IFX Soccer Blog 2: Euro Cup 2012 Group Play Recap (July 2012)


Euro Cup 2012 Group Play Recap

The IFX Soccer Blog returns with full force. I will be reviewing the end of the 2011-2012 seasons for various leagues including the UEFA Champions League, the English Premier League (EPL), the Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga. Let’s start with the biggest tournament of the year and one of the most competitive competitions on the planet – Euro Cup 2012!

Group Play

Group A – (Czech Republic 6, Greece 4, Russia 4, Poland 2).

The Czech Republic and Greece advanced to the quarterfinals in an evenly matched group. This group provided great suspense as a goal in either game in the last few minutes could have shuffled the group winners. The Czech Republic had a nice fast break goal to beat the host country Poland. Greece had an improbable win over group favorites Russia. Greece played gritty defense and capitalized on a back line mistake by Russia. The Russians looked to be almost through after a 4-1 dominating win over the Czech Republic in the first game. However, Russia could not get any goals on many good attempts against the Greek side.

Group B – (Germany 9, Portugal 6, Denmark 3, Netherlands 0).

The group of death also had some surprises. No surprise here though – Germany won every game. Although each game was close. Portugal stormed back to beat the other teams and move on despite losing 1-0 to Germany in the first game. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo played great and scored two goals against the Netherlands. Denmark started out good with a shocking win against the Netherlands but could not get another point. The Netherlands, loaded with offensive players, was favored to get out of the group but its porous defense resulted in three losses and lots of head scratching.

Group C – (Spain 7, Italy 5, Croatia 4, Ireland 0).

This group provided a lot of competition with the exception of lowly Ireland. The Irish fans represented well and had a fun time on TV but the team’s defense was constantly under assault, resulting in the lowest goal differential of the tournament (-8). Spain and Italy tied in the first game 1-1 in a tight game. Croatia played well but could not stop the Spanish side in the last game when they needed a win. Spain struggled to muster much offense but its stifling defense put them atop the group.

Group D – (England 7, France 4, Ukraine 3, Sweden 3)

This group was up for grabs and England managed to win it unconvincingly. The English tied France and squeaked out wins against Sweden and host country Ukraine. Welbeck had a great back tap goal for England to edge the Swedes in a seesaw 3-2 battle. France started out good by beating Ukraine 2-0 but then stumbled against Sweden. Ukraine looked promising with a 2-1 win against Sweden but could not get another point. The Swedes played close games but could only win against France 2-0 in the final game. Ibrahimović smashed one of the goals of the tourney in a matrix like body contortion to give Sweden something to cheer about.

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