Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Euro2008 Day 5 Open Thread

Portugal-Czech Republic
9 a.m PST ESPN2

You know, if Portugal cut out their disgraceful dive-o-rama from World Cup 2006, and C Ronaldo pulls a hammy just enough to rule him out for the next three weeks, I could get behind Portugal; they certainly play good stuff, and as a neutral you always have to like the teams that don't pack it in after going up 1-0 but rather look to score a 2nd.

Portugal 3-1 Czech Republic

I hate the fucker, but CWCID: CRoanldo's goal was a fantastic run and strike- and a GREAT pass from Dean Cain Deco, and he didn't roll around and whine too much {for him anyways} today. Once again Portugal got a tap in goal in the final minute to make their result look more comfortable than it was. The Czechs played well and created chances, and I think it will come down to them and Turkey on Sunday for the 2nd spot from this group. Portugal again was a little wobbly at the back a few times, will this be their downfall in the knockout stage? Also, VERY cool to see Eusebio in the stands celebrating the Portuguese win.

11.45 a.m. PST, ESPN2

Everyone's talking about the bad blood from the brawl 2 years ago during the playoff for a spot in the 2006 World Cup, but I think that won't be any sort of factor today. Note that Turkey & Swiss make up 1/2 of the hungry man's World dream group: Turkey, Swiss, Chile, and Hungary.

Switzerland 1-2 Turkey
The rain got so bad in the first half, and the field so waterlogged, that it turned into full-on Keystone Cops. World class players literally unable to dribble 5 or 10 yards with the ball. Fortunately it stopped at halftime; if it hadn't it seemed like postponement/abandonment was more probable than not.

Down 0-1 at halftime, that muck didn't suit the Turks, who are more technically proficient than the Swiss. The second half was great to watch, the Turks creating lots of chances and the Swiss getting some of their own on counterattacks. Turkey equalized at about the hour mark, and the last 30 minutes was end to end stuff, then 2 minutes into stoppage time Turkey got a nice winner, thus eliminating Switzerland- making their final game against Portugal an exhibition match- and keeping themselves very much alive and making their final match against the Czechs basically a playoff match for the 2nd spot in the knockout phase.

My question is: if Turkey & Czech draw, and Portugal get at least a draw with Switzerland to win the group, then how will the tie between them be broken? I know that UEFA uses head to head as the first tiebreaker {unlike FIFA, who use goal difference}, but if they draw then obviously that is moot. They have the same exact record {1-1-1 if they draw}, same goals scored{2}, goals against{3}, and goal difference right now{-1}, so how would the tie be broken? Turkey beat Switz 2-1 and lost to Portugal 0-2; Czech Republic beat Switz 1-0 and lost to Portugal 1-3. Are we looking at a possible drawing of lots or coin toss here? {where the hell is Moin when you need him?}

***Update*** According to Fox Sport World Report this evening, if the above scenario happens, this year UEFA has instituted a new rule and the two teams will go directly to a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes are up. Apparently in the past if the 2 teams were tied on record, head-to-head, goal difference, goals scored, and goals allowed, then it would come down to some wacky UEFA coefficient ranking or the drawing of lots. Portugal are also through as group winners, as they now hold the head to head tiebreaker over Turkey & Czech Republic, so if Turkey & the Czechs draw, it will go straight to a penalty shootout. It will be interesting to watch the 2nd half of the match and see if one of the teams plays for penalties based on the situation.

Also- Stunning that I hadn't noticed before today, but Switzerland manager Jakob "Köbi" Kuhn is most definitely Jack Lemmon.

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