Aycliffe Today Sports Editor and Newton Aycliffe FC reporter Glen Robertson continues his daily Euro 2012 blog…
DAY NINE REVIEW
Greece 1-0 Russia
Czech Rep 1-0 Poland
I think it is safe to say that nobody will be getting 100% on Newton Aycliffe FC’s Euro 2012 predictor. Did anyone see Czech Republic topping the group, with Greece in second?
After Russia thrashed the Czechs 4-1 in their first game, people were tipping the Russians to go far in this tournament. They didn’t win another game, while Czech Republic won two from two to progress as group winners.
But the sad story is Poland. At every tournament it is good to see a host nation go far, but Poland go home without a win.
They had enough chances to win a tournament in their first and last group game – while Jakub Blaszczykowski’s goal against Russia remains the tournament’s best goal – but two awful second half performances have seen them crash at the first stage.
Czech Republic now await the runners-up of Group B. You’d think all four would be too strong for Petr Cech and Co., but this tournament hasn’t exactly been known to follow the form book.
Lot’s of jokes have already been written about the Greeks possibly meeting the Germans in the next round. Should that be made official tonight, expect to hear lots more about the Greek economy, the Euro and Angela Merkel in the coming week.
The only downside for the Greeks is missing their captain Giorgos Karagounis, who was disgracefully shown a yellow card for ‘diving’ when he was definitely fouled in the penalty area.
It was a second booking of the tournament for the midfielder, meaning he misses the quarter-final, Greece’s biggest game since the Euro 2004 final. Karagounis missed that one through suspension too.
GROUP B FINALE
The Group of Death ends tonight with everything still to play for. Germany lead the group by three points, yet could still find themselves eliminated tonight. Denmark and Portugal both lie on three points with their destiny more or less in their own hands, but the Netherlands lie waiting, still able to pull off a miraculous recovery from the bottom of the group.
The hardest thing for fans will be deciding what game to watch. Both kick-off at 7.45pm, and both are ‘must-see’. It’s time the BBC and ITV came up with split-screen for the group deciders.
Germany only need a point, Denmark need three, but one may be enough, and Portugal can win and go out, but lose and go through. Netherlands need goals.
A win and they’ll complete the group with a 100% record. A draw and they will top the group. If they lose and Portugal beat Netherlands, they go home, unless they lose 3-2 (or a higher one-goal defeat).
A win and they are through, unless Denmark win 3-2 (or a higher one-goal victory). A draw will be good enough if Germany beat Denmark. A 1-0 defeat and a Germany win would be enough to go through, but a two or more goal defeat and they go home.
Win and they are through. Lose and they are out. A draw will be good enough, providing Netherlands beat Portugal
They must win by two or more goals to go through, and hope Germany beat Denmark. Anything less and they’re out.
Bets of the Day: Netherlands to beat Portugal 6/
Nicklas Bendtner anytime goalscorer 3/1