Monday, June 30, 2008

EURO 2008 Final watch : Germany vs Spain : Review

After a long 22 day tournament we were down to the final.The stage which decides who will life the Trophy and get their name added in history books or part of Wikipedia.
Ballack was doubtful for the final with a calf strain but didn't show any traces of it once the game started.
When the team formations were laid out,I thought this game would have a cramped midfield but I was proven wrong when there was open play for major parts of the 90minutes.In the beginning 10minutes,Germany looked the more favourable to score first when Sergio Ramos' weak ball back to Puyol found Klose who didn't have the clinical finish or touch to create anything,although it was a good defensive challenge by Puyol.
Spain on the other hand weren't the team they were against Russia when Villa was substituted.That team had a flow and smoothness about it but here they were attempting to make chances with a lone striker up front in the form of Torres who was using his strength and pace excellently.
Iniesta drew the first save from Lehmann when his low cross deflected through Metzelder and needed quick reflex save from former Arsenal man.
In a few minutes,Torres leaped and connected with a cross from Ramos only to be denied by the post.
He wasn't going to miss in the 33rd minute when he took cheetah type strides to cut across a covering Lahm and an approaching Lehmann and chipped the ball over the keeper in the left side of the goal to put Spain 1 Germany 0.In my view,Lehmann didn't need to come out that far for the ball anyway.
[Torres goal video]
Germany had a bit of a bother when Ballack collided with Senna and needed treatment near his eye as blood gashed out.
David Silva missed a fantastic opportunity when his volley went wildly over the top after Iniesta's cross which found the Valencia man open in the box.
Even an attacking change at half time by Germany wasn't able to stop Spain's dominance.They had bit of a scare when Ballack's volley went a few inches wide of the Spanish goal with Casillas stretching as much as he could.
Spain were still dominant even with vast majority of the possession falling to Germany as the shots weren't on target,if there were any shots for that matter.
David Silva was lucky to be still on the pitch when he head butted Podolski in the eye when both players came face to face over a speculative bad challenge.
Ramos should have doubled the Spanish lead when his header was saved fabulously by Lehmann from point blank range when he beat the offside trap on a Xavi free kick.
This 2-3minute period created many chances for Spain where a Iniesta effort was cleared off the line and then another saved by Lehmann.
In the 80th minute a golden opportunity was presented to Spain but once again they couldn't kill the game once and for all when a Guiza header down in the path of Senna wasn't connected with as the chance went waste.
Spain weren't made to pay for the wasted chances in front of goal as they didn't have anything to defend in the back of goal as Kuranyi and Gomez were brought on as substitutes but couldn't provide an equaliser.
Spain were the champions of Europe.The underdogs had finally delivered and after a wait of 44years they had clinched the European Championship.The young side showed how they could be put down on the squad for 2010 world cup as well.Spain were the second team after France in 1984 to win the tournament without losing a single game.Casillas was the first keeper captain to lift the trophy.
Spain deserved the victory and they deserved the "Euro Champions" accolade.

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