Euro 2008 Update

10Jun08

Romania 0-0 France

Lacklustre France failed to score in their opening Euro 2008 game against Romania which could leave them with an uphill task to qualify from Group C. Without influential captain Patrick Vieira and main striker Thierry Henry, they created little against the hard-working but unambitious Romanians. Franck Ribery cut a ball back for Karim Benzema to cushion an 18-yard shot into Bogdan Lobont’s arms on 62 minutes. Romania barely threated but they were content with a point from the drab tie.The match under the fading Zurich sun marked the first time France has entered a major tournament in over a decade without the now-retired Zinedine Zidane. And, with influential skipper Vieira missing with a thigh injury and sciatic nerve victim Henry on the bench, it was a chance for a new generation to shine. But, with high hopes stacked on their shoulders, young stars such as Benzema, Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan all failed to set a dreary first half alight.A flurry of scrappy half chances fell just before the 10-minute mark, first to Romania’s Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu after a poor Eric Abidal clearance before Nicolas Anelka fired well wide from a tight angle.On 65 minutes Benzema then showed great feet on the edge of the box to leave Gabriel Tamas and Cosmin Contra bamboozled – but he dragged his low 15-yard shot wide. And with Romania largely unthreatened, France coach Raymond Domenech brought on promising St Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis for the morose Anelka on 73 minutes, and then withdrew the frustrated Benzema for Marseille’s Samir Nasri. The Romanians did cause panic in added time when Banel Nicolita’s cross was headed on by Daniel Nicolae. Romania – and group C rivals Italy and Netherlands – will be hugely content with the result.

HIGHLIGHTS

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Netherlands 3-0 Italy

The Netherlands took a grip on Euro 2008’s so-called “Group of Death” by beating Italy in a classic encounter.Ruud van Nistelrooy put the Dutch ahead in controversial circumstances after 26 minutes when he scored from close range – but looked suspiciously offside. Wesley Sneijder swept in a second from Dirk Kuyt’s header five minutes later. Edwin van der Sar then denied Italy with stunning saves from Fabio Grosso and Andrea Pirlo before Giovanni van Bronckhorst headed in after 80 minutes. Euro 2008 has made a low-key start, but this was a game to set any tournament alight as the Dutch played in a stunning counter-attacking style and Italy also showed flashes of brilliance, despite ending up well beaten. Holland are in pole position to qualify after France’s dismal goalless draw with Romania, but World Cup holders Italy – even in defeat – suggested they can still go through from this tough group. Italy could barely believe they were three goals down, but it could have been worse as Dutch substitutes Ibrahim Afellay and Robin van Persie were just off target with spectacular efforts. The Dutch were worthy winners of a magnificent game – and made it clear they have the quality to have a major impact on Euro 2008.

HIGHLIGHTS

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2 Responses to “Euro 2008 Update”

  1. 1 UTP

    Great win for Netherlands…and they are surely back to some respectable position…they have always been around…but it was time of changing over after Bergkamp and Davids…they have got the people now….and they will make it count…

    Azzuri…sucked at what they are best at…DEFENSE…

    French unfortunately…rely on the big names….somehow the the youngsters…didnt find the heart…to get anything done…but Romania played wonderfully…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if France and Italy don’t make it to the next round…I really wouldn’t…

  2. 2 ahan4element

    Well Said !


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