Euro’12 in HC!! Post #2June 22nd, 2012 by IT Director
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