Hello, my name is Ian and I’m going to be bringing you a brief blog each day of my match day goings on of trying to watch every Euro 2016 game. Round of 16.
Woo hoo Euro 2016 and live ‘Round of 16’ football was back over the weekend and Monday. Two days with no football was quite strenuous. Even more so with all the goings on in Britain right now, the EU referendum taking all the headlines whilst the football wasn’t on. That’s politics though and I’m certainly not going to start talking about that.
On with the football. First up though, it was back to coaching the kids with the usual early start Saturday morning. Good to get back into it after last weeks tournament. Good turn out too. I was all done by 11.30am and back home to once again catch England v Australia in the rugby on delay. Another victory for England and an overall 3-0 Test victory.
Now, on with the football. Prior to the weekend I’d had no other plans after coaching except to watch all six games live and at the time they were due to kick off in real-time. Unless there were any major incidents. Thankfully there were not and I enjoyed the first three games on Saturday in peace. Despite the lack of goals (just three in total in the regulation 270 minutes) the games had incident and went pretty much as I expected them too. Getting both the first two games bang on with my predictions.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, both Northern Ireland and Switzerland do not concede many at all, so I honestly thought these were the two obvious scorelines to choice. My Sunday predictions didn’t go as well but overall I was happy with what I’d chosen. Wales didn’t play great but they got the job done. No goal this time for joint top scorer Bale though, an own goal from Gareth McAuley gave them the victory.
Poland were spot on with their penalties, scoring all five with just the Swiss missing one. I suppose goals were expected in the Croatia and Portugal game, it wasn’t to be though and with only four minutes left on the clock. Ronaldo and Quaresma broke from inside their own half after winning the ball back, played the ball into the middle and then between them received the ball back to give themselves the victory.
Sunday’s games had more goals and were certainly more open and less cagey – however in each game the underdog gave a reasonable account of themselves before being overrun and well beaten by the favorite. Republic of Ireland were ahead within minutes of the opening whistle against France with a penalty from Robbie Brady. If Ireland had scored that goal to make it one-nil in the second half they may well of hung on. Trying to last 80 plus minutes though just proved too difficult.
Both Hungary and Slovakia had chances against their opposition but in neither game did Belgium or Germany look like they were going to lose. It took Belgium and little longer to finish off their game but in the end they completed a 4-0 drubbing with Germany finishing with a 3-0 win themselves. Have Belgium now found a bit of form and momentum going into the quarter finals?
Onto to tonight’s cracking games now, Spain v Italy and England v Iceland.