The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, is now three days old and there has been a lot fo good exciting football . I will be writing a daily blog article with the salient features of all the games. Please send us your thoughts and comments on the form below. – Filip v d Plas-
SPAIN – ITALY 1-1
Italy surprised with its drawn game result of 1-1 against defending World and European champion Spain.
The Guardian UK’s head- line was – ‘Cesc Fábregas saves Spain…’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/10/euro-2012-spain-italy-group-c
Italian coach Cesare Prandelli was satisfied for several reasons satisfied after the game in Gdansk because when you can tie and play well against the reigning champions is certainly good. The Italians did play well, not only defensively for which the Italians are well known – they also created a lot of chances from midfield – and were well served up front by Antonio Di Natale who had just come off the bench to fire the Italians ahead on the hour.
However their euphoria only lasted only 4minutes before Fabregas was able to control a long and clever pass from David Silva and put the ball past Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Did Spain’s plan of not having a single designated striker backfire on them when they needed Cesc Fabregas’s equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw?
The 61 year old Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque surprised many when he did not include Fernando Torres his starting line-up, and inserted an attacking midfield three-some of Fabregas, Iniesta and Silva and playmaker Xavi [Xavier Hernández i Creus] directing traffic in midfield.
Spain had to struggle to get their fluidity and accurate passing game going on a very wet field and it was Italy who created the best chances in the 1st half.
Andrea Pirlo did get a shot onto the excellent goalkeeper Iker Casillas with a low free-kick as did Antonio Cassano 3 minutes later as did Thiago Motta’s header also had to be stopped just before the ½ time whistle.
In the 2nd half began a potentially costly mistake by Sergio Ramos allowed Mario Balotelli to get very close to the Spanish goal but he waited too long and allowed Ramos to run back and dispossess him of the ball.
Torres later squandered 2 great chances for Spain but an outstanding Buffon was able to clear the first and did not have to do anything to foist an attempted chip which went high on top of the netting.
EIRE / CROATIA
After their 3-1 win over the Irish, the Croatian national coach Slaven Bilic indicated that this was certainly not the team’s best performance and indicated that against Italy and Spain – two countries he personally sees as better than Ireland – Croatia would have to play a lot better.
Mario Mandzukic, who plays for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga – and ‘man-of -the- match’ - made two very important goals for the Croats, and said that the advice of his father helped him score the goals. The advice was simply to picture in his own mind him scoring the goals – and they would in fact happen. Which they indeed did!
Even Irish coach Giovanni Trapattoni had to admit he lost to a better side - http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/11/euro-2012-croatia-giovanni-trapattoni
The Irish paper ‘Independent IE’ wrote “Mario Mandzukic ripped the Republic of Ireland’s hopes of a winning start to Euro 2012 apart as Giovanni Trapattoni’s 14-game unbeaten run ended in Poznan.” http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/euro-2012/irish-news/mandzukic-derails-irelands-hopes-of-a-winning-start-3133982.html
That about says it all. One admires the steadfastness of the Irish and their courage – however their football skills are just not on par with the Croats – inspite of their very good and sympathetic coach.
In Berlin there are many places to watch the games – one is ARENA – http://www.arena-berlin.de/event.aspx?eventId=392832
Filip v d P
And from the BBC who know a lot about football if not a lot about politics – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18091750
and from the US ………a very educated article from ESPN – http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/7306134/euro-2012-draw-favorites-underdogs-long
This blog is brought to you by …..OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog’ is part of OTA-Berlin ‘……the intelligent Apartment-Alternative to Hotels in Berlin’. The views of the article are those of the writer Mr Filip v d Plas and not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin.
EURO 2012 – Daily Report – DAY 3 – Italy surprise Spain and tie & Eire succumb to Croatia finesse and lose – Later Today France vs England & Ukraine vs Sweden – by contributor Mr Filip van der Plas from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
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