Barca Tops Chelsea In Thriller

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Now that is a soccer game. Andres Iniesta scored in the 93rd minute to send Barcelona into the final of the UEFA Champions League against Manchester United. Down 1-0 entering the final minutes of the match, Barca seemed to be all but dead, but the precise strike from Iniesta changed their fortune and sent Chelsea home shocked.

There were a lot of big calls by the officials during this matchup including the red card on Eric Abidal in the 66th minute and the non-call on a possible hand ball in the 95th minute after Iniesta’s goal. And yet, the right team won in the end. The red card was a terrible call. Abidal did not touch Drogba. It was a complete flop and did not deserve even a foul call whatsoever (well maybe on Drogba for diving). The hand-ball call was a better call. A shot from Michael Ballack struck off Samuel Eto’o’s arm, but it was clearly unintentional as the Eto’o had his back to the ball. Ballack and Chelsea protested profusely, but referee Tom Ovrebo would have none of it.

He called the game and Barcelona walked away with a win. Continue reading “Barca Tops Chelsea In Thriller”

Spain Wins Euro 2008

Euro 2008 came to a thrilling end yesterday as Spain walked away with a 1-0 victory over Germany and the Euro 2008 Championship. Spain was no doubt the best team in the tournament, outscoring their opponents 12 to 3. They had not given up a goal since their final group match versus Greece and defeated the surprising Russians twice by scores of 4-1 and 3-0. Even without leading goal scorer David Villa, the Spanish still defeated Germany. Fernando Torres notched the only goal of the game on a nice through-ball from Xavi. For Torres, the goal was only his second of tournament, but could not have come at a better time. Up until Sunday’s final, Torres had struggled throughout the whole Euro tournament, missing huge opportunitiesand blowing golden scoring chances, but he came through when it mattered most. Xavi, on the other hand, had an outstanding tournament and was named best player at Euro 2008 by UEFA technical experts.

For Germany, it was a gut-wrenching loss that makes it 12 years since they last won a major title. After winning a couple of games with well-timed goals and fortunate bounces, the Germans could not squeak out a win versus Spain. It took a massive free kick from captain Michael Ballack for Germany to beat Austria and advance past group play. In the quarterfinals, Portugal had twice as many shots on goal as Germany, had nearly three times as many corner kicks (8-3), and had possession 53% of the time, but could not find the back of the net. Germany escaped with a 3-2 win in that game even though they were thoroughly out played. Then in the semifinals, it took a 90th minute goal from Philip Lahm for Germany to edge Turkey 3-2 and advance to the finals. Unfortunately for Germany, their luck ran out against Spain. German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who had a couple of good free kicks and some nice goals in previous games, could do nothing in the final. He screwed up a couple of German set pieces by blasting the ball out of play and misreading his teammates on Germany’s few scoring chances. Continue reading “Spain Wins Euro 2008”