Friday, 13 June 2008

Euro 2008 gathers pace

Last night I watched Austria steal a last minute point from Poland when Howard Webb punished a Polish defender for a little wrestling with Sebastian Proedl in the penalty area. It was anything but a clear cut penalty, yet Austria deserved a draw, after forcing a number of saves from Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

Donning a Northern Ireland supporters’ hat, there is still more encouragement to be drawn from Poland’s uninspired display. The Poles’ offside trap was so diabolical in the first half that David Healy and Kyle Lafferty must be licking their lips in anticipation. In addition, although they are comfortable in possession, the Poles lack an incisive, pacy forward to provide a goal threat.

The previous day another World Cup opponent, Czech Republic, showed in flashes the fluidity and technique which has made them feared opponents. But ultimately they displayed all the signs of a team in decline and were comfortably beaten by Portugal, 3-1.

I must say, after a sluggish start, the tournament is now proceeding at a decent clip. Croatia’s defeat of favourites Germany provided the competition’s first surprise result. Three Thousand Versts' Euro 2008 poll has also proved popular and it is has become something of a barometer of opinion as it changes and develops match on match. When Portugal claimed a second impressive victory and became the first quarter final qualifiers, they leap-frogged Spain and Germany to top the poll on 39 votes.

Holland has also been gathering a following as the tournament progresses.

As we get to the business end of the competition it promises to be an interesting fortnight.

4 comments:

Tourettes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chekov said...

Indeed.

Hernandez said...

Chekov - the comments you deleted are still visible on your front page! I can see why yee deleted them!

Chekov said...

They were not what my be termed 'constructive debate'. There is a place for such comments and it is on Down and Out in Lenzie and Lossiemouth! ;-)