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Your ITDs are back, this time round with our very last post covering the Euro Cup ’12!
RECAP: Semi-Final – Spain vs. Portugal
Spain and Portugal fought for a place in the Euro 12 Finals on Thursday with Spain eventually winning the game on penalties (4-2) after neither side managed to score.
The game was hotly contested and it was a close battle between the two sides. The Spanish tried out a new formation with a striker (Alvaro Negredo) instead of the usual midfielder. However Negredo was ineffective and he was substituted by Fabregas in the second half.
The Spanish started the game brightly threatening with two good chances. The Portuguese soon wrested back control and Cristiano Ronaldo’s low shot was just wide of the post. As the game progressed, Spain focused more on possession and keeping the ball, while Portugal was unable to get hold of the ball for long periods of time and were unable to attack. Their main attacker was Cristiano Ronaldo, who used every opportunity to threaten the Spanish defence, through free kicks and long range shots.
However it was to no avail and the game proceeded into extra time. Spain then dominated the game against the tired Portuguese side and came close to breaking the deadlock twice through Iniesta and Jesus Navas. However they were excellently denied both times by the Portuguese keeper, Rui Patricio.
The two sides failed to score in extra time and the match proceeded to penalties, with Spain starting first. Xabi Alonso fired a powerful shot to the bottom corner but his shot was expertly palmed away by Rui Patricio.
Iker Casillas evened out the score by saving from Joao Moutinho’s penalty.
Iniesta then scored his penalty before Pepe squeezed his penalty past Casillas. Pique and Nani both converted their penalties, spicing things up. Ramos scored a superb ‘panenka’ penalty, chipping it calmly over Patricio.
Portugal’s Bruno Alves then stepped up to take the penalty. However, his shot hit the woodwork, giving Spain the advantage in the penalties.
Fabregas made no mistake from the spot, slotting home the ball past Patricio.
With that, Spain sealed their place for their second consecutive final of the European Championship.
Semi-finals 2 review
Semi-Final: Germany vs. Italy
Moving on to the second semi-finals match which saw Italy take on Germany, Italy’s solid display and in particular, Andrea Pirlo’s masterful skills that proved to be downfall for the German side as Germany crashed out after a shocking 2-1 loss against Prandelli’s side. This match proved to be the biggest upset, as the highly anticipated showdown between Germany and Spain was thwarted by Italy’s surprising victory.
Statistically, it was Germany who proved to be the more dominant side – they had as many as 14 corners while Italy had none. However, the result favoured Italy in the end, and in many ways, they were deserving of it. The Germans were uncharacteristically weak at the back — and Italy showed all its traditional qualities of defending tightly and being comfortable in possession to hold out the speedy German offence.
Meanwhile in offence, it was Andrea Pirlo who proved to be the master playmaker, creating chance after chance for the Italian offence, culminating in two fabulous strikes from Mario Balotelli that gave Italy the coveted ticket to the finals.
The first half produced a rather even battle for both sides. Both teams had their attacking chances, probing each other’s defence and testing the 2 goalkeepers on several occasions. However, Germany’s backline failed to hold out in the 20th minute, as Mario Balotelli converted with a close-range header from a beautiful cross by Antonio Cassano.
With Germany trailing, Low’s side quickly stepped up their offence, but none of the shots could get past Italy’s legendary skipper and keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Italy, on the other hand, was quick on the counter attack and held on to possession well as they looked to extend their lead. Finally, their chance came once again in the 36th minute. A quick break from Italy saw Riccardo Montolivo put a long ball past the German backline. Mario Balotelli was on the other end of that pass and he lashed the ball into the top right corner from the edge of the area, a wonderful strike that gave Italy a 2-0 supremacy over Germany in half time.
After the restart, Germany pushed forward fiercely looking for a comeback, as German coach Joachim Low looked to strengthen the offensive prowess of Germany by bringing on Thomas Muller in place of defender Jerome Boateng. However, Italy’s organized defence and Buffon’s supreme goalkeeping skills withstood waves after waves of attacks. Even as Manuel Neuer twice advanced deep into Italy’s half in a desperate attempt to save the match, Italy proved strong and resolute, denying Germany of all their shots on goal.
