Live Commentary: Spain vs. Portugal

Will Ronaldo step up, MJ-style, and put Portugal to the sword. Or will Alvaro Negredo–the non-hipster choice–and his Spanish cohorts have the final say again? (Negredo starts today for Portugal).

Game on….shortly.

Ronaldo

Bear, Ninja, The Greasy One?

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43 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 11:07 AM

    3-1 Spain. Dont think Ronnie and his boys can handle that attack for 90 mins.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 11:48 AM

      Spain to score 3? That would be a huge shock.

      If any team can beat Spain using the 10 men behind the ball strategy it’s Portugal just because of Ronaldo. I still think it will end up being 1-0 to Spain.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 12:22 PM

        Hi pressure and solid organization that first 30 mins has def unsettled Spain.

        Reply

  2. Posted by Jason on 2012/06/27 at 12:07 PM

    Interesting decisions from the ref already. I hope he doesn’t impact the game too much but I do like that he isn’t giving a call just because someone goes down.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 12:07 PM

    How does Ramos always get away with so much body contact? That “tackle” on Nani was ridiculous. Just jumped in front of him while Nani was away. There is no way he gets away with that if he doesn’t play for Spain and Real Madrid.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 12:27 PM

      He finally gets a yellow for it after doing it to Ronaldo.

      Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 12:32 PM

      Nani oversold the last one IMO or would have got the call. Ref was counting obviously on the second Ramos body block.
      What was ref thinking in stopping the advantage on that Nani turn. Strange decision as all you have to do is wait for the ball to change possession. Hmmm…

      Reply

  4. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 1:04 PM

    What a strange team choice up top for del Bosque…Spain has no killer look about them at all. Portugal can steal this….

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 1:06 PM

      I wouldn’t even call it stealing. Portugal has looked like the better team today.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 1:05 PM

    Busquets gets a yellow for brandishing an imaginary card for Ronaldo to the ref. Well done ref. Hate Busquets and not enough is made of his dark arts on the teams that supposedly play the beautiful game.

    Reply

  6. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 1:11 PM

    Time for Varela. Almeida is tits on bull with Ronaldo’s through balls all day…

    Reply

  7. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 1:18 PM

    Slightly off topic but one of the most useful “technology” advances is the 10 yd spray line that takes the creeping wall completely out of the game. The wall was 7-8 yds away from Ronaldo by the time he took that free kick.

    Reply

    • Posted by SamT on 2012/06/27 at 2:37 PM

      Agree completely. What league / organization first innovated that? I see it in MLS. Was someone else first?

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 5:00 PM

        I remember Tim Vickery talking about it in World Football Phone in about 5 years ago or so and I think it was in regards to the Brazilian league. It was definitely South America somewhere that I first heard about it.

        I don’t understand why it isn’t used everywhere because the spray disappears relatively quickly but makes it obvious when the players creep up as soon as the ref backs up two steps.

        Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/06/27 at 5:35 PM

        Mexico had it before MLS for sure. Don’t know if they were the first.

        Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 5:55 PM

        MLS seems to be the one that’s implemented across the board. Just takes so much silliness out of the game. Mark off ten and make the line. That’s where the wall starts and stays…
        That, real time in place of injury time and anything but penalties and I’m a happy camper.

        Reply

  8. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 1:25 PM

    Did Varela get hurt? He was a game changer in every game he came in for in the tourney so far….

    Reply

    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/27 at 2:06 PM

      Varela finally coming on. Only took 112 minutes or so

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 2:20 PM

        don’t get that unless he has a knock or something. They really needed someone to run off of and with Ronaldo and Almeida just brought none of that to the table.

        Reply

  9. Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 1:37 PM

    Is it fair now to say that Spain have played a large part in these games being boring? Portugal have outshot, outcornered and only slightly outfouled Spain.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 1:58 PM

      Further proof that it’s Spain being boring is that Alba and Pedro moving down the left has added much more danger to the attack in extra time than Spain had in the entire regulation.

      Reply

  10. Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 1:50 PM

    Van Marwijk has quit his post for the Netherlands per Ian Darke. No surprise there after such a pathetic display.

    Reply

  11. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 2:18 PM

    Thwheeeeee! Thwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! A little Euro-style displeasure at the first 120.
    I have to say that Pepe and Alves have been fantastic in defense and Couentrao surprisingly good defensively as well.

    Reply

  12. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 2:41 PM

    Ugh! Is there anything worse than finishing a match with penalties. Suggestion:
    Reduce the sides by one field player for each 15 minute extra time. You retain the character of the game but increase the attacking space and give the advantage to the attacking side.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/27 at 5:02 PM

      You can’t do that. It would knock that team out of the next round automatically if it went an extra 90 minutes. There is also the consideration that right now if a team gets below 7 (not sure it’s 7 but there is a number) players the match is abandoned. So you would be changing the character of the game.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/27 at 5:58 PM

        Five guys stepping up to shoot penalties that they haven’t earned is changing the character and nature of the game. Playing until you score would seem to fit the nature of the game….no?

