Tag Archives: Ukraine

Euro 2012 Pre-Quarterfinals Predictions and Thoughts

The quarterfinals have come! After a very exciting group stage in the Euro 2012, the knockout rounds begin with some entries that were definitely surprising, such as Greece and and Portugal. Portugal isn’t as surprising as Greece, but if you asked me on June 7th, I would of chuckled. We have some very exciting games coming up, including the giant Spain vs France game which I am thoroughly pumped for. I would like to take it game by game, giving predictions and thoughts on outcomes and possible strategies and things to expects, sorta respectively. This will

Portugal Vs Czech Republic, June 21st

Portugal – I can say with some certainty that this will be the more attacking side of the game. Obviously, some magic can happen like the Ukraine vs England game, but I don’t see it, as I can support a Ukrainian force. Czech’s main strength is their defense, which Portugal should beat down like Ukraine, only with goals, of course. With the strongest wings in the tournament or at least tied with the two favorites, Spain and Germany, Portugal needs to bring the force on both sides, mixing the attack up with the more direct Cristiano Ronaldo or the unpredictable Nani, both of which are playing some great football this tournament. But the greatest element of the Portuguese offense that I saw out of the group stages is the amount of people who can put a goal in. With a total of four goal scorers out of five in the net, this means that the attack can come from anywhere. Plus Nani still doesn’t have a goal of his own, but everyone knows what a threat he is on and off the ball. Using the strong attack that they showed in the last two games of the group stages and the defense that we saw in the first and third game, you will see a successful Portugal.

Czech-With its strength in its defense, I would rather them play to counter attack on the edgy Portugal. Although Portugal has looked good in this group stages, one thing that has not been consistent is the quality. Like I said before, the first and third game for Portugal were really well defended, and the second and third game were well attacked. Of course this could be said for Czech as well, conceding four goals in their opener but then showing their will and strength in the next two. I say go with your strengths and play to defense, and use the 4-3-3 that Portugal will most likely be playing and counter attack, as they will attempt to defend by attack. 4-3-3 is possibly the defensively weakest of the well known formations, especially when you will not see Nani or Cristiano track back every often, if at all. I say use this to their advantage, and attack the unfortified sides that the put all their attack on. Breaking the defense through the left and right will make sure that you will get a more condensed Portuguese defense, therefore giving you the ability to take some 18+ yard shots.

Prediction- Portugal’s win with at least one goal conceded by them on a defensive mind lapse.

Ill be doing the rest after the game, and tagging this as well 😛

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Goal-line Technology-Should today’s football implement it?

On the 19th of June, 2012, during the Euro 2012 game between Ukraine and England, Mario Devic put a ball over Joe Hart and into the goal. However, the ball was scooped out by John Terry just in the nick of time, but not quite. Replays show that the ball was in fact all the way in and it was a goal. These calls have been happening for years and years, and the UEFA started implementing a fourth and fifth referee on the pitch, one on both sides of the field, just to the left of the goal. This referee’s main job is to enforce whether the ball would have crossed the ball fully or not, thereby making for a more just game. Initially this was Micheal Platini’s solution to goal-line technology, something that gets pitched to him every year. During the Ukraine vs England it is certain that the 5th official had eyes on the ball and could have made the correct call, but then didn’t.  The question has been brought up to the president again, saying that this is exactly the reason why goal-line technology should be implemented for the 21st century football.

The pros for this technology would mainly, and probably most importantly, be a perfectly scored game. Therefore, deserved wins are given, and everything that rolls behind that. The cons are that a big human part of football is taken out, which adds to the greatness of the game. Now the way you look at that con could possibly throw it in the pros list, but for me, that’s a con. Obviously this means that I am against such a change in the game. I love the human aspect of the referees because I think it adds a dimension of the game forces players to not rely on the officiating team. That would mean that the referees would be doing their job 100% of the time, which sounds great, but where is the risk of playing offside traps if you can possibly get away with it every time? What’s the point of adding a shove here or there if it’ll be called a foul every time. While I am not commentating on the actual goal-line technology, I am commentating on the near-perfectly reffed game that does not seem appealing to me.

Maybe it is the old side of me that agrees with Platini about this said topic. Many have told me I am a out-of-time person, living in the wrong time frame. While I do not think that is completely true (I am blogging, aren’t I?), I see the semi-validity behind it, which makes me think that this is also affecting my thoughts and views on this matter. I think that this is one human error that could of been made by anyone. In fact, I applaud John Terry for doing what he did, because if he did not this wouldn’t be needed to be talked about. Yes, maybe a more suitable answer is needed for this, but I do not think new tech is the answer. Plus, English fans will argue that three Ukrainian plays before that, the pass was offside and therefore that ball should not have reached that point.

I would love to hear the thoughts of others, as I love intelligent conversation. I am sorry about how late this is and how I didn’t get to do a quarterfinals pre-write. When you do not get paid to do these things, no one supports or respects what you do, even if it is completely out of love.

