Archive for June 22nd, 2012
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