In the 92nd minute, Germany finally broke through the Italian defence, with Mezut Ozil scoring from the penalty spot after a hand ball by Italian right back Federico Balzaretti.
Despite pulling back by 1 goal, it proved to be too late as Italy advanced into the finals with a 2-1 win.
Euro’12 Finals Match Analysis Spain VS Italy
And finally, the long-awaited finals! Tonight, Italy and Spain will meet each other in the Olympic Stadium, Kiev, for their final showdown watched by a global audience watching their every move. Not familiar with the two contenders? Fret not, as we have included a detailed match analysis of both teams, as well as a prediction from each IT director!
Another boring game? Maybe not. Spain coach, Vincente Del Bosque, has promised three attackers in tonight’s match! However, it is still expected that Spain’s game style will be the same, which revolves around possession and fluid movement. With imperious Barcelona duo Andres Iniesta and Xavi dominating the midfield, the Spanish have shown what it takes to be champions through their amazing passing styles. The approach calls on all 10 outfield players to keep the ball moving until the opportunity comes, then Spain will go for the kill.
However, Spain has shown their weaknesses. In the semi-final against Portugal, Spain did not manage to sustain their distinctive, characteristic game. In the 90 minutes of play, they did not handle either space or time well. They gave the impression that they were suffering from Portugal’s game plan. Portugal did not give Spain much space, and had anticipated and disrupted their moves. Even though Spain came back stronger in theextra time, it was probably luck that pushed them into the finals after a 4-2 penalty win over Portugal.
Will Vicente del Bosque’s revered pass masters make history tonight by winning a third successive major title in Kiev, Ukraine? They might not have not fared very well in the previous matches, but they have shown that they have the luck and the experience! They are sure to be tonight’s favourites!
Key Players: Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez
Italy has been the black horse of this tournament, beating hot favourites, Germany, to cruise into tonight’s finals against Spain.
From a side that was knocked out during the group stage in 2010’s World Cup to finalists of the Euro’12, Italy has shown how much they have improved. To conquer such a great feat, Italy probably has their coach Cesare Prandelli to thank for. He has put together a well-organised team, with players who are willing to retrieve the ball and adhere to the idea of fighting for possession.
Italy’s game plan tonight relies heavily on Pirlo, who is the genius strategist and playmaker of Italy. A single pass by him can leave a man one to one. Pirlo is always capable of finding himself extra time and space and has been able to threaten every side Italy have faced with his long, accurate delivery. He is like a magician, dictating the pace and direction of play with his trickery and sorcery.
The Italians are also hard to break down, with Daniele De Rossi tasked with anchoring Italy’s defence and proving himself very dangerous on the counterattack. With Balotelli and Cassano, forming the perfect partnership and linking up all over the pitch with their one-twos, counter attacks and crosses, Italy certainly stands a chance to upset defending champions, Spain, in tonight’s clash!
Key Players: Pirlo, Balotelli, Cassano, Buffon
Patrick’s Prediction: Spain 2 – Italy 2 (Spain wins on penalties)
In the game tonight, Italy would probably play its standard 3-5-2 formation. Pirlo will be crucial to Italy’s victory in tonight’s finals, with his long-range accurate passes, giving Italy an edge over Spain in its aerial battles. This is in favour of Italy if Balotelli and Cassano can capitalise on their chances tonight, especially since Cesare Prandelli knows that Spain’s weakness lies in the counter attack and set pieces. However, they would face a greater threat if Spain is fielding 3 attackers.
Spain, on the other hand, will play its usual hold-ball game. It is expected to pose a higher scoring threat for Italy though, if it is fielding 3 attackers as promised by Vincente Del Bosque. However, they face a constant threat in the form of Italy’s Pirlo. No one has succeeded in stopping this tournament’s star player – Wayne Rooney failed; Toni Kroos failed; others did not even try. Perhaps Sergio Busquets would be asked to get close to him, or Spain could simply flood midfield and retain possession. Lastly, I think Spain might consider fielding a winger Jesús Navas or Pedro Rodriguez in its starting line-up tonight so they can attack Italy more effectively from the flanks.
