Monday, 2 July 2012

Euro Soccer 2012 Hot Photos

Euro Soccer 2012 Hot Images

Euro Soccer 2012 Winner Spain

Spain became the first European team to ever win three back-to-back international tournaments as they defended the European Championship with a comfortable 4-0 win over Italy thanks to goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in Kiev.

Euro Soccer 2012 Final Match Video

The game was effectively over at half-time after Spain cut through their opponents with two incisive passes. First it was Andres Iniesta who found Cesc Fabregas to cross for Silva to head home; then it was Xavi whose fine through-ball reached left-back Jordi Alba to calmly slot home.
It was all too much for Mario Balotelli, who marched straight down the tunnel at the end and angrily shrugged away efforts from Italian officials to get him to stay, before returning for the presentation ceremony.

Yet the thing was, Italy were not disgraced and would have held out hopes of a comeback until Cesare Prandelli's final replacement Thiago Motta was stretchered off within four minutes of his arrival, leaving his team-mates to battle through the final half hour with 10 men.

Ultimately though, Spain's display was a fitting end to the best European Championships in almost three decades. Four players in particular, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta and Xavi deserve a special mention after starting all three finals, in Vienna, Johannesburg and now Kiev.

But, as 'Ole' rang around this magnificent stadium, it was a night to glory in tiki-taka - and the players who put it into practice. Throughout the tournament, the argument for Spain being a dour outfit had been building. It dominated the pre-match press conferences and was fuelled still further by Arsene Wenger, who accused the world champions of "betraying their philosophy'' by turning their tiki-taka style into a negative.

After 15 minutes of the most majestic football imaginable, the greatest noise was the sound of all those words being rammed jubilantly down throats. Coach Vicente del Bosque refused to bow to the demand for a regular centre-forward to be included in his starting line-up and was rewarded with a start the quality of which was on a par with anything this group of players has ever produced.
Ramos had a couple of early efforts, so too Xavi. Andres Iniesta also had a shot blocked before Spain cut their opponents' defence to shreds. The move was astounding in its simplicity. Alvaro Arbeloa started it, Xavi was also involved before Iniesta split the Italy defence with a pass Cesc Fabregas was able to cut-back from the by-line. And who should be there to head home? None other than little David Silva, who had got free at the near post and flicked the ball into the far.

By half-time, Spain had another. Again five passes were involved. This time it went back to front. Iker Casillas, Fabregas and then Alba, who fed Xavi and kept motoring. What unfolded can only make Barcelona thankful they had agreed to pay Valencia €14 million for the full-back before the tournament started. His price would have gone up significantly otherwise.
Xavi has played that straight through ball thousands of times in his illustrious career. The pace on it was perfect. Alba, beyond Italy's back-line, steadied himself before sliding a shot calmly past Gianluigi Buffon.

Under normal circumstances, the half-time statistics would have underlined Spain's superiority. In fact, they showed Italy had played more passes and secured 53% possession, almost unheard of against this Spain team. With Casillas not enjoying his most secure evening, the Azzurri would have expected to create something meaningful. But the bounce of the ball would not go their way.
Casillas got in the way of a thunderous effort from Antonio Cassano and Balotelli fired over. No-one could accuse Prandelli of lacking guts. Within 11 minutes of the re-start he had used all his substitutes and seen one of them Antonio di Natale bring a decent save out of Casillas after collecting Riccardo Montolivo's pass inside the area.

Unfortunately for Italy, the last replacement, Motta was only on the field for four minutes before he pulled a hamstring and had to be stretchered off. It was dreadful luck for the Azzurri, who now knew their task was a hopeless one. All that was left was to stave off humiliation. Even that was beyond them as substitutes Torres and Mata struck in the final minutes.
Italy didn't deserve that. Their first competitive defeat to Spain - penalties excepted - since the 1920 Olympics. Spain, record breakers twice over, now unbeaten in this competition for 29 games, a run that stretches back to June 2004. History makers. How boring.

