Sunday, June 29, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Spain-Germany Recap

Campeones! Campeones! Ole, Ole Ole!

I just woke up from a lengthy siesta after a raucous afternoon at The Globe Pub on Chicago's North Side. A packed house, pretty well split in their allegiances, joined millions around the word in watching Spain claim a 1-0 win over Germany for their first European crown since 1964. Spain completely dominated the contest, but because they failed to bury the Germans, the game remained a tense affair. Spain had half a dozen prime scoring chances, but Fernando Torres' brilliant 33rd minute strike was the game's only tally.

As a Liverpool fan, I'm delighted for Torres, whose winning goal erases all the memories of a frustrating tournament. Torres, who minutes earlier had headed a cross firmly off the left post, used his strength and speed to maneuver around Philipp Lahm before deftly chipping the ball over an incoming Jens Lehmann for the winner.

You figured Germany would offer a determined counter-attack late in the game, but Iker Casillas and the Spanish defense were rarely tested on the night. Germany managed only four shots compared to Spain's 14.

So a fantastic Euro 2008 has come to a close- a tournament as exciting as any in my lifetime. We'll remember the rollicking group stage performances by Holland, the never-say-die Turks, the grit of captain Michael Ballack and Germany, and most of all, the offensive excitement generated by Spain- campeones for 2008.

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