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Share Euros 18: The Final Countdown
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-9 19:50
My last few words at the end of Euros:17 postwere "France can do it" - that referred to reaching the final and they did beating Germany 2-0. I will have a last few words at the end of the post too! First we need to look at France's opponents - Portugal. They are in their second Euro Championships Final this century - they lost as hosts in 2004. So they know what it feels like. Ronaldo was only 19 and entering his second year at Manchester United. He cried on the pitch but it was ...
Personal category: Sport|3413 views|8 comments Popularity 4
Share Euros 17: Ronaldo the Leap
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-7 13:23
In the 1960s and 1970s a famous striker was nicknamed "Wyn the Leap" as he could jump high to win headers - this was Wyn Davies who played for Newcastle United, Manchester City and Manchester United and my club Blackpool (for two years). He was Welsh and capped many times for Wales. In France it was a pity that Wales did not have such a player to counter Ronaldo the Leap last night there. Wales lost 2-0 to end a gallant run to the Semi-Finals - great memories. They looked to have a chance o ...
Personal category: Sport|5335 views|1 comments Popularity 1
Share Euros v 16: 5-2 but not penalties
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-4 09:55
Anyone waking up and hearing that France beat Iceland 5-2 could be forgiven for saying : "What, it went to a penalty shootout?" In fact France won in 90 minutes - effectively in 45 minutes by which time France were 4-0 up. Still it was nice to have three more goals in the second half and we could say "Iceland won the second half"! We have not been treated to a seven goal game in this tournament and it was overdue, especially a top team versus a minnow. The national rankings do not lie and Ice ...
Personal category: Sport|3214 views|0 comments
Share Euros 16: The final came early?
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-3 07:13
This titanic match between the heavyweights Germany and Italy was fit for a final and full of tension and excitement. The teams could not be split on goal attempts (12 each) nor on shots on target. 0-0 at the end of a cagey first half, both teams showed more attacking intent in the second, and Germany (who had the lion's share of possession) finally took the lead through Ozil. Yet Italy would not lie down and equalized when Germany's Boateng unnecessarily handled while jumping and Bonucci slott ...
Personal category: Sport|2533 views|0 comments
Share Euros 15: Wales!
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-2 08:10
Make no mistake, the entire United Kingdom was behind Wales, roaring them on as they powered past the much fancied Belgium team to reach the Semi-Finals of the European Championships for the first time. Just like we cheer on Scotland's Andy Murray at a Wimbledon tennis packed with English folks, it is at times like this when the country unites! Forget the miserable failure that is the England team, we have new heroes now. Of course we were very familiar with many of the players out o ...
Personal category: Sport|2221 views|2 comments Popularity 1
Share Euros 14: Poland Pay The Penalty
ColinSpeakman 2016-7-1 13:45
I forecast that Portugal would scrape through with Rolando a key factor - well he led the team in the penalty shootouts scoring first and finally Portugal won 5-3 on penalties - This produced a remarkable first - The first time a team has reached the semi-final of these championships without beating anyone in the regular 90 minutes. Ronaldo's team drew all three group games and scraped in as a highest third place team on those three points. They then had to play 30 minutes added time to beat Cr ...
Personal category: Sport|4008 views|1 comments Popularity 1
Share Euros 13: The Quarter-Finals
ColinSpeakman 2016-6-29 22:25
We got a breather for a couple of days but now we gear up for the Quarter-Finals that still involve three of my suggested top four teams in the tournament: France, Germany and Italy. Spain, the fourth, are out but only because they had to play Italy. Now Italy have to play Germany, so another top team will go out. I think it will be a close game, and Italy could just shade it with Pelle in goalscoring form. France, the hosts, will play Iceland and t ...
Personal category: Sport|2520 views|1 comments Popularity 1
Share Euros 12: Out go England and Spain
ColinSpeakman 2016-6-28 11:44
The holders of the trophy for the last two tournaments, Spain, are out. Italy deservedly beat them, though it was touch and go. The Italians led 1-0 after a third of the game and should have gone further ahead. They were denied several times by brilliant goalkeeping by Davidde Gea - yet it took an equally good save by Buffon in the Italian goal to deny Spain an undeserved equalizer at the end - in stoppage time Italy then went up the other end to score and to make the game safe 2-0. They ...
Personal category: Sport|1895 views|0 comments
Share Euros 11: Vive La France!
ColinSpeakman 2016-6-27 11:28
France lived to fight on in a great battle with the Republic of Ireland last night. After a shock second minute penalty gave Ireland the lead, it was not until the 58th minute that France equalized. A second Griezmann goal, three minutes later gave France a 2-1 lead which they held on to - helped by the reduction of the Irish team to ten men for the later stages. A gallant effort by the Republic of Ireland - will they be able to say that they lost to the eventual winners? Germany and Belgium wi ...
Personal category: Sport|2080 views|1 comments Popularity 1
Share Euros 10 : We started with tight games
ColinSpeakman 2016-6-26 12:40
We saw the first three of the knockout games overnight here in China. As is often the case they were all tightly contested games and thus not all that entertaining. It is the result that matters! I was happy with the attacking intent of both Switzerland and Poland - it ebbed and flowed. Poland started brighter and got a first half lead. Switzerland scored the goal of the tournament so far, when well into the second half to equalize. Since it went to penalties, we were treated to 9 more goals - N ...
Personal category: Sport|2117 views|0 comments
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