Match Summary
■Man of the Match: Xavi. A magnificent assist for Spain's second-goal took all the confidence out of the Italian side. The Barcelona maestro added another glorious assist for the third goal and dominated the midfield throughout. Iniesta alongside him was also at his radiant best, but in what could be his final international tournament match, Xavi was the central figure. Interestingly, he also did an important pressing job on Italy's key player, Andrea Pirlo.
■Spain verdict: Spain were at their imperious best in this final, following a tournament in which they have faced increasing criticism for their style of play. In the knockout rounds they may have been ponderous, but against Italy they were incisive, vibrant and full of invention. Having come under pressure midway through the first-half, they rode the storm and at the first opportunity cut through their opponents to stretch their league. A complete display.
■Italy verdict: Italy did well to get to the final of Euro 2012, including a fine victory over Germany, but they were defensively at sea in the face of Spain's passing game. Able to compete manfully in midfield, the possession statistics are kinder on Italy than to most of Spain's opponents, but the strikeforce was not supplied with the ammunition needed to trouble the reigning champions. Questions will be asked as to whether they approached the game with the right tactical set-up
.■Could do better: Cesare Prandelli. Having nullified Spain in the tournament's opening game, Prandelli opted not to revert to the 3-5-2 that served them so well in that encounter. Chiellini was kept at left-back from the semi-final and struggled from the start, before being withdrawn through injury. Prandelli was unlucky and could not have predicted Thiago Motta would also leave the pitch with a hamstring problem, but the decision to bring on a defensive midfielder when in search of a goal was questionable
.■Stat Attack: Iker Casillas kept his ninth European Championship clean sheet - equalling Edwin van der Sar's record.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Euro Soccer 2012,England Vs Ukraine,match 26,match summary

Wayne Rooney lived up to top billing in Donetsk as he scored the goal which sent England into a Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting with Italy in Kiev on Sunday.

It was not quite the equal of Pele's sublime header in the 1970 World Cup final - but after comparing his star man to the brilliant Brazilian, manager Roy Hodgson would have been delighted nonetheless.
In truth, having already failed to take a glaring first-half chance, Rooney could not miss this one as Ukraine keeper Andriy Pyatov failed to gather a dangerous low cross from Steven Gerrard which took two deflections.
From barely a yard, Rooney thus scored his 29th England goal, one behind Nat Lofthouse, Tom Finney and Alan Shearer, who are joint fifth in the all-time list.
Now the Three Lions must hope their talisman quickly joins them as the scent of glory, absent for so long, is now in English nostrils, even if the path is barred not just by Italy, but Germany as well.
Not that England strolled through as some had suggested. The journey to victory had its uncomfortable moments, not least the controversy that once again erupted over a ball that crossed the line but none of the officials saw.
Instead of starting on the front foot, as Hodgson suggested, England found themselves penned back by a relentless tide of Ukraine attacks.
The general relief that greeted Andriy Shevchenko's absence might not have been so obvious if the talents of Serbian-born Marko Devic were better known.
Devic was at the centre of most Ukraine attacks, had a goalbound shot blocked by Scott Parker and triggering the move that ended with Andriy Yarmolenko stepping inside the box and forcing a low save out of Joe Hart.
Oleh Gusev shot over after being gifted possession by Ashley Young and in the final minutes of the opening period Yarmolenko slalomed his way towards the England goal Ricky Villa style, only for Joleon Lescott to make a very late intervention.
Throughout this, England had been urged to get themselves higher up the pitch by Hodgson's coaching staff, Gary Neville particularly agitated by the failing.
Yet all the angst would have been removed had Rooney taken his golden opportunity.
For all Hodgson's assurances to the contrary in recent days, it was evident that after just 37 minutes' action in 44 days Rooney was lacking sharpness.
The hoped for combination with Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck never materialised and his passing went astray too often.
This would have been forgiven if Rooney had turned Young's deep cross into the net.
It had been a brilliant move until final execution, started by John Terry's superb crossfield pass to the left touchline.
Young delivered the ball exactly where Rooney would have asked given he had intelligently peeled away from his marker. Level with the far post, the striker tried to glance it home and sent it bouncing wide.
In order to make the contribution Hodgson hoped for, it was evident Rooney required a bit of assistance.
Three minutes after the restart Pyatov failed to clear one of those teasing Gerrard crosses that have been a hallmark of his time in Ukraine. From roughly a yard, Rooney nodded in.
The band that had been banned on their last visit to Donetsk filled the noise vacuum created by the silencing of their hosts and when the big screens at either end of the stadium flashed up news of Sweden's goal in Kiev a few minutes later, English cheers went up once more.
They would have been silenced had the goal-line technology due to be voted on by FIFA next month already been installed.
But, just as Fabio Capello cursed Frank Lampard's goal not being awarded in Bloemfontein two years ago, so Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin now has reason to lament.
John Terry hacked Devic's half-blocked shot away but, within 60 seconds, all those millions watching around the world on TV knew it was, the fans in the stadium only left in the dark.
Welbeck and Rooney were replaced as the clock ran down, whilst Gerrard and Ashley Cole also picked up bookings which may yet come back and haunt them. Not that such matters should bother them too much right now.

