Scandinavian sunsets

Euro 2012

Group : France 2 – 0 Ukraine; Sweden 2 – 3 England (Boo!)

This group really came to life last night…except for Sweden, for whom it really came to death.

In the first game, France looked robust and every bit the potential champions the bookmakers have made them. A storm delayed play, but it only delayed the inevitable – the French thundered over the top of the windswept Ukraine and struck the way the lightening cracked above the stadium (too melodramatic?). They were sharp and adventurous and it paid off. Two goals in as many minutes midway through the second half and the locals were done for. Though their qualification hopes would’ve been restored when they watched England (Boo!) beat Sweden.
Sweden are going home. Their second loss ensures it. They won’t beat France anyway. England won, but were unconvincing for large parts of the ninety minutes. They looked good to start with and were worth their half-time lead. But, they looked terrible in the second half and fell a goal behind. Then Hodgson (I know Hodgson?!?) slipped Walcott into the fray and things turned around for them. His goal, the equaliser and England’s (Boo! Freedomn!) second, looked great and strange. (Deflection? Maybe.) Wellbeck’s winner was even weirder. (Deliberate? Maybe not.) The Ukrainians will look at England’s (Boo!) performance and think, ‘We could beat them.’ And they’d be right.
As things are, France, Ukraine and England (Boo!) could all go through. It’ll be an interesting final night for the group stages. Which is, happily, quite a way from what I’d expected from this group.
In tonight’s games Greece will lose to Russia. With the home crowd advantage, the fired up Poles will be ruthless and take full advantage of Rosickylessnessss (even if he gets a jersey, he won’t be fully fit). Their opponents will be Czeching out (*sharp intake of breath*, apologies). You never know though, the ball is round.

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