The teams ended in a 1-1 draw in their previous encounter in the group stage. It is a close fight between the two and I think penalties will determine tonight’s winner, with Spain eventually having the upper hand.
Leslie’s Prediction: Spain 0 – Italy 0 (Spain wins on extra time)
I’m predicting a draw after 90 minutes – both teams seem evenly matched in most aspects and while Spain is the hot favourite, Italy is no pushover as well. They will certainly not take on a defensive approach like France did, and instead go all out to probe the Spanish defence led by world class keeper and skipper Iker Casillas. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Spain would look to pounce on any loopholes in Italy’s iron defence, as legendary Gianluigi Buffon organises his defence to keep out Spain’s creative attacking displays.
The extra time might eventually turn out to be a replay of the 2010 Spain – Netherlands World Cup Final. Spain’s supremacy will prevail with a late winner in extra time, and with that, they would become the first national team to win 2 successive Euro Cup tournaments and 3 International Championships in a row.
Suhas’ Prediction: Spain 2 – Italy 0
I expect Spain to have a relatively easy game against Italy. Spain’s superior technical skills would enable them to keep the ball for long periods effectively stifling Italy’s attacking capabilities, allowing Spain to triumph over Italy easily. The creativity of Spain’s Xavi and Iniesta would be too difficult for Italy’s defenders to handle, and even the experience of veteran Italian keeper, Gianluigi Buffon would not be able to save Italy.
Furthermore, the Spanish backline has been reliable throughout the tournament with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique at the centre. At the flanks, they have Jordi Alba and Alvaro Arbeloa. Jordi Alba in particular has been outstanding this tournament, providing deadly crosses upfront from the left flank. Spain also have an excellent shot-stopper in the form of their skipper, Iker Casillas. Casillas has been leading Spain by example throughout the tournament making crucial saves in both the group and knockout stages.
Well, that concludes our (somewhat lengthy) match analysis. While all three of us are rooting for Spain, we know some of you out there are Italy fans too! Regardless of whom you support, just sit back, relax, and watch the action unfold! We hope you enjoy the game!
your ITDs – Patrick, Leslie & Suhas!
Hola everybody! Here are our latest updates about the Euro Cup! In yesterday’s match against France, Spain triumphed 2-0. Surprisingly, it was a relatively one-sided match with Spain dominating possession while France struggled to establish themselves in the game. Spain’s Xabi Alonso bagged a brace with a brilliant header and a well taken spot kick.
Spanish manager Vincente del Bosque reverted to his controversial 4-6-0 formation with 6 midfielders with Cesc Fabregas playing in the place of Fernando Torres. France meanwhile started with two right backs, and with Mexes suspended, Laurent Koscielny replaced him at the centre of defence.
Spain started the match brightly and established their possession of the ball in the midfield under the brilliance of Xavi and Iniesta.
In the 19th minute, Spain’s Jordi Alba crossed in from the left flank and an unmarked Xabi Alonso raced towards the ball and dived to smash the ball past the goalkeeper with a downward header.
France did not recover and withered under the dominance of the Spanish who missed several good chances to score. Then in the 91th minute Xabi Alonso secured the victory with a spotkick which sent Hugo Lloris diving the wrong way after Pedro had been fouled in the box by Anthony Reveillere.
With this dominant victory in the quarter-final match, Spain sent a strong message to Portugal, whom they will face in the semi-final, that they still have that mastery of football that led them to victories in Euro’08 and the World Cup in 2010.
It has now come down to the 4th and last quarter final between England and Italy. The winner of this evenly matched contest between the Azurri and the Three Lions will face on-form Germany in the semi-finals. Moving on to the match analysis…
England secured top place in their group after gaining 7 points from three games .They put in good performances against France and Sweden but put in their last game against Ukraine they were unconvincing and were fortunate to have won that match 1-0. Under newly arrived manager Roy Hodgson, England has adopted a defensive 4-4-2 formation with two organised lines of defenders and the midfielders, with the forwards free to roam in front.
