Saturday, June 7, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Day 1 Recap

Czech Republic 1, Switzerland 0
Portugal 2, Turkey 0

Euro 2008 got underway and the start couldn't have gone much worse for the co-hosts Switzerland. The Swiss fell 1-0 to the Czech Republic in a game dominated by the home side. Despite outshooting their opponents 11-2, Switzerland got burned in the 70th minute when Vaclav Sverkos beat an offside trap to slot home the only goal of the game. More devastating than the defeat was the loss of team captain and leading scorer Alexander Frei, who was taken off with an injury late in the first half. After tearing a knee ligament, Frei's tournament is finished.

In the second game, Portugal flashed style and skill in a convincing 2-0 win over Turkey. The Portuguese could have easily put the game away in the first half; they had one goal disallowed on a close but correct offsides call and Cristiano Ronaldo was denied by a fingertip save by Turkish goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. In the second half, a sharp give and go sprung Pepe loose for the first goal in the 61st minute and substitute Raul Meireles clinched the win in the 90th minute.

Portugal will face the Czechs Wednesday with the winner seizing control of Group A. Switzerland's game against Turkey becomes an elimination game, with the loser effectively out of the tournament.

No comments: