Sunday, June 29, 2008

Germany/Spain running blog

The final! Will Spain throw off the mantle of underachiever? Will Germany triumph, sending the momentum of its fans gained during the World Cup into a frenzy?
Funny how Foudy talks about how goalkeepers need games to be sharp in reference to Jens Lehmann. Foudy didn't say anything like that when saying she wouldn't want to play in front of Hope Solo after Solo protested getting replaced at the Women's World Cup by Scurry, who had hardly played.
There's a bunch of pregame stuff - including a song by Enrique Iglesias, the anthem of the Cup. Can you hear me? Doesn't seem too connected to soccer.
Here come the teams. Ballack is a starter. So is Cesc.
Spain: Casillas, Marchena, Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Silva and Torres.
Germany : Lehmann, Friedrich, Lahm, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Frings, Hitzelsperger, Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Klose and Podolski.
Spain stand stoically as their non-lyric anthem, the Royal March plays. Germany belts their song out, as do plenty of German fans in the stands.
Iker and Ballack shake hands.
2 - Gray says that it's in the German nature to get the job done.
4 - So far, though, it's been almost all Spain possessing early, though they're not really penetrating. And Germany nearly steal one - Klose nabs a bad backpass, but his touch isn't great and he loses the ball.
7 - Gray cracks on Capdevila being far offside, calls it "ridiculous".
8 - Ballack shows he has some moves, beats Puyol, but his cross doesn't find a match.
9 -
Hitzelsperger with a shot, but it doesn't really test Casillas.
12 - Torres is all alone up high. The announcers seem to think Spain going back to their old formation is a good idea. I'm not sure.
13 - Germany corner, Casillas punches it way out. It's served back in but Casillas has it.
15 - Almost an own goal - Iniesta in the box pokes in a cross that deflects off Mertesacker and Lehman has to save the goal-bound ball.
Germany clear the ensuing corner.
17 - FK for Spain, a ways out. Lehmann comes up with it.
18 - Torres in the box, gets dispossessed, goes down, no call.
19 - Gray wants Gullit to explain the Galaxy's loss. Did he see the game?
20 - Torres with some tricky play earns a FK deep on the right. When it's taken, Torres does get a head on it, but can't direct it well and it pops over the goal.
22 - Off the post! Torres nearly had the opening goal on a header where he out-jumped his defender. So close.
25 - Podolski gets a corner kick for Germany. the service is cleared, but it goes right back into the box, where Ballack takes a sideswipe at it, hitting Ramos in the side with the ball. Spain are able to clear, but that was also close for Germany.
28 - The game is back and forth with both teams taking advantage of the extra room on counters.
30 - Torres versus Mertesacker in the box, Torres can't get his shot off, but Mertesacker gives up a corner.
32 - Cesc with a shot - but Lehmann gets down and claims the ball.
33 - GOAL! Torres finally breaks through. Xavi sends in a pass, and Lahmn can't shield effectively as Lehmann comes out for it. Torres just gets there and puts the ball over the diving Lehmann. 1-0 Spain.
Torres celebrates with a classic knee slide.
36 - Ballack is off the field with a cut on his head.
37 - While he's getting stitched, Germany earn a dangerous FK. Ballack's not there to take it, and Schwiengstieger hoofs it way out.
39 - Ballack is sent off again, because his stitches are bleeding. Germany need to use the electrical tape that Justin Braun had on after his injury last night.
40 - Again, Germany earn a dangerous FK while Ballack is off. Germany get to retake the kick. Ballack gets on before the rekick. The FK is cleared for a corner. Casillas punches it out. Germany reclaim and continue the attack - another corner.
42 - Xavi prevents a German shot, and Spain try to clear.
43 - Gray is angry at the ref for not calling advantage and for not carding Ballack for his persistent fouls. Iker comes out to argue with the ref about it. Although he's the captain, the ref cards him for dissent, though Ballack also gets a yellow.
45 - Spain on the counter - Iniesta has the ball in the box, but doesn't pass to Torres in time, though he gets the corner. It's taken short, and Spain work the ball around, but can't get a shot off against the German defense.
Germany definitely look second-best at this point, but have time to show better in the second half and are only a goal down.
50 - Klose down for a bit - ran into a kick. Lahm is out this half, and Gray thinks it's due to injury, though I think Loew might blame Lahmm for the goal against Germany.
53 - "Little Xavi" as Gray likes to call him - cracks a shot that gets deflected for a corner.
Corner leads to a shot by Silva that's deflected wide.
55 - Torres in another footrace into the box, but this time, Lehmann is off his line quicker to smother the shot.
57 - The game is much more open, but this time Spain is conceding possession and striking back via counter.
58 - Frings boots ball away after he fouls, but the ref lets it go.
Hitzelsperger is taken off for Karanyi.
60 - Ballack with a shot as the Spanish defense falters slightly - it's wide, but just barely.
61 - It's enough to revive the German fans, who are loud again.
62 - Ballack with a cross - Casillas outleaps Kuranyi to it. The Germans look dangerous again, attacking with more verve.
63 -
Schweinsteiger with a shot - or a cross? Whatever, he walloped the heck out of the ball, and it ricocheted of Klose and went just wide.
64 - Cesc is getting taken off for Xabi Alonso.
66 - Podolski and Silva face off and Silva does nod his head forward slightly, but the ref missed it - could have been a send-off, but Podolski wasn't hit hard. It was away from the ball.
The FK for Germany is sent poorly by
67 - Cazorla comes in for Silva. Spain have bent, but not broken under the recent German pressure.
68 - Spanish FK - Ramos gets free and sends a header straight to Lehmann. The corner results in a shot that Frings clears off the post. Another corner.
69 - Off the corner, Iniesta with a shot. Lehmann blocks, but can't hang on. It's out for a Spanish throw.
70 - Finally Germany are out of immediate danger - offside is called on Spain, though Gray believes it was passive.
71 - Casillas confronts a dangerous German FK with a solid punch that clears the ball far out.
72 - If I were a ref, I wouldn't give Kuranyi a call just for that pretentious facial hair.
74 - Spain looking for a safety cushion, Germany looking for the equalizer, Gray hoping that a bad call doesn't settle a close game.
75 - Torres fights for a header and gets booked with a yellow. Gray is horrified at the call and points out to Healey how poor it was.
76 - Torres on a break, puts ball past Mertesacker but within reach of Lehmann, who grabs it.
77 - On another counter, Spain manage to earn a corner.
78 - Torres is out for Guiza now. So far, Torres is the hero, but there is time left. Mario Gomez is coming in for the Germans, replacing Klose.
Long pass to Guiza brings Lehmann out of his box - replay shows he handled the ball just slightly after crossing the line, but it goes uncalled.
80 - Spanish counter brakes at the German box, weak shot by Capdevilla stopped by Lehmann.
82 - Senna with a chance to seal it, alone in front of the box, couldn't reach the knock-down header. So, so close.
83 - Metzelder pulls at the face of Guiza, leading to a Spain FK. It's taken square, and the shot rebounds off Metzelder and goes out.
84 - "It only takes a second to score," says Healey, presumably chiding slightly the Spanish fans that are already celebrating.
86 - Spain looks closer to scoring, but they haven't. Corner leads to FK for Spain.
88 - German fans join the noise of Spanish celebration - imploring their team to score.
CRAP! The signals skipped and went black twice just now. I thought they promised that wouldn't happen again.
Kuranyi late on a slide tackle to Senna. Gets yellow for it.
90 - Gray gives credit to Spain for continuing to attack. But Germany finally manage a counter and lob the ball into the box, where their tall forwards have a chance, but Gomez fouls.
90+ Three extra minutes - Germany with another chance, but the cross is overhit.
Screen cuts out again. Dang. Announcers don't mention it, so maybe it's me and my cable service. Picture is back now.
Desperate Germany continue to try to get forward, but Puyol heads the ball away from the larger German players.
Final whistle!
It's over! Spain wins! Spain wins! Torres' goal held up and the Red Fury finally came through. Germany fall just short. Nice. Spain really played the better soccer throughout the whole tourney and deserved to win.
"Que viva Espana," ventures Healey a little tentatively, but I give him props for the effort. Torres claims a Spanish flag from fans and wears it as a cape. The Spanish supporters are going crazy - they may not be able to sing an anthem before the game, but they're singing now.
Aragones is getting air-tossed by his team. Be careful with the old guy - dudes.
Tommy Smythe says "the demons are gone" for Spain. Foudy says Spain is "letting go of some of those jinxes".
"Si, si, si! La Copa esta aqui!" chant Spanish players holding the trophy. Yes, yes, yes, the Cup is here! "Spain reign." says Healey.
That doesn't leave much to say. "We are the Champions" blares over the stadium sound system as the coverage ends of Euro '08.


