View Poll Results: Spain vs Italy Euro 2012 Final Match: Who will win?

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  • SPAIN

    19 82.61%
  • ITALY

    4 17.39%
  • WHO CARES

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Default Euro 2012 @ Desirulez

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    In the opening match of Euro 2012 Greeks and Poles 1-1

    Poland and Greece played out a thrilling 1-1 draw that included two red cards and a penalty in the opening game of Euro 2012 at the National Stadium in Warsaw.

    Franciszek Smuda's men dominated proceedings in the first half and deservedly took the lead through Robert Lewandowski. Just before half-time, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving Greece with an uphill task to overturn their deficit




    Fernando Santos introduced Dimitris Salpingidis after the break and the PAOK man made an instant impact, netting the equaliser shortly after the restart. The substitute later won a penalty after he was fouled by Wojciech Szczesny, who was sent off for the offence, but captain Giorgos Karagounis missed from the spot.

    Ultimately, the two sides had to settle for a draw in game which offered plenty of excitement from start to finish.



    Both teams employed a cautious approach in the beginning of the match, but it was Poland, spurred on by their vocal fans, who created the first chance. A cross from the right by Lukasz Piszczek caught the Greek defence by surprise, but Lewandowski failed to connect with pass.

    The ball ended up in the path of Rafal Murawski, who powered a shot at goal from outside the box, but his finish was palmed over the bar by goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias. Greece's reply came in the 12th minute when Theofanis Gekas sent a header wide of the left post from inside the box with the Polish defence beaten.















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  2. #2
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    Default Euro 2012: Players To Watch

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  3. #3
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    Default Impressive Russia crush Czech Republic

    Russia swept to a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic with a slick counter-attacking display and deadly finishing on Friday to take control of what was tipped to be a tight Euro 2012 Group A.
    Alan Dzagoev scored either side of a dinked effort from Roman Shirokov before substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko struck a brilliant fourth to sink their dazed opponents.




    The Czechs tried their best to fight back in the second half, with Vaclav Pilar making it 2-1 just after the break, but Russia could have won by even more goals as they stamped their credentials on the tournament as possible title contenders.
    With captain Tomas Rosicky and forward Milan Baros returning for the Czechs after injury, they controlled the game early on in chilly, damp conditions but were undone by sloppy defending.
    Russia forward Dzagoev netted the first goal in the 15th minute against the run of play when he coolly slotted home after Alexander Kerzhakov's header had rebounded off the post.
    A defence-splitting pass by Russia captain Andrei Arshavin then allowed an unmarked Shirokov to cleverly clip the ball over goalkeeper Petr Cech in the 24th minute.
    The Czechs looked exposed on the left side of defence where attack-minded Michal Kadlec had switched to his preferred role from a central position in recent warm-up matches.
    The Czechs looked lively in the second half and cut Russia's lead in the 52nd minute when Pilar latched on to a through ball from Jaroslav Plasil and slotted home after rounding the keeper.
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  4. #4
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    Default Mario Gomez goal gives Germany victory over Portugal



    It took a long time coming but there was a sense of inevitability that Germany would eventually wear Portugal down. Their slow, methodical approach had failed to deliver reward and Mario Gomez was close to being withdrawn when one more patient build-up yielded a precious goal for the Bayern Munich striker and the breakthrough Germany so badly needed. Miroslav Klose, who was ready to replace Gomez, returned to the bench and Germany's Euro 2012 campaign was up and running.

    It was a superb header from Gomez at a point when Germany appeared to be running out of ideas against a Portugal team that waited far too long to play with ambition. Chances came and went for Portugal in the closing 10 minutes as the substitute Silvestre Varela shot straight at Manuel Neuer with only the Germany goalkeeper to beat while Nani, whose floated cross had clipped the top of the crossbar moments earlier, saw his stabbed effort from close-range blocked by Holger Badstuber.

    Germany, however, deserved victory on the balance of play and will face Holland in Kharkiv on Wednesday knowing that another three points could secure their place in the quarter-finals and, depending on the result between Portugal and Denmark in Lviv, eliminate their great rivals from the competition at the same time.
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    Default Roy Hodgson explains reasons for omitting Rio Ferdinand



    Two days before England face France in their opening game of Euro 2102, Roy Hodgson has explained his reasons for picking Martin Kelly ahead of Rio Ferdinand for his squad after a fractured jaw ruled Chelsea's Gary Cahill out of the tournament.

    The England manager, who came in for severe criticism for choosing the inexperienced Kelly, told ITV that Ferdinand would only have received a call-up if he was going to be in the starting 11 and that he would not call upon a player of the Manchester United defender's stature just to be a member of the squad.

