…are all that are keeping me occupied as my vacation stretches on. For those still in the dark, June 30th was yours truly’s Happy Birthday….though the twenty sixth one can’t be counted as a happy one since it bodes well for the quarter life crisis to take over one’s thought processes! Nevertheless, the amiable presence of family and friends did make it a happy enough occasion to forget the years of underachievements!
All of have known it by now….Spain have won the Euro 2008 by beating Germany 1-0 in the final on Sunday night. Due to an ongoing dispute between our CableOp and the MSO, we were bereft of ESPN-Star Sports telecast and hence had to make do with Doordarshan’s telecast for the Final. Thankfully enough, the commentary was from BBC or Sky Sports and hence wasn’t a complete eyesore/earsore but the pre, mid and post-match analysis purely sucked!!! Anyways, yay! to the Spaniards for shaking off their would-have-been tags and emerge victorious. Campeones La Ispana
On a brighter note (from my PoV…not necessarily rosy for the aapis folks), the vacation might be prolonged for a few more days! The northern regions of Orissa have been receiving incessant rains for the past few days and hence, all rail traffic from that direction is either being suspended or diverted. My scheduled departure was on the 6th but that train has now been diverted until the 10th! And alternate accommodation isn’t available until the 8th….so I may have to start to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of the aapis folks vis-a-vis my return. Pronto.
Fiery Spain beat a lacklustre Russia 3-0 in the second Semi Final of the EURO 2008 to book their spot in the final against Germany. The first half ended goalless with Spain carving out many a chances but lacking the finesse to finish it off! Striker David Villa looked subdued and Fernando Torres couldn’t apply the finishing touches to the gilt-edged chances he received. Russia were overtly defensive and never could get their counter-attacking style going. Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko were reined in well by Sergio Ramos and Carlos Puyol and at halftime, the Russians could muster only two shots at goal against the Spaniards five!
Second half started feverishly as both teams were pepped up to finish things off….but it was Spain who landed the opener and with it, the entire momentum of the match. Xavi Hernandez trundled in a neat pass from Iniesta after 50 minutes and the Spaniards gained a ton of confidence after that. Substitute Guiza added a second at the 72nd minute and David Silva sealed the victory with a neat finish from a Cesc Fabregas cross from the left. The Russians were well and truly beaten.
The final is on Sunday between two European powerhouses, each eager to shine on the big stage. Spain have been underdogs for as long as I can remember and Germany haven’t really set the stage alight post their World Cup victory more than 20 years ago. Both teams will be taking an awful lot of confidence after their victories but I feel Spain have the edge, having earned a more decisive victory as compared to the Germans scrappy one.
La victoria de Espana!!!
Flag images courtesy Wikipedia
At 1700 21:20 IST later today, the European Championships or Euro 2008 will kick-off in far-off Austria/Switzerland as millions of viewers all across the globe will tune into the coverage and watch eight of the top European countries vie for the Henri Delaunay Trophy. England are not in it but the other European powerhouses are, and it should be a fascinating battle! The European Championships are said to be Football’s second biggest prize after the World Cup and given that UEFA boasts of some of the best teams, clubs and players under its aegis, it should be a cracker of a contest!
My personal favourites are the World Cup holders Italy. But with their talismanic captain and defence-lynchpin Fabio Cannavaro out with an ankle injury, they suddenly seem deflated! Spain have been the perennial under-achievers at this stage but maybe they will come good this time around. France, Netherlands, Germany and Portugal also have a decent chance.I’d predict that Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy will be the semi-finalists.
A bit of a dampener information is that ESPN-Star, the telecast providers for India, will not be telecasting the Semi-Finals and Finals . At least that is what I gather from their website! Hope they’re negotiating with the broadcasters and we do get to see the finals on the 29th of June! Yay to that!!!
Official Website | Fixtures | Telecast Schedule in India | Tournament History
P.S: Liju beat me to it