Group Stage Roundup

German Football
By German Football June 18, 2008 20:40

Group Stage Roundup

So now that the group stage is over, here’s a brief roundup about the different groups and whose through to the quarterfinals.

In Group A, Portugal and Turkey are through with 6 points each, with Portugal winning the group based on a better head-to-head record against the Turks. The Czech Republic and Switzerland go home with 3 points a piece, the Czechs crashing out after Turkey rallied from 2 goals down to put 3 past them in the last 15 minutes.

Over at Group B, Croatia won all their 3 groups games to finish first with 9 points while Germany make it through with 6 points, knocking co-hosts Austria out in the last game.

For Group C, the Netherlands tops the group in convincing fashion with a 3-0 win over Italy, 4-1 over France and 2-0 over Romania. Italy are runners up with 4 points after they win their last group match against France 2-0, kicking the 2006 World Cup runners-up out of the Euro.

In Group D, Spain top the group with a maximum number of points after winning all 3 of their group encounters. Russia put themselves through with a commanding performance over the Swedes to win 2-0. This continues coach Guus Hiddink’s remarkable record of bringing every team under his charge into the knockout stages of the major tournaments they have participated in.

As the knockout stages begins tomorrow, here’s the list of match-ups for the coming games ahead.

Portugal play Germany in the first knockout game tomorrow. Portugal look comfortable in their first 2 group wins and Germany will have to raise their game a notch to have a chance of defeating the 2004 Euro runner-up. Germany, however, have defeated Portugal most recently in the 3rd place game during the 2006 World Cup. Ballack will have an even bigger responsibility to play in the team, with Frings possibly out of the game with a broken rib. However, expect the creative Schweinsteiger to trouble the Portuguese defense as he looks to add to his tally of 2 goals against them.

In the second knockout game the day after, Croatia will play Turkey with the result anyone’s guess. Croatia have looked consistently strong in their group games although Turkey have turned late comebacks into a specialty of theirs.

On Saturday, the Netherlands will play Russia with the Dutch being the obvious favorites to brush aside the Russians. However, if today’s game was anything to go by, the Russians will be able to give them a run for their money.

The last quarterfinal game will be played on Sunday between Spain and Italy. Spain seem to have the upper hand at the moment as they head into the match-up, qualifying comfortably for the knockout stages. The Italians have looked somewhat shaky in defense although they do not lack firepower, having the likes of Luca Toni in the squad.

So it looks like there are some mouth-watering encounters to look forward to, with plenty of quality likely to be on display, as the best players in the world seek to bring glory to their country!

What do you think Germany need to do to defeat Portugal in the next game? Should Germany risk playing Frings with his injury? Who should replace him? Do you think Löw’s touchline ban was fair? How would that affect the team’s display tomorrow? Post all your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!

German Football
By German Football June 18, 2008 20:40
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