    "Rio Ferdinand for me is not a player that you call up as a substitute, or to cover for the players that you have," Hodgson said. "We turned to Martin Kelly because I knew he was going to be someone who would be very useful to us. He's very happy to be here knowing that his chances of playing a big part in the tournament are quite small. You don't turn to people like Rio Ferdinand for that."

    After being left out of the squad, Ferdinand has accepted that his international career may be over. "You would have to say it might be over with England for me," said the 33-year-old. "If I'm not getting picked now, especially when people are out injured, then it's unlikely I will be picked again."
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  6. #6
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    Default Holland 0 Denmark 1



    Holland had 28 attempts on goal and fluffed a lot of them - with Van Persie guilty on multiple occasions.
    But the Dutch were left fuming at the officials as well as themselves after a hand-ball by Lars Jacobsen went unpunished with just a minute remaining.
    Jacobsen took the ball away from Klass Jan-Huntelaar with the goal at the striker’s mercy, but referee Damir Skomina said no penalty and the chance of a draw vanished.


    So it was the Danes who struck the first blow in Group B - tagged the ‘Group of Death’ because it also includes Portugal and Germany.
    These four teams are all among the world’s top 10 according to Fifa’s current rankings. Germany are at No 3, the Dutch at No 4, Denmark at No 8 and Portugal at No 10.
    Yet despite the star names on display in Ukraine’s second biggest city - Kharkiv has a population of almost 1.5million - there were large numbers of empty seats in an arena that holds 39,000 people.
    Holland now go into their next game against Germany in the same venue on Wednesday badly in need of victory.
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    Default Spain 1 Italy 1: Fabregas saves trophy holders as Azzurri prove tough nut to crack

    When will it end for Fernando Torres? The £50million striker thought he had endured a career low when left on the bench as Chelsea battled their way to the Champions League title in May, but at least he departed with a winner’s medal.
    On Sunday, having again been left out as Spain preferred to play without a centre forward, he was brought on for what turned out to be another gruelling 15 minutes of fame.
    Torres was presented with three chances in that period as Spain pressed for a winner that would have been harsh on Italy. Three times he was denied, on each occasion by himself rather than an Italian boot. At night he must stare at the ceiling and wonder about the certainty he once possessed.












    A different Italy would have funnelled backwards after that and chiselled out a point. But Prandelli has tried to encourage a more expansive style and the match opened up. Spain may have thought they were about to dominate but it was Di Natale who volleyed wide from a great cross by Sebastian Giovinco.
    It was then that Torres’s night began. It ended with him traipsing off, surely concerned that he will not be picked to face the Republic of Ireland here on Thursday.
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  9. #9
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    Default Ireland 1 Croatia 3: No luck for Trap's men after offside and an own goal

    And this was supposed to be the easy one. The Republic of Ireland will probably need victories over Spain and Italy to reach the quarter-finals - and a potential meeting with England - after their Euro 2012 campaign began with a disastrous defeat by Croatia.
    Giovanni Trapattoni’s team were thrashed in the lashing rain in Poland, conceding three goals in a tournament match for the first time in their history.
    The Republic manager still insisted his team can qualify. He said: ‘We have to believe because of what we have done until now. We met a strong technical side in Croatia but every game in this Euro could be a surprise and we have to believe this.’


    This was as close to a humiliation as Trapattoni and his players could have feared in their worst Euro nightmares.
    From the third minute, when Mario Mandzukic headed Croatia in front, Ireland never recovered, despite the brief spell of hope brought about by Sean St Ledger’s equaliser in the 19th minute.
    Ireland conceded again just two minutes before half-time when Nikica Jelavic slipped the ball over Shay Given. The Everton striker appeared in an offside position before scoring his side’s second and, despite long and loud protests from the Ireland manager and his players, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers and his officials seemed confident they had got the decision right.
    The last forward touch, after Luka Modric’s shot had flown through a sea of players, was off Stephen Ward’s boot.
    ‘The player was offside,’ said an unhappy Trapattoni afterwards. ‘I have seen the goal again and it was clearly offside. When the ball came from Modric he was two metres offside. The first goal was our mistake but the second was not and I cannot speak about the referee.’











