Daily Archives: June 13, 2016
Euro 2016 began with a rather pulsating encounter between Turkey and Croatia. Anything I think about the Croatian national team, my mind takes me back to the 1998 World Cup in France when Davor Suker had such a great tournament with support from Robert Prosinecki, Zvonimir Boban and Mario Stannis Baratheon, or Stanic, as he’s known in Croatia.
The new generation of Croatian football stars juggernauts like Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Milan Badelj and of course, the golden boy of Croatian football, Luka Modric, that scored a wonder goal that settled the match. There were a lot of close shaves in the game but Croatia deserved to leave the pitch with three points in the bag.
Three hours after the Croatia win, Poland kicked off their tournament with a clash against Northern Ireland. There were some familiar Premier League faces in the Northern Ireland squad with West Brom duo, Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley, Watford’s Craig Eric Cartman Cathcart. Southampton’s Steven Davis (can you remember his double against Spurs?) and that young Manchester United bloke that almost snapped Jack Wilshere’s ankle in half, Paddy Power McNair.
Wojceich Szczesny showed his aerial dominance and put up a matured performance in goal for his country. His resolve will be tested in his next game against Germany but Poland can take some solace from the fact that they beat the Germans in the qualifiers. The qualifying top scorer and talisman, Robert Lewandowski, fired blanks but the Poles had Arkadiusz Milik to thank, as his goal from Kuba’s assist was enough to give the team three points.
Finally, Germany played the last game of the night against Ukraine. Joachim Loew made up for Mats Hummels injury by replacing the Bayern-bound defender with Shkodran Mustafi and that faith was repaid as the Valencia center back nodded Toni Kroos inswinger to give the world champions the lead. Germany sealed the game late on when Mesut Ozil threaded an inch-perfect pass to Bastian Schweinsteiger who finished aplomb.
More on the players as the competition progresses.
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