Thursday, June 12, 2008

Germany/Croatia running blog

Why not? I'm watching it anyway. The Germans have a nice show of unity during the anthem, they link arms over shoulders and sing away. Croatians gaze at flag and sing with hand over heart - or about half of them do.
Croatia: 1-Stipe Pletikosa; 5-Vedran Corluka, 4-Robert Kovac, 3-Josip Simunic, 22-Danijel Pranjic; 11-Darijo Srna, 10-Niko Kovac, 14-Luka Modric, 19-Niko Kranjcar; 7-Ivan Rakitic, 18-Ivica Olic
Germany: 1-Jens Lehmann; 16-Philipp Lahm, 17-Per Mertesacker, 21-Christoph Metzelder, 2-Marcell Jansen; 4-Clemens Fritz, 8-Torsten Frings, 13-Michael Ballack, 20-Lukas Podolski; 11-Miroslav Klose, 9-Mario Gomez
The crowd is loud for this one. I wonder if Ante Jazic and Ante Razov are watching. Probably, the locker rooms in the HDC have lounges with big TVs.
Which reminds me - are there any Germans in MLS? I can't think of one off-hand. Could Lothar have ruined it for everyone else?
4 - Klose carries ball down the wing, passes into the box, but Fritz' flick pass gets cut off my a Croatian defender.
6 - Olic was down for a bit, but he's up now.
8 - Germany is controlling most of the play. Captain Ballack is running the show, getting the ball a lot.
10 - German CK, cleared.
12 - Another sportswriter and I were talking about players who run in unique fashion, making them recognizable even in a wide pan shot. Cuauhtemoc Blanco is definitely one. Klose is another.
13 - Lahm and Klose work the give'n'go, but Klose gets a weird touch on the return and loses the ball.
15 - Lehmann picks up a long ball on the edge of his box, snuffing a chance for Croatia there.
16 - Croatia FK to Croatia CK. Nice corner, but it gets headed parallel to goal instead of inside.
18 - Smythe speculates that Jogi Low has made Germany's style more conservative since Klinsy left.
20 - Too bad Mario Gomez couldn't be the DP for the Colorado Rapids - that would be amusing.
22 - I was looking forward to this game, but it's been deathly methodical so far. Gomez is offside again. Frings' cross into the box then gets cut off.
24 - GOAL! Croatia wake up, work the ball well into the German end, nice one touch passes, until the dipping cross comes in from the left, and Srna manages to reach it ahead of Jensen, poking it into goal. 1-0 Croatia.
27 - Srna fouls Podolski just beside the Croat box. Gets a yellow. German corner taken short, cross hits wall and Croatia escapes danger.
29 - Germany seem stunned at the turn of events. Croatia aren't having a letdown, they look more lively than at the start.
30 - Croatia in the box! Over the bar.
33 - Germany FK - Ballack fires it at Pletikosa, who stands his ground and parries it. Corner for Germany results in a deflected shot.
35 - Gray and Smythe discuss the MLS match up tonight - Houston versus Revs. I want Gray to pick a winner, but he just mentions that it's a rematch of the championship.
37 - Jansen's long cross to Klose is too high - he's not that tall.
38 - Rain has subdued the crowd somewhat.
39 - German CK. Ballack is arguing with ref. Kick is to be retaken. Second kick is again held up as ref is nitpicking about players pushing each other. Frings finally takes the kick and Metzelder puts it over the bar.
42 - SAVE! Lehmann on
Kranjcar - who finishes off a sparking Croatian counter by catching the ball on his chest, turning and firing the ball out of the air, but Lehmann manages to stop it.
44 - Germany seem to score, but ref rules interference on the goalkeeper.
45 + Oooh, Klose was on the attack, but then Simunic touches it out, then puts an extra kick on the ball - gets carded for timewasting. Refs are cracking down on that - that's apparently what got Mastroeni his second yellow against Argentina. Players always want to push the envelope for stuff like that, though.
Halftime. Croatia didn't look deadly until they were. Germany looks good through the midfield, but it's falling apart - or not quite coming off - in the final third.
49 - Ballack misses high. Germany seem to have lost composure.
52 - Lehmann bobbles an outside shot a bit.
55 - Once again, Germany have the lion's share of possession, but can't connect the final shot for the equalizer. Not yet, at least.
56 - Forgot to mention, Odonkor came on for Jansen. Shot of Low looking pissy.
59 - If Croatia hang on, this will be historic - the only other win over the Germans was the famous World Cup victory in 1998.
61 - Gomez beats his defender, gets into the box, Klose is open, but Gomez puts the short pass behind him. It's funny, Gomez looks pissed and Klose resigned. The pass needs to be in front
63 - GOAL! Olic! Off a counter, against the run of play, a Croatian cross/long shot gets away, bangs off the post as Lehmann misses it, and Olic is dead center to clean up the present. 2-0 Croatia. Wow.
66- Gomez is taken off, Bastian Schweinstiger comes in.
67 - Frings fouls
Kranjcar near the top of the arc. Dangerous - it's into the wall, though.
69 - Croatia still attacking hard on counters, making Germany look slow and tired. Corner for Croatia.
70 - Lehmann punches out for another CK. Cleared.
73 - Olic is subbed. Bastian shot. parried just slightly for a corner. Taken and kicked out by
Kranjcar for another corner. It's cleared.
74 - Germany works the ball around the box until Lahm attacks in and crosses, but Ballack doesn't really get a header off, ball drops, then Ballack commits a foul trying to recover it.
76 -
Kranjcar outside shot caught by Lehmann.
78 - Another German corner comes to nothing.
79 - GOAL! Podolski! Lahm serves it in, Kovac's header is a bad clear and it falls for Lukas, who bangs the volley home. 2-1 Croatia still leads.
82 - Kuranyi comes on for Fritz.
84 - Schweinstiger from outside, deflected by defender. Germany is circling the Croatian goal, but time is running out.
86 -
Kranjcar is our, Knezevic in. Defensive move for the Croats.
89 - Croatian defense staying calm and organized, denying Germany.
90 - FK Croatia - cleared.
90 + Attack by Croatia comes close, Lahm puts the ball out for a Croatia corner - Germany wins the outlet. Schweinsteiger gets tackled from behind and retaliates with a hard push - RED CARD.
Final whistle - Croatia complete the ten-year cycle of German defeat. This really changes the European Championships. The favorites are in danger - or likely to meet Portugal next round.


Rudy said...

Josh Wicks? Sprechen Sie Deutsch hier?

A.C. said...

Wicks was born on an Army base to American parents - I've been informed that this doesn't grant him German citizenship.

Anonymous said...

Modric (sp.?) is a really good player (duh?). Young players could learn something from him the way he uses his first touch to find space.

Germany's coach made an error in not starting Schweinsteiger (sp.?), IMO.

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