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  10. #10
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    Default Ukraine 2 Sweden 1: Sheva is the king of Kiev as hosts go top of group

    Andriy Shevchenko may have spent three years in the Barclays Premier League giving a passable impression of a man with his boots on the wrong feet but on Monday night one of football’s most acclaimed centre forwards provided Euro 2012 with its most wonderful cameo performance so far.
    Chelsea fans will never remember the former Milan striker fondly and it’s hard to blame them. During his time at Stamford Bridge he scored only nine league goals and it looked for all the world as though the glory years of the 2004 Ballon D’Or winner were behind him.
    But great players don’t forget how to play and Shevchenko’s two goals last night brought joy to the co-hosts that few outside this country will understand. Perhaps he also did something to repair a reputation tarnished a little by the barren years of his recent past.






    Seven minutes later a Ukraine corner arrived at the near post and once again Shevchenko had read the play better than anybody, giving him a yard of space to deliver another perfect header down and in at the near corner.
    Here in the Olympic Stadium, 50,000 Ukrainians struggled to believe what they were seeing. Their team had suffered some humbling defeats in the run-up to hosting this event. They went into last night’s game fielding their fourth-choice keeper after Blokhin lost two to injury and another to a doping offence.










    The striker, it should be noted, scored twice as many goals in the Premier League as Shevchenko during his three years in England with Bolton.
    But playing at this exalted level tends to separate the great from the merely adequate. As Shevchenko and Blokhin — two immortals of Eastern European football — embraced on the touchline at full time it was hard not to feel just a little piece of their joy.




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  11. #11
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    Default England 1 France 1

    England 1 France 1: Hodgson's men off the mark as Three Lions share draw with Group D heavyweights in opening match



    With a distinct flavour of Eastlands brought to this corner of Eastern Europe, England began their campaign in a manner that certainly removed any need for a suicide pill.
    There is no need to panic. No need for Roy Hodgson to take drastic action ahead of the matches that follow against Sweden and Ukraine.
    This was always going to be a tough start for England and there is much they can be content with even if Hodgson knows there remains room for improvement.



    By the end of a first half somehow dominated by Manchester City players, England would have had one or two regrets but they were not the kind their new manager will dwell on.
    Before Joleon Lescott's opening goal James Milner had squandered a wonderful opportunity and, after making one superb save, Joe Hart might have cursed the fact that Samir Nasri beat him at his near post to equalise.
    In fairness to Hart, it looked like he may not have seen his club colleague's shot from just outside the area.
    Nasri had Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard closing him down and his stinging shot suddenly appeared through a sea of bodies. Shaping to go one way, Hart threw himself in the opposite direction but a fraction too late. Not that Hodgson was unhappy.
    He spoke of being 'pleased' and rightly so given what he agreed were punishing conditions for two teams more concerned with avoiding defeat than securing victory

















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  12. #12
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    Default Poland 1 Russia 1: Blaszczykowski blasts back to grab lifeline for co-hosts

    Against a backdrop of festering hatred and violent clashes in the streets around Warsaw’s National Stadium, bitter rivals Poland and Russia fought out an entertaining draw that showed Euro 2012 in a considerably better light.
    It means Russia are favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals as Group A winners when they meet Greece in their final game. But at least co-hosts Poland know that victory against the Czech Republic will see them go through without the need for a favour from their sworn enemy.



    Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski’s stunning second-half equaliser certainly meant everything to Poland, who suffered a disappointing draw against Greece in this stadium on Friday.
    They are well aware of his story — the boy who was raised by his grandma after seeing his father knife his mother to death when he was 10 years old — and there could not have been a more popular scorer when his moment arrived.
    Ludovic Obraniak slipped the ball down the right and Blaszczykowski’s first touch took him inside his marker before he despatched an unstoppable shot past Vyacheslav Malafeev, to the delight of the Polish fans.
    Russia had taken the lead eight minutes before half-time when Alan Dzagoev, who scored twice in their opening win against the Czechs, underlined his growing reputation by becoming the tournament’s leading marksman.
    Marcin Wasilewski gave away a free-kick on the left and Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin floated a cross to the edge of the six-yard box.
    Dzagoev ran into the area to send the ball spinning off his right shoulder and into the net.











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  13. #13
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    Default Greece 1 Czech Republic 2: Jiracek and Pilar keep Euro hopes alive

    Early goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar saw the Czech Republic revive their Euro 2012 campaign with victory over Group A rivals Greece in Wroclaw.
    The Czechs were 2-0 to the good inside just six minutes as midfielders Jiracek and Pilar made the most of some generous Greek defending.
    Substitute Fanis Gekas pulled a goal back after a terrible error by Petr Cech, but Fernando Santos' side lacked the guile to carve out an equaliser.




