UEFA Euro 2016: Knockout stage (R16 to Final)

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by phins_4_ever, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E12 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2002
    Messages:
    24,771
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    [Congrats UK_Fan for N Ireland making the knockout stage. You must be extremely excited. ]

    With the expansion to 24 teams I waited for the knockout rounds to open up a thread. With the group stages complete we are set for the 'real soccer games'. A lot of people (fans and officials) were against an expansion. The reason was that the Euro Championship is being watered down. I was opposed to an expansion as well. But I am pleasantly surprised that the 'training partners' gave the top teams a real fight.
    Teams like Albania (barely missed the Round of 16), Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Ireland, Hungary gave the elite in European soccer fits. Several teams with first time appearances in the Euro (i.e. Wales, Slovakia, Northern Ireland) and Iceland (first ever appearance at any major tournament). What became the dreaded 3rd place qualification became a saving anchor for some teams with higher aspirations (i.e. Portugal). Teams like Austria and Russia who we expected more from are left to go home.

    The surprise appearance of the little guys threw the two brackets in the knockout stage into turmoil. The brackets (8 teams each) were evenly reserved for three 1st place finishers, three runner-up and two 3rd place teams. But with the revolt from below and teams like England and Spain not winning their divisions and Belgium as one of the top favorite relinquishing the group to the 'retirement home of Italy' the two brackets are completely out of proportion.

    Bracket 1:
    (in parenthesis FIFA ranking; WC = World Cup wins; EC = European Championship wins)

    Belgium (#2): 0WC, 0 EC
    Portugal (#8):0WC, 0EC; regular appearances at major tournaments
    Switzerland (#15): 0WC, 0EC
    Hungary (#20): 0WC. 0EC; hasn’t qualified for a major tournament since 1986 (WC) and first appearance at Euro since 1972
    Wales (#26): 0WC, 0EC; last major tournament in 1958 (WC). First time ever at UEFA Euro
    Northern Ireland (#25): 0WC, 0EC; last major tournament in 1986 (WC). First time ever at UEFA Euro
    Croatia (#27): 0WC, 0EC; since becoming independent regular appearances at WC and EC
    Poland (#28): 0WC, 0EC; only 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] appearance at UEFA Euro

    2 top 10 teams
    3 top 15 teams

    Combined: 0 WC, 0 EC
    Bracket 2:
    (in parenthesis FIFA ranking; WC = World Cup wins; EC = European Championship wins)

    Germany (#4): 4WC (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014), 3EC (1972, 1980, 1996)
    Spain (#6): 1WC (2010), 3EC (1964, 2008, 2012); defending champion
    England (#11): 1WC (1966), 0EC
    Italy (#12): 4WC (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), 1EC (1968)
    France (#17): 1WC (1998), 2EC (1984, 2000)
    Slovakia (#24): 0WC, 0EC; 1[SUP]st[/SUP] appearance at UEFA Euro and 2nd major tournament appearance since independence
    Ireland (#33): 0WC. 0EC
    Iceland (#34): 0WC, 0EC; first ever qualification for a major tournament

    This bracket has a stunning combined 21 (!!!!!!) Championships between the top 5 teams.
    Combined: 11WC, 10 EC

    The two brackets:

    bracket.jpg

    Predictions are hard. But in bracket 1 I could see all top 3 teams (Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland) fall in the R16. None of them have played well and none of them are considered tournament teams. Their opponents (Croatia, Poland, Hungary) have played excellent group matches and gotten better over the course of the games.
    I could easily see Wales or Northern Ireland (it is a shame that these two teams play in the R16) make a run for the Finals as well as Croatia or Poland.

    Advancing to the Quarters: Poland, Croatia, Wales, Belgium

    Bracket 1 Quarterfinal: Poland vs Croatia
    Croatia has probably played their best game in the group match final vs Spain. I saw the entire game and they gave the defending Champion fits. If not for the last minute goal by the Czech Republic they would have won all their group matches as the only team. Croatia will advance.


    Bracket 1 Quarterfinal: Belgium vs Wales
    I am not sure why Belgium was named a top favorite this year and why they are actually the #2 seed in the world. Their qualifying group was nothing to brag about. And they struggled at the Euro. Can Wales beat them? You bet they can. They faced each other in the qualifying group B and despite Belgium winning that group and Wales being the runner up Wales did not lose to Belgium (0-0, 1-0). Wales will advance.


    Bracket 1 Semifinal: Wales vs Croatia
    The Welch will triumph and will move into the final.

    **************************************************

    Bracket 2?

