Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 5, 2004

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Latvia v Turkey Report

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 2:35 pm

The News Review:

* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Scotland v Netherlands Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Wales v Russia Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Spain v Norway Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Latvia v Turkey Report
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Croatia v Slovenia Report
* Why we need to kick-start plans for a new stadium
* UEFA Champions League – News & Features

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Scotland v Netherlands Report – Dec 15, 2003
Earlier Lee Wilkie, who was in for flu victim Andy Webster, had to hack awayafter Douglas had fumbled as the Scots’ goal led a charmed life, not least whenvan der Meyde skinned Naysmith before blasting over. The Scots were also fortunate when referee Terje Hauge ruled no foul had beencommitted on the edge of the area when Marc Overmars went down under a JackieMcNamara challenge. The first half was not all good news for the Scots as Dailly will missWednesday’s return after being booked for an innocuous foul on van der Meyde. McFadden had earlier been booked for an obvious trip on Davids, who had comeoff second best in the early midfield skirmishes with Barry Ferguson, but foronce he was not on the brink of a ban. The Dutch swapped van Bronckhorst for Clarence Seedorf at the break and withinseconds van der Meyde, their best performer on the day, had picked out vanNistelrooy at the back post only for Douglas to save his header. Holland dominated the second-half possession but when Stam came gallopingforward pursued by Fletcher his was a defender’s shot and it cleared thecrossbar. Van der Meyde was to hit that crossbar in the 64th minute after Davids hadbeen hauled off in favour of Rafael van der Vaart but once again the luckresided with the hard-working home team, who sent on Kenny Miller for PaulDickov seconds later… Pearson almost made it 2-0 when he was on the end of a cross from the rightfrom Miller, who had again eluded the offside trap. But Seedorf had tracked himback and under pressure the Motherwell man could only fire a difficult chancewide. Stam was booked for bringing McFadden down but Wilkie could not get on the endof the free-kick. Ferguson forced a save out of van der Sar but the ball was quickly down theother end and Wilkie had to make a fine block to deny van Nistelrooy, who hadearlier sent a bicycle kick just wide. And when Douglas spilled a low Overmars drive it was the Dundee defender whowas there ahead of van Nistelrooy to hack clear. Stoppage time saw McFadden replaced by Don Hutchison and van der Vaart firejust wide from distance although the man on the line had it covered. There was still time for van Nistelrooy to fire in another shot but Douglaswas behind it and the final whistle saw the big goalkeeper joyously boot theball into the stands as Hampden erupted.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Wales v Russia Report – Dec 19, 2003
Wales battled away, lacking creativity to break down a solid Russianrearguard, and it was Giggs who was first down the tunnel when the final whistlesent this bowl of a stadium into mourning. He is 30 later this month, and you must fear now that he may never appear inthe finals of a major competition. Boss Mark Hughes had taken Wales so close, but they just could not find theslice of luck or ability to pull this one back. Hughes had asked his players to grab the moment to change their lives but forlong periods nerves and tension got the better of the Welsh side. The atmosphere in the packed Millennium Stadium was electric as Wales fansprayed for an end to 45 years of hurt – it is that long since they have reacheda major finals. And, after the heroics of the Moscow, Hughes stuck with the side that foughtso well in the first leg, but Georgi Yartsev having lost two players throughbans from that match in Sergei Ovchinnikov and Alexander Mostovoi, also left outDmitry Loskov and Dmitry Sychev. In came uncapped ‘keeper Viacheslav Malafeev,Rolan Gusev, Egor Titov and Marat Izmailov… Then Alexei Smertin raised the temperature clattering into AndyJohnson. Chances were rare, but Wales had the first clear one on 13 minutes whenJohnson won a header on the edge of the box and it fell to Hartson, who turnedto fire wide of the far post. But it was not flowing for Wales. They were too predictable and beingthreatened continually on the break. You sensed a goal would come, and itarrived on 22 minutes and sent this giant bowl of a stadium into stunnedsilence. Darren Barnard, who had such a good game in Moscow, got caught the wrong sideof Gusev and clipped his heels. The CSKA schemer then chipped in the free kickand Evseev, of all people, headed home from inside the six yard box, the awaygoal Wales had been so desperate not to concede.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Spain v Norway Report – Dec 15, 2003
A minute later, Reyes set up Raul who lobbed the ball over Johnsen only to seeBerg hack the ball clear. Torres appealed for a penalty as he went over on 13 minutes, but refereeGraham Poll waved play. The home fans were annoyed at that, but not as much they were a minute or solater when Norway immediately went down the other end and scored. John Arne Riise hit a long free kick towards the Spanish penalty area, RoarStrand beat Ivan Helguera in the air and the ball fell to Steffen Iversen, whopopped up at the far post to beat Iker Casillas with a right foot shot. Iversen clearly has something on Spain, as it was he who scored the only goalas Norway beat Spain 1-0 in Euro 2000. On 21 minutes, however, Spain were level. Reyes hit a vicious inswinging free kick from the right and Raul was able toget a touch on the edge of the six yard box to deflect the ball into the back ofback of the net.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Latvia v Turkey Report – Dec 15, 2003
‘This is an historic win for the Latvian team,’ a beamingcoach Aleksandr Starkovs said. Latvia attacked from the off and Maris Verpakovskis forced ascrambling save from Recber after seven minutes. But the lively Verpakovskis was not to be denied and hescored the decisive goal after 29 minutes, turning past Asik andcalmly chipping the ball over Recber. Turkey finally began to apply some pressure in the final 15minutes and came close to snatching an equaliser when EmreBelozoglu’s powerful diving header hit the post four minutesfrom time. Sour Turkish coach Senol Gunes said he still expected histeam to reach next year’s finals in Portugal. ‘During practice, everything seemed okay, but the weathertoday clearly affected the way we played — we’re not used tothis kind of weather,’ he said of the near-freezing conditionsat the Skonto Stadium. ‘We couldn’t control the game apart form the last stages.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2008 – Croatia v Slovenia Report – Dec 15, 2003
In spite of an uninspired performance Baric remainedoptimistic about Wednesday’s second leg in Ljubljana. ‘It wasn’t a day for our forwards, but I know exactly whatto do to improve our chances in Slovenia,’ he said, withoutelaborating. ‘It does not matter that we play the decisive game awaybecause our defence will be stronger for Robert Kovac (of BayernMunich) and we are certainly capable of scoring in Ljubljana.

Why we need to kick-start plans for a new stadium
Irish Independent – Jan 3, 2004
Now, not only has Ireland’s joint bid with Scotland been scuppered, we also face the humiliating prospect of playing our home games for the World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign abroad. Instead of entertaining 1998 World Cup champions France in Dublin, it looks like Brian Kerr’s men will have to play Henry, Zidane et al in Britain. FIFA, football’s world governing body, has insisted that temporary seating on the terraces at Lansdowne Road cannot be used. Banning fans at the Havelock Square and Lansdowne Road ends cuts the capacity to a paltry 22,000.

UEFA Champions League – News & Features – Dec 12, 2003
Sixteen teams have advanced from the group stage, the eight section winners and eight runners-up. Draw regulationsThe draw respects the following principles:* Clubs from the same association must not be drawn against each other. * The winners and runners-up of the same group must not be drawn against each other. * The group winners must not be drawn against each other. * The runners-up must not be drawn against each other. * The group runners-up will play the first-leg match at home.

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