Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 8, 2006

Portugal takes on defense-minded Azerbaijan in Euro 2008 qualifier

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:52 am

The News Review:

* globeandmail.com: World Cup
* Soccer: Losing? Blame it on the rain
* Smith focuses on Ukraine as Tartan Army celebrates Euro 2008 victory…
* Portugal takes on defense-minded Azerbaijan in Euro 2008 qualifier
* Scotland upsets France, Spain loses again in Euro 2008 qualifying
* Strikers have something to prove
* Gordon urging caution after win
* Rooney likely to escape ban

globeandmail.com: World Cup
Globe and Mail – Oct 7, 2006
A shootout is a horrible way to decide a spectacle like the World Cup, especially when it only comes around once every four years. Just keep playing 15 minute periods of play until someone finds the back of the net. And it’s not like FIFA can use the excuse of scheduling – it’s the last game of the season for every player out there, so just get on with it and score. Posted Monday at 12:29 p. Neil Campbell:: Two things bothered me about this World Cup and I think both are relatively easy to fix. One was the diving… Look out Euro 08 – when a a variety of small but solid footballing nations will look at this result and say hey we can do that too all we have to do is think defense defense defense. “I agree with Mark that defence clearly won this World Cup, but I don’t think Italy is setting the trend. Euro 2004 was already transformed into tedium but a team that did all this and more, to much worse effect — Greece. At least Italy had moments of offensive brillance. Sadly they didn’t show them quite often enough. But to me Euro 2004 was the worst football tournament in living memory. To me, the most pleasant surprise in this World Cup was Germany’s contribution; a boring, defence-first team suddely morphed into the tournament’s most offence-minded side.

Soccer: Losing? Blame it on the rain
International Herald Tribune – Oct 8, 2006
"It's up to the federation – and perhaps one or two journalists. "It is not certain which positions journalists occupied on the team as Spain surrendered an early goal to Johan Elmander and a late one to Marcus Allbaeck in front of 33,000 satisfied Swedish supporters. After the thrilling early Spanish showing at the World Cup last June, which ended in yet another failure in the knockout rounds, Aragonés has tried everything, even dropping his goal king, Raúl González, without managing to regain the trust of the critics, or of the players. Quite why Rehhagel bothered with his postmatch lament about the elements in Athens no one knows. The rain-flooded pitch meant the match was delayed for 50 minutes. When the mopping up was over, Greece did what it so often did during Euro 2004 – it scored once… Quite why Rehhagel bothered with his postmatch lament about the elements in Athens no one knows. The rain-flooded pitch meant the match was delayed for 50 minutes. When the mopping up was over, Greece did what it so often did during Euro 2004 – it scored once. In this case, it was in the first half through Kostas Katsouranis, and the team thereafter denied Norway a chance to get back into the game. One-nil was familiar, and it was enough. Maybe Rehhagel was spooked by the sight of John Arne Riise striking a post late in the match, or maybe his long explanation about players stressed out by the long wait in the locker room was by way of excusing whatever might come in Sarajevo on Wednesday where the Greeks meet Bosnia. The coaches, like the players and the fans, have to weather all kinds of conditions.

Smith focuses on Ukraine as Tartan Army celebrates Euro 2008 victory…
International Herald Tribune – Oct 8, 2006
That loss was in Amsterdam. Now the Scots travel much further to Kiev to face a team which hopes to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to world champion Italy and badly needs striker Andriy Shevchenko to recover from a virus to play. While Berti Vogts’ team missed out on a trip to the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal, Smith’s players now have the belief that they will make it to the 2008 competition being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland. “It’s terrific when the Scotland players do achieve a result and see that, by working as hard as they do, that they can achieve it. I don’t think they had that belief previously,” Smith said. “I think that we are beginning to see that now,” the former Rangers and Everton manager said. “The players deserve enormous credit for the way they have applied themselves… “I think that we are beginning to see that now,” the former Rangers and Everton manager said. “The players deserve enormous credit for the way they have applied themselves. It’s not easy for them and it’s good, when they do achieve a result like this, that they get the reward for it. ” The Scots top their group with nine points from three games, France lies second with six and Italy third with four, level on points with Lithuania. Ukraine is fifth with three although it has a game in hand on the teams above. “The table looks great,” Smith said. “It is a nice change to see us up there.

Portugal takes on defense-minded Azerbaijan in Euro 2008 qualifier
International Herald Tribune – Oct 6, 2006
“I’m not going to play attacking soccer against Portugal,” Azerbaijan coach Shahin Diniyev said. “Not a single coach will promise you for sure to bring back a result from Portugal. I just want my players to show solid team soccer. ” Azerbaijan has one point from two games in Group A — a 1-0 loss at Serbia and 1-1 draw against visitors Kazakhstan. Coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari, Portugal drew 1-1 at Finland in its only Group A game so far. Portugal’s central defender Fernando Meira and striker Hugo Almeida are out of Saturday’s match with muscle strains… Coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari, Portugal drew 1-1 at Finland in its only Group A game so far. Portugal’s central defender Fernando Meira and striker Hugo Almeida are out of Saturday’s match with muscle strains. Benfica winger Simao Sabrosa and Atletico Madrid’s Maniche return for Portugal — runner-up to Greece at Euro 2004 and fourth at the World Cup in Germany. Striker Armando Petit has recovered from flu. Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira cautioned against overconfidence. “We still haven’t won anything,” he said. “We are talking as if Azerbaijan don’t count but this is not an easy match.

