Loose-fit Euro 2012 coverage from Lee Hugh McGowan


Group of Death B







Portugal 2 – 1 Netherlands

Germany 2 – 1 Denmark

Denmark have been my favourite team in this group, if not the tournament so far. The German machine rolls on, but the Danes gave them a heart-starter. They attacked with the same vigour they were forced to defend with and as a result, were joy to watch (particularly from a Scottish football fan’s point of view). Finishing third in this group is a wonderful success for them. I don’t mean to diminish their achievements. They may have lost two games, but the way their energy, thoughtfulness and courage was most impressive. We all knew they were outgunned, but they never let anyone think it.

The Germans, now three for three (technically its 14 for 14 wins) were as expected robust, efficient and fluid. That they were able to bring on two young players (both very good) highlights the depth and strength of their squad. They are awe-inspiring now and terrifyingly so for the future. And living proof the financial fair play model has benefitted their game.

I wish I could say the something similar about the Dutch. They were brilliant Oranje, for at least the first twenty minutes. I think they went home after the first Portuguese goal? At least in their heads they did. I barely remember them getting a mention. Ronaldo on the other hand seemed to be everywhere, involved in every pass and movement of play. The Sisyphusian weight of expectancy on his shoulders coming into the tournament had obviously had an impact. Last night, the shiny boy (who scored an incredible 62 goals for Real Madrid last season) struck twice and led his teammates in their progressive growth in stature. People are now asking if 80 million quid was maybe a wee bit on the cheap side. He displayed of skill, poise and world class quality. O’Leary and McAllister were giggled moistly like wee boys over their football porn.

In the quarterfinals, Portugal will hopefully beat the Czechs (apologies for my bitterness) and progress to a semi-final with (in all likelihood) the Spanish. And Germany will rain on the parade of the bon vivants (Lord Bogan, I thank you). I imagine even wee Angela will put her knitting down for that (Thanks Phantom).

In tonight’s games, the only team whose paucity is comparable with the Dutch will go to the mattresses with the Moustache Petes, and Spain will top the group with a difficult win against the Croats.


  1. Rick Kane says

    As they say in the Netherlands, “Don’t mention the Euro!” Oranje: We came, we saw, we squandered.

    Did you read Leaping Larry’s in Saturday (or Sunday’s Age) brilliant condemnation of the Australian Government for not forcing such an important world event to be shown on free-to-air.

    Mr McGowan, you are doing a sterling job, keeping the Euro in our minds. But after Holland’s insipid performance I’ve lost interest.


  2. There was a very good article on the Soccernet site this morning about the Russians ‘Wetting their pants”. Well worth a read.

  3. I didn’t see the article Rick, but I’ll certainly have a read. I did see Russia were fined for their fans behaviour, totalling (all counts) 120,000 Euros, not much compared to the 10.5 million they earned for their participation.
    Thank you for the kind words and very sorry to lose you. Not long till the A-League starts though…

    Phantom, I had a wee look and couldn’t find the soccernet article. I do like some of their coverage.

  4. Lee,

    I can’t get the link but Google “Advocaatheads” Michael Yokhin.

    It just worked for me

  5. Thanks Phantom. It’s a good read. Favourite part…
    “Of course, losing to Greece was unthinkable. That is exactly why many Russian fans expected it.”

    I thought only Scottish people thought this way. In my head, I still hear our wonderful 1998 World Cup theme song by Del Amitri, “Don’t come home too soon” every time we play an international.

  6. I always thought that if Scotland ever won the World Cup the Poms would have about a year to just march in and take over while the Jocks were partying and sleeping it off.

  7. I am guilty of having a rare streak of optimism, but even I think it might be sometime before we see the Scots win the World Cup. With Rangers liquidated, it might leave the door open to the development of fresh talent in Scotland.

    And I’m afraid what you’ve been led to believe is a ruse, we’d drink and party with one eye on them.

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