Anonymous said...

In the parlance of our friends across the pond, Julie Foudy as a studio host is absolute "rubbish."

At some point, they'll also realize that if Tommy Smyth didn't have an accent, nothin he says would be of consequence.

Murfmensch said...

I've heard before that the Spanish national anthem is now an "instrumental". The last set of lyrics are connected to Franco, if I understand it.

Keep in mind, a good percentage of players are on record as desiring to play for a Catalan national squad.

They played beautifully.

Hands of Foudy. She is better than the other folks behind the desk. I hope that E keeps Andy Gray.

Of course, we want them to pick up Canales. Do they not read? Have they no eyes?

Anonymous said...

Lahm blew it for Germany. He had every chance to beat Torres to the ball, but in the end Torres just wanted it more.

I'm happy Spain won though, because of the attractive soccer they play. They made Germany look slow and clumsy.

Spain also had grit. Puyol was a great leader in the back, and Senna was non-stop fight at midfield. Also, Sergio Ramos is one of my favorite players. He finds a way to put his mark on every game. I don't think I've ever seen a right back play box to box the way he does. Such a versatile player, can probably play just about ever position on the field.

soyjimador said...

its a beautiful day in the world when la madre patria wins the euros and england watches it on tv. (cant stand how the media glorifies everything english when it comes to football).


Anonymous said...

"72 - If I were a ref, I wouldn't give Kuranyi a call just for that pretentious facial hair."

Andrea, your matchtracking is great - keep it up, we're reading...


A.C. said...

Thanks, all, especially Laura - because sometimes it does feel like I'm typing into the void. Anyone out there? kinda thing.

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