June 11, 2008

A new found respect

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

When watching Portugal’s 3-1 win over the Czech Republic, I noticed something very much out of the ordinary. Towards the end of the first half, the captain of the all-flopping team, Cristiano Ronaldo, not only had two opportunities to ply his trade – and didn’t take them – but he also fought through them and stayed on his feet despite the fact this were heavy-ish challenges. Could Ronaldo, one of the best goal-scorers in the game be turning the corner and playing like a man? If he does, both he and the Portuguese team will become a lot more endearing and less hated then the submarine-like Italians.

Portugal’s third (lovely) goal of the day also had some potentially dire ramifications for the Czechs but more on that below.

So, seriously, the only Swiss-Turkey match up I’ll ever be truly interested in will also involve so bread and maybe some mayo and lettuce. And with that, I’ve reached my bad deli-related joke quota. But the most interesting development of the entire group came because of Turkey’s injury time goal to send them to a 2-1 win over the co-host; the Czechs might be screwed. While the Portuguese are into the playoffs for sure, now Turkey and the Czechs are tied with three points and since they will face each other on Sunday, the winner will not necessarily advance. Because of Portugal’s third goal against the Czechs, Turkey is now ahead on goal differential, a tie would put the Turkish side through. If I’m supporting Peter Cech’s side, I’m hoping they play great game on Sunday or I will be very disappointed at this Euro 2008 end result.

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