Euro’12 in HC!! Post #3June 23rd, 2012 by IT Director
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