijk criticises Holland wingers after defeat – Robben and Afellay singled out after defeat by Germany – ‘Our wingers never threatened their defence and lacked pace’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/14/euro-2012-robben-criticism-holland
Netherlands team consisted of – Stekelenburg – van der Wiel , Heitinga , Mathijsen , Willems – van Bommel , N. de Jong, Arjen Robben , Sneijder , Afellay, and Robin van Persie
German team consisted of – Neuer – Boateng , Hummels , Badstuber , Lahm – Khedira , Schweinsteiger – T. Müller , Özil , Podolski, and Mario Gomez
The American Huffington Post is even covering the EURO 2012 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/poland-russia-live-updates-euro-2012_n_1590828.html
See also the good German football sites – http://www.11freunde.de/ and http://www.transfermarkt.de/de/?from=top_navi
See Previous Blog articles – http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/category/euro-2012-2/
Reprinted from OTA-Berlin
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