The heart of the England defence is led by John Terry and Joleon Lescott, with Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson at the flanks. Steven Gerrard, England’s talismanic skipper and Scott Parker are almost expected to start at the centre of the midfield having formed a solid partnership in their past three games. What is interesting would be who Hodgson would start with in the other two midfield positions. He has Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, James Milner, Theo Walcott and Ashley Young to choose from. James Milner has always been starting at the right but his performances have not been good and Hodgson may consider replacing him. In Theo Walcott he has a speedster who was a super substitute against Sweden scoring a goal and assisting another. Ashley Young is the favourite to start at the left flank as his deadly crosses can be devastating for the Italians. Alex Oxlade would most likely be a substitute later on in the game and he can inject some creativity into England’s offense.
England has a couple of attacking options in Welbeck, Rooney and Carroll. Rooney is an excellent finisher but his touch seemed to have deserted him in England’s game against Ukraine when he spurned a few good opportunities. However, it is still widely expected that Welbeck and Rooney would start for the match as they already have a strong striking partnership from playing together at Manchester United. Carroll would most likely come on as a substitute and with his powerful aerial presence, he would threaten from set pieces and crosses.
The England team:
Players To Watch: Steven Gerrard ( Joint top assister in the competition with three assists) Wayne Rooney ( One of the best strikers’ in the world, high chance conversion rate when on form) John Terry ( England’s defensive rock, who put in a superb performance against Ukraine)
Italy finished second in their group with one win and two draws. Their last performance against Ireland where they won 2-0 was average but they could have performed better. Prandelli used a 3-5-2 formation for the first two games and a 4-4-2 formation against Ireland.
Italy’s defence is a problem with their experienced central defender Giorgio Chiellini unable to play. He would be replaced by Leonardo Bonucci who is not as powerful as Chiellini in defence. He is joined in defence by Federico Balzaretti, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Barzagli.
In the midfield, Italy have a reliable defensive midfielder in Daniele De Rossi who has been performing very well in the Euros. He has been playing the roles of both a midfielder an defender shutting out attacks effectively, putting in an exceptional performance against Spain in the group stages. Thiago Motta is also a doubt. Motta had formed a good partnership with Pirlo in the midfield and they have created many chances together. His absence would therefore have a significant impact on the supply to the forwards. Lastly, Italy have a veteran midfield maestro in Andrea Pirlo who has 1 goal and 2 assists in the competition. Andrea Pirlo is expected to be at the heart of the Italian’s attack and his distribution of the ball is likely to cause the England defence problems. Andrea Pirlo is also a set pieces expert and can score goals and create chances from freekicks.
In attack they have Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Antonio Di Natale. Antonio Cassasno is expected to start as he has been dangerous upfront making most of the chances presented to him. He scored against Ireland in his last mach. Mario Balotelli at his best can be a world class poacher scoring goals from out of nowhere but at his worst he can be a liability and burden to the Italian team. He has a short fuse and has a penchant for getting sent off from matches. Whether or not Balotelli plays would be difficult decision for the Italian coach, Prandellli, to make. Italy also have a talented striker in Di Natale. Di Natale has a lots of finesse in his striking as can be seenby his goal against Spain. However the 34 year old does not have the stamina to sustain throughout an entire match. Therefore he would most likely be on the bench.
Players to watch: Andrea Pirlo (Italy’s playmaker and top performer at the Euros), Mario Balotelli ( world class talent who can ravage England’s defence if he keeps his cool and focuses on the game), Gianluigi Buffon ( The most experienced goal keeper at the Euros)
England is expected to play an organised game while Italy is likely to play a more neutral game and circulate the ball around the midfield while waiting for the forwards to get into good positions.Both sides are equally matched in terms of talent, and it will be a very close fight.
Match Prediction: 1-1 draw in regulation time with the match going down to the penalties, whereby England would banish the penalty demons of their past tournaments and win Italy.
Your ITDs cum Match Predictors
Suhas, Patrick and Leslie
Hi everyone! Here’s the newest updates on Euro Cup’12! The second quarterfinal match of Euro Cup’12 saw Germany cruise into the semi-finals after a remarkable 4-2 win over Greece before a large crowd at the PGE Arena in Gdansk. This brings Germany’s winning streak to a total of 15 matches, setting a new world record after surpassing the 14-game sequence previously shared with France, Netherlands and Spain!
