Daily Archives: June 22, 2016
The group stages is slowly creeping away from the Euros as teams continue to advance to the Round of 16.
The day began with Germany locking horns against Northern Ireland while Poland took on the disappointing Ukraine. Joachim Low made some changes to the team that shared the spoils with Poland as Joshua Kimmich replaced Benedickt Howedes in defense while Mario Gomez replaced Julian Draxler, moving Mario Gotze away from his false 9 position to a more favored attacking midfield role. In a game the Northern Irish were on the back foot from start to finish, Mesut Ozil turned up the style and had an awesome game by his amazing standards.
The German schemer made seven crosses, created six chances, fired four shots and he had an astonishing passing accuracy of 99 percent. Yes, 99 percent. Sadly, the German forwards unleashed their inner Girouds and missed a boat load of Ozil’s amazing chances.
In the other Group C game, Poland edged Ukraine out and sent them packing with a goal from Jakub Blaszczykowski, or Kuba, as he’s well known in his Dortmund days. Ex Gunner, Lukasz Fabianski, kept another clean sheet as the Ukrainians offered little or no threat from an attacking perspective.
There was excitement in the late night games as Spain played against Croatia with the right to be in the group’s leader as a potential clash against Italy awaited the loser. Then there was the Czech Republic vs Turkey game where the winner had a chance of qualification. As expected, my eyes were on the Croatia vs Spain game but I kept some tabs with the other match of the night.
The opening goal had Barcelona’s tika taka written all over it as David Silva and Cesc Fabregas split the Croatian defense open to allow Alvaro Morata tap the ball in for his third goal of the Championships. Morata was heavily linked with a move to North London but it has been confirmed that Real Madrid has activated their buy-back clause on the player’s contract, bringing him back to the Santiago Bernabeu for roughly 23 million quid.
Croatia turned up the style with a very impressive performance against the Spaniards and they got a well-deserved equalizer from Nikola Kalinic. It was an exquisite finish from a Perisic cut back. Late on, there was heartbreak for the Spanish side as they were hit on the break by Perisic and he finished the ball on David de Gea’s near post. For a quality of his immense quality, that was an aberration.
In the second game, Turkey sent the Czech Republic parking with goals from Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan. The sad part about the goals were their shocking similarity as Petr Cech was beaten on his near post twice. This turned out to be his Kryptonite last season and it’s a concern seeing it happen in the national team as well.
Wish the Czech Republic out, he becomes the first Gunner to exit from the competition and his pre-season break starts early.
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