    Holly macaroni. Who to pick? Italy and Spain are struggling mighty. Both lost their final group matches and that game is a recovery game for either team. While I will not count Italy out but I think Spain will continue on.
    As much as I like the Cinderella story Iceland I do not see them beating England. They may take them into overtime but I think their summer night dream will end. Germany will have a rough time with Slovakia. Just a few weeks ago Slovakia beat them 3-1 in a Euro tune up game. But experience and having all players aboard Germany should squeak by.

    France may just be upset. If Ireland can focus and play disciplined I don't see any reason why they should not beat France. Despite winning their group France struggled big time. 3 of their 4 goals (incl both against Albania) came in the last minute and extra time.

    In the Quarters: Germany vs Spain

    Germany is not as strong as during the WC in 2014. Several players struggle (Goetze, Ozil) and Mueller just cannot score in the Euro. And that is the crux of the German team. They dominated all three group matches, solid on defense but they have poor success when it comes to scoring. They finally went back to a true #9 (Gomez) who scored the goal against N Ireland but based on chances (shots on goal) it should have been 4-0 or 5-0. If they can solve their scoring problem they will cruise past Spain if not Spain will punish them. Right now I lean towards Germany.

    In the Quarters: England vs Ireland
    The question is how much does Ireland will have left in the tank. I can see a low scoring affair with OT and penalty kicks. It probably will be much more interesting to see those two rivals fan bases sing and dance the entire game. Oh yea. I think England will win in penalty kicks.

    Semifinal in Bracket 2 Germany vs England

    We have to face reality here. Since that no-goal which was called a goal in 1966 Germany has become England's boogeyman/demon/nightmare which includes games from domination to penalty kicks to goals-being-called-no-goals. This year is probably England's best chance to stop that nightmare. I don't think it will happen.

    **************************************************

    Final: Wales vs Germany
    Can/Could Wales beat Germany?
    History has shown that any team could beat another in the final. 1992 Danish Dynamite came in ranked #20 and played some refreshing soccer and beat Germany (clearly the favorite coming of a WC Championship in 1990).
    In 2004 underdog Greece ranked #40 coming into the tournament became a all-defense team under a German coach (Ribbeck). Three 1-0 victories (Quarter, Semi, Final) was enough to stun favorite and host Portugal.
    But history also shows that this does not happen too often. Germany's experience and talent throughout the roster (incl bench players) will make the difference.

    Champion: Germany
     
  2. FSU Truth

    FSU Truth Taggart is my Homeboy Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 2013
    Messages:
    10,821
    Likes Received:
    3,093
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well done putting that together....

    Germany...they need to sit Gotze...he is struggling and is only a hindrance at this point...would love to see Draxler get the start.

    Really like what Wales is doing and could see them get Germany in a 1-0 game.
     
  3. Wadeshow

    Wadeshow Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2006
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Goetze has been bad for the whole year. As Bayern Munich fan I have been disappointed with him from the moment he signed with us.

    Hopefully Croatia can finally bring a championship to the former Yugoslavia. Half Croatian Half Serbian. They need Modric back and if he is healthy they should come out of that bracket.
     
  4. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E12 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2002
    Messages:
    24,771
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree on Goetze. After his WC heroics he has not improved. I think his 2013 move to Munich was fatal. While he played more in his first season which helped him in the WC he is now relegated to a bench player and infrequently substituted in.
    He is always good for that sudden impact moment but I think he is just a burden to the team right now.

    Though Germany is still the deepest teams in the tournament if they cannot solve their scoring problem I could agree with your 1-0 of Wales over Germany.
     
  5. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E12 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2002
    Messages:
    24,771
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Goetze has hardly played this year. He is a bench warmer. I think his struggles has to do with the lack of playing time. Is it his fault? I am not sure. He is playing behind Douglas Costa, Kingsley Coman, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry (on the outsides) and in the middle Munich has Thomas Müller, Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal. This is an all-star lineup in itself. Oh and I forgot Lewandowski.
    In Dortmund he was the star fitting into a team. In Munich he became over time one of the many. A return to Dortmund is out of the question. Fans just hate him there. I heard that Liverpool (coached by his former Dortmund coach Klopp) is interested. It would be an option for him. Not sure what the new coach (Ancilotti) in Munich will do.

    He is still good for the occasional brilliance but he could do that as a substitute for the German National Team.
     
  6. GasPed

    GasPed A True Fan Donator

    Joined:
    Nov 2009
    Messages:
    1,123
    Likes Received:
    154
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Every single top team has been a major disappointment this Euro, and looks extremely beatable. It's anyone's championship at this point. Having said that, I really don't think Ireland will beat France, just based on the talent gap alone. (Yeah, right.) And if Belgium plays like a real team instead of a bunch of guys running around with no idea, they really should get past Wales and Croatia. But right now, if you just look at who's on form, Croatia is the team to beat. Who'd have thought?
     
