Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Euro 2008 running commentary

Running commentary, observations and analysis on today's Portugal-Czech Republic Euro 2008 match.
  • Portugal in white; Platini in attendance, Nuno Gomes belting out the anthem with plenty of crowd support. Lots of Portuguese ex-pats in Switzerland.
  • How hard will these teams push for a goal/win. Portugal says it wants to play with class, and play for the victory.
  • GOAL Portugal! What a cluster-fuck the Czech Republic is on that one. Ronaldo spins them around with a gorgeous give and go, the ball deflects off a fullback and Cech leg-whips the ball onto Deco who bumbles his way to the goal. Portugal sets the early tone.
  • GOAL Czech Republic! Wow, this one is on! Another defensive disaster, this time from the Portuguese who allow Sionko the space to get a boot on the corner kick. Again, Ricardo is a fright, hesitating whether to attack the cross or sit back and watch it sail past him. He is the lone question mark on this team.
  • Ronaldo a bit selfish at 25, still getting off a quality shot at Cech. Cech continues to give up rebounds on anything at his hands.
  • Cech makes a huge save on Ronaldo at 42
  • Portugal much better in this half attacking from the back. Boswinga and Pepe are difficult to contend with and Ronaldo has had legitimate opportunities up front. Cech has been the difference so far.

Bless Andy Gray. What is Julie Foudy's purpose, beyond her pronunciation of Milan Baros (Barosh). ESPN has done well pairing Healy and Gray. Foudy is a mystery. Is she there to gain the 14-year-old female audience? Didn't they stop caring once Mia Hamm retired? Foudy isn't very good, 'nuff said.

Second half:
  • Reality intervened in regular updates in the second half. My apologies.
  • Goals from Ronaldo and Quaresma seal it, Portugal is the first team into the final eight with six points and a +4 goal differential. The team set out to win and get through playing with class. Mission accomplished on all fronts. This win certainly raised the eyebrows in the German and Spanish camps. Oh to get that Portugal-Spain final.

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