View Poll Results: Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 Final Match: Who will win?
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Thread: Euro 2012 @ Desirulez
06-18-2012, 10:11 PM #21
Croatia 0 Spain 1: Navas sets up possible England clash after holders survive scareSpain are through to the last eight, where they may yet meet England in Donetsk on Saturday night, but this was not one of those Spanish nights that make every other football team simultaneously quake and purr.
This provoked other noises, mainly the sound of grinding teeth. Vicente Del Bosque’s molars must have taken a pounding. The Spain manager said afterwards his players had lacked their customary ‘clarity and control’. This, he indicated, may have been because of the fears of fatigue that some have had for these Spanish players.
‘It was a very difficult victory. We suffered, but they did too,’ Del Bosque added. ‘We did not have much strength to go forward. We didn’t have the clarity and control we usually have, therefore we lost our intensity. Also the opponents were very good.’ On the subject of weariness, Del Bosque said: ‘It is difficult to maintain the same level all the time.’
This will lead to a re-assessment of expectations about the tournament favourites, though Spain have one day longer to recover than their opponents in the quarter-final. And they did win.
Spain finally scored against a resilient and enterprising Croatia but not until the 88th minute and with a goal that contained hints of both offside and handball.
It is always handy to have someone called Jesus on the bench and when Del Bosque considered that this was not going to be another goalscoring occasion for Fernando Torres, Sevilla’s Jesus Navas entered the fray.
Torres was one of a number of Spain players who could have been removed and Cesc Fabregas then replaced David Silva. With time disappearing and Spain still vulnerable to a Croat counter — a goal then could have sent Spain home with Holland — Fabregas found Andres Iniesta behind the Croatian back four.
...being a human...
06-19-2012, 10:24 PM #22
Sweden 2 France 0: Ibra-cadabra! Zlatan magic condemns Les Bleus to Spain clashHe may be going home early but Zlatan Ibrahimovic left a spectacular mark on Euro 2012 on Tuesday night.
On an evening when France flopped badly to allow Roy Hodgson’s England to steal first place in the group, the Sweden captain delivered the goal of the last 11 days in sweltering Kiev.
Sweden had been dangerous all night and deserved their first victory over France since 1969. Laurent Blanc’s unbelievably poor team will now have a quarter-final against Spain in Donetsk on Saturday.
French defender Philippe Mexes will miss that game after being booked last night, and France even conceded a second goal in added time to the excellent Sebastian Larsson.
The highlights reels will focus on Ibrahimovic, though. The Milan forward has endured an eventful tournament but his stand-out memory will be the falling volley he contributed from 16 yards in the 54th minute.
The ball flew off his laces and into the net as he swept his right foot through the ball to connect with Larsson’s deep cross.
...being a human...
06-19-2012, 10:26 PM #23
England 1 Ukraine 0: Rooney fires Hodgson's heroes through as group winnersA goal that was more poacher than Pele was not what Wayne Rooney would have visualised when he retired to his hotel room on the eve of this European Championship encounter.
But it was a goal that propelled England into a quarter-final few thought Roy Hodgson would reach when he was parachuted into Wembley last month, and a goal that secures a meeting with Italy in Kiev on Sunday rather than the world and defending European champions here on Saturday.
It was also a goal that was given, which was more than could be said for the one Marko Devic scored in the 62nd minute. Joe Hart had not done enough to halt the progress of Devic’s shot and John Terry, for all his heroics, was too late when he finally cleared. That the officials did not spot that the ball had crossed the line should at least silence Michel Platini in his outdated opposition to goalline technology.
In the end, it mattered not. Thanks to a quite astonishing victory for Sweden over France, England emerged as comfortable winners of Group D and it is of little comfort to Ukraine that it would not have rescued them from elimination either.
For England, however, it was all rather more positive. This was their fourth win in five under Hodgson, extending the unbeaten run they have so far enjoyed under their new manager.
Hodgson will still have his issues with the performance here at the Donbass Arena. As Steven Gerrard said, it was ‘not fantastic’. It was actually far from that at times.