Joachim Low’s men started the match with great confidence and missed a few great opportunities that could easily have put them ahead of their rivals by a goal or two in the early first-half. It was Germany’s captain, Philipp Lahm, who ended the frustration with a superb long-range strike across the goalkeeper, Michalis Sifakis, and into the far corner of the net after 39 minutes.
However, Greece secured a shock equalizer 10 minutes into the second half after a quick-fire counter-attacking move saw Dimitris Salpingidis race down the right before squaring a low cross towards Samaras who tapped the ball into the net to send the Greek crowd into delirium.
The celebration only lasted for 6 minutes, as Germany’s Sami Khedira fired home a volley from close range after a cross from Boateng fell to him, putting Germany ahead of their opponents again.
In the 68th minute, Germany extended their lead to 3-1 when Germany ‘s 34-year-old veteran Klose rose highest to head home Ozil`s corner ball into an empty net before Greece’s goalkeeper Sifakis could punch the ball out, claiming his 64th international goal.
Shortly after, Klose latched onto Ozil`s neat pass, before shooting at Sifakis who blocked the ball to the feet of Reus who fired into an empty net, securing the Germans` record-breaking 15th competitive win.
In the 89th minute, Boateng was deemed to have handballed, and Salpingidis did well to send the German keeper diving the wrong way to convert a penalty, claiming a consolation goal for Greece.
Well, this match has proven that Germany is still one of the hot favourites of this tournament and Joachim Low would be sure to work on his team’s blunders before they engage either England or Italy in the semi-finals next Thursday!
The 3rd quarter-finals match is a match not to be missed as reigning champions, Spain, prepares to face off strong rivals, France, tonight at Donbass Arena in Donetsk.
The defending champions booked their place in tonight’s quarter-final after a disappointing performance in the 1-0 victory over Croatia. Although that win helped Vicente del Bosque’s side to claim top spot in Group C, the Spain team was criticised for not playing to their fullest potential by spending most of their last match retaining ball possession without attacking the goal. Yet, the team is not crowned tournament favourites without reason.
Spanish midfield is world-class with the likes of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, David Silva or even Cesc Fabregas(if he’s playing). Spanish midfield has the ability to tear apart any team in the world in the blink of an eye and is the key to Spain’s victory tonight. Fernando Torres who scored two goals in the 4-0 rout against Ireland in the Group stage may be in the starting line-up as well, putting further pressure on France’s defence.
However, it can be argued that Spain’s defence looks thin. With key defenders such as Carles Puyol and Joan Capdevila failing to make the trip to this Euro Cup, the team has to rely heavily on Pique, Sergio Ramos on their defence. Their star keeper, Casillas, will be crucial in denying France from winning if the match boils down to a penalty shootout. Furthermore, the Spaniards have several players who are currently 1 booking away from suspension, including Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javi Martinez. The big selection decision will ultimately be left to Del Bosque.
Key Players: Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres, Casillas
Another hot favourites in this Euro Cup, France has the talent to upset the defending champions in the quarterfinal clash tonight.
However, France will miss out their defender Philippe Mexes after the AC Milan player picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the defeat to Sweden. It is believed that Laurent Koscielny will replace him and work alongside Adil Rami to deny Spain’s attacks. France will also be without their crucial midfielder Jeremy Menez but will probably be glad to have their effective defensive midfielder Yohan Cabaye, back from a thigh injury.
France’s key chance to winning lies in its 3 talented players, Nasri, Benzema and Ribery, to make an impact in tonight’s game. Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is unstoppable at times, dribbling and passing with amazing pace and creativity, and will be crucial in disrupting Spain’s disciplined formation while Real Madrid striker, Benzema is a lethal finisher, although he has to stop shooting blanks if his team is to win tonight. Nasri, who scored a beautiful goal against England, is needed to provide the attacks against Spain if they were to win tonight.
France has lost their final group match against Sweden, which led to England topping the group and Laurent Blanc’s side having to settle for second place, and they would be sure to emerge stronger from their careless defeat to give their rivals a tough time tonight.
Key Players: Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery, Yohan Cabaye
Match Prediction: Spain 2 –France 1
In the game tonight, France would be expected to establish a deep defence and floods the midfield with 3 central midfielders in an attempt to counter Spain. They would probably launch highly efficient counter attacks against Spain with the help of Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri.
