...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

EURO Crackers Galore!

The crackers continue!!  Can't stress how incredible this tournament's been so far.  Always seems like the big national tourneys never live up to the hype.  This one has...so far.

Portugal 3 - Denmark 2

Beauty of an affair filled a with deadly crosses, scintillating free kicks, clinical finishes, and the suddenly dumbfounded Ronaldo.

If there was a "Worst of the Match", it would have to got to Christiano Ronaldo.  Dude looks absolutely woeful, sans meaningless step overs.  Two breakaways against the GK resulted in 2 fish lipped, stunned looks.  He whiffed on another at the top of the 18 where he looked downward to blame a blade of grass.  At one point, the fans in the stands started chanting, "Messi! Messi! Messi!"  Hilarious!

Fortunately for the Portos, the rest of the squad came to play.  Pepe, who I sorta loathe, had a brilliant header off a corner to open scoring.  Pepe kissed the Portuguese crest on his jersey, clearly proud of the country he's been a citizen of for a whole 5 years.  He then played a key role on the Portugal back line as he raised his hand continuously for offsides.  Postiga then put in a lovely flick off a nice little ball from Nani to make it 2-Nil Portugal.

Next it was the Nicholas Bendtner show for Denmark.  He buried one header off a nice set-up from Krohn-Dehli.  I'd never heard of this dude Krohn-Dehli prior to this Euros, but dude looks like a player.  He then slammed home another powerful header of a cross from Jacobsen in the 80th.  This came shortly after Ronaldo's 2nd huge fail in the game...one that coulda cinched 3 points for Portugal.

Then in the 87th minute, substitute Silvestre Valera saves Ronaldo's ass with the game winner.  Valera tried his best to impersonate the Portugal captain by fanning on his first attempt.  He then did a twirly whirly type move, and sent one flying past a diving Andersen for the W.  Had the game ended in a draw, it surely would sent the Portuguese home after the Group stage.  Now they're in the driver's seat to get thru the Group.

Germs 2 - NED 1

Another major disappointment from my Holland side.  Not in just losing to the Germans, who are clearly the better side, but simply the way they went about it for the first 70 minutes.  I know I'm not alone in this criticism, but just WTF is Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk doing?!  THAT'S NOT TOTAL FOOTBALL!

 BVM clearly has some sorta blind loyalty to skipper Van Bommel, but that dude is basically useless out there.  Yeah, Van Bommel had a nice season with AC Milan.  But he serves zero purpose when you already have defensive MF Nigel De Long stumbling around out there. And for a MF that deployed 2 defensive MFs, there wasn't a whole lotta defense.  SCHWEINSTEIGER basically took a walk in the park against the Netherlands' midfield, picking out German dudes at will.

Even more curious is why nothing changed from the first game against Denmark. Again, Bundesliga leading scorer Huntelaar was left on the bench.  Van Der Fart was also left sitting.  At least BVM made changes at half and brought both players in as subs to start the 2nd. Too late. 

Props to the German team.  They are clearly the class of the Group of Death, and the best team we've seen in the competition.  The Germans are loaded. 

RVP got a nice goal in the 70th-something minute, but shoulda done better on an early ball right in front of the German GK.  That lone goal, however, might be a life line for NED.  Even with zero points thru 2 games, NED is miraculously still alive, due to Porto's 3 points over the Danes...

  • Germany wins the group with a draw against Denmark.  Actually, they could be dicks, play for the draw, and eliminate their rivals Holland.
  • Denmark could win the Group with a win. A draw could screw them by allowing Porto to pass them with a win or draw.  So the Danes will be pulling for NED.
  • Portugal gets thru with a W over Holland, due their W over Denmark.  If both they and Denmark draw, they still get thru.  Lose, then they leave the door open for both Demark, and crazily, Holland.
  • Incredibly, Holland gets thru with a W over Portugal by 2 goals AND a German victory over Denmark.  Judging by the way they're hanging their heads...I can't see that.

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