U19 Euro’s – The final group stages round!

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

So, as we draw closer to knowing who will progress to the knockout rounds, I will be previewing all the games taking place tomorrow (9th July).  I will also review the matches from July the 6th.

Matchday two, saw some great matches unfold. Spain took on Portugal, two of the favourites locking horns. Spain were playing with a ‘false 9’ formation, as they did in the senior Euro’s. Jese Rodriguez stole the show, his quick feet and mesmerising skills are making him quite a player for the future. Oliver Torres was instrumental in the midfield for Spain. I’m making this sound as if Spain steamrolled past Portugal, they didn’t. Portugal were quite impressive on the counter; Bruma, their winger, was pure magic down the flanks and was the key to Portugal’s never say never attitude. Spain would score, only to have their goal equalled by the Portuguese on three separate occasions.  The final score, 3-3.

France took on a resilient Croatian side, who ‘parked the bus’. France were forced down the wings in every attack, their lack of aerial threat in the box meant they couldn’t do anything with their crosses… so the Croatians thought. Foulquier, who was restricted to the wings almost instantly in every French attack, decided to put in yet another cross, this time it looped directly over the ‘keeper. Was it intentional or was it a fluke? We’ll probably never find out. 1-0 was the final score, in France’s favour. France have qualified to the knockout stages.

Greece were playing the hosts, Estonia. Estonia were taken apart by Portugal in the last game, and Greece wouldn’t show them any mercy. Estonia were truly poor, they had no pluses to take out of the game. Greece mauled Estonia. Diamantakos scored twice toward the end to see him become the top scorer in the tournament, equal on goals with Jese Rodriguez. Despite a late goal from Estonia, Greece had already dealt the damage. 4-1 the final score.

England took on Serbia, a game which I predicted in my last article would end 2-1, I was correct. England were decent, nothing too special. Benik Afobe was impressive, getting the opener, hitting the post and being denied of a clear penalty. Redmond scored with a tidy finish, which saw England double their lead on the 63rd minute. Serbia scored seven minutes later, which in England’s head means, they’re going to come back – they didn’t and England took the three points.

So, after all those eventful games, we move onto the final games of the group stages.

France take on England, this will be the big game from matchday three. France come into the game from back-to-back wins, whilst England have somewhat struggled to kill their opponents off. France will believe that they have what it takes to beat England. England will need to kill-off all the deadly passes put through by Paul Pogba, they’ll need to restrict France to playing down the wings, like Croatia did. England have the strike force to deal some damage to the French who haven’t had to defend against lethal strikers, so far. I think this will be an even affair with England winning 2-0.

Spain Vs Estonia. I feel sorry for Estonia, no disrespect, but Estonia are by far the worst team in the tournament and I believe Spain will destroy them. With Jese Rodriguez in top form, I can’t see Estonia’s defence coping with the Spanish. 4-0 Spain is my prediction.

Portugal Vs Greece is going to be a top affair. Greece will come into this game in high hopes, top scorer Diamantakos is going to be a tough player for the sloppy Portuguese defence to deal with. If Bruma is in good form, again, I believe Portugal might just be able to see off the Greeks. I’m going for a 1-1.

Serbia take on Croatia in what will be the least anticipated game of the other three. Both teams are yet to register a win, they go into tomorrow’s game both needing wins. Both teams will throw everything at each other, I believe it’ll be a very end-to-end game. 3-2 Croatia is my prediction.

 

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