Friday, 15 June 2012

Euro 2012 Day 8 Review

The eighth day of the championships saw the second round of matches for Group D.

First there was the game between Ukraine and France where there was some unexpected drama. The players had to go off after just four minutes due to lightning and heavy rain much to the confusion of the supporters and the rest of the team's squads. There was about a thirty minute delay before the match was able to continue.

Once the match restarted it was clear that Ukraine were applying similar tactics to which England applied on Monday, they were trying to keep the French out whilst catching them on the counter attack. This worked pretty well throughout the first half as they kept the score level going into half time.

The start of the second half is where the game changed, Jeremy Menez finished well in the 53rd minute to make the breakthrough for his side. Just three minutes later, Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye double the French's lead and put them firmly in control. Ukraine tried to put some pressure on the French but posed little threat as the game got away from them.

I expect France to beat Sweden and qualify top of the group, I can't call the Ukraine, England match but it will be a great contest.

The second game of the day featured Sweden and England in Kiev. Sweden came into the match after a disappointing defeat to Ukraine whilst England had a point on the board after battling to a draw against France. England controlled the opening half which they were rewarded for by a goal from Andy Carroll on 23 minutes , yes I said Andy Carroll. This gave the English the edge at half time.

Nobody could have predicted the second half, England practically fell asleep as former Aston Villa man Olof Mellberg, scored two in ten minutes as England failed to deal with set pieces. This called for Hodgson to make a change as Theo Walcott came on for James Milner which turned out to be key. Walcott scored from outside of the area to level the game up before setting up a fantastic Danny Welbeck finish to give the English the win.

Sweden are now out of the competition and will be very disappointed with both performances, England must be better if they are to get the point needed to qualify on Tuesday.

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