Euro 2016: Group C, Final Matches… Live!
by Ian | Jun 21, 2016
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Northern Ireland (4-5-1): McGovern; Hughes, McAuley, Cathcart, J Evans; Ward, C Evans, Davis, Norwood, Dallas; Washington.
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Ozil, Muller, Gotze; Gomez.
Ukraine: Pyatov, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Kucher, Butko, Rotan, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Zinchenko, Konoplyanka, Zozulya.
Poland: Fabianski, Cionek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Zielinski, Jodlowiec, Krychowiak, Kapustka, Milik, Lewandowski.
I am hereby making the bold prediction that Northern Ireland will NOT beat Germany this afternoon. Still, I hope they get through.
Right, so then. Northern Ireland vs Germany, for me. A win will take Northern Ireland through, and for all of those who consider that impossible, I can only refer you to Valencia in 1982. Let’s be honest, though, Germany are going to walk all over this, surely.
Ukraine v Poland oin the BBC red button, with true British…Eurosport values. No studio analysis and no commentary until the teams came out. Unlike Eurosport, though, Simon Brotherton and, ulp, Mark Lawrenson, are in the ground not a West London studio.
Poland have missed one good chance and one sitter in three minutes. Milik fires straight at keeper Pyatov and Lewandowski shoots a yard over from a yard outside the six-yard box. A mad start.
Only just realised that Northern Ireland have got both a Dallas and a Washington. They only need a Buffalo and they’ll have players named for every city that has played host to the assassination of an American president.
Lawrenson has been wondering aloud about the squabbling Ukraine squad: “Harmony is a hairspray for them,” he says, cracking a joke which has meant nothing to anyone since about 1990.
He also wonders what their attitude to the match might be. Given that only a big win (in combination with a big loss for Norn Irn) gives them a chance of going through, I’d say they’ll go for it. And they are. Very open start.
Somehow, Germany did not score. Even though it was nailed on. Thomas Muller breaks through one on one with Michael McGovern and Michael McGovern prevails! Thomas Muller! THE Thomas Muller.
Lawrenson’s been relegated this tournament, hasn’t he?
Sudden excitement at Parc des Princes, by the way. Muller breaks through and has his shot blocked by McGovern’s legs, then Northern Ireland break to the other and only a clumsy attempt at taking on a defender prevents a great chance for them.
As if to back me up about Ukraine, Zozulya and Yarmolenko both have shots blocked in the same attack. Yes. Shots. And two players in the penalty box. Does that answer your question, Lawrenson?
Is Michael McGovern going to have the match of his life? Ozil sretches at the ball with the goalkeeper coming out, and McGovern sticks a toe out and turns it away from goal.
And another one! Gotze, that time.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Germany would be three goals up against any other team in the world. Except Brazil, where they would be five goals up.
My boy chose the wrong match to fall asleep face first on the sofa to.
I have yet to see a goal scored in any of the matches I have covered this week. If Michael McGovern is going to cock block me again, Will Grigg better fucking had be on fire or else I am going to lose my mind.
Yarmoloenko clean through for Ukraine but fires wide, Lewandowski-style.
A moment earlier Kucher and Lewandowski took their partners by the hand on the halfway line. The ref decided that Lewandowski bearing down on goal in this tournament was NOT a clear goalscoring opportunity and just awards a free-kick.
“Good first 17 minutes, chances at both ends,” syas Brotherton. “All we need is a bit of wood,” replies Lawrenson. Anyone have the REMOTEST idea what he meant by that? I shudder to think.
Lewandowski fires wide again and at the other end there’s a “great ball in by the kid.” (Lawro) “The Lad” is obviously suspended…
Thomas Muller blasts wide having been played in by Mario Gomez. If Germany are now going to stop even making McGovern make saves, this could be a very long match.
Ukraine’s striker Zozulya’s quiff is playing a bit of a lone striker up front on his head. The citing of his inability to reach double figures in a league season is approaching three figures
“Fabianski looking unruffled,” notes Brotherton. “That’s what comes from playing in the Premiership,” replies the Preston wise-cracker. Certain “Premiership” fans may have a different view…
MARIO GOMEZ KLAXON.
Ozil plays Muller through into the box, who shields the ball before knocking it back into Gomez’s path. Not even Michael McGovern was equal to that one. Germany lead 1-0.
Lawrenson opines that Germany have picked a “strong side” as if any team with white as a first kit would ever be so arrogant as to make six changes despite not being certain of winning their group. I think Lawro has actually done some research. Brotherton suggests that Gomez scoring must mean Gotze isn’t playing. “Don’t know,” says Lawro. Silly me.
Game’s got scrappy in Marseille, in case you hadn’t guessed. Ukraine’s Konoplyanka fired wide in the last attack.
Guess-who suggests that “international football has improved so much” because “defenders are nearly always in the right position.” No wonder Ireland lost so man vital games in the 1980s.
Ukraine looking slightly the likelier as 40 minutes approaches. Two good penalty box positions spurned by Zozulya and Konoplyanka being unable to get the ball “out of their feet.”
“Germany only leading Poland on goals scored going into the final group games,” (Brotherton). Does goal difference not count, then?
Mario Gomez fluffs his lines. Mesut Ozil is the provider once again, being the Andy Steel: Playmaker of real life. Unfortunately for Gomez, his legs are like two pieces of knotted rope flailing in a light breeze.