    The Czechs' opening 4-1 loss to Russia left them knowing another defeat would end their hopes of reaching the last eight. but they could hardly have wished for a better opening.
    Jiracek put them ahead in the third minute as he ran on to Tomas Hubschman's pass to fire home, despite Greek keeper Kostas Chalkias getting a hand to his left-footed shot.
    Chalkias was then at fault for the second goal as he failed to cut out Theodor Gebre Selassie's low cross to allow Pilar to tap in his second goal of the tournament.
    The lively Pilar came close to adding a third as he played a neat one-two on the edge of the area before firing just wide of the left-hand post.
    Georgios Samaras had Greece's first sight of goal but the Celtic striker made a mess of meeting Vassilis Torosidis' cross.
    Chalkias' miserable day continued as he was forced off after just 21 minutes, having pulled up after playing a pass out to his defenders, with Michalis Sifakis coming on to replace him.










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  14. #14
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    Default Fans injured as build-up to Poland's clash with Russia is marred by violent clashes in Warsaw

    Over 100 people have now been arrested in serious disturbances prior to the start of the Euro 2012 clash between Poland and Russia in Warsaw tonight, police in the city have confirmed.
    In a statement, the force also confirmed 10 people have been injured - seven Polish, two Russians and one German - but cited medical agencies in claiming none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.














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  15. #15
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    Default Denmark 2 Portugal 3: Varela's late strike spares Ronaldo's blushes

    Substitute Silvestre Varela kept alive Portugal's hopes of qualifying from Group B with a late strike to spare the blushes of some of his more illustrious team-mates in Lviv.
    The Porto forward smashed home the winner having come on just four minutes earlier after Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo had missed two straightforward opportunities to put the result beyond Denmark.



    Portugal's chances had looked increasingly remote with just three minutes remaining after they squandered a two-goal lead.
    Goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga had Paulo Bento's side coasting but Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner appeared to have secured a point as he continued his remarkable scoring spree against the Portuguese with both of his country's efforts to take his tally to six in five matches against their European rivals.
    The win gave Portugal their first points of the tournament and ensured they go to the last match still in with a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
    Having wrestled the early initiative from Denmark, who lost Niki Zimling to an early calf injury, Ronaldo failed to test goalkeeper Stephan Anderson with a free-kick from wide on the left but their next two set-pieces were more productive.
    Miguel Veloso's long-range free-kick saw Postiga's shot deflected wide but from the resulting 24th-minute corner Portugal took the lead.
    Nani's inswinging cross picked out the run of the unmarked Pepe and the Real Madrid defender's glancing header beat Anderson at his near post.









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  16. #16
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    Default Holland 1 Germany 2: Glorious Gomez goals leave Dutch on brink of Euro exit

    Mario Gomez's superb first-half double put Germany on the verge of the UEFA Euro 2012 knockout stages while Holland's hopes of reaching the last eight now hang by a thread.
    Gomez, who had scored the winner in Germany's opening win over Portugal, opened the scoring in the 24th minute and added his second in the 38th before Robin van Persie reduced the deficit 17 minutes from time.
    The result means Germany need just a point from their final Group B game against Denmark to guarantee progression, while Holland need to beat Portugal and hope for both a Germany win and a swing in goal difference.














    Bert van Marwijk's men had shaded the opening exchanges, with Van Persie shooting straight at Manuel Neuer as he sought to atone for a series of missed chances in the Dutch defeat to Denmark.
    Mesut Ozil responded for Germany with a ninth minute volley which struck the base of Maarten Stekelenburg's left-hand post before the ball was gathered by the grateful Dutch keeper.
    Arsenal ace Van Persie was looking lively but still lacking killer instinct, and another opportunity went begging when Ibrahim Afellay's cross towards the striker was crucially intercepted by Mats Hummels.
    Gomez put Germany ahead in the 24th minute with an excellent finish after Bastian Schweinsteiger's through-ball cut the Dutch defence in two. Gomez turned and fired the opener low to Stekelenburg's right.
    Arjen Robben slammed a long-range effort straight at Neuer as Dutch frustration began to tell, although they were secure in the knowledge they could not face elimination due to Portugal's earlier win over Denmark.
    It was just as well, as the Germans continued to exploit glaring weaknesses in the Dutch defence, particularly down the right flank, and Holger Badstuber should have made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when he headed straight at Stekelenburg from point-blank range.
    But one minute later Germany did have their second from another move originating on the right, Schweinsteiger playing in Gomez who looked up and slammed an unstoppable shot across the keeper from a tight angle.
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    Default Czech Republic 1 Poland 0: Co-hosts limp out as Jiracek sends Bilek's men through

    Petr Jiracek's second-half goal ensured the Czech Republic squeaked into the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 as co-hosts Poland suffered an early exit.
    Outplayed for the majority of the first half, the Czechs were seemingly stung into action after Greece took a half-time lead against Russia in the other Group A game in Warsaw.
    That result left Michal Bilek's men needing all three points to reach the last eight and after dominating the tempo after the interval, Jiracek's calm finish ensured they topped the group, with Russia and Poland the eliminated teams.



