Archive for June 2008
Germany on the other hand has enjoyed narrow 3-2 victories in the knockout phases conceding four goals but more importantly scoring six.
Spain's three goals against Russia are its only goals in the knockout stages and in the whole tournament Spain has scored 11 goals and conceded just 3.
Basically every team that has scored against Spain has only managed to score just once. I think that points to a strong Spanish defence.
Germany has so far scored 10 goals but worryingly conceded six compared to Spain's three.
Interestingly both teams have two clean sheets but in different phases of the tournament with Germany's coming in the group stages and the Spanish ones coming in the knockout stages.
At the end of the tournament there will be a post with a full goal analysis for all the teams and also looking at first and second half goals.
But it is Group C that is now guaranteed of a finalist after Spain knocked out Group D runner-up Italy in a penalty shoot-out.
Spain is the only group leader to reach the semis and they will meet a team they beat 4-1 in the group opening match.
That feat doesn't look like it will be repeated this time around and if anything it could be Russia in the final to meet the winner between Germany and Turkey.
These are the Netherlands, Croatia and Portugal knocked out by Russia, Turkey and Germany respectively.
If that trend continues then in the final quarter final match Spain will be knocked out by Italy.
The Netherlands looked like they were on the right path when they easily dispatched Italy and France and their second string team easily beat Romania but in the quarter-finals they were knocked out by a team that conceded four goals in its first group match.
Equally impressive in the group matches were Croatia but a loss in a penalty shoot out meant it was Turkey who proceeded to the semis to face Germany.
Interestingly the teams that are now in the semis needed to win their final group matches to progress to reach the quarters whereas they teams they knocked out were already confirmed group winners by the third and final group match.
Lets see if Spain can stop the trend.
All three group leaders were confirmed after the second round of matches and only Portugal failed to finish with nine points with the Netherlands, Spain and Croatia finishing with clean record.
Spain were the second highest scorers with 8 thanks to their 4-1 demolition of Spain but they also conceded three goals.
The first quarter-final match will see Group A leaders Portugal face Germany whilst in the second match Croatia will face Turkey.
Turkey has been one of only two sides so far to come from behind and win and they did that against the Czech Republic and also co-hosts Switzerland. The other one is Spain who came from behind to win against Greece.
The Netherlands will face Russia in the quarters whilst in the last quarter-final match Spain will face Italy who finished with four points in Group C.
Only one team, defending champions Greece, failed to register a single point in the tournament and they also join four other teams who scored just one goal.
The other teams to score just one goal are Romania, Poland, France and Austria.
So if this was a league of 16 teams, here is how the league ladder would like after three matches:
Of the three promoted sides only Hull will kick off the campaign at home when they face Fulham at KC Stadium. West Brom visit the Emirates whilst Stoke will be at the Reebok.
Defending champions Manchester United will start off at home against Kevin Keegan's Newcastle.
The TipsChallenge 2008/9 English premier league competition is now open for registrations and just like the A-League tipping competition there will be a host of new features for the 2008/9 season compared to last season.
Portugal is also the first team to win a group because no other team in that group can now overtake them.
But there have been a few other firsts already so far. Russia was the first losing team to score a goal. Before that all losing teams had failed to score a goal.
In beating the co-hosts Switzerland 2-1, Turkey became the first team to come from behind and win a match. Sad for the co-hosts they became the first side to exit the tournament.
Spain's David Villa was the first player to get a hat-trick but it wont be surprising if he is the last as well.
To beat Austria, Croatia got the first penalty of the tournament.
There must be a few other firsts like yellow cards and so on but these are just a few of them.