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Euro 2012- England vs Ukraine

Final Score- England:1/Ukraine:0

48′-Rooney

The co-hosts take their exit in an exciting fashion as they give the supposed favorites a run for their money. On the other side of the of the headline, Wayne Rooney makes his entrance and leaves his mark as his goal was the deciding factor in the match. Ukraine beating down on England in the first half with strong shots and quick ball movement were surprised not to have one end up in the back of the net, partly the fault of Joe Hart. He was not the only player of note in the white shirts as Steven Gerrard played unbelievably well. He was the heart of the attack today, on top of his pinpoint accuracy.  Although John Terry had a great game today, including causing the miscall from the 5th referee on Devic’s attempt on goal, but more on that later. Regardless, it was an exciting match and I felt like Ukraine deserves more than to be sent out this early. Of course, winning is just as important as playing well, and with the array of opportunities that the Ukrainians acquired it is hard to sympathize too much with the home team. Great game to watch and a great conclusion to the group stages.

In the 62′ minute, Devic from Ukraine made a break in the box and hit it over Joe Hart towards the box, just to be cleared by John Terry at the last second. Replays show that the ball was, in fact, in the goal and Ukraine deserved the goal. In the moments before this play, however, a clear offsides on the Ukraine team was not called and therefore allowed the continuation of the play up until the controversial call. Up until now, the refereeing has been remarkable, omitting the first game, of course. But this call was missed by the 5th referee, a solution that UEFA came up with in order to make a secondary solution to miscalled goals in crucial times. This officially negates this idea and brings back the idea of goal line technology, which Micheal Platini has been actively avoiding. On that note, I’ll make a different write-up about the pros and cons of goal line technology, as well as my personal thoughts on it.

Also, I will do a pre-quarterfinals write-up tomorrow on what to expect in the coming games.

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Euro 2012 – England vs Sweden

HALF TIME! Time for some notes. To be honest there isn’t going to be much said.

England- Great goal from the Liverpool pair. I couldn’t have saw that coming even if I was on the pitch. Regardless, the goal has put them in a favorable spot to win the crucial three points to level themselves with France. Scott Parker needs to keep shooting from far and that Liverpool connection needs to happen more often. On the defensive end, the Ibrahimovic situation needs to be sorted out because if he is shrugging off defenders, he will surely break someone in the wrong area for England. Keeping the defense solid and making sure that Parker and Gerrard have their looks, along with a little something  from the young guns like Welbeck and Young will surely secure the win.

Sweden- Surprisingly playing better defense then they usually do, Sweden needs to take advantage of this and push at the beginning of the half. Ibrahimovic is still the key to the Swedish offense, and it seems like every touch he has on the ball is dangerous. He is playing too far back in order to create for his team as well as attack with numbers. Finding a way to let him push out even further will be key to tying or winning this game for the yellow shirts. Only one goal down, they are definitely not out of it yet.

Final Score- England:3/Sweden:2

23′-Carroll, 49′-G.Johnson(OG), 59′-Mellberg, 64′-Walcott, 78′-Welbeck

After a heart-stopping game, the Swedes will take their exit. This game was unbelievable, with attacks back and forth and with every attack being deadlier than the last. In the end, England was out on top, finishing the yellows off with a beautiful redirection of the ball by Danny Welbeck. Assisted by none other than Theo Walcott, he made an amazing impact the second he got on the field, taking Milner’s place and immediately making results. Questions have gone up in the England manager’s direction as whether Walcott should be starting over Milner, but I guess that is for a different time as the next game, England will have their main striker back, Wayne Rooney, to help them in the last game of the group stages and beyond.

Sweden- Taking a dagger to the heart, the expertise of the masterful Theo Walcott ended Sweden’s rally, which seemed like it was going to upset this England side. Ibrahimovic had some amazing looks at the net, just none that ended where he wanted them. In the end, there was only a few things that could of been done to have helped rally this team through, but the counter attacks were the main problem. Two attacked with a weakened defense, Walcott knew what to do on both occasions to help his team rise to the top. Although the main problem being the defense, it wasn’t the only problem, as both goals came off set pieces. While this might say more for England than it will for Sweden, we bid the Swedes farewell, as they gave the world such an entertaining game. Being a massive fan of Ibrahimovic, it is sad to see him go, but this tournament is about great teams, not players.

England- Some heart from a team that has been criticized day after day, England really showed the amount of superstars that are present on this team. Although both goals came off preventable fouls, England found a way to push through conceding two goals in a row and score two of their own. Theo Walcott was the man of the match, in my opinion, coming on and scoring and assisting within fifteen minutes of his entrance. Carroll today had an amazing goal, but was a part of the goal against his side, creating the free kick that paved the way for one of Sweden’s goals. The other foul, conceded by Milner, makes me question his start. After an under average game today and missing the goal that would of put England on top in the France match, Milner may have become more of a liability than a help. Obviously, not all the blame goes to the fouls, as England’s terrible defense today almost spelled the demise for them. Even against a side like Ukraine, England will need to step up the defense, starting with John Terry, who must learn how to control his defense like he does with Chelsea. With the addition of Rooney to the line-up, England can have a bright future ahead.

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