Rooney’s 48th-minute goal was important on so many levels, not least in easing the sense of anxiety that had developed among England’s players after a nervy first half against co-hosts who were classy in everything they did except their finishing.
Hodgson would have returned to the dressing room at the interval more with a sigh of relief than a swagger, such was the manner in which his team held Ukraine to a goalless first 45 minutes.
Defensively England were terrific. John Terry was magnificent, just as he was against France. Just as he almost always is in an England shirt.
...being a human...
06-22-2012, 10:22 AM #24
Czech Republic 0 Portugal 1: World-class Ronaldo roars into semis after nodding devastating deciderWith each passing game, Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence on Euro 2012 grows and one of the planet’s supreme talents hauled his team into the last four with one of the most spellbinding individual performances of the competition so far.
There are those who insist that, for all his remarkable gifts, Ronaldo remains a player who too often fails to bring his best game to the most important international occasions. Much more of this and people will not be saying that again.
On a night when Portugal’s dominance of a weak Czech Republic team was so absolute as to be almost embarrassing, his team-mates’ wastefulness must have irritated Ronaldo beyond belief.
He is, after all, not a young man known for his patience.
Ultimately, however, Ronaldo proved too good, his combination of technical genius and insatiable desire just too much for a Czech side who somehow managed to take this game to within nine minutes of extra time.
Ronaldo had already struck the post twice as normal time neared its conclusion.
Once with an outrageous piece of skill in the first half and again with one of those dipping, swerving toe-end free-kicks that he has made his trademark in recent years.
Great players don’t drop their standards because things don’t go their way, though, and Ronaldo appeared at the far post to score a goal any of the great centre forwards in world football would have been proud of.
...being a human...
06-22-2012, 10:59 PM #25
Germany 4 Greece 2: Sparkling Germans a step Klose to the prizeGermany manager Joachim Low described Greece as 'survival artists' prior to kick-off, but it is Low's countrymen who know how to survive, and how to prosper, in international competitions.
For the 20th time in 28 tournaments, Germany are in the semi-finals. That's what you call a record, and whether it be England who meet Germany next Thursday in Warsaw, or Italy, it will be the Germans who are favourites.
Displaying the sort of adventure, both in selection and style, that has made even previously hostile neutrals warm to them, Low's side gave a convincing account of themselves last night.
If there were German faults, they were wastefulness in front of goal in the first half, and being susceptible to counter attack. Roy Hodgson will have noted that. But it was the overall impression of fluid movement, personified in Mesut Ozil, that will linger.
That and two volleys, from Sami Khedira and Marco Reus, which came from their dreams. Captain Philipp Lahm also scored a 20-yard belter, the only routine goal being Miroslav Klose's close-range header.
Greece goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis was at fault as Klose nodded in his 64th international goal, and he was maybe partly culpable on Lahm's opener, too, but defeat was hardly his responsibility.
Low had forecast wave after wave of German attack crashing on to 'Greek rocks' and that was what transpired. It must not be forgotten that Greece played without their captain and key man Giorgos Karagounis.
'It was a fantastic performance,' said Low. 'For the fourth time in a row we are in the semi-final of a major tournament. We have won 15 games in a row. And we are the youngest team in the tournament with great options for the future.'
...being a human...
06-25-2012, 12:45 AM #26
England vs Italy, Euro 2012: Italy win 4-2 on penaltiesItaly advanced to the semi-finals of Euro 2012 with a dramatic penalty shootout win over England on Sunday night here.
Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive penalty to give Italy a 4-2 shootout victory after a 0-0 draw, setting up a semifinal match against three-time champion Germany.
Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo "with an audacious slow chip-shot down the middle of the goal" and Antonio Nocerino also scored for Italy.
"Tonight, we played with heart and character, but also with ideas," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said. "Our idea of playing was extraordinary in my opinion, against a side that was difficult to play."
