EURO 2012 Group Stage Open Thread Part II

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:

Group A

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Czech Republic Czech Republic 3 2 0 1 4 5 -1 6
Greece Greece 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Russia Russia 3 1 1 1 5 3 2 4
Poland Poland 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2

The Czechs win the group after defeating Poland, and Greece is still alive in the Euro for another few days after their upset of the Russians.

Group B

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Germany Germany 3 3 0 0 5 2 3 9
Portugal Portugal 3 2 0 1 5 4 1 6
Denmark Denmark 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3
Netherlands Netherlands 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

The Germans win the Group of Death after defeating Denmark, and Portugal advances after dispatching the Netherlands with a great performance from Ronaldo. It's the first time ever the Germans have won all 3 games in group play.

The Czech Republic will face Portugal in the first game of the knockout phase on 6/21, and Germany will face Greece on 6/22.

Group C

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Spain Spain 3 2 1 0 6 1 5 7
Italy Italy 3 1 2 0 4 2 2 5
Croatia Croatia 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 3 0 0 3 1 9 -8 0

Spain wins Group C, and Italy advances to the knockout stage as Group C Runner-up.

Group D

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
England England 3 2 1 0 5 3 2 7
France France 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Ukraine Ukraine 3 1 0 2 2 4 -2 3
Sweden Sweden 3 1 0 2 5 5 0 3

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.

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