Friday, June 27, 2008

Euro 08- Semifinals

Throughout this entire tournament, Turkey has played the role of plucky underdog. So plucky in fact, that they managed to reach the semifinals with a series of stirring comebacks in the waning minutes of matches in which they were left for dead. It's been as if Ryan Dempster visited their locker room before the tournament and sprinkled them all with magical Cubby Dust.

Cubby Dust will only take you so far though, and in the end pluckyness and whimsy is always crushed by efficient, soulless, machinery, which of course, is what Germany does best.

Everyone expected Germany to blow out Turkey, which had a lot of guys hurt and a lot of guys suspended for getting 2 yellow cards in the previous match. Those expectations of a blowout went out the window when Ugur Boral scored in the 22nd minute to put the Turks up 1-0, a lead they held for five whole minutes before Germany equalised.

Turkey controlled the play for much of the rest of the match, but that and 10 lira will get you a klau kalash and crab juice on the streets of Istanbul. Germany took the lead late in the second half, only to see the hero of the quarterfinals, Semih Senturk, tie it up in the 86th minute.

Another miraculous comeback for Turkey, yes?? No. Phillip Lahm scored in the last minute of regulation to give the Germans a 3-2 lead, and Turkey had no more miracles left in them. Germany advances to the finals.


En route to the semis, Spain beat the defending Euro champion (Greece), the defending World Cup champion (Italy), and yes, Russia in a 4-1 romp.

Not a whole lot has changed in two weeks as far as how Mother Russia compares to Spain at playing soccer. Spain blew out Russia then, and they blew them out this time too.

Spain will go to the finals to face Germany, but they'll have to win without David Villa, who has been their best player in this tournament. Villa went down with an injury in the first half, and was replaced ably by Arsenal stud Cesc Fabregas, who had a huge hand in this victory, setting up a 2 of Spain's scores.
So there you go, after all this, we have our finals matchup:

You want my prediction? Germany has kind of doddered thru this whole tournament, while Spain has been winning big and winning with style (except for that ugly shootout win over Italy). I'm all about the Spain here, Germany touches the monkey, and the rain of Spain will fall mainly on their ass. Spain 3-1.

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