Tag Archives: greece

Euro 2012 Quarterfinals – Update

With one game left in the quarterfinals, I found the Germany vs Greece game and Spain vs France game rather boring and as expected. Germany scored a ton of goals against the defensively weak Greece and Spain kept most of the ball while France struggled to scored on a tougher defense than Sweden with their top striker not being able to find his bearings all tournament. I love Big Benz, he is great, but did not preform. Portugal vs Czech was very exciting and maybe it was because of the seemingly DIRECT similarity to the Spain vs Croatia game. Bullet points include

-Strong attacking from underdog in first half

-Unable to score in the first half, but nonetheless looked dangerous

-Towards the end of the second half, favorites took over and grabbed a hold of what they needed to win

-Second half is the favorites beating down on the defense of the underdogs

-With much persistence, favorites crack underdogs at the end

Almost textbook, but makes for exciting games and good television. I feel like both the winners, Germany and Spain, played sort of a mediocre game compared to their normal standards. It didn’t help that both Greece and France didn’t play well either, but France has a little less leeway on that. One note is that Ribery played great and Casillas still proves to be one of the best keepers by making important saves after long lapses of inactivity.

There lies my lack of writing for the past couple days. I find it hard to write when I find the games boring or difficult, and therefore the best is not brought out from within me. I only want to put out good content and I do not believe I can for the past two games, despite them being my picks for the finals. Regardless, I will try my best to do a good write-up for the next quarterfinal game, as that one is supposed to be a real hoot.

Take care readers!

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Euro 2012 – Poland vs Russia

As I said before, I am writing this late as I had things to do this morning. But I just got to half-time and its time for my tips for these teams.

Russia- Although Russia has a great attack and Dzagoev might end up being the Euro’s top goal scorer, but Arshavin needs to step up as an attacker if they are going to go past the Round of 8. Russia’s defense is shaky as in terms of skill but solid in terms of discipline. This trait has saved the Russians more than once already, including that awkward save by their keeper. Yuri Zhirkov is playing okay, and maybe it is because he used to play for Chelsea but I expect more from him. Mainly, Russia needs another goal more than better defense to hold them up.

Poland- I am semi-surprised at the strength of the Polish attack, even though they do possess the Dortmund Polish Three (as I call ’em). Lewandowski is such an phenom of a striker and Poland needs to find a way to get him even more looks at the net. I don’t want to leave the host side’s fate in one guy’s hands but he is truly a man of power. Hopefully Poland uses their creative side to move ahead, as I would like them too. Other than that, I think that their defense will be their downfall, as the discipline that Russia has isn’t there.

First place in Group A is by far the most important place to achieve in the group stages because no one wants to face the winner of Group B. It might be the deciding factor for the Group A winner to make the semi-finals.

Final Score- Poland:1/Russia:1

Dzagoev-37′, Blaszczykowski-57′

The tie in this match has made Group A a do or die. All four teams have the ability to move on, and everyone but Greece will move on with a win. Greece will need a win and a better goal differential, which is possible but tougher. As of now though, I will talk about this game.

Poland and Russia really duked it out today and the game was a really fun game to watch. I enjoy ties in group stages because it makes the whole group more interesting. The game was well paced and back and forth. Poland came out stronger in the second half with a beautiful build up and goal from the Polish side in the 57′ minute. Russia still looked dangerous, but arguebly not as dangerous as the first half or even the Czech Rep. game. The Polish defense was stronger in this half as they needed to be, and the strength of Poland’s offense came through. I will talk about why this was a tie, and what these teams need to get out of this group stage.

Russia- Lost the lead on a well executed counter attack, and, let’s face it, a unstoppable shot. But this is the least of their worries as the strength of Russia is not doing was Russia has the most of, which is strong attackers. I believe that Russia needs to go all offensive against the Greeks. Czech do not really have a strong attack or defense, but I would be worried about counter attacks. I also think having an Arshavin-Pavlyuchenko-Dzagoev line up top will do wonders for them, but I have a soft spot for Roman since 2008. Playing a 4-3-3 against Greece will work if you force them to attack in small numbers and make sure you have the ball +60% of the time. If and only if. Another thing to take note is that Russia will move on with another tie, and are also in the best spot for winning the group, both can be used to their advantage. Although I believe the Polish are the strongest side in this Group, with the addition of home field, Russia seems like they will take group A.

Poland- Who I believe was the stronger side, Poland looks like they have all the ideals of a good team without the execution 100% of the time. That counter attack that gave them the equalizer in the 57’th was spot on and flawless, and if they can find a way to replicate this on a more consistent level, then this team will be much more deadly. Defense is still okay, sadly I think it will be their downfall in this tournament. I do believe that I will see them on the opposite side of the group stages, but it will be something special to go any further. Poland will need to play a strong attacking  formation against the Czech, and making sure that the Czech do not get far into their half will make for a sure win.

 

I’m sorry for the late write-up, I had a couple things to do. But I will try to do a pre-game analysis before Group B’s games as I know these teams very well.

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Pacquiao vs Bradley and other referee blunders.

So I watched the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight. I was excited for it, so I had it recorded, ready to go.

Almost wish I didn’t see it.

Pacquiao, by no means, had an easy fight, but was clearly the victor of the fight. The world is on fire saying many various things along the lines of what football fans say…

And I stopped my thought process there. Any football fan can tell you their team has been the shit-receiving end of the bias referee at least once in their life time. A die-hard fan will remember a major one on the spot (Chelsea vs Barcelona, Round 2 in Semi’s in 2009. Sweet, sweet revenge…). So I ended up hearing and reading the same things that I would hear and read about football referees, even some criticisms I’ve heard as a referee myself. I can say I have been on both sides of the coin, but not at the magnitude of a UEFA sanctioned match or a Welterweight Championship, but the smaller ratio of the sort. Most recently, the opening match of the Euro 2012 was the Greece and Poland game, with head referee Carlos Velasco Carballo showing some very quick yellow cards to Sokratis Papastathopoulos to give the Polish side a man up early. This was very controversial, and even though the fans knew this man was card-happy, it was still (in my humble opinion) too much. Obviously, Greece had their opportunities, but that is not the matter of the subject.

One thing I have learned in all my years of playing, coaching, and refereeing is that when that final whistle blows, the bell rings, or buzzer is heard, it is over. The result stays and the victor is the victor. I can see the political side of why Pacquiao was unjustifiably handed his loss, but it is a sad day regardless. I feel ya Pacman fans, I do, but maybe it’s just an injustice that needs to be swallowed.

Thoughts?

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