Euro 2012, Spain reigns

I have been prevented from blogging by the Washington DC power outage. But I know that John is dying for update on Euro 2012. So here goes.

There have been two matches since my last report. In the first, Italy upset Germany 2 to 1. It looked like a case of the Italians simply wanting it more. Germany attached with menace early, but the match turned when Cassano outfought two defenders in the corner and crossed for Balotelli to head home. When a center back goes to the corner on double team, the ball must be won or the attacker must be fouled. Germany accomplished neither and paid the price.

After that, Italy was the better team. They scored a second on another breakdown in the German defense. Germany gradually ran out of attacking ideas and was lucky to score on a soft penalty in the closing few minutes of the match.

I had been looking forward to a Spain vs. Germany final since the early days of the tournament, but it was not to be. Perhaps there is justice in the fact that Germany failed to reach the final in Kiev, scene of the worst sporting atrocity I know of, in which the Nazis killed several Ukrainian soccer players for not throwing a match against a German team.

In any case, I was now convinced that Italy was capable of giving Spain a good match. And they probably would have but for the fact that Spain finally delivered the brilliant performance we have been waiting for, a significantly better display than any they produced in this tournament or in the last World Cup. A performance worthy of Europe’s first back to back to back champions.

More on that performance later, assuming I can stay connected to the internet.


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