Spain, on the other hand, would be attempting to hold possession for as long as possible with their brilliant midfielders until they find a loophole in France’s defences. Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta would be responsible for breaking past France’s defenders while an on-form Fernando Torres would ensure that France defenders have a tough time tonight.
Your ITDs cum Match Predictors
Suhas, Patrick and Leslie
Hi again! The first match of the Euro Cup’12 Quarter Finals saw Czech Republic crash out after a narrow 1-0 loss to semi finalist Portugal. The match did not start well at all for Portugal, who was constantly being put under pressure by the Czech offence. However, after 30 minutes, Portugal slowly started to regain their form and dominated in the second half. Despite having 20 shots in total, Portugal only managed to break through in the 79th minute, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the only goal of the game, a wonderful header from Moutinho’s cross, after hitting the wood work twice. Nonetheless, it was a deserved victory for Portugal who excelled both defensively and in the attacking areas.
Well, who would join Portugal to become the 2nd team to enter the top 4 after today’s match which sees Germany play Greece? Let’s have an analysis of the teams:
Germany is tipped to be the strongest contenders for this years’ title, and not without reasons – they have not only survived the Group of Death, but excelled in it, securing all of the maximum 9 points from all 3 of their games, including victories against the Netherlands and Portugal. Hence, against Greece (the weakest of the 8 teams), none would expect anything less than a thrashing.
Simply put, their team is world class. Defensively, they have shot-stopper Manuel Neuer, who has been tipped as the next Oliver Kahn, as well as top players like Per Mertesacker and Philip Lahm leading the defence. In midfield, so many players have shone – while Germany can continue choosing to rely on established talents Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mezut Ozil and Thomas Muller, coach Joachin Low can also choose to inject new blood such as Lars Bender and Toni Kroos in their match against Greece. Even amongst the 3 forwards, selection is also difficult, as there are little to choose from between Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and current top scorer Mario Gomez. It is not surprising for Joachim Low to be having a selection headache right now.
Key Players: Mario Gomez, Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mezut Ozil
“How did Greece even get into the quarter finals?” is probably the first question that comes to everyone’s minds. Well, they did produce stunning results in the Group Stage, beating Russia 1-0 and drawing Poland 1-1 to advance to the top 8 as runners up of Group A. And don’t forget, they are the European Champions in the 2004 Euro Cup!
However, against a certainly formidable opponent – Germany, it seems like their magic might come to an end. The most notable talents in their teams include defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, 22 year old playmaker Sotiris Ninis and striker Giorgos Samaras. The former has proven a rock in defense, pulling off critical tackles to deny the opponents with scoring chances, while the latter two have their mettle, having grabbed a goal each in the tournament. However, these players are facing off against the strongest title contender, Germany, and a lot of luck would certainly be needed if the Greek team wishes to proceed on further in the tournament!
Key Players: Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Sotiris Ninis, Giorgos Samaras
Match Prediction: Germany 2 – Greece 0 (No contest at all. A simple win for the Germans)
In the game tonight, Greece would be expected to play with a deep defence, just as they have done in their shocking win against Russia in the group stages. They would attempt to capitalise on errors and loopholes in the German defence with fierce and highly efficient counter attacks. However, would this be enough for Greece to create another upset in the tournament and as a result, see Germany off?
Germany, on the other hand, would be attempting to push as many players forward as possible, while Philip Lahm leads the defence. In the attacking field, Mezut Ozil would seek to control the game and break down the Greeks, while on form Mario Gomez would hope to add more goals to his tally in his attempt to snatch up this tournament’s golden boot.
Which of the 2 teams would emerge victorious in this highly anticipated quarter finals? All will be known tonight. Also, please feel free to make your prediction on this year’s European Championship winner at the poll on the HCunite sidebar!
Your ITDs cum Match Predictors
Suhas, Patrick and Leslie
Hi everyone! To all the soccer fanatics: apart from blocks, what is the other hot topic that everyone is trending about now? What else, the European Championships of course! The Euro Cup’12 has been going on for 12 days already, and we have our quarter-finalists! Starting from tonight, the final 8 teams will be giving their all for the title of Champions of Europe. As the tournament proceeds, we are going to give you a brief (and definitely objective!) analysis of the chances of the final 8 teams vying for the championship title.