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who saved a penalty in the shootout, left the field blowing out his cheeks in a gesture of relief. The goalkeeper was in goal when Italy won the 2006 World Cup in a shootout, though he did not save any France spot kicks that night in Berlin.
Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored England's penalties, briefly giving their team a 2-1 lead in the shootout. But Ashley Young hit the crossbar with England's third, and Ashley Cole's attempt was then saved by Buffon diving to his left. For England, it was yet another exit from a major tournament in the quarterfinals after a penalty shootout.
England lost to Portugal in the same manner at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
"We have done the country proud but again we go home with heartbreak and it's difficult to take," said Gerrard, who played in both those previous shootout losses.
England made a shaky start to proceedings when Joe Hart sliced straight out of play within the opening minute. Meanwhile, all Italy's early possession came through their playmaker Andrea Pirlo.
Federico Balzaretti sent in a dangerous early cross for the Italians early on, before Daniele De Rossi thumped the post with a curling effort after just four minutes.
England had a wonderful opprtunity to take lead after five minutes, when Glen Johnson drifted into the box, but Gianluigi Buffon produced a wonderful save to deny the Liverpool man at close range.
England had another fine chance after 11 minutes when Wayne Rooney searched out Danny Welbeck in the box, but Leonardo Bonucci made a fine challenge, before Scott Parker fired wide moments later.
After afrustrating first half both sided ended goaless.
Both sides made changes as the last 10 minutes approached, and Italy came closest to winning it in normal time when Antonio Nocerino advanced on goal, but Johnson made a telling block to clear the danger.
Second half also remained same as non of the sides were able to score and take lead in the game.
Italy just could not force that elusive strike in the latter stages, and the match entered the dreaded penalty shootout.
Balotelli slotted home Italy's first penalty, and Gerrard followed suit for England. Next up for Italy was Montolivo, and he fired wide.
England took the lead with a penalty from Rooney as they moved 2-1 ahead on the night. Pirlo dispatched a wonderful penalty down the middle against Hart to level it at 2-2.
Young then missed for England as the penalties remained level at 2-2 with three penalties apiece. Nocerino cooly slotted home to send Italy ahead, and Cole missed as Italy gained the advantage....being a human...
06-27-2012, 06:39 PM #27
Spain crushes ‘penalty-choker’ Portugal to reach Euro Cup final
In what is considered to be the international El Clasico, defending Euro champions Spain defeated the Ronaldo-led Portugal 4-2 in penalty shootout of the Euro Cup semi-final. Both the teams missed their very first penalties but later Bruno Alves choked for Portugal’s demise.
Spain, known for their short pass strategy, kept majority of the possession. Spain’s winger Iniesta had couple of chances in the first-half but lacked perfect finishes.
The dark horse Portugal, on the other hand, looked inspirational with Nani’s sensational run penetrating the Spain defence. The Portugal hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, also had his moments but the Spain defenders marked him well.
The Spaniards looked more dominating in the second-half but Portuguese defender Coentrao stood his ground against the attacks.
With few opportunities their way, Portugal had a golden chance in a counter-attack with the Spaniards out-numbered in defence but Ronaldo could only manage a wayward kick over the Spanish post.
The Portuguese, termed lethal before the match, lived to the expectations with strong defence that in turn helped their side survive the extra time.
The thrilling match turned into a nail-bitter as the two teams entered into the penalty shootout. All eyes were on the first team to choke in the shootout and both the teams missed their very first penalties.
Recalling UEFA penalty scare, Ronaldo saved himself for the last penalty that made way for Bruno Alves to step up before him.
With the score line at 3-2 in favour of Spain, Bruno Alves was expected to help his side level back by converting the penalty but he succumbed to the pressure and only managed to hit the post.
All eyes were on Spain’s make-shift striker Cesc Fabregas to steer the defending champions into the Euro finals. Keeping his cool, the Spaniard converted his penalty to help his side beat Portugal 4-2 in the penalty shootout.
The match showcased an intriguing clash of styles, with Spain dominating possession while Portugal awaiting opportunities to spring forward on the counter-attack.