        Reply

        • Posted by Nelsonaoatl on 2012/06/27 at 10:34 PM

          agreed. Ive even thought they should have a return leg. pks just bug the &:&@ out of me

          Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/28 at 5:45 AM

            Neither of those scenarios work due to the time constraints of tournaments. You can’t have a return leg because the games are already scheduled. There are 4 days between the first semi and the final. When would you play the return leg?

            If you played until you scored you could end up with 5 guys having played another 90 minutes if it got down that far with 4 days rest (3 if it’s the semi that is played today). How would that be a fair way of determining the champion? There is zero chance that that team would win in the final with their best players completely wasted.

            I’m not a fan of penalties but until there is some solution that doesn’t completely cripple the team that advances then penalties are the best solution. It allows for both teams to have an equal chance of advancing based on the skill of the players (or in the case of England the players refusal to practice them and call shootouts luck or a lottery).

            Reply

            • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/28 at 6:19 AM

              You’re taking it to extremes that I’m not suggesting. Drop one player for each of the current two (2) extra time periods so the least you have (apart from red cards) would be 8 field players for the last extra time period. Similar to the current NHL model where you play with 4 out players in the OT to encourage more space and better attacking opportunities.
              The numbers quoted yesterday were first shooting team wins 60-65% which essentially means that the coin flip influences the winner to an extreme beyond simple skill vs skill. Open play will always be the best way to settle a match IMO.But of course that’s just an opinion.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/06/28 at 6:34 AM

              I think if you have to do penalties, do them the NASL way and have shootouts. Much more fun, much more like actual soccer.

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/28 at 6:54 AM

              I thought you were trying to avoid penalties completely so playing to the bitter end.

              So what would your solution be when the 8 v 8 ends without a goal? In the NHL they don’t use the 4 v 4 in the playoffs. That’s a recent change to the regular season as is the shootout that follows the 4 v 4.

            • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/28 at 7:09 AM

              Jared,

              I can’t fix everything…I’m just…one…man…))) (with half a plan))…
              DTH’s return to NASL shootout is interesting. Additionally the shooter and keeper should have to wear those tiny shorts from the 70s as well….

  13. Posted by dth on 2012/06/27 at 8:11 PM

    OT, but 1:25 features some impressive Josh Gatt: http://www.rbk.no/news/article/17q0dmel21od7125xr5hsm35d0/title/utslatt-i-malkalas

    He’s the impressive player.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jason on 2012/06/28 at 7:09 AM

      That was some nice dribbling, but I’m most impressed he was able to find that little chip through to the striker. Impressive indeed.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2012/06/28 at 7:37 AM

        Both are impressive to me in context with Gatt. Gatt has always been a good dribbler, but usually on the counter. This dribble–through a crowd–is something I haven’t really seen before. The vision, of course, is impressive.

        The most impressive thing about Gatt is the learning curve–I can’t recall many American players who learn faster than Gatt.

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/28 at 7:47 AM

          You’ve been the guy holding everyone back on the Gatt bandwagon jump, dth. Is it close to time for the jump now? Do you think we’ll see him soon for the USMNT?

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2012/06/28 at 8:03 AM

            I think he can play a role as a backup threatening defenses with his pace. Problem here is that Norway is probably worse than MLS, and obviously being a good MLS player doesn’t mean you’re a surefire good international player…

            Reply

  14. Posted by Jared on 2012/06/28 at 5:38 AM

    Just read that Jordi Alba signs for Barca for 14 million Euros. That is highway robbery. How do the big Spanish clubs always manage to buy from the other Spanish clubs for such a low price? It would be like Manchester United buying Bale for 15 million pounds or something.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2012/06/28 at 5:56 AM

      I think Valencia is in bad debt because of their half-completed, forlorn update to the Mestalla.

      So that’s why, in this case.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/06/28 at 6:06 AM

        I thought that they were over that for the most part although I think I read that they had reached agreement with a Spanish bank so that might not be the best agreement to have in place these days. I would think that would make them want to hold out for more rather than less. They were able to get 23.5 million GBP for Mata last year. It just seems like these teams roll over for the big 2 to take their players then complain that the best players all end up at the big 2.

        Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/07/02 at 6:16 AM

      No it would not.
      1. Bale went through Southampton’s academy, not Man Utd’s.
      2. Bale is Welsh, not English.

      Reply

  15. Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/06/28 at 7:03 AM

    Spain is looking more and more susceptible to der Mannschaft’s positive tendencies should they go through today of course. They seem to be falling into the Barca tendency to always play the same way regardless of what the opponent presents. Not starting Torres or even Fabregas was just an awful choice against Portugal and with a target man up top continued to force the play through the middle of the box. They got the result but Portugal should get huge props for their tactical approach (apart from Almeida) and defensive solidarity.

    Reply

    • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/06/28 at 8:14 AM

      Negredo played poorly, but wasn’t necessarily a bad selection against Pepe and Alves. Spain looked better and controlled the ball better after he was out though. As the Portugese coach said, the Spanish substitutes changed the game.

      A Germany – Spain final would be a great game, and I’m not sure who I’d favor.

      Reply

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