  7. Welshfin

    Welshfin Scout Team

    Joined:
    May 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Wales vs Germany final?
    That would be nuts.

    The top teams are showing some fatigue. League, cup, champions league and qualifiers - that's a lot of games under your belt before the Euros started.

    Top coaching is elevating some of the lesser teams. Cohesion matters.

    Bad luck NIR, bring on HUN/BEL!
     
  8. uk_dolfan

    uk_dolfan Founder of the FH Adam Gase fan club Moderator Finheaven VIP Donator

    Joined:
    Sep 2012
    Messages:
    21,665
    Likes Received:
    7,556
    Trophy Points:
    113
    NI went out today because of a late own goal from one of my favourite players (he used to play for my local semi pro team) but I am very very proud of our team. I don't mind going out, but going out via an own goal hurt.

    We even played well today, we were just unlucky and wern't lucky enough to have Gareth Bale grow up in the province.... but considering that we have never qualified before we did really well. Our fans were amazing
     
  9. Welshfin

    Welshfin Scout Team

    Joined:
    May 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Both teams have outperformed expectations.

    Gareth Bale went to school just down the road from me in Whitchurch High.
    A friend of mine went to school with him, said he is a nice guy. Same year as Sam Warburton the rugby union player, i think.

    Anyway that cross was going to be sniped in by Robson-Kanu. I would say it was pretty much indefensible/undefendable - whichever word is more appropriate.
     
  10. uk_dolfan

    uk_dolfan Founder of the FH Adam Gase fan club Moderator Finheaven VIP Donator

    Joined:
    Sep 2012
    Messages:
    21,665
    Likes Received:
    7,556
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Maybe but you never know with these things.

    Either way I said all your tournament that Wales are probably the best British side at the tournament, hope you win it.

    Lets see if the migbt Ing-gur-land can manage to sneak past Iceland.... I like Woy
     
  11. Bumpus

    Bumpus Looks at bottle ... *sigh* Administrator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 2003
    Messages:
    31,908
    Likes Received:
    2,910
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Not even gonna pretend like I know a damn thing about soccer, but - OUCH.

    Sorry to hear that.
     
  12. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E12 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2002
    Messages:
    24,771
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It was a tough own goal. But can't fault the player. Inside your own 5m box trying to defend a cross like that with a Welsh player right behind you....can't fault the player.

    I agree with you on the fatigue part.

    But is a Wales/Germany as a final really so nuts? Crazier things have happened. If Wales plays strong defense, limits its mistake and take advantage of counter attacks they should not fear anybody in their bracket. Ireland lost today against France within 3 minutes because of defensive mistakes. If they would have taken advantage of a couple of their chances before that the host would have been knocked out. Almost every game this year is close. No clear favorite. It comes down to who makes the mistakes.

    Germany plays in a few minutes but their road is tough. If they win they have to face either Italy or Spain and if they survive there they may have to face France or England (unless Iceland pulls off a couple mega upsets) to the finals. Wales may face Hungary or Belgium and either Poland or Portugal. So at this point Wales may actually have the easier task. :lol:
     
  13. Welshfin

    Welshfin Scout Team

    Joined:
    May 2004
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Is it nuts? Yes.
    Why? Reasons. Oh, and Wales.

    When you've watched your national team **** the bed for 40+ years, you become... highly skeptical.

    Kinda like the Dolphins.

    Anyway, even if Chris Coleman can instill the belief and evade critical injuries, Wales still needs a tonne of luck.
    He got outdone tactically yesterday, but fortunately it was against NI who have somewhat lesser talent.

    That said, when we poach a goal, the wind is in our sails and the Welsh are hard to stop. But more often than not we are overwhelmed and flat.
     
  14. phins_4_ever

    phins_4_ever E12 FH Tailgate Gang Moderator Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 2002
    Messages:
    24,771
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Oh I didn't say it will be easy. :lol:
    And most teams need luck but you always put yourself into the position to take advantage of luck.

    But they have a chance as anybody in that bracket. They are my dark horse. :lol:

    Happy? :)

    He played an outstanding game today.
     
  15. GasPed

    GasPed A True Fan Donator

    Joined:
    Nov 2009
    Messages:
    1,123
    Likes Received:
    154
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Just want to say that the Belgium team I saw that dismissed Hungary would be a handful for any team in the world. When guys like Hazard, De Bruyne, and Lukaku show up, play both ways, and decide they want to play with each other, look out. No disrespect to Wales, but they are really going to have to be on point if they want to have a chance against that team.
     

Share This Page