The group stage of EURO 2012 is just under halfway completed, and with the other thread taking a bit too long to load, everyone felt it was best to break up the group stage comments into 2 separate threads. FYI- both games kickoff at 2:45 Eastern for the final games of group play. Standings with point totals (3 for a win, 1 for a draw for you non-soccer types) which I'll update on a daily basis are as follows:
|Republic of Ireland||3||0||0||3||1||9||-8||0|
England wins Group D, and France finishes 2nd as both advance to the knockout phase.
Spain will take on France in the quarterfinals on 6/23, and England will play Italy on 6/24.
In US Soccer news, the Men's National Team played a Group A World Cup Qualifier in Guatemala City last night, drawing 1-1 with Guatemala. The Guatemalans converted a free kick from just outside the box in the 83rd minute to level the contest, which the Americans controlled for most of the game after a Clint Dempsey goal in the 40th minute. The game wasn't on any US TV stations, only available via Pay-Per-View, after the Guatemalan federation, which owns the rights, sold them to Traffic Sports (although I did find a stream to watch the 2nd half).
Just prior to the Guatemalan equalizer, Jozy Altidore had slipped behind the Guatemalan defense, the ball found his boot from a nice pass from a US midfielder I couldn't identify, and Altidore deposited into the back of the net, only for the referee to have whistled the play dead after calling a foul on Guatemala without giving the Americans the advantage. Naturally there was some questionable officiating, including Michael Bradley getting a yellow card for wasting time on a free kick 15 mins into the 2nd half. After Guatemala had leveled the game, Bradley went on a fantastic run down the left side and sent a great cross in, but Jozy Altidore inexplicably stopped his run down the middle, and the promising opportunity went for naught. While getting a point on the road is nice, I feel like the USMNT left two on the pitch that would have put them in great position in their group.