And the winner is…

It was certainly an interesting end the European Championships this year with both semi-finals being won by the teams who were for most part out played by their opponents for much of the games but managed to take their chances which the other team didn’t as if often the case with football where the best team on the day wins.

Wales gave their all against Portugal but weren’t able to capitalise on the numerous chances that they had whereas Portugal got two chances on goal and went and scored both of them which was lucky for them and unlucky for the dragons.

The same happened in the Germany v France game with the Germans bossing the first half entirely doing everything but score with France coming back into the second half and scoring two goals which Germany were unable to reply to.

So Portugal somehow managed to get to the final after finishing third in their group! France do seem to have had all the luck with their games and the time off between their games, but sometimes that is often the case with the home nations but France have managed to do what a lot of other teams managed and scored enough goals to win their matches so on the basis of results France deserved to be there, which I don’t think that Portugal did, although that is because I really hate Ronaldo, rather than any actual viable reason.

The final actually was quite a disappointing game, apart from Ronald being taken of injured before half time, because Portugal managed to score a well taken goal in the second half of extra time which was enough for them to take the trophy, despite not having a great tournament up till that point.

So I didn’t get to see Ronaldo spit out his dummy and England went out really early and my sweepstake team, Germany, being knocked out in the semi’s which means that I didn’t have a great tournament either.

Still there is always hope for 2020, unless of course you are England, as well all know what will happen there.

 

Quarter of the way there

In the Quarter-finals two of the games went the distance and were decided by penalties and the other two were won inside the 90 minutes.

Portugal got through against Poland on penalties as did Germany against Italy, although German have still not managed to beat Italy in open play in any tournament football, but are still through to the next stage.

Wales played their heart out and comfortably beat a rather lackluster Belgium side with a late goal that knocked the stuffing out of the Belgium’s. What was funny was that Belgium were expecting to win and thought that if they just turned up then Wales would lay down and let them get on with it, but to their credit they didn’t and, in the end, beat them fare and square.

Iceland also played their hearts out against France but France managed to do what we couldn’t do and score more goals then the plucky Icelanders. I think that France treated them with a bit more respect than we did and they were given a contest, unlike when we played them.

What I would like from the semi-finals is that Ronald has the smirk rubbed off his face by Wales and that Germany beat France for a Germany v Wales final which I will find difficult to call as I would love for Wales to win but have Germany in the work’s sweepstake.

Of course Wales and Germany both have to win, which is not a guarantee, as has nothing been in this tournament, which is a great thing for football.

16 and never been kissed

In the round of 16 the first game ended with 1-1 draw between Switzerland and Poland but it was Poland who the game after a dramatic penalty shoot out after Xhaka missed the only penalty of the match.

Portugal played Croatia and it took almost 120 minutes for the Portugese to score in the most boring game of the finals to date.

Wales narrowly beat Northern Ireland with an own goal in the final five minutes of the game, which was very unlucky for Northern Ireland, but not so for Wales.

Belgium thrashed Hungary 4-0 in the best game of the round of 16 up to that point.
Germany eased past Slovakia by 3 goals to 0 in the next game.

Italy beat Spain by two goals in a game where Spain ran out of steam and Italy steamrollered over them. It is only surprising that it was only by two goals.

France beat Republic of Ireland after coming from behind but France came out all guns blazing in the second half and took over the game and Republic of Ireland were unable to cope.

England lost to Iceland after being one goal in the lead for about one minute. Joe Hart made a howler with the second goal letting it go underneath his body and after that we never seriously looked like scoring so I don’t reckon that if we had took it all the way to penalties than we wouldn’t have won, even if we did score a penalty earlier on in the game.

This tournament could really be anyone’s now. Which is rather exciting.

It has a bouqet

Group B

In the finale group b games Wales outplayed Russia and won by 3 goals to 0 with the first two goals coming in the first 20 minutes. Russia never recovered after that, in fact they never really got going.

England played Slovakia and despite having all of the possession and all of the shots didn’t manage to break through the Slovakian defence and the match ended 0-0.

This meant that Wales topped the group, and Engand finished in second place with Slovakia going through as one of the best placed third placed teams.

Group C

Both Poland and German won by a single goal to nill in their final group games and the table didn’t change with Germany topping the group, Poland finishing second and Northern Ireland third. Northern Ireland’s keeper Michael McGovern had an excellent game and was easily Northern Ireland’s best player in the match and kept the score down to just the one to nill, as it could have been so much worse if McGovern hadn’t been so good in this game but it was enough to see Northern Ireland through to the knock out stages.

Group D

Spain who were expected to through the group unbeaten lost their first game in the Euros since 2004 when Croatia beat them 2-1 but they ended up finishing in second place which I don’t think was part of the plan but it still meant that they topped the group. Turkey beat the Czech Republic.

Group E

In group E it was 1994 again with Ireland beating Italy by a single goal to nill (made in Norwich) and Italy still topping the group. This win meant that Ireland qualified as one of the third placed teams. Belgium who were virtually through made sure with a one nill win againt Sweden which saw Ibrahimovic retire.

Group F

Hungary who were already through in their group had the chance to knock Ronaldo off his perch, which they had a bloody good go at but still the fecker managed to score two goals and the match ended in a thrilling three all draw. Iceland against all odds beat Austria with the last gasp winner which left them second in the group leaving Portugal in third. It would have been hilarious though if the Portgual had been knocked out though, if only to see Ronaldo’s face.

So in the round of 16 we have

Switzerland v Poland; Wales v Northern Ireland; Croatia v Portugal; France v Republic of Ireland; Germany v Slovakia; Hungary v Belgium; Italy v Spain; England v Iceland.

This means that the final cannot be either Germany v Italy or Germany v Spain or even Germany v France. One of those teams could potentially get to the final so at least the final will not be any of those combinations which would have been a bit boring. So there could be an England v Wales final or a England v Northern Ireland final or a Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland or an Wales v Iceland final or a Northern Ireland v Iceland final or even a Hungary v Iceland final.

Or it could be none of these.

What it will be is exciting!