Match summary

  •  Man of the Match: John Terry - The ball may have crossed the line when Terry cleared, but it was a herculean effort from the Chelsea skipper to get back. He was a man mountain at the back as Ukraine pressed and pressed in search of a goal. 
  • England verdict: It's the style we've come to expect from Roy Hodgson's England: never looking to dictate the attacking nature of a game but happy to sit a little deeper and take the chances when they come. They could have had the game tied up sooner than they did and will need to be more clinical against better sides. 
  • Ukraine verdict: The co-hosts took the game to England but lacked the ability to really cut through their opponents. Their tendency to shoot on sight doesn't help their cause and they may have had more success with a bit of guile. They were desperately unlucky with the 'ghost goal' which crossed the line despite John Terry's best efforts, but England will feel that is justice for Frank Lampard's at the World Cup. 
  • Could do better: James Milner and Ashley Young - James Milner and Ashley Young </b> Yet again they failed to deliver and were the cause of frustration throughout. Young went missing for large chunks of the game while Milner's only true contribution was a cross moments before he was subbed. 
  • Stat attack: Wayne Rooney ended a run of 673 minutes without finding the net for England at major tournaments.

Euro Soccer 2012 Czech Republic Vs Portugal,Match 25

Cristiano Ronaldo fired Portugal into the semi-finals of Euro 2012 after his diving header disposed of Czech Republic 1-0 in Warsaw.

