Sunday, 17 June 2012

UEFA Euro 2012: 2nd Week Review:

Hello and welcome to my review of the past week of this year's UEFA Euro 2012 from Poland and Ukraine.

Day 4:

Group D:

England 1 France 1

This match was played in Donetsk, as these two teams went head-to-head in a epic clash for three points in their first first match of the competition. 

In the 15th minute, Winger Ashley Young gave team-mate James Milner a through ball. Milner went round Lloris before his shot was wide of the post and hit the side netting. 

Close but no shave: Milner was close to giving England the lead against France, but hit the side netting.

15 minutes later, a free-kick by Steven Gerrard was whipped into the box for defender Joleon Lescott who was unmarked and powerfully headered the ball past Lloris into the net. Lescott broke the deadlock for The Three Lions, and the fans went wild with joy.

Bullet header: Lescott takes advantage of not being marked to head the ball past Lloris and give England the lead.
But England decided to take 'their foot off the gas' and aid the price for it 9 minutes later when midfielder Samir Nasri found himself in space and shot low and hard past goalkeeper Joe Hart to equalise for 'Les Blues'.

Unstoppable: Nasri's effort beat his Manchester City team-mate Joe Hart to give France an equaliser.
Sshh: Samir Nasri's goal silences all of the England fans, less than 10 minutes (after his other team-mate) Lescott's goal.

France continued to press throughout the rest of the match, and even though they were a threat to England's defence and dominated possession, the Three Lions were brave and held on for a draw.

Highlight of Samir Nasri's goal:

Ukraine 2 Sweden 1

This match was played at Kiev were the co-hosts Ukraine faced Sweden. Both sides were not expected to go through to the Last 8, and it was there first match of the competition also.

The first half failed to impress, and was quite boring from a neutral perspective. There were not many goalscoring chances, and the odd chance was wasted.
This was certainly not the case in the second half, and it was as if both sides sprung to life.

In the 51st minute, AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring after cooly slotting a tap-in past the goalkeeper with ease.

Clinical captain: Ibrahimovic celebrates his 1st goal of the competition, and his 36th of the season.

4 minutes later, Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko equalised for Ukraine with a header from a Yarmelenko cross to give the co-hosts a chance of winning the match.

Age is just a number: At 35 years old, Shevchenko shows that he still delivers for his country.

In the 62nd minute, Shevchenko lost his marker inside the 6-yard box and used his head again to score once again for Ukraine to give them a 2-1 lead.  

You could not make it up: Shevchenko scores again for Ukraine to give them the lead against Sweden.

Despite Sweden's endless attacks for the rest of the match, they could not seem to find the net and got more and more frustrated.

Ukraine made history, by winning their first Euro match and there was only one man who could do it: The legend, Andriy Shevchenko.

Sweden had to avoid a loss against England, or they were out of the Euros.

Day 5:

Group A:

Poland 1 Russia 1

This match was played at Warsaw, as the co-hosts Poland had a tough test against Russia who were favourites to win this group. 

Russia broke the deadlock, after Alan Dzagoev scored his 3rd goal of the competition from a header in the 37th minute.

Golden Boot contender: Young midfielder Dzagoev scores his 3rd goal from a header. Many teams around Europe are watching him.
Pure jubilation: Russian young midfielder Alan Dzagoev celebrates his header.

Poland winger Jacub Blaszczkyowski equalised for the co-hosts in the 57th minute after finding space and taking a rocket shot from 22 yards out.

Goal of Euro 2012 contender: Blaszczkyowski hit a bullet shot past the Russians' defence to give Poland hope.
This was how the match finished, 1-1 with both teams taking a well-deserved point. 

Highlight of Blaszczkyowski's goal:

Russia willl be the less happier of the two teams, considering their status and the expectations of the team in this tournament.

Greece 1 Czech Republic 2

Jiracek and Pilar gave the Czech's an early 2-0 lead inside the first 6 minutes of the match.

The first: Jiracek gives the Czech's an early lead in the 3rd minute against a weak Greece side.
And another: Before Pilar doubles the lead, 3 minutes later to give Greece a headache.

Greece pegged a goal back in the 53rd minute with Fanis Gekas taking advantage of a mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, but it was not enough for Greece to get back into the match. 

Faint hope: Gekas takes advantage of Cech's failure to catch the ball, and slots the ball home into the net.

Day 6:

Group B:

Portugal 3 Denmark 2

This match was played at Lviv, as Portugal went head-to-head with Denmark. 
Denmark were certainly the underdogs in the 'Group of Death', until they beat Holland in their first match, while Portugal failed to beat Germany in their first match.

In the 24th minute, Real Madrid defender Pepe scored a header to give Portugal the lead from a Joao Moutinho cross.

Eat my goal: Real Madrid defender Pepe heads Portugal ahead against underdogs Denmark.

12 minutes later, Manchester United winger Nani finds striker Helder Postiga with a nice pass inside the 16-yard box and he powerfully strikes the ball above the goalkeeper into the net to give Portugal a 2-goal cushion.

What a finish: Helder Postiga makes his mark on the match with a powerful strike past Denmark's defence.
FACT: Helder Postiga becomes the sixth player to score at 3 different European Championships, after Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nuno Gomes, Vladimir Smicer and Jurgen Klinsmann.

Suddenly, 5 minutes later the whole complexion of the match changed when Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner scored a header at the far post to give Denmark a lifeline of getting a result against Portugal.

A lifeline: Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner finds space at the far post when the ball fell to him.

Portugal continued to attack during the second half, looking for a killer goal until the 80th minute when against the run of play, striker Bendtner doubled his tally for the day by equalising for Denmark with ANOTHER header!

2nd headed goal for Bendtner, 3rd in the match: 80 minutes, 2-2.

Is this a message to Mr Wenger? Bendtner scores his 2nd of the day to level the scores against Portugal.

In the 87th minute, substitute Silvestre Varela let a shot fly inside the 16-yard box, and it beat the Denmark keeper and went into the net.

Super sub: Silvestre Varela gives Portugal all three points in the last three minutes after a flying shot.
Beat that one, Ronaldo: Varela scorers his goal.

Highlight of Varela's winner for Portugal against Denmark:

Denmark were in shock from the goal, and it was too late for them to get back into the match with so little time left.

Germany 2 Holland 1

This match was played at Kharkiv, as tough side Germany faced World Cup 2010 Runners-Up Holland.
Mario Gomez scored a brace for Germany, both in the first half after the Germans dominated possession and passed Holland to death with Schweinsteiger and Ozil spilting the defence in half.... 

Top-class finish: Gomez does a 180- degree spin before slotting the ball into the net past the keeper.

Power over placement: Striker Gomez beats Holland's defence once again to give them a 2-0 lead.

Day 7:

Spain 4 Republic of Ireland 0

Italy 1 Croatia 1

Day 8: 

Ukraine 0 France 2

Sweden 2 England 3

Day 9,

Greece 1 Russia 0

Czech Republic 1 Poland 0

Russia and Poland are both out of UEFA Euro 2012 after they both lost.

Czech Republic and Greece have both qualified for the Last 8. 


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