Day 1 of Euro 08 didn't make me all that horny. The Switzerland/Czech Republic game destroyed my will to live, while Portugal's 2-0 win over Turkey was just an excercise in waiting for Portugal to flip the switch. Nothing too compelling. Would Day 2 bring more thrills?
CROATIA 1, AUSTRIA 0
The Croatians entered this match as the team perhaps most responsible for keeping the English out of the tournament, having beaten them twice in qualifying and finishing ahead of them in their group.
Austria is one of the host nations, which usually portends big things, but ESPN's Soccernet describes them as "unfancied" entering the tournament, giving more evidence why I love soccer, because you'll never hear, say, the Houston Texans be described as "unfancied". Another preview I read about them described them as being, "Comfortably the worst side to be taking part in the European Championships, possibly ever." Alright then.
Given the description of the Austrian side, you would expect their defensemen to spend half the game sitting cross-legged on the grass, picking dandelions. I watched the game and that wasn't the case. Croatia scored early in the game on a penalty kick, but Austria pressured the Croats the remainder of the game, finishing the game with an 18-9 shot advantage, and forcing the Croatian goaltender to make 12 saves.
Croatia won 1-0, but for a team expected to contend for the title, it was disappointing.
Yakszemash, Gupee Dupa
GERMANY 2, POLAND 0
When you think of world soccer powers, Germany definitely comes to mind. They consistently do well at the World Cup, and are one of the favorites in this tournament. However, they entered this match having not won a match at the Euro tournament since 1996?!? I no believe.
In their Euro 08 opener, they faced a Poland side who they beat 1-0 at the 06 World Cup, thanks to a goal in stoppage time.
This time, there was no such drama, as the Germans shrugged off a shaky start to win 2-0 behind a pair of goals by Bayern Munich's Lukas Podolski. Podolski was actually born in Poland, but here he was scoring a pair of goals against the country of his birth. Judas. I hope he chokes on his sauerbraten.