Thursday, 21 June 2012

EURO 2012 Quarter-final Portugal v Czech Republic

Ronaldo 79

Portugal start off in their 4-3-3 shape, starting 11:
GK: Patricio,  LB: Coentrao, CB: Pepe,  CB: Alves  RB: Pereira,  DCM: Veloso, CM: Moutinho, CM: Meirelse,  LFW: Ronaldo  FW: Postiga,  RFW: Nani.
SUBS USED:  Postiga/Almeida 39 Nani/Custodio 84  Meireles/Rolando 88

Czech Republic start off in their 4-2-3-1 shape Czech Republic starting 11: 
GK: Cech, LB: Limbersky, CB: Kadlec  CB: Sivok, RB: Gebre-Selassie, CM: Hubschman , CM: Plasil, LFW: Pilar, AM: Darida, RFW: Jiracek, ST: Baros.
SUBS USED: Darida/Rezek 60  Hubschman/Pekhart 86

A Little look:
Both teams will wing it today, it's not that they don't have a plan, they just both like attacking down the wings, staying deep and hitting on the counter. Gebre-Selassie has been very exciting to watch but will have his hands full tonight with the Portuguese  left side.Rosicky will be a big miss for the Czechs. Portugal have made it to the knock-out stage at every attempt (7) while the Czechs have played  two QF before this one,they won both without conceding.

The first half started off as a tense affair; as expected, neither team pushed men forward in numbers. This  led to there being only three shots in the first thirty minutes and this didn't improve by much as the total shots for the half was six, five of those being from Portugal. Gebre-Selassie had a poor start and didn't get forward as much as he likes, however this was down to him tracking Ronaldo all over the pitch at times though this gave Coentrao space to exploit. The Czechs did do well at making sure they had a man close to each attacking opponent. Sivok, along with Kadlec, played okay today considering the pressure they were under. Sivok showed great awareness by stepping up and making Almeida offside on the goal that was rightly disallowed. Hupschman covered well for Kadlec when he tried to get things started for his team by bringing the ball out. The ball was mostly played around by the defenders and when it came to Veloso, he looked a little off the pace but tackled well in the game when he had to, which wasn't very often. Both the "wingers" for each team kept drifting in field but to no joy, as both teams followed their man well.  

In the start of the second half, we saw in the first five minutes the set up of play for the half.  Portugal came out attacking and were pressing higher than they had been. The Czech Republic were pinned back; they dropped off and seemed happy to defend although they had no choice as the danger on their right side left their attacking side chained back. The Czechs wanted to counter but lacked quality when playing the ball out; they had a couple of counter-attackers as Portugal started to come more and more forward, controlling the game, but when they did it wasn't in numbers and Portugal dealt with it. Ronaldo's movement was spot on all game, Gebre-Selassie tried hard to stick with him but was just out-classed and given the Ron-around and this showed on the goal, as he was left ball-watching as Ronaldo wanted it more: he ran from behind his man and powered the header in. He hit the post twice before he scored one with a excellent free kick, and the other from a special bit of play. With his back to goal, he took the ball on his chest, flicked it with his right foot and in one movement spun, got the ball under control and beat Cech, but that damn post would not move. He also nearly scored a spectacular overhead, but attacked it with the wrong foot, so that the angle of it took it just past the post. Apart from in the first thirty minutes, Ronaldo picked his team up by the scuff of the neck and carried them to the semi-finals. He was everywhere and did everything, apart from tracking back.Moutinho's contribution shouldn't go unnoticed, as he kept the ball circulating well. Portugal attempted the most crosses at this tournament in open play and Moutinho picked out Ronaldo, with a lovely cross for the goal and did well pushing on a little more then he has been. After the goal, Portugal played the game out, bringing on two defensive players to make sure, and leaving Ronaldo and Nani to counter, knowing that the Czechs would have to be reckless and throw everyone forward, but in the end it was comfortable after the goal.

Full time:
With the games coming thick and fast, Portugal will be happy that they didn't have to do this the hard way: by going into extra time. The one nil score line doesn't do justice to how one-sided this match was, and I can't see another quarter final being this one-sided. This may have given strength to the argument that adding an additional eight teams to the tournament may be a bad idea.

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  1. can anyone tell me who took the last throw pls?

    1. Don't hold me to this as I was writing but I believe it
      Almeida and Moutinho who was guarding the ball at the end Almeida is massive compared to Moutinho if that helps sorry I deleted the game once I finished my article as it was not a keeper.

    2. I think it was actually Limberski for czechs who took the last throw, He took the last two.

    3. Nice one factchecker, I hope that helps anonymous top man