Add Croatians to the list of people not to invite over. For the second day in a row a former communist country showed up as a guest to the Euro party and started to steal s**t from the host. And by “s**t” I mean “match.” Heavy favorites Croatia got a debatably gift penalty call (see what we did there… who doesn’t love a party theme?) inside of 5 minutes then held on for the three points.
A bit reckless on the contact? Yes. Penalty? Maybe. Yellow card? No way (turns out the card was given to Emanuel Pogatetz for the protest, not to Rene Aufhauser for the challlenge). But Luka Modric converted, and the single goal held up.
The 90-something ranked Austrians probably deserved better, save for the critical fact that they neglected to score but, silver lining, they disposed of the notion that they would embarrass themselves as they flat outplayed Croatia in the second half.
Croatia, who often will just punch a team in the face until they relent found that the Austrians were happy to punch right back. In fact it was while Pogatetz was carrying the yellow and still pulled at [I think] Olic’s shoulder not once but twice before clubbing him across the face with his forearm—should have been a second yellow and an ejection—at about the 30th minute that Croatia realized they might have to win on skill alone. And somewhat surprisingly, they didn’t seem like they had enough of it (I know Eduardo led the qualifying group in scoring but is he really that important?).
Austria peppered keeper Pletikosa with chances, but failed to get a couple of headers down that might have netted the equalizer. My $.02, this was the most exciting match of the tourney so far. It was far from pretty, buy f**k if these two teams didn’t run at each other for 90 straight.
The really sad part about this is that with each successive encounter, Poland seems more convinced that they are going to beat Germany. Today’s 2-0 quasi-methodical defeat brings Germany’s running record to 12-0-4. Lukas Podolski had a brace off a fortuitous bounce and a couple of good looks at a hatty (Oh wait, the really, really sad part about this is that Podolski was born in Poland).
I didn’t see the second goal live because my ESPN2 went out (along with ESPN, but Classic was still raging, strange). Was that national?
Anyway, Poland created some chances, but keeping with the letimotif of all teams having been shut-out, couldn’t finish. I think that might be a tautology.
Too bad Johnnie Cochran is dead or he could have made a killer pre-game pep talk. “If Lehmann is in goal, you must score if you’re a Pole.” Yeah, s**t that rhymes is always true.
Despite Jens showing in the first minute (ah, shades of the EPL opener against Fulham) that he was apt to blunder, Poland couldn’t take advantage. They actually outshot Germany 11-9 (with a good number of the German shots coming late) but didn’t make Jens have to handle enough of them.
Germany looks like a lock to advance, but given the other three teams’ performances, Group B’s bridesmaid derby is wideopen.
Looks like Spain won’t be having any Cesc on the field. Not for starters anyway. I don’t have the coaching credentials of Aragones (I’m also not quite as racist either) but this seems like a very bad idea.
Shocker. People drinking at the Euro.
Didier Drogba can’t stand not being the center of attention.
If I weren’t such a HTML ‘tard I would have given the two photos cutlines of “My name is Luka” and “My name is Lukas” respectively. Go ahead, laugh. That s**t is funny.