What a week it’s been at this summer’s tournament in Poland & Ukraine, with some big names crashing out as the group stages come to a close.
All seemed to be going the way of Russia in Group A, despite their draw against co-hosts Poland on Tuesday. With four-points in the bag and Greece left to face, a brave man would have bet against them.
However, Giorgos Karagounis scored the only goal when the two sides met Saturday, sending Dick Advocaat’s side packing. Czech Republic were the other side to progress, having beaten Greece last week and then followed that up with a 1-0 win against Poland.
Germany and Portugal await in the quarter-finals, after the two progressed from ‘the group of death’ in quite comfortable circumstances.
Joachim Loew’s side beat Holland 2-1 on Wednesday, and against Portugal in Kharkiv last night, Netherlands simply couldn’t hold on to their lead. A Cristiano Ronaldo double the difference in another 2-1 defeat for the Dutch.
The Intel InfoStream App shows post-match that the victory had special significance for Ronaldo, who was in scintillating form.
“Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first Portuguese to score in five major tournaments (Euro 2004, 2008, 2012; World Cup in 2006, 2010) #Euro2012.”
It also means that last season’s 30-goal Premier League striker - Robin Van Persie - is heading home with just one goal.
With the tournament not out of the group stages, a handful of players already have more goals than the Arsenal striker.
“Players who will go down in history as scoring more goals than Van Persie at Euro 2012: Shevchenko, Torres, Bendtner, Fabregas, Gomez,” notes the Intel InfoStream App.
The general consensus is that it isn’t just the fault of RVP though, with the whole team underperforming. “The Dutch team have been disappointing in this tournament… 2 years ago, they were World Cup finalists & won every game except the final #euro2012,” wrote a fan on the Intel InfoStream app.
Michael Krohn-Deli couldn’t keep Denmark in the competition, with Lukas Podolski and Lars Bender separating the two sides in their final game.
Group C reaches its conclusion on Monday night, with Spain and Italy favourites to progress at the expense of the Republic of Ireland and Croatia. Slaven Bilic’s side have a chance though, having drawn with Italy on Thursday.
A win against Spain would probably send the holders out, but a draw means Vicente Del Bosque’s side finish above Croatia because of their emphatic 4-0 win against the Irish.
Italy will be looking to win by two-goals or more against Giovanni Trapattoni’s men.
In Group D, it’s France and England who are battling for top-spot, after respective victories against Ukraine and Sweden.
“Welbeck's winning goal was a touch of pure magic! #Euro2012,” wrote a fan on the Intel InfoStream app in reference to the winner in the 3-2 victory.
Laurent Blanc will want a convincing victory against the Swedes to secure top-spot Tuesday, whilst Roy Hodgson’s England need a draw at least to progress.
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