Friday, June 13, 2008
Group of Death, Round 2
Today saw "the group of death" of the tournament play in their 2nd round of games.
Italy only draw 1-1 vs. Romania
After Italy's first game vs. the Netherlands, Italian goalie Gianluigi Buffon claimed the game was the worst of his career.
His game today may have just saved Italy's chances of winning the tournament.
Buffon saved Ardian Mutu's 81st minute penalty shot to ensure Italy's 1st point in Group C.
As I said on my blog, I felt that changes needed to be made in order for Italy to be competitive. Coach Roberto Donadoni put 5 new starters in this game, Fabio Grosso, Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi, and Del Piero.
Before halftime Italy got screwed once again and had a goal wrongly taken back, after Luca Toni's header was deemed to be offsides.
Mutu scored for Romania in the 55th minute after Italian defender Zambrotta tried to head the ball back to Buffon. The ball was intercepted by Mutu and he put it away to give Romania the 1-0 lead.
Italy answered right back only a minute later, as Christian Panucci scored off a corner kick.
This draw means that Italy must win against France in their next game in order to have a chance of advancing.
All that being said, I think that UEFA needs to have a match fixing investigation.
The fact that Italy haven't won 2 straight games because of referees blowing offsides calls, van Nistelrooy's in the 1st game, and Toni's in the 2nd game, is absolutely ridicules.
Someone has gotta be making money off these ref's calls.
(I'm just joking about the investigation but seriously, what's up with the ref's?)
Man of the Match- Buffon
The Netherlands destroy France 4-1
For anyone that thought the Netherlands performance against Italy was a fluke, the beating they put on France today should silence the doubters.
The Netherlands were relentless in their attacking once again, and got goals from Dirk Kyut, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, and Wesley Sneijder.
The French goal was scored by Thierry Henry as he made his way back into the starting lineup.
France played better then they did in the 1st game, but this game really makes me question whether the Netherlands are really this good, or are Italy and France really this bad?
The Dutch win means that they win Group C, and advance to the quarterfinals.
Man of the Match- The man of the match for me was Robin van Persie. After entering in the 55th minute he scored only 4 minutes later. He was a constant presence the entire time he was in the game and really showed that he was in form.