Austria VS Croatia
Most of the match previews got it right–Austria is just too weak for most of the other countries that qualified on their own right for the tournament. With a FIFA ranking of 92,(quite close to Singapore actually,hehe) and only qualifying to play in the Finals because they’re one of the host nations,the Austrian team could hardly have come across as convincing. But in spite of that,they tried their best against a Croatia that was,sad to say,even more unconvincing in their 1-0 win.
Both teams did not boast mega super stars in any of their players,so it was more of seeing a cooperative effort in all three sections rather than seeing how crucial players create chances for the team. A pretty controversial penalty awarded to Croatia in the 3″ sealed their fate,and the match wore on in a pretty boring manner. Luckily I was far sighted enough to see through that,and I went for a nap after the first half haha.
I must say that from watching the first half,I thought the Austrian defender Standfest was pretty good,hardworking fella who tried his best to create chances for his team. It’s really just too bad for them I guess.
Germany VS Poland
Again,the later match proved to be much more exciting and totally worth staying up for. This is a match flushed with historial undercurrents,what with the baggage of WWII history and the fact that Germany’s star striker,Lukas Podolski, was born in Poland. The sense of vengeance in the Poles ran high but the Germans proved to be too strong for them. And history was in the Germans’ favour too–out of the 11 times they played each other,Germany won 7 games and drew 4. Tough luck for the Poles.
Anyway,I must say that while my entire allegiance goes to Italia,I do like some of the German players very much,such as Philip Lahm and Miroslav Klose. I like their play a lot,and I especially like how Lahm is very nimble and hardworking in his flank. Also,Fritz showed himself to be a very enthusiastic player indeed. The Germans’ first goal was a nicely choreographed effort from Klose who passed to Podolski,who slotted the ball in to the Polish goalmouth,which happened to be pretty wide open. Boruc did try to stretch for the ball but alas,it was not within his reach.
The second half saw more concerted effort from the Poles to give trouble to the Germans’ defence,which by the way,is pretty rock solid,damn. Forward Zurawski missed a goal,and Lehmann had the shot right in his arms. Overall,finishing is not sharp as well,which seems to be a problem for many of the teams with weak attacking powers. Smolarek had a good chance in the second half too,but an offside killed it.
Germany’s second goal was rather nicely set up too,with substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger making a pass to Klose who got the ball to Podolski and he rammed in the second goal and secured the game for the Germans.
I’m sure netting two goals against his birth nation would spur mixed emotions in Lukas, but sadly,that’s life,we win some,we lose some,and we most certainly can’t please everyone.
Tonight’s games will definitely be exciting. I’m feeling such adrenaline rush now I can hardly concentrate on anything else. 😀 Forza L’italia!!!
Group C: France VS Romania ; The Netherlands VS Italia