The Real Madrid forward had twice hit the woodwork and seen his side have a goal chalked out for offside before he arrived on cue in the six-yard box to nod  in Joao Moutinho's cross on 79 minutes.
The Czechs - with captain Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal midfielder, only on the  bench because of an Achilles injury - had started brightly, but lacked a  decisive move in the final third.
It had been a decent opening from Michal Bilek's side as Petr Jiracek drilled the ball in from 20 yards, but his effort was blocked by Real Madrid defender Pepe.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento named an unchanged side having beaten Netherlands to qualify behind Germany out of the 'Group of Death' for the last eight.
Manchester United winger Nani and Madrid star Ronaldo, who would miss the semi-final if he picked up another caution, were the most lively for the Portuguese.
On 17 minutes, the Czech Republic, who overcame a 4-1 defeat in their opening game against Russia to win Group A, broke quickly down the right and Vladimir Darida whipped over a low cross through the six-yard box, which Galatasaray striker Milan Baros just failed to connect with.
Ronaldo was played into the Czech box, holding off Michal Kadlec, and drilled the ball goalwards with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech making a smart save. However, English referee Howard Webb had blown for a foul by the Portugal forward, who could not believe the decision against him.
On 26 minutes, Nani went into the Yorkshireman's notebook after tripping David Limbersky. The game was starting to open up as Czech full-back Theodor Gebre Selassie cut in from the right and crossed, with Pepe again alert to clear the danger.
At the other end, Ronaldo - who netted a brace against the Dutch - went close with an overhead kick at the far post. The former Manchester United forward was then just off target again with an ambitious long-range free-kick.
Portugal were forced into a change six minutes before half-time when striker Helder Postiga pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem, and was replaced by 6ft 3in Besiktas frontman Hugo Almeida.
Nani claimed for a penalty after going down in the box under close attention from Limbersky, but the referee was unconvinced, with TV replays showing the United forward slipped rather than was pushed.
Portugal continued to press and Ronaldo was within inches of a spectacular opening goal when he collected a high ball into the box on his chest, swivelled around marker Kadlec and crashed the ball past Cech - only for it to strike the base of the near post.
There was another great chance for Portugal at the start of the second half, when Almeida headed over from 12 yards after being picked out by Raul Meireles' cross.
On 50 minutes, Ronaldo was denied by the woodwork again as this time his 30-yard free-kick clipped the outside of the far post with Cech beaten.
The Chelsea keeper then had to parry away a 25-yard strike from Nani, and only an offside flag prevented Portugal taking a deserved lead on 57 minutes when Almeida glanced in the United winger's cross.
The Czechs produced a counter-attack when Vaclav Pilar charged down the left and into the penalty area, only to produce a poor final pass, which was hacked clear.
Portugal were soon back on the offensive as Moutinho's dipping 25-yard effort was tipped over.
Kadlec was then left in a heap after being clattered by goalkeeper Cech, who punched clear at the edge of the penalty area. The Chelsea man's goal was leading a charmed life, as Nani's floated ball was deflected behind.
Ronaldo finally broke the deadlock on 79 minutes, when he sent a diving header past Cech from Moutinho's right-wing cross. Portugal continued to pour forwards, with Cech beating away an angled 25-yard effort from full-back Joao Pereira.
Ronaldo went down under a challenge from Gebre Selassie and, although he appeared to be caught by the Czech defender, referee Webb again waved play on.
Portugal saw out four minutes of stoppage time to secure their place in the semi-finals, where they will face either Spain or France.

Match Summary

  • Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo. A tremendous display, once more. The powerhouse was in the mood, yet the curse of the woodwork threatened to haunt him. A glorious piece of individual skill was not rewarded with a goal in the first half, while a typically long-range free-kick clipped the post too. Yet he got his goal the performance deserved; a marvellous diving header that won the game.
  • Czech Republic verdict: Out with a whimper, sadly. In the first half they battled for possession in the centre of the park and did their utmost to double, or even treble, up on Ronaldo. But their legs went in the second, with their better players - Pilar and Jiracek - barely getting a kick.
  • Portugal verdict: A deserved triumph. They took the game to the Czechs and were unfortunate to win it by only a goal. Their goalkeeper, Rui Patricio, barely had a thing to do. Sans Ronaldo, they would unlikely be in the final four, but that is something of a moot point. That said, they will need their star man to shine brightly against France or Spain if they are to reach the final like in 2004.
  • Could do better: Theodor Gebre Selassie. It was always going to be a stringent test for the 25-year-old, faced with the task of marking the aforementioned Ronaldo. So impressive up until this match, the right-back struggled, perhaps in light of the occasion. His brain froze twice in the first half, and in the second period he went to sleep on the goal, allowing Ronaldo to soar onto the cross unchallenged.
  • Stat attack: Cristiano Ronaldo has netted Euro 2012's 18th headed goal, more than any previous tournament. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Euro Soccer Previous Winners YouTube Videos


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Euro Soccer 2012 Portugal Vs Netherlands Match Summary

