28 June, 2012

Euro 2012: Portugal v Spain Highlights

A rather boring affair. Portugal played a very good tactical game and kept Spain in check. It took penalties before Spain put it away. Video: footytube

27 June, 2012

US Open Cup Final Four

Yes, I'm watching the Euro intensely (bummer for Bruno Alves hitting the inside of the crossbar in the shootout today), but I want to remind you that there is still a big tournament going on right here in the USA. Of the 16 MLS teams that entered the US Open Cup in the round of 32, 12 are eliminated, 4 remain, and of the 12 that were eliminated, 9 were eliminated by minor league teams.

The Harrisburg (PA) City Islanders of USL Pro (that's Division III) had an outstanding run, eliminating the New England Revolution in the round of 32 in a shootout in one of the craziest games I've ever heard about. The score at the end of regulation was a 0-0 draw. New England scored three goals in the first overtime session to take a 3-0 lead after 105 minutes. Then, Harrisburg somehow scored three goals in the final 15 minute session to tie the game 3-3 and send the match to penalties at Hersheypark, PA. Harrisburg made 4 out of 5 penalties, and New England had 3 out of 4, when the fifth kicker, Benny Feilhaber, stepped up for the Revolution. Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble (formerly of the Chicago Fire, zero MLS appearances) saved the penalty to advance.

25 June, 2012

Euro 2012: England v Italy Highlights

Wow. Not sure England even deserved to be on the pitch for this one after that display. In a seemingly surprising move by Hodgson, England looked like they were playing to get to penalties. Even a token bicycle kick by Rooney that was well off the mark couldn't lift the English fans as Italy had 2/3 of the possession and five times the number of shots. Had Italy's midfield actually put a pass to Balotelli's feet, the game would have ended much much sooner. Instead, he was forced to dig out errant passes sent behind him and despite this, looked extremely dangerous against the tepid British. This went to penalties, and Italy finished while England did not. 0(2)-0(4). Video: Footytube

24 June, 2012

Euro 2012: France v Spain Highlights

This was all Spain. With talks of more discord in the French locker room, France came out flat. France were outpossessed, outshot, and outclassed. Xabi Alonso put an early goal away and Spain rode that to a solid win in which France never seemed to challenge. A last minute penalty goal for Xabi finished the French off as Spain wins this one, 2-0. Spain now gets nextdoor neighbors in Portugal. Video:

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