Italy v Croatia currently
Spain v Republic of Ireland in the 2nd game
let's go Fightin' Tabelclothes!
heh. I like their unis. they're unique, not boring, but not totally appalling either. I like all their crazy European surnames as well. go Croatia!
Nice free kick by Pirlo
well dang. not much can be done about a shot like that, huh. I was really digging that Croatian keeper's insanity, too.
Wow. What a score by Pirlo.
I like soccer. I just absolutely HATE the diving and faking. It ruins the game for me.
They have got to do something about that, maybe a mandatory inspection by the team docter (2-3min of inspection) if a player is on the ground for more than 20 seconds.
There is a team somewhere (i can't remember what team, or where...) that started penalizing its players for diving, and it was working last I heard.
Either way, embellishing or deceiving is a yellow card by the rule book, so all that FIFA has to do is retroactively hand out yellow cards for dives. You would see an immediate decrease in such incidents because accumulation of yellows result in suspensions.
I've never understood why they don't do this. Watch the tape. If it's obviously a dive, retroactively give a yellow card.
I know it runs into grey area because you're saying "but, if he had the yellow card in the game, it could have changed everything," but this is something I think you can do without harm. Referees would embrace it, even love it. It's the hardest call they have to make and it is normally impossible to determine live during the game. I don't think a single referee would balk at the notion.
The one thing I think people misperceive is how much it hurts when your foot gets stamped on. Good soccer cleats are incredibly light, largely because they've begun making the top layer of the boots really thin. They provide almost no protection and when you get cleated there, it really hurts. You can easily run it off, but it is painful.
Now, all the guys grabbing their faces after a stray hand hits their shoulder? That's another story.
Getting stepped on when you have Mercurials on sucks.
Also, pro like to wear the smallest shin guards possible.
The answer lies with the refs. The players do it because it works. The refs need to simply ignore the dives and play on.
If a wide receiver took a dive and pretended he was hurt to try to draw a flag on a corner back, everyone would just laugh. Nobody even tries it because it does not work.
Marchisio has almost scored like 3 times... Balotelli has had a few nice chances too
Pirlo does everything for them on offense..
Hajde Hrvatska. Croatia's jerseys are superb, there's a lot of pride in those checkered jerseys.
GOAL! Great service.
the perfect service = goal. it's hard to find that open space amidst a defense of moving players, but he dropped it in that one spot where only his man could get it. so cool.
Eduardo the Croatian forward??????
1. The Croatians are fearless tacklers. I wonder if Kovacs would be eligible to play for them.
2. I'm pretty sure Pirlo is Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in disguise.
Kovacs is a Slavic name from that area. He could related to Robert Kovacs of Croatia football.
is Hungarian for "smith". In the neighboring Slavic languages (Czech, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian) the name wouldn't have the "s" at the end; there'd be a diacritical mark on the "c" to denote the same sound.
There are, of course, a lot of ethnic Hungarians and semi-Hungarians in the surrounding countries.
What is going to happen to Italy when Pirlo retires?
Wow. Italy has played two pretty good games, but they are in some danger of not advancing.
thanks to UEFA's policy of using results among the tied teams as the primary tiebreaker. If Spain wins this afternoon, a 2-2 draw with Croatia would put those teams through no matter what Italy does against Ireland. And whenever there's a result that will put both teams through, the score has a tendency to magically gravitate to that result.
I think the tie breaker is total points earned between the tied teams, then it goes to goal difference in all games. If Italy beat Ireland and Spain and Croatia tie, they would all be level on 2 points, which means that Italy will really need to run it up against Ireland given what Spain are doing.
I could be wrong about the tiebreaker, though.
it's broken by
I understand why they do this in qualifying--qualification shouldn't depend on who scored more goals on San Marino or Liechtenstein. But in the group stage of the main tournament it creates too many situations where teams have an advantage by knowing in advance what they need--just what they're trying to do away with by playing the last round simultaneously.
Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship
Equality of points after the group matches
8.07 If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the
following criteria are applied, in the order given; to determine the rankings:
a) higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question;
b) superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question (if more
than two teams finish equal on points);
c) higher number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if
more than two teams finish equal on points);
d) superior goal difference in all the group matches;
e) higher number of goals scored in all the group matches;
f) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see Annex I,
g) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
h) drawing of lots.
8.08 If two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals
scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still
equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is
determined by kicks from the penalty mark (Article 16), provided no other teams
within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group
matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria
listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.
So essentially, assuming Italy beats Ireland, Spain are through with a win or any draw.
Croatia are through if they win or draw 2-2 or more.
Italy's through if they win and Spain-Croatia draw 0-0.
And if it's 1-1, it'll come down to goal difference, then total goals in Italy's and Croatia's wins over Ireland.
Much better than if both Spain and Croatia are through on 0-0 or 1-1, but still a potential issue, you're right. Of course, if Italy go out on a high scoring draw, it will allow Italians their favorite pasttime (apart from match fixing) ... screaming about conspiracy.
Italy had drawn Sweden and Denmark and everyone had beaten Bulgaria. Sweden and Denmark would both be through on a 2:2 draw, and so that was the final score.
It doesn't require a conspiracy, of course--the team that's behind has every motivation to score, as does the team that loses the tiebreaker if there's a 0:0 or 1:1 draw. It wasn't an accident that it was the Danes, who were going to lose the tiebreaker to Sweden, who went ahead 1:0 and 2:1. But once the game gets to 2:2 neither side has any reason to take any risks--they'll just kick the ball around and let the clock run out.
I really think UEFA should go to the WC tiebreak rule for the final tournament. If the Italians are on the wrong side of this again, maybe it will be enough to prompt the change.
wow. So, Fernando Torres... he hasn't done anything resembling that for a few years
For some reason I have always liked Torres and it was really hard for me to watch him struggle this year. I wanted Barca to take the title, but there was some sense of happiness when he scored that late goal in the CL.
Well Spain's passing game is a weird mixture of awesome and boring....
that's pretty much the point. They lull you to sleep with short easy passes, then slit your throat with a precise through ball.
they're killing off a 1:0 game. The difference is, Italy used to do it by defending their own penalty area and Spain does it by holding the ball for an hour.
I am thoroughly unimpressed by David Silva so far.
It seems like his decision making is slow today.
This is just painful to watch. Spain is simply disecting them. As for Spain, I like Torres (as bad as he's been this year), Cesc and Ramos but other than that I am not a very big fan of any of their players. They are right there with Portugal and Italy where crying about calls/non-calls are concerned.
I'd love to see Ireland pull the upset.
I love watching Xavi play. His understanding of where everyone is on the field is just amazing. He's reason Spain can play like they do and the guy that's made this generation of Spain and (with Messi) Barca great.
yes. Xavi is my favorite player ever for these reasons as well as al of his technical abilities with 1 and 2-touch passing.
Xavi is the engine of Barca and the engine of Spain.