Monday, April 2, 2007

Memoria - Euro' 04 Quarter Final

This has to be one of the best international matches that I have seen. England plays Portugal in the quarter finals of the Euro – 04 in front the elated Porto crowd and the worth for their money was enormous.

The match started with national anthems followed by supporters’ emotional howls. And it wasn’t a long wait to make some amendments in the scores. It was two minutes and twenty four seconds and Owen flicks one past Ricardo to give English an early lead. And Portuguese already sniff that tickle down then nerve and a little sense of urgency! James denies a 20 yard from Maniche and soon after Nuno Gomes misses the far post. The English are already forming castles, and its less than 20 minutes. And a sudden counter attack from Lampard almost makes it two, wishing Owen could have converted that one as well.

What next, the poster boy of English camp Wayne Rooney twists his ankle, it looks serious and he is replaced by Darius Vassell. And now, Deco, Ronaldo turn to shooting modes, making life difficult for the English defenders. Deco-Gerrard tackle and the first yellow card of the game flashed, careful Stevie!

Half Time almost there and Gary Neville toggles Ronaldo and gets booked. Figo takes the strike from the edge of the box, unfortunately for his team, high and wide.

Half Time reads England one Portugal nil.

Portuguese get some sort of pep-up snacks and they come back firing the English defenders yet again. Figo shoots one in almost no time, but he is not having a merry time at all, still the team seems to make an impact. Next booking is for Costinha, dirty-tackling Beckham.

64 Minutes Simao in Costinha out and inside three minutes he almost stole the much awaited equalizer. A Portugal corner followed by an English corner, but no change in scorelines. Now, English barter Hargreaves on, Gerrard off.

GOAL!! Six minutes to full time and Postiga’s head puts the cross from Ronaldo behind the bars, and its 1-1. Game On!! The crowd has come alive (inside and outside the TV). What else now to pamper the epic, a disallowed 90 minute ‘Cross Bar-Line-Out’ Goal by Campbell. And Ronaldo’s excellence is curbed by Phil Neville and he gets a yellow.

Extra time on and the physical energy levels are forced to maintain, that’s for the players, the fans had to manage the emotional energy levels! 110 minutes and Rui Costa decides that there should be no penalty business in Portugal and he shoos away Phil Neville for an absolute 20 yard treat and it’s a GOAL!! Portugal 2 England 1. But Lampard believes that penalties are still an option and in 5 minutes from a Terry Flick, he tells the Portuguese that the English are game for Penalties.

A good for nothing free kick from David Beckham and its time, we're going to penalties.


David Beckham! What have you done?

England 0 Portugal 0:

Deco, Confidence!

England 0 Portugal 1:

Owen, lousy! Thanks Ricardo for moving out of the way of this straight hit, thanks a lot!

England 1 Portugal 1:

Simao, no problems whatsoever!

England 1 Portugal 2:

Lampard, straight and low down the middle, level!

England 2 Portugal 2:

Rui Costa, the star misses it, mimics Beckham!

England 2 Portugal 2:

Terry does it with Perfection!

England 3 Portugal 2:

Ronaldo, nerves and a great penalty!

England 3 Portugal 3:

Owen Hargreaves, came in for Gerrard, and he doesn’t miss it!

England 4 Portugal 3:

Maniche, a miss means exit, and he doesn’t disappoint!

England 4 Portugal 4:

Sudden death is on Ashley Cole is next, Advantage England!

England 5 Portugal 4:

Postiga keeps hopes alive and puts it behind the bars!

England 5 Portugal 5:

Darius Vassell! Nooo, you came in for Rooney! And you missed it!

England 5 Portugal 5:

And Ricardo himself comes on to take the all crucial penalty, and he does it, Portugal has won a mind blogging contest, this is unbelievable football!

Alas! I can’t epitomize all the excitement in words, but for all those who saw it live, you can still feel that moment!

Image Sources : google BBC


nitesh said...

now i got the time to read
awesome match i must say

Raja said...

i watched tat match....right upto 3 am .....i dont know why sven - goran switched to defensive mode after scoring so early in fact he always tend to play defensive boring football...but still it was gr8 match,,,,and england as usual lost in penalty shootout..