Tag: England

Euro 2012: The Quarter-Finals – England 0-0 Italy (Italy Win 4-2 On Penalty Kicks)

So, then, to Kiev and to the quarter-finals of the European Championships. It’s the final match of the round this evening, featuring an Italian side that is something of a curates egg, excellent against Spain in matching them every inch of the way before being slightly underwhelming against Croatia and The Republic of Ireland, whilst England remain somewhat enigmatic, decent enough in fits and starts but also a little lucky in places and, for fifteen minutes against Sweden nine days ago, almost apocalyptically disorganised. The history books say Italy, who have a considerably better record against England than many realise due to the infrequency with which the two sides have played each other over the years, but England have showed considerable character over the last few weeks and this match felt, prior to kick-off, difficult to call. After three largely uninspiring quarter-final matches, though, this one gets off to a flying start when, with less than three minutes played, Daniele De Rossi allows a cross-field pass across his body and delivers a magnificent, swerving twenty-five yard volley which thids off the inside of the post and out. Italy fail, initially at least, to take advantage of this strong start and within a couple of minutes England create a chance of their own at the other end of the pitch when James Milner crosses from the right and Glen Johnson,...

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Euro 2012: Group D – The Final Day

The phrase “you make your own luck” is an overused one and it is perfectly possible to argue that luck, by its very nature, is random. There can be little doubt, however, that England rode theirs in Donetsk last night, scrambling their way to a single goal win which confirmed a slightly unlikely looking top place in their group with a little room to spare. Yet to glance at the final group table only partially tells the story of last nights match against Ukraine. This was a match from which England were highly fortunate to emerge with all three points. Overrun in midfield, the heart leapt to the mouth every time the co-hosts broke away, and this they frequently did with pace and no little verve. Yet all too often they ran dry on ideas when they came within sight of the England goal but despite this still created chances, including one which saw the ball cross the goal-line by several inches. Counter-attacking was the key to coach Oleg Blokhins plans to pick a way through an English defence that was set up with the minimum requirement of protecting the point that they needed to scrape through to the quarter-finals of the competition in mind. Every time they did so, they showed Englands lack of pace and control of the game in the middle third of the pitch up...

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The Realignment Of Great Expectations: On England In Ukraine

When England take to the field in Kiev this evening to play Ukraine in their final group match at this years European Championships, the task ahead of them will be simple enough, mathematically, at least. A draw will be enough to take the team through to the quarter-finals of the competition, while a win may, depending on any margin of victory and what happens in this evenings other match between France and Sweden, be enough for them to win their group. Win the group and they would play Italy in the next round, finish second and they would play Spain. Lose and they will almost certainly be on the next flight home. Yet on another level, things are far from being this simple, because England have so far largely failed to fulfil expectations at this summers European Championships. The team has already been involved in one of the more dramatic matches of the tournament so far when it was widely expected to bore everybody to tears, whilst the egos that those who despise this team love to hate so much have been broadly absent. Indeed, when Wayne Rooney was asked by a journalist whether he thought England could win the tournament the other day and answered in the affirmative, his response was taken by some as proof that the rampant egos so beloved and beloathed by so many had...

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Valour! Honour! Scott Parker! The Wing Commander Writes On England vs Sweden

Regular – or indeed occasional – readers of the When Saturday Comes magazine forum will probably already be aware of the writings of the Wing Commander, the last living remnant of the British Empire and a man who holds a very particular type of Englishman very close to his bosom. Having already had one book of his reports published (and details of how  to purchase this are below), we are delighted to welcome him back to Twohundredpercent for his views on Englands match on Friday night against Sweden. ABLE ENGLAND CONFRONT DISMAL SWEDES WITH FUTILITY AS A FOOTBALLING FORCE,...

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Euro 2012: England 3-2 Sweden

There was a point yesterday when it seemed as if history was deemed to repeat itself yet again. As Olof Mellbergs second goal-ward shot on goal made Joe Harts net swell for the second time in ten minutes, the feeling that England were deflating to expectation was inescapable. We had been here before, of course. In the cauldron of noise that was the Rasunda in Stockholm twenty years ago, Sweden came from behind to knock England out of the competition at the first hurdle. Ten years later, they were back, coming from behind to force a draw in their first match of the World Cup finals. And in 2006 another late Swedish equaliser denied England three points in their final group match in Cologne. England, as we have been told approximately nine times every day since the draw for these finals was made, hadn’t managed to beat Sweden in a competitive match since 1968. The stars were aligning against England yet again. Somehow, though, this time England contrived somehow to pull an iron from the fire and conjured two goals – one a little lucky, one a tiny moment of improvised brilliance – to win the match and now go into their final group match against the co-hosts needing only a draw to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition. Qualification remains very much in the balance – they...

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