Ronaldo double downs Dutch

A double from Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that Portugal finished in second place in Group B and condemned Netherlands to an early exit from Euro 2012 as it finished 2-1 in Kharkiv.
Ronaldo, who had been criticised for his lack of form earlier in the tournament, equalised Rafael van der Vaart's fine curling effort in the first-half and then bagged another with just over 15 minutes to go to seal his side's comeback.
Apart from a fine early strike from Rafael van der Vaart, Netherlands were poor, ensuring a team considered among the pre-tournament favourites finished bottom of Group B without a point to their name.
The match was 11 minutes old when Netherlands's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals were given a shot in the arm.
Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben weaved a path to the edge of the area where Van der Vaart was waiting to steer an inch-perfect finish into the bottom left corner.
A moment of madness from Gregory van der Wiel almost saw Netherlands concede the advantage but, having inexplicably passed the ball to Helder Postiga, he watched in relief as the Portugal striker shot wide with only Maarten Stekelenburg to beat.
Stekelenburg then kept out a well-struck header by Ronaldo, who would not be denied in the 28th minute.
The initial damage was done by Joao Pereira's defence-splitting pass and Ronaldo rewarded his vision with a composed first touch and slick finish.
Nani missed narrowly, but it was Portugal's captain who was the prominent figure on the pitch as he twice went close to seizing the lead.
Netherlands's defence was in danger over being over-run with Ronaldo cast at their tormentor in chief with Portugal pushing for a second.
The Real Madrid forward continued to attack the Dutch early in the second half, but his side should have trailed in the 53th minute.
Wesley Sneijder crossed from the left to the unmarked Ron Vlaar only for his clumsy attempted header to drift off-target from close range.
Postiga had a goal disallowed for offside before Fabio Coentrao was denied by sharp reactions from Stekelenburg, who then frustrated Nani from point-blank range after a marauding run by Ronaldo.
The Portugal wingers combined once again in the 74th minute, and this time Netherlands cracked.
A swift counter attack ended with Nani feeding a long pass to Ronaldo who dummied his shot, took the ball into space and prodded home.
Van der Vaart curled an effort onto the right post as Netherlands produced a strong finish, but there was still time for Ronaldo to hit the woodwork.


  • Man of the Match: Cristiano RonaldoThis was the game when Cristiano Ronaldo made his mark on Euro 2012. The powerful forward terrified Gregory van der Wiel at right back for the Netherlands. Could easily have had a hat-trick and also set up a gift of a chance for Nani. Dominant in the air, while also terrorising the defence with his pace, it was the awe-inspiring display that he had been looking for all tournament.
  • Portugal verdict: Portugal will be delighted with their performance, coming back from a slow start to control the majority of the game. They played with pace and power, with great width provided by attacking full backs on both flanks. Ever dangerous on the counter, the Iberians punished Netherlands with their directness in attack, with Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo particularly threatening throughout. They will be a threat later on in the tournament if they can continue this form.
  • Netherlands verdict: Netherlands' thoroughly disappointing Euro 2012 showing continued with another insipid performance as they slipped to a third straight defeat. The much vaunted attacking unit was given additional reinforcements for this game and still only managed a solitary goal, with just two from their three Euro 2012 games. Full backs Van der Wiel and Willems were exposed by the Portuguese attacks, while Nigel de Jong was left to battle for control of midfield often by himself. It was a thoroughly disjointed and at times inept showing from a very talented group of individuals.
  • Could do better: Robin van Persie The Arsenal striker was nigh on invisible for Netherlands all night, struggling to influence the game in any way at all. While Ronaldo at the other end was omnipresent, Van Persie was often found isolated on one of the flanks or in the area. Then, late in the game when presented with a golden opportunity, the Oranje striker pulled his shot wide of goal with only the 'keeper to beat. It was another moment of regret for Van Persie in a disappointing tournament overall.
  • Stat attack: Cristiano Ronaldo's 12 shots were the most a player has ever had in a single match at a European Championship.
  • Euro Soccer 2012 Germany Vs Denmark

    Germany top, Danes knocked out

    Denmark were knocked out of Euro 2012 as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Germany. Needing a win over the group favourites to progress, as Portugal beat Netherlands, the Danes went behind to a Lukas Podolski strike early on but equalised through Michael Krohn-Dehli's header.