For tonight, the first match of the quarter finals would be a showdown between Czech Republic and Portugal. Below is the analysis of the teams:
No one would expect Czech Republic to go so far after a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Russia in the Group A group stage play offs. However, here they are, underdogs of this tournament, preparing themselves to challenge the intimidating Portugal in the first quarter finals match. Don’t be so eager to write this team off – they are, after all, the champions of Group A, and not without reasons. While their defeat to Russia showed fundamental lapses in the Czech defence and lack of aggressiveness when attacking, these problems were mitigated, if not rectified, during the following 2 matches which ended up in victories for the Czechs.
Their team isn’t weak as well – after all, they have Petr Cech, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, as the final string of defense against the Portuguese attacks. Up front, experienced players such as Tomas Rosicky and Milan Baros would certainly be troubling the opponents’ defense. Lastly, 23 year old young talent Vaclav Pilar has proven to be the heart of the Czech offense, with the flamboyant left winger having already scored 2 goals in the past games. With this team set up, the Czech would certainly be no pushovers against Portugal.
Key Players: Milan Baros, Petr Cech, Vaclav Pilar
The firm favourites for the quarter finals play off with Czech, they would certainly be striving to put up a fantastic display especially in the offensive fields. The runners up of the group of death, they fought well against the Netherlands, one of the top favourities for the championship, to come back from behind and win 2-1 after a 3-2 win against Denmark and 2-1 loss against Group B champions Germany. In these matches, their team showed spirit and resilience which pulled them through to the quarter finals.
Traditionally, the Portuguese team has been world class; this year’s line up has been no exception. The Portuguese defence is made up of a mixture of experienced defenders in the likes of Pepe and Bruno Alves, as well as new budding talents such as Fabio Coentrao. Fabio Coentrao has certainly impressed us in the past matches, proving to be an asset both in defence and offence. In the attacking aspects, they certainly have no lack of talents – Cristiano Ronaldo leads the heart of the attack, scoring the vital 2 goals that eliminated Netherlands. Also, do not forget Nani. The Manchester United winger has consistently displayed creativity in his play, providing deadly passes and proving a constant threat to the opponents. However, even with the wings secured, the problem lies in the centre of the attack – Helder Postiga has not been effective in front of the goal, which leads to C. Ronaldo having to take over the responsibility of scoring goals. The manager might well be thinking of replacing him with Silvestre Varela or Hugo Almeida instead. Also, Rui Patricio has not been doing well as a goalkeeper, which is evident in the match against Denmark. These are areas that Portugal needs to improve if they wish to proceed to the finals.
Key Players: C. Ronaldo, Nani, Fabio Coentrao
Match Prediction: Czech Republic 1 – Portugal 2 (A tight contest which would see Portugal emerging as late winners)
With Czech and Portugal both vying for a place in the Semi finals, both teams would certainly be giving their all to put up their best show for the match! To those watching the match (kicking off in less than 2 hours), do enjoy the footballing action but please get some sleep as well! Remember that block test is next week! Alternatively, you can choose to watch the official match highlights by UEFA on the day following the matches. That’s all for this first post for Euro in HC! Enjoy!
Your ITDs cum Match Predictors
Suhas, Patrick and Leslie
Hwa Chong, Hwa Chong, Chiong ah, Chiong ah!
Our block tests will be starting in 3 days! For those of you who have not been spending much time on studying, IT’S TIME TO START. Remember that block tests are important, as they will serve as a good gauge of what you have learnt over the past 6 months. Here is a checklist of what you guys may want to consider checking against as the block tests approach:
- Read your lecture notes thoroughly, at least once. This is crucial as you must not cram too much revision right before the test.
- Ensure that you have memorised important definitions and key concepts. An effective method would be to write out the important details, as it helps to register it firmly in your mind.
- Redo tutorials of the topics that you have finished revising.
- Look at past year Block Test papers, and try some of the questions. (Do not just refer to the answers without attempting them – getting a few tough questions wrong is normal.)
- Try out challenging questions from various subjects’ Ten-Year-Series, especially those from recent years.
