Thursday, June 19, 2008

Portugal/Germany running blog

I'm switching back and forth from ESPN Deportes and regular ESPN for this, the first major clash of the quarterfinals.
The nearly-consensus #1 player in the world and his posse versus the German machine of soccer efficiency.
Mario Kempes is calling out Ballack and Ronaldo, saying they have to step up for their teams.

Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Petit, Joao Moutinho, Ronaldo, Deco, Simao, Nuno Gomes. Subs: Nuno, Rui Patricio, Bruno Alves, Fernando Meira, Raul Meireles, Hugo Almeida, Miguel, Jorge Ribeiro, Quaresma, Veloso, Nani, Postiga.

Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Metzelder, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Rolfes, Ballack, Hitzlsperger, Klose, Podolski. Subs: Enke, Adler, Jansen, Fritz, Westermann, Frings, Gomez, Neuville, Trochowski, Borowski, Odonkor, Kuranyi.

Predictions - get them in quick! I say, 2-1 Portugal - Goals by Ronny, Simao and Podolski.

Anthems - the Germans all sing along, arms linked. The camaraderie from the Klinsy era looks to have carried over, even though coach Jogi Low is stuck in the stands for this match.
Portugal is also singing their anthem, which seems to have a chorus of "Huzzah" somewhere towards the end. Their uniforms are bright red - I miss the former wine color a bit.
No hardman Torsti for this game, he's suspended. Lehman is literally pulling up the field - it must have been laid yesterday. He pats pieces back down.
1- Lahm on the attack, fouls. Portugal ball.
3 - Ricardo out of the box - takes ball on his thigh and runs forward before booting it clear. Weird. Podolski fouls Simao.
4 - Ronny on the counter - on the edge of the box - takes shot. Lehman has it.
6 - Lahm's pass into the box cut off, but Germany quickly regain possession. They've looked more in control so far, but that didn't last versus Croatia.
8 - Germany FK comes to nothing.
10 Hitzberger - outside shot, hits the outside of the side netting.
11 - Portugal in the area - get snuffed by German defense. Mario calls out Ronaldo for not showing any "magic" yet.
12 - Metzelder and Petit in the Portugal area go down grimacing - it's a wash as to who gets the call. Portugal.
14 - Klose overlaps forward, but he's not much fro dribbling past people and loses the ball on the edge of the box.
17 - Germany still with most of the ball - Portugal settling into a rhythm on their counter attempts.
18 - Germany counter. Ballack puts the service wide and high.
20 - Ronny earns a Portugal corner, which Simao puts over everyone in the box, but Portugal get the bal back and Bosingwa puts a great ball in for Moutinho, who blows it by not getting down to head the ball properly. The cross bounces off his thigh and pops up over the crossbar.
22 - GOAL! The Germans strike first. Podolski makes a run, pushes off to get the space for the cross and
Schweinsteiger puts it away. 1-0 and it's looking like WC 2006 all over again.
25 - Boom, boom, opportunity lost for Portugal, opportunity cashed in by Germany. That's the way it goes. Moutinho was down for a bit with an injury - or perhaps heartbreak over his miss.
26 - GOAL!
Schweinsteiger puts the ball in well from a FK, Klose loses his mark (Ronaldo, apparently) and nails the ball in over Ricardo. 2-0 Germany.
29 - Deco on the attack, to a chorus of boos. Apparently the Swiss and Austrian hosts have adopted the Germans - or the Germans bought out most of the stadium.
31 - Portuguese attack keeps getting held up at the edge of the box. Simao puts in a free kick. Germany clear.
32 - Ronaldo and Simao in the box, pass in, gets cut off for corner. Could have done better there. Corner gets cleared.
36 - Now Portugal claim most of the ball, while the Germans are content to counter, saving energy to defend stoutly.
38 - Corner to the Portuguese - caught by Lehman.
39 - Ballack is down, took a bit of an elbow to the clavicle, but Gray is grousing about the dramatics, not seeing it as a valid injury of any kind.
40 - GOAL! Ronaldo gets free from his defender and receives the ball in the box. He shoots quickly, and Lehman dives to stop the low, hard attempt, but can't hang on to the rebound. It's behind Gomes, but he turns for it quickly and shoots it into the net before Lehman can get up or other defenders close him down. 2-1 Germany. My scoreline, but in the wrong direction.
45 - Lahm dishes to Ballack, who brings ball to edge of box and shoots near post, forcing a save from Ricardo.
45 + Ronaldo - going the other way, goes barely wide with a far post shot. Is Jogi Low picking his nose? It's hard to tell with the fuzzy shot of him behind the class. Maybe he was just scratching his nose or rubbing his upper lip.
Halftime - Germany deserve the lead, they attacked a bit more and put away their chances, but Portugal sparked to life late, so the second half should be a dynamic one.
46 - Ronaldo gets past Friedrich, who gets called for a foul - yellow.
49 - Lahm gets a yellow for grabbing at Simao after Simao also picks the ball off him.
52 - Portugal look far more lively so far than the Germans, who seem a bit surly that their lead has been halved.
54 - Ronaldo bangs heads with Mertesacker in the box. He's rubbing it with scowl, like a little kid who got bumped.
56 - Ronaldo sends the ball into the box, but Lehmann is out for it and catches.
57 - Corner for Portugal - Deco flicks it on, Pepe's in front of goal - pops it over. Yikes. That wasn't perfectly easy, but it was a pretty simple finish.
59 - Another corner for Portugal - but it pops out quickly. Pepe takes down Klose and gets a yellow. Gray doesn't see consistent calls from the ref.
Schweinsteiger changes his shoes while Klose takes a break.
62 - GOAL!
Schweinsteiger sends the ball in - Ballack pushes off slightly in the box and beats Ricardo to the ball - into the net. 3-1 Germany.
64 - So much for the momentum of Portugal. Once again, the German took place right after Portugal missed a golden chance the other end. It apparently makes them lose focus, while the Germans gain concentration and urgency to make a play. Gray is going on about the poor free kick defense of Portugal. It is pretty tragic.
67 - Scolari takes Gomes off, Nani comes in. Ronaldo takes the armband.
68 - Portugal free kick - Ronny sends it over the wall and over the bar by a good margin.
69 - Nani in the box, got there by hard work, but loses the ball once he gets there.
70 - Lahm wide from edge of box. Germany moving the ball with confidence, now that their two-goal lead is restored.
71 - Deco takes an outside shot on the other end. Lehman has it.
73 - Borowski comes in for Hitzberger. Portugal set up for a corner. Postiga comes in for Petit. Corner over everyone, and negated by a foul anyway. Goal kick.
75 - Nani high and wide from outside. Portugal are not making good choices here.
77 - Almost everyone is back for Germany, pushing back against the pressure from Portugal.
78 - Deco hits a weak shot, Lehmann has it.
79 - Germany have a corner. It's cleared, but trickles out to Podolski, who takes a Blanco-like run toward it, connects with force and rockets just wide. Sheesh.
81 - Portugal's passes have lost their crispness. Another corner for Germany. It's cleared out for a Portuguese counter and they have numbers on the break, but then Simao pops off from outside another cruddy miss.
83 - Corner for Portugal.
Schweinsteiger is out for Fritz. Schweinsteiger gets a big cheer.
84 - Grey laments the missed chances of the Portuguese and their sad defending of set plays.
85 - Dang! Little Deco hip-checks Fritz over the sideline, killing a German attack and starting another attack for Portugal.
86 - Postiga tries to reach a ball - runs into Lehmann. He's down. Where's Gray's complaints about injury exaggeration now? Oh, here he goes, says he doesn't blame Lehmann for taking his time - anyone would do that.
87 - GOAL! The Portuguese refuse to die! Simao can't shoot, but dang, his cross to Postiga is perfect and Postiga can smack a header, which he does. 3-2. Germany still lead, but Portugal are within shouting distance.
89 - Klose is out for Jansen as Germany go uber-defensive trying to hold on.
90 - Postiga sees yellow for a late tackle. Germany in the box, but ball is wide for goal kick. Portugal get it back, are circling the German goal, where defenders are making a wall around the box. Nani goes high and wide. Gripping stuff - Portugal with the ball, Germany with the numbers back. Nani serves ball in, but Postiga pushes off. Goal kick. Portugal is almost out of time - one last attack, but they're having trouble getting the ball forward. Ronaldo chases a pass down, but his cross is cleared far back, again a cross, cleared to Podolski - who pushes forward. He doesn't go to corner, he takes the ball to goal and shoots. Ricardo catches, and kicks it out, but as the ball falls, the final whistle blows. 3-2. Germany advances. Scolari is off to coach Chelsea. Low will be back on the bench for the semi.


