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Monday, June 25, 2012

Euro 2012 : It is Portugal Vs Spain ; Germany Vs Italy


A clearer picture has emerged at Euro 2012 as the Semi-finalists have been spotted.  On Wed 27th June 2012, Portugal will play Spain and on the next day, Germany takes on Italy for a place in the Finals.  The first match is to be played in the city known as ‘city of million roses’ – Donetsk, a large city in eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius River. Donetsk is a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of companies and a skilled workforce.  The city was founded in 1869 by a Welsh businessman, John Hughes, who constructed a steel plant and several coal mines in the region; the town was thus named Yuzovka

It was Alessandro Diamanti who struck the decisive penalty as Italy edged past England 4-2 on penalties to set up semi-final meeting with Germany in Warsaw on Thursday.  It will be tough to predict the winner who will be the champion at Kyiv's Olympic Stadium on Sunday 1 July ; do you know what Cup would be awarded to the winner ?   Holders Spain are aiming to become the first team to win three consecutive major tournaments but will have to get past Portugal in the first semi-final in Donetsk to keep that dream alive. The winners of that match will then keep a close eye on the action in Warsaw as Germany take on Italy for the right to join them in the showpiece.

UEFA European Football Championship is the main football competition, held every 4 years by UEFA.   Starting with the 1996 tournament, specific championships are often referred to in the form "Euro 2012" or whichever year is appropriate. Prior to entering the tournament all teams other than the host nations (which qualify automatically) compete in a qualifying process.  The last championship, co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria in 2008, was won by Spain, who beat Germany 1–0. The 2012 European Championship is currently on. 

The showpiece match was almost Italy’s to the horror of England fans closer to the finish but the linesman judged the goalscorer was offside.  The extratime also did not produce any goal and hence it was a penalty shoot out.  Roy Hodgson was left cursing the psychological block England suffer at penalty shootouts as they were knocked out of Euro 2012 in a manner that has now become a national “obsession”.  The former English footballer is the Manager of the England national football team, having assumed charge from May 2012.  After two hours of clever, often dominating but in the end fruitless play, Italy found the answer against England

Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive kick Sunday to send Italy through but much drama preceded that.   For Italy, Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Nocerino  scored,  while for England it was - Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.  It was marred by Ashley Young who  hit the crossbar with England's third, and Ashley Cole's attempt was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.  Thus it was another exit for England through a penalty shoot out, having lost to  Portugal in the same manner at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. England briefly led the shootout after Riccardo Montolivo missed Italy's second penalty. His shot went wide of Joe Hart's right post as the England goalkeeper guessed correctly.


The idea for a pan-European football tournament was first proposed by the French Football Federation's secretary-general Henri Delaunay in 1927, but it was not until 1958 that the tournament was started—three years after Delaunay's death.  In honour of Delaunay, the trophy awarded to the champions is named after him. The 1960 tournament, held in France, had four teams competing in the finals out of 17 that entered the competition.  So, it is the  Henri Delaunay Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the European Football Championship.  Henri Delaunay  after  playing for the Paris team √Čtoile des Deux Lacs, became a referee. He retired following an incident during a match between AF Garenne-Doves and ES Benevolence, when he swallowed his whistle and broke two teeth on being struck full in the face by the ball.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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