If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed or follow us on Facebook. Thanks for visiting!
5-8-6. That’s Spain’s record against Germany in their last, oh, 19 or so meetings. Now the Spaniards will get a chance to improve their overall standing against the Germans on Sunday after beating Russia, 3-0
. This is the same Russian squad the Spanish beat during group-play portion of Euro 2008, 4-1. I guess when you beat a team twice by the combined score of 7-1 in soccer, it’s safe to say you dominated them.
After a scoreless first half, the levee broke open for the Russians as Spain scored three unanswered goals in the second stanza. The deadlock was broken by Xavi Hernandez in the 50th minute. Once Xavi scored, the play continued to go back and forth as Russia tried in vain to equalize the game. However, once Daniel Güiza scored the second goal in the 73rd minute, the game was over.
The backbreaking third goal was punched in by David Silva in the 82nd minute courtesy of some brilliant passing from the Spanish midfield to spring the counter-attack.
What can we expect on Sunday when Spain and Germany meet for Euro 2008 Cup? Both sides love to attack the opponent’s defense so this shouldn’t be a repeat of the France/Italy World Cup Final. One hopes, anyway. Although, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to enjoy some Zidane-style of excitement when these two teams square off.
Kick-off is scheduled for Sunday at 2:45/1:45 Central.
So who wants the other spot in the Euro 2008 final game? Who wants to play Germany on Sunday? Spain, I see you raised your hand. Is there anybody else? Russia, you hinted you’d like to try, does that mean you are game for an opportunity?
And with that, we have our particulars for today’s other Euro 2008 semi-final game. Will the Russians continue their skilled, balanced attack they displayed against the Dutch or will they wilt under the sheer creativity and talent the Spaniards bring? Because these two teams were in the same group, they’ve already played once this tournament and Spain was clearly the superior team, winning 4-1.
Since that defeat, however, Russia has dispatched the aforementioned Netherlands, Sweden and Greece, giving up only one goal in the process. So which team will step on the pitch against Spain this evening? The team that got outclassed or the team that outclassed the Dutch?
As for Spain, they can’t be hungover with joy from finally beating Italy. Instead, they must play with the same hunger they showed against the mighty Italians and rely on their stunning ability to attack the opponent. In other words, Spain must take the game to the Russians and make them defend. If they play with an overconfident chip against the Russians, their 4-1 opening win will feel as hollow as a paper towel tube.
Kick-off is at 2:45/1:45 Central.
While I’ve been a little lacking in our Euro 2008 coverage, I have been keeping an eye on it. Now we are down the final four remaining teams. Germany versus Turkey and Spain versus Russia. Who advances? As of now, the probable favorites are Spain and Germany, however, just ask the Dutch and the Croatia about being picked to beat either Turkey or Russia. It doesn’t always turn out the way you want.
So how did we get here? For Germany, they pushed past the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portuguese squad, 3-2 and are looking really strong. They also want to silence the voices still chirping over their 2006 World Cup appearance. If Germany want to advance the Euro 2008 Finals, they’ll need knock-off media darling Turkey. Will Michael Ballack continue to control the midfield for the Germans, feeding their deadly attack or can Turkey withstand the German firepower?
The Turkish are the surprising team of these Euros and it would not be wise for the Germans to overlook them.
Just ask the Czechs.
In the other match, we have Spain and Russia. Spain is obviously feeling the weight of an 88-year old monkey being lifted from their backs after they dispatched Italy yesterday, winning a penalty shoot-out to do so. Will Spain come back to Earth in time to face a skilled Russian squad? If not, they will face the same fate as the Dutch did — unceremoniously shown the door by an upstart team with a boatload of ability.
Of course, Spain also has mountains of ability and an impressive offensive attack. If Russia is simply happy to be in the Final Four, they Euro trip will probably end at the hands of the Spanish Armada.
Germany/Turkey is on Wednesday and Spain/Russia will be played on Thursday. The Euro 2008 Final will be, of course, after these two games and will take place this coming Sunday. It should be a blast.
Images courtesy of Euro 2008 Girls.