    However, defender Lars Bender popped up with ten minutes to go to end their hopes of qualification and left the Germans top of the group.
    The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, playing as full-back for the national team, struck as Denmark were pushing for a goal which would have taken them through to the last eight at their opponents' expense, and just after Morten Olsen's side had seen a strong penalty appeal turned down.
    Lukas Podolski put Germany in front in the 19th minute, but a goal from Michael Krohn-Dehli five minutes later lifted Denmark's spirits.
    Germany controlled much of the game, but were nevertheless made to sweat as Denmark's belief and Portugal's 2-1 win over Holland ensured a tense finale which ended in their favour, clinching them top spot in Group B with a perfect record and a clash with Greece in Gdansk on Friday.
    Germany coach Joachim Low made his first change of the tournament, replacing the suspended Jerome Boateng with Lars Bender, but he resisted the temptation to make further alterations to his winning side.
    Niki Zimling was passed fit to play by Denmark coach Morten Olsen, while the injured Dennis Rommedahl's place was taken by Jakob Poulsen.
    Low's side began with authority and the diligent Muller went close twice early on, but Stephan Andersen showed lightning reactions to deny his second attempt in the sixth minute.
    Germany remained camped in the Denmark half, playing a patient yet expressive game which led to Podolski marking his 100th Germany appearance with a goal in the 19th minute.
    Muller provided a low cross from the right-hand side of the penalty area which Mario Gomez flicked intelligently back to Podolski, who left nothing to chance with a powerful shot from seven yards out.
    Germany's lead lasted only five minutes, though, before Krohn-Dehli's second goal of the tournament brought the Danes level.
    He diverted Nicklas Bendtner's header past Manuel Neuer from six yards out from a well-worked corner after a positive reaction from the Danes to falling behind.
    Towards the end of the first half, Podolski blazed a free-kick over the bar from the edge of the penalty area and Sami Khedira prodded a shot wide from 10 yards out as Denmark were again forced to defend.
    Jakob Poulsen went within inches of putting Denmark in front five minutes into the second half when his shot grazed the outside of the left-hand post with Neuer beaten.
    Low sent Schurrle on for Podolski midway through the second half and his first touch of the game brought an excellent one-handed save out of Andersen.
    Neuer showed less sophistication in dealing with Zimling's distance effort in the 71st minute, conceding a corner as Denmark enjoyed another bright spell.
    Five minutes later, Bendtner got in around the back and tried at full stretch to lift the ball over Neuer, but without success as he had his shirt pulled by Holger Badstuber.
    One goal for Denmark was still required to send them through and send Germany home since Portugal had taken the lead against Holland, but just as Low's side were showing the first signs of tension, they regained the lead from an unlikely outlet.
    Mesut Ozil's throughball was intended for Miroslav Klose, but it was too far in front of the Lazio striker but inviting for full-back Bender, who coolly took his first international goal in the 80th minute to take Germany through and knock Denmark out of Euro 2012.


  • Man of the Match: Daniel Agger Had Denmark nicked a victory, they would have had Agger to thank. He repeatedly thwarted the Germans and made numerous vital interceptions, playing a leading role in the defensive effort.
  • Denmark verdict: Having held on for a 1-0 win over Netherlands in the opener, Denmark were undone by late goals against both Portugal and Germany, and suffer a cruel exit. Perhaps a more positive approach would have seen them through, but it is doubtful, and in finishing third in the Group of Death they outstripped pre-tournament expectations and can be proud of the way they performed throughout.
  • Germany verdict: With Denmark defending in numbers, Germany were unable to perform at their eye-catching best. They controlled the game for the vast majority and always looked the better side, but they could have fallen to a shock exit had Holger Badstuber been penalised for a tug on Nicklas Bendtner's shirt late on. Nonetheless, they were deserving group winners and should have little trouble dispatching Greece in the next round.
  • Could do better: Mario Gomez The Bayern Munich striker looked to have put his Champions League final nightmare behind him in the first two games of the tournament, but he was wasteful against Denmark. Joachim Low has repeatedly talked up Miroslav Klose and, as the veteran improves his fitness, Gomez will need to show he is deserving of his place against Greece.
  • Stat attack: Germany claimed a 100% record in the group stage of a European Championship finals for the first time.