If you have not fulfilled any item on the checklist, do not panic, but try to speed up your revision pace. If you’ve cleared the list, then you’re all prepared – we wish you all the best for the upcoming block test!
Lastly, here is today’s joke and inspiration quote:
How to fail a test with dignity #5: The Treasure hunt
“Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration.” ~ Evan Esar
Hope you have enjoyed reading!
On a side note, do look forward to the next post on EUROCUP updates!
Your ITDs – Leslie, Patrick & Suhas
Break time! Blocks Encouragement Post #3
Good morning Hwa Chong!
You do not have the luxury of time anymore – it’s 4 more days to blocks!!! For those of you who are hurriedly getting out of bed and doing your final revision exercises, please pause for a moment and take a look at what we have prepared for you!
Do you have a habit of taking time in the morning to plan for the day ahead? If you do, keep it up and continue with this practice! Planning ahead is important especially when revising for tests and exams. It allows you to have a clear direction for the day and also motivates you to move on. Also, while coming up with daily revision schedules, do remember to dedicate time to breaks!
Here’s our personal take on planning: you do not have to follow the schedule strictly; neither do you have to fret out not being able to complete the tasks assigned. The ultimate purpose about planning is to make sure you are clear about what you are doing. With planning, you will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you look back at how you spend your day!
Lastly, the quote and joke of the day are as follows:
How to fail a test with dignity #4: It’s all common sense!
Q. In which battle did Napoleon die?
A. His last battle.
Q. Where was the Declaration of Independence Signed?
A. At the Bottom of the Page.
Q. River Ravi flows in which state?
Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing, it’s when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it. ~ Margaret Thatcher
Happy mugging! Do plan ahead!
Your ITDs – Leslie, Patrick & Suhas
Hi again! For this post, we are going to share some of our personal tips on revision and studying. Hope you will find them useful!
Tip 1: For the J1s, this is our first time sitting for JC block tests and many of us do not know what to expect. Hence, do seek advice from our teachers and J2 seniors! Also, try yout best to set personal goals – these goals can serve as motivation to work hard and improve.
Tip 2: Do not simply memorise the notes blindly – attempting some past year papers and other relevant questions will be very beneficial in turning your knowledge into practice! Timed exercises would be helpful as well, since they can help to consolidate your concepts and prepare you for the examination conditions.
Tip 3: Find a good time and place to study! Some might find mornings more suitable for revision, while others might prefer afternoons. Irrespective of your preference, do plan your time around these golden hours! The right place is very important as well – for quiet learners, libraries and homes would be good, whereas a study session will certainly help group learners.
That’s all from us! If anyone has any other tips on revising for blocks, please share them with everyone through commenting on this post or through the chat box! Your advice will be greatly appreciated!
And finally, here is today’s motivational quote and joke:
How to fail a test with dignity #3: The indirect answer
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. ~Robert Collier
Have fun with revision!
Your ITDs – Leslie, Patrick & Suhas
Hey everyone! Need to take a break from your hefty stack of revision notes? It’s time to relax for a moment and check out what we have for you!
Well, there is no better way to relax than to watch some videos! Many of us must be whining about how difficult it is to memorise mathematics equations and solve problems with the Graphic Calculator. However, why not look at math from another point of view? The following video is a parody of Tik Tok by Ke$ha, and it explores the fun in learning math. For everyone taking Math, we hope that this would be interesting and meaningful for you! Enjoy the video!
Last but not least, here are today’s joke and inspirational quote!
How to fail a test with dignity #2: Literally tackling Math
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Jiayou with mugging!
Your ITDs – Leslie, Patrick & Suhas
From all of us here, MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a happy new year! We wish you all the best in the coming year, hope you enjoyed your holidays!
*Click on the star XD
Only a few weeks into the holidays and it has already been so exciting! But if you have nothing planned for the days ahead, read on for this week’s
Top 5 Holiday Activities for Guaranteed Enjoyment
It’s always more fun when it’s literal.
This looks shopped
Sit ups require intense concentration
I heard sassy will be in next year
Or if all else fails , you could just
Achieve enlightenment on the homework mountains
P.S. Have fun at prom seniors!