RIP George Carlin. You were a funny old bastard.
We already know that Germany advanced to the Euro 08 semifinals by virtue of beating Portugal, but this past weekend determined who, if anyone, would advance to stand up to the Germans, instead of pursuing a Lloyd George-esque policy of appeasement.
TURKEY 1, CROATIA 1 (Turkey wins 3-1 on PK's)
This game went on and on and on and on for hours with absolutely no offense. It was like watching a baseball game where the White Sox were playing against the White Sox.
Then, after the most boring 120 minutes I've ever seen that Matt Pinfield wasn't hosting, all hell broke loose. In the 124th minute, Croatia's Ivan Klasnic headed one in to break the deadlock, prompting the guy doing the game commentary on ESPN's gamecast to prophecy:
"GOAL! Croatia have won it! Klasnic!!"
Ooops. Two minutes later, Semih Senturk received a long pass, and in NFL parlance, took it to the hizzle, giving the Turks the equaliser on what amounts to a last second Hail Mary.
The match then went to PK's, and Turkey won. Great way to settle a match, those penalty kicks. It would be kind of like if after nine innings of a tie baseball game, they set up a tee at second base and settled things with a home run hitting contest. Nonetheless, Turkey heads to the semis. Gobble gobble, bitches!!
RUSSIA 3, NETHERLANDS 1
Of all the teams that advanced to the quarters, nobody did it with as much panache as the Netherlands. The Dutch made whatever it is the Dutch like to eat out of the "Group of Death", winning and scoring, and looking like the team to beat for the rest of the tournament.
Well, the team to beat has been beat.
Russia, which is actually coached by a Dutchman, shook off an 86th minute equaliser by Ruud Van Nistlerooy to score twice in extra time. Andrei Arshavin set up the go ahead score with a nice cross, and put down the nail in the coffin himself minutes later, and the biggest stunner of the tournament was complete.
Russian coach Guus Hiddink can now look forward to being beaten to death with wooden shoes and have his bedraggled corpse tied to a windmill when he returns home to Holland after this tournament. Andrei Arshavin, meanwhile, is going to get a 20 million pound offer to play for Chelsea.
SPAIN 0, ITALY 0 (Spain Wins 4-2 on PK's)
Italy seemingly played this game to keep it 0-0 and send it to PK's. That strategy worked out great. Italy limped thru this whole tournament and now they're gone. End communication.
YOUR Euro 08 Semifinal Matchups
GERMANY V. TURKEY
Everyone on Turkey's squad is either injured or suspended or preparing for jihad. Germany should roll.
RUSSIA V. SPAIN
Spain already beat Russia 4-1 in Group play. Unless the Russians have been engaged in a hardcore training montage complete with St. Elmo's Fire playing in the background, I don't think they have much of a chance.