Scotland upsets France, Spain loses again in Euro 2008 qualifying
International Herald Tribune – Oct 7, 2006
“I know what we have to do and what we cannot do,” France coach Raymond Domenech said. “Playing for playing is not enough. We have to play to win and have that combative attitude again. ” Also in Group B, Italy beat Ukraine 2-0 off goals from Massimo Oddo and Luca Toni for its first win since lifting the World Cup in July. Key Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko missed the match with a fever. Lithuania beat the Faeroe Islands 1-0 in the same group to be third with four points. Italy is fourth with four points and Ukraine is fifth with three… In Group A, Nikola Zigic scored for Serbia in a 1-0 win over Belgium. Armenia held Finland to a 0-0 draw and Poland beat Kazakhstan 1-0. Euro 2004 runner-up Portugal beat Azerbaijan 3-0 with two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one from Ricardo Carvalho.

Strikers have something to prove
Taipei Times – Oct 7, 2006
Rio Ferdinand believes Rooney will emerge from his slump as England look to build on their 100 percent record against Macedonia in Manchester. But he is without a goal for club or country since the opening day of the season in August. The 20-year-old has surprisingly failed to score in a competitive international match since hitting two in England’s 4-2 win against Croatia in Lisbon during Euro 2004. Anelka too has plenty to prove. The 27-year-old could start against the Scots in Glasgow after injury sidelined Sydney Govou and Louis Saha. Anelka last played in France’s friendly loss to Slovakia in March and missed out on the squad which reached the World Cup final. “He deserves it, he never gave up,” Arsenal defender William Gallas said of Anelka… It is the latest incident in a controversial career that has seen him fall out with team-mates, managers and fans off the field while being dogged by red cards on it. But Toshack is standing by his decision to hand Bellamy the armband in the absence of injured Ryan Giggs. “I am not so sure that Craig’s on-field record is too much of a problem,” Toshack said. “It’s not something I have considered or felt the need to think about with regard to making him captain. But his desire in the red jersey cannot be questioned. ”
World Cup winners Italy are second from bottom of Group B with just one point from two games but midfielder Andrea Pirlo insists the world champions will come through today’s crucial test against Ukraine in Rome. Pirlo was at the heart of the Italy team at the World Cup, and believes the team is looking like world-beaters once again despite a draw against lowly Lithuania and defeat to France.

Gordon urging caution after win
BBC News – Oct 8, 2006
Gordon said the team would not overdo the celebrations ahead of Wednesday’s Euro 2008 clash with Ukraine. “We’ve got a hard game ahead of us on Wednesday, so well regroup and do our best,” he told BBC Sport. The keeper said Sir Alex Ferguson and Andy Roxburgh congratulated the players in the dressing room after the game. Scotland made it three qualifying wins out of three with the stunning victory over France. "It’ll be tough on Wednesday, but it’s good to be sitting top of the table" Craig Gordon

The side now travel to Ukraine on Wednesday, sitting at the top of Group B on nine points… “It’ll be tough on Wednesday, but it’s good to be sitting top of the table,” Gordon said. “Sir Alex Ferguson and Andy Roxburgh came into the dressing room after the France game to say well done. “The lads were saying after the game that the last good result we had against a big side was the 1-0 win over Holland (in the first leg of the Euro 2004 play-off). “We then got hammered in the second leg – so we’ll keep our feet on the ground.

Rooney likely to escape ban
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 8, 2006
United will be given leave to appeal against the red cards and it is understood their case would be looked on favourably by the FA disciplinary committee. United had been hoping to receive similar treatment to that meted out to Liverpool three years ago. Back then the Dutch authorities did not report the dismissals of Steven Gerrard and Neil Mellor to the FA when they were sent off during the 2003 Amsterdam Tournament. They were shown red cards against Galatasaray, Gerrard for dissent and Mellor for violent conduct, but neither served a ban because the Dutch failed to take the matter further. McClaren, who will unveil his new captain and name his squad for next week’s Old Trafford friendly against European champions Greece on Friday, had been keen to discuss the possibility of ending Scholes’ self-imposed two-year exile from the England set-up… McClaren, who will unveil his new captain and name his squad for next week’s Old Trafford friendly against European champions Greece on Friday, had been keen to discuss the possibility of ending Scholes’ self-imposed two-year exile from the England set-up. The midfielder announced his international retirement at the age of 29 following Euro 2004 in order to spend more time with his young family, but having worked with Scholes during his time as assistant manager at Old Trafford, McClaren had hoped to tempt him back into the fold. But Scholes has responded to speculation about an international return by dismissing the possibility. “It’s nonsense and I’ve not even contemplated it,” he said. 6 million signing Michael Carrick remains ruled out until early September with an ankle injury, United are expected to complete the £4 million signing of Marcos Senna from Villarreal before their friendly against Sevilla this weekend when captain Gary Neville expects to return following a groin injury.

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