Monday, June 9, 2008
Euro Day 3 Wrapup
The 3rd day of the Euro tournament saw group C, or the "group of death" come into action.
I watched both games and I have to say I'm disgusted with the play of France and Italy.
France and Romania Bore Me To Death 0-0
Usually when the people I know watch a soccer game that ends 0-0 they say what a boring game it was. I am always there to defend a good hard game between two evenly matched teams.
I cannot defend the game that I watched between France and Romania.
France, playing without both Thierry Henry and captain Patrick Vieira could not create any chances against the Romanian defense. Henry's replacement Nicolas Anelka was not good at all, and headed France's best chance to score over the bar from 6 yards away.
Bundasliga player of the Year Franck Ribery was completely shut down the entire first half and played only a little better in the second half.
Replacements Gomis and Nasri for France also contributed little to the French attack during their time in the game.
Adrian Mutu played well in my opinion for Romania and Rat did a great job shutting down Ribery.
France better hope that Henry can play in the next game or else I cannot see France scoring, or advancing out of the group stage.
Man of the Match- Thierry Henry for resting
Italy Gets Crushed 3-0
As an Italian I still cannot comprehend what I saw on the field today.
In a fast paced game, Italy was defeated by the Netherlands for the first time since 1978, 3-0.
Italy had the game's momentum early on until Ruud van Nistelrooy was credited with a goal in the 26th minute despite being about 200 feet offsides. I mean it was closer to 3 yards but if you a referee in the Euro 08 competition, blowing a call like that is inexcusable.
After that play the Netherlands were in cruise control, scoring against the shell shocked Italian defense only 5 minutes later on what was in my opinion the best goal of the tournament so far by Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder took a perfect header from Dirk Kuyt and squeezed the ball in between Buffon and the post.
Italy looked better in the second half after Italy brought on Del Piero who missed a few close shots.
Finally in the 80th minute the Netherlands scored again on an Van Bronckhorst header that should have been saved.
Robin van Persie also made an appearance for the Netherlands, despite the team saying earlier in the week that he would be unavailable to play.
Van der Sar was also incredible for the Dutch, saving a perfect free kick from Pirlo.
I think for Italy in the next games there needs to be a change in the starting lineup. Del Piero did not start even though he is the most creative striker on the team, and De Rossi did not start despite being one of the leading candidates for Serie A player of the year.
I think Di Natale, Camoranesi, and Ambrosini should be replaced for these two players and Grosso.
Cannavaro's defense was missed a great deal this game.
Hopefully Italy can learn from this embarrassment and win the rest of the group games.
(sorry for the biased reporting on the Italy game but I can't help it).
Man of the Match- Van der Sar (Netherlands)