Spain now awaits the winner of Germany-Italy encounter for the Euro Cup final....being a human...
06-29-2012, 02:09 PM #28
Germany 1 Italy 2: Magic Mario makes his mark as Azzurri extend tournament hoodoo
There could only ever be one Super Mario in this semi-final and the fact it was Balotelli and not Gomez is probably the shock of the tournament.
But what a thoroughly pleasant surprise it was to see the often troubled Balotelli finally realising his considerable potential on the international stage.
It was a moment to savour and enjoy, a moment for the sporting romantics and one that reignited this competition after back-to-back goalless matches that had to be settled by penalty shootouts.
Balotelli frustrates the Italians at times. It was only last summer that Fabio Capello spoke of him as some kind of national disaster.
Even out here there have been more fireworks. He has clashed with UEFA over racism, clashed with Cesare Prandelli, clashed with the Irish fans.
He was once described by Jose Mourinho as ‘unmanageable’ and there have been times this season when Roberto Mancini must have wanted to see the back of him at City. But last night we were given a glimpse of why Mancini and Prandelli continue to indulge him and why he might just be worth the hassle.
‘He was excellent,’ said Prandelli. ‘Just like the entire team. A team has to have an idea how to play, and Mario really subscribed to the ideas we had. He is unique, atypical as a striker, but he is always there when called upon.’
‘Why always me?’ asked Balotelli on that infamous T-shirt. The Germans might well ask ‘Why always us’ when it comes to playing Italy.
They have never beaten the Italians in a competitive match and this time they failed to produce that same ultra-attacking football that had proved so effective in their first four matches.
...being a human...
06-30-2012, 08:08 AM #29
Excitement at its peak for Spain-Italy encounter
Euro Cup 2012 is making its presence felt in Indore, more than doubling TV ratings and carving a slice of the sports pie in Madhya Pradesh.
The tournament that every four years determines the best country in Europe is luring big crowds to soccer-friendly city bars at a typically dead time of the year. Bar owners are also keeping fingers crossed for the high number of crowd for the high-voltage Spain-Italy encounter on Sunday, with most of them already putting 'houseful' signages outside their pubs.
Youngsters are seen dribbling the football at various play grounds, bouncing it their shoulders and letting it roll on their back, arms, forehead and back to foot.
An engineering student, Sandeep Singh, developed interest in freestyling after watching YouTube videos featuring the likes of ace freestylers Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The sport is popular in European countries, where regular tournaments are held. It is popular in the UK and other countries, and is picking up in India, he says.
Kavish, 20, an MBA student, has been practising freestyle football for the last two years. He is a football crazy guy and practises it a lot and can easily pull off a few tricks.
Freestyle is relatively a new sport, also known as freestyle soccer, the art of expressing yourself with a football, while performing tricks with various parts of body....being a human...
06-30-2012, 09:29 PM #30
Spain is waiting to make history in Euro 2012
The final match against Italy in Euro 2012 is the best opportunity for Spain to make a history in the world of football. If they can beat Italy then they will take their place in soccer lore as one of the greatest national teams.
Their victory against Italy in the final match will help them match Germany’s record of European Championship titles. Not only that but also they will become the first team to have won three major tournaments- two European Championships and the World Cup trophy in a row.
Italy is now being considered as the surprise team of Euro 2012. They will also give their best to win the match and if they can manage to get victory against defending champion then it will be added as the last tournament success in the Italians' rich soccer history.
Under the guidance of coach, Cesare Prandelli, Italy has been transformed into an attacking-midfield team. He should be given extra credit for the way his team has handled the pre-tournament match-fixing scandal that was talk of Italian soccer.
It is thought that neither Spain nor Italy will change their playing style. Spain should give importance in their strong defense while Italy will be more attacking.
For the Italian players, it will be tough to disorder the Spanish defense. Spain has not conceded a goal since the opening match that was played against the same opponent and was ended in a 1-1 draw.
Fans should enjoy the match live and see the winner of Euro 2012....being a human...