Steve said...

1-1, it'll go to PKs

Anonymous said...

Portugal needs to make a switch, IMO. One of the two defensive midfielders should be pulled for Quaresma or Nani and Ronaldo should be moved up front.

Anonymous said...

That was a foul on Ballack. Anytime you have your arms extended against someone's back on a free kick like that, it's a foul.

How does the ref miss that?

Then Scolari takes off a forward needing two goals for a wide midfielder??? If he's so worried about midfield why not sacrifice a defender?

A.C. said...

I'd say it was a foul by Ballack, but we basically agree. The ref and linesmen missed it.

CACuzcatlan said...

Only 1 team left that I have any connection to. Though my connection to Portugal was a bit of a stretch. Portugal and Spain were briefly the same country at one time.

Matt said...

"He comes from Portugal, he hates the Arsenal..."

Postiga scored against England in this round four years ago. On a fairly similar play, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

Portugal and Spain hate each other in most things. England and the US were a country once, so were France and England. You lose fool.

CACuzcatlan said...

Great, someone who wont even use a fake name online tries to call me out. I lose? Did you even read my post? I said it was my only connection to Europe. I didn't say anything about the two countries liking each other.

papa bear said...

I am ELATED! Germany rolls on!

Oh and sorry to be the nit picker, but it's been annoying the hell out of me during the Euros: Joachim Löw's name spelled in English ISN'T "Low" it's "LoEw" 2 totally different words.

the umlaut serves a similar function to an appostraphe and any letter with them merely means there is an 'E' after it.
ö = oe
ä = ae
ü = ue
Bonus German lesson. The 'sharp S' is just a shortened version of 2 'S's
ß = ss

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