Ukraine getting cross after cross into the Polish box. If only they had a striker who’d ever scored ten goals or more in a league season…
0-0 at half-time in Marseille. Good, if wood-light, start. But it petered out a little as half-time approached.
And at half-time, no thoughts from anyone. And no reports from any camps. Bliss.
Half time in Paris. Germany lead 12-0, although only the one of them took. However, with Germany seemingly content to leave space into which Northern Ireland can attack and the GAWA’s goalkeeper having the game of his life, the stage may still be set for comedy.
BACK UNDER WAY WE GO.
Germany still wearing black socks. What a world.
Zinchenko heads a fine Konoplyaka cross just over from seven yards. Ukraine’s best chance by a Kiev mile. They’ll be starting to “rue…”
The opportunities continue to mount up for Germany, Michael McGovern continues to make his case for a transfer to Bayern Munich. Mario Gotze is his new target.
Poland lead. Ukraine ruing furiously.
Mario Gotze, undone by Michael McGovern, a broken man in many ways… replaced after 55 minutes by Schurrle.
Milk sets up half-time substitute Blaszczkowski, who is all alone on the right side of the penalty area. He cuts inside and hits a fine left-foot shot (“with his swinger” – Lawro) into the top corner.
And Lewandowski should make it 2-0 in the next attack. But he hits the side-netting because of COURSE he does…
“What do Ukraine do now?” asks the Irish-Lancastrian joke-meister. “Well, they’ll try and push on, won’t they?” replies Brotherton, leaving “What else would they do, you blethering idiot? What a stupid question, I can’t believe you had to ask” unsaid. Just.
Christ on a bike. Sami Khedira unleashes all hell from the edge of the area, a shot that even McGovern can only parry into the path of Mario Gomez. Who heads wide from just yards out. If Germany don’t win this game, questions will be asked in parliament.
And the DUP will blame the gays.
Poland’s Kaputska is booked for a needless late challenge and will miss Poland’s last-16 game. “Idiot” says the intermittently-moustachioed moron, of the Pole…although he may have been talking to himself.
Ukraine having shots still. But not particularly well-targeted. Fabianski in the Polish goal is having the sort of quiet period which was so, so rare in a Swansea shirt.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is about to make an appearance for Germany. Now I know how Sam Neill’s character felt when he first saw a dinosaur in Jurassic Park.
Khedira is the player who makes all this possible. Germany are coasting without having bothered to register a coasting scoreline yet.
Schweinsteiger has scored more goals than Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Kane, Lewandowski and…Shane Long in this tournament COMBINED…
You can sense that Brotherton is getting as irritated with his jocular com-box colleague as the rest of the listening planet. His professionalism is to be admired hugely.
Ukraine still having penalty-box moments and Zozulya looked a touch upended in the latest. But Poland are big and good at getting in the way. Which is usually enough and certainly is here.
But at the other end, Milik flashes a header across a semi-gaping goal from six yards. We have been reminded that Poland were top scorers in qualifying. We need reminding rather more that two of those qualifying games were against Gibraltar.
Poland on course to meet Switzerland in the second round. Brotherton gives Lawro some dead air to fill with unfunny disparaging comments about that game’s potential humdinger status. For once, the ex-Brighton bulls**t merchant holds his counsel. A moment to remember…
Zozulya heads another Yarmolenko cross narrowly wide – a good effort as the ball was fractionally behind him. He’s been good value and would probably be a useful foil for a good striker.
Then Fabianski makes a fine save from Rotan’s 20-yarder, after Ukraine literally take a Polish throw-in and no-one seems bothered. Odd.
All Ukraine now but it just isn’t falling right for them in the final fifth (the penalty box). A bit like Ronaldo on Saturday but 0.000000000000001% as funny…
Three minutes left
Germany have been absolutely exasperating this afternoon, I’m not sure what to make of it.
Three minutes stoppo in Marseille. And Ukraine will finish bottom come what may. Lawro, correctly, believes Poland will be dangerous because Lewandowski is bound to start scoring. “And Milik”, he adds, with audibly diminishing conviction.
Ukraine give 37-y-o “legend” Anatoly Tymoshchuk a two-minute run-out. It sounds as if he’s being jeered on but there are cheers when he touches the ball. “Its his last game, isn’t it?” asks the Football Focus fcukwit. Nothing gets past him does it?
Full time. Germany 1-0 Northern Ireland. It should have been more, countless millions more, but the German forwards seemed oddly reticent in front of goal. Big Phil Scolari must be absolutely hopping. Michael McGovern was heroic in the Northern Irish goal and if his team end up going through to the knockout stages on account of their goal difference, a lot of people owe him a pyramid of Ferrero Rocher.
And Polska win, which will cheer the owners of the considerable number of Polish flags “in and around” (copyright Andy Townsend) Hook and Chessington…my manor.
Ukraine are out, having set an unwanted record of five consecutive goalless Euro finals games. But they weren’t as bad as Romania. And Northern Ireland’s win over them deserves to be rewarded with qualification for the last 16. Remains to be seen, though.
In fact, Nor Irn will only NOT go through if both the Czech Republic (against Turkey) and Sweden (against Belgium) win. The first is possible, the second unlikely-ish.
Alan Shearer needs that explaining twice. Puts me in mind of a Jethro Tull classic. What’s it called? No, not Aqualung…not Locomotive Breath…ah, yes, THICK AS A BRICK.
Grrrrrr… But TTFN.