    Poland knew nothing less than a win would see them reach the knockout stages at the expense of the Czech Republic, who also needed three points to guarantee their qualification for the last eight.
    Similar to their previous two matches, Poland were understandably backed by boisterous home support and they nearly gave them something to shout about early on but Dariusz Dudka's overhead kick hit the side netting.
    Yet they should have been behind soon after and were grateful for Vaclav Pilar completely fluffing his lines in front of goal after Theodor Gebre Selassie had picked him out with a low ball into the area.
    The frenetic start continued, with Poland midfielder Ludovic Obraniak's free-kick from a narrow angle hitting the side netting once more while Robert Lewandowski should have done better after slicing horribly wide with a decent sight at goal.
    It seemed only a matter of time that the Czech Republic defence would be breached and goalkeeper Petr Cech had to be at his best to push away Sebastian Boenisch's dipping 30-yard effort.




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    Default Greece 1 Russia 0: Greek tragedy for Russians as Arshavin and Co crash out of Euros

    Giorgos Karagounis and Greece rekindled the spirit of 2004 tonight as they sealed an improbable European Championship quarter-final spot and dumped Russia out of the tournament.
    The shock champions of eight years ago turned Group A upside down in a remarkable final round of fixtures in Poland this evening.
    Karagounis' winner - on the night he equalled a national record by earning his 120th cap - came completely against the run of play on the stroke of half-time at Warsaw's National Stadium.




    But no-one could argue Greece did not deserve their victory at the final whistle, with 2004 hero Karagounis denied a blatant penalty - and picking up a booking that ruled him out of the next match.
    Russia, who had thrashed Czech Republic 4-1 in their opening game, barely tested goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis and were made to pay as the Czechs beat Poland in Wroclaw to steal top spot.
    **** Advocaat's men went into tonight's game in the dangerous position of knowing they needed only a draw to reach the quarter-finals, with even a defeat not necessarily fatal.
    It was win or bust for their opponents, who got off to the fast start they failed to produce in their previous games by winning a succession of early corners.
    Vyacheslav Malafeev made an acrobatic save from one of them when Kostas Katsouranis hooked Karagounis' sixth-minute delivery within reach of the goalkeeper - although it was going wide anyway.
    Vassilis Torossidis also had a shot blocked before Russia's technical superiority began to show, Andrey Arshavin poking Alan Dzagoev's 10th-minute cross straight at Sifakis and Aleksandr Kerzhakov inches wide with a superb 20-yard half-volley.









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    Default Portugal 2 Holland 1: Ronaldo finally joins Euro party to put Dutch out of their misery

    Hello Cristiano Ronaldo, goodbye Holland: the Ego has landed at Euro 2012 and out crash ‘Egoland’.
    It is unlikely to provide Bert van Marwijk with any comfort but he was probably right all along and his attempt to cram so many creative forces into one team merely produced an invitation Ronaldo was unable to resist.
    Five days after misfiring against Denmark in Lviv, Portugal’s captain ran amok against a Dutch side who seemed neither to know nor care about how they might contain him.
    Ronaldo scored a goal in each half and hit the post twice as Portugal came from behind to clinch a quarter-final clash against the Czech Republic in Warsaw.



    Holland leave for home without a point and seemingly undone by their old tendency to self-destruct.
    Van Marwijk may have found a way to harmonise factions in the camp in South Africa, where they reached the World Cup final, but they lurched out of control here.
    After losing their opener to Denmark last week, one Dutch newspaper produced the headline: ‘Legoland 1 Egoland 0’. And here, aware nothing less than a two-goal win would be enough, Van Marwijk bowed to popular demand and risked a row with his daughter on Father’s Day by dropping her husband, Mark van Bommel.
    Into midfield came Rafael van der Vaart, winning his 99th cap and starting for the first time in the finals. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar led the line, which meant Robin van Persie dropped deeper and Wesley Sneijder shifted on to the left.
    With two attacking full backs, it was a high-risk strategy against a Portugal team designed to counter-attack but it started well when Van der Vaart struck after 11 minutes.
    Arjen Robben’s pace yanked Portugal’s back-line out of shape and created a pocket of space for Van der Vaart to collect a pass, open his body and curl a left-footer into the far corner from 20 yards.







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