Soon, it is time to decide the winner of the European Football Championship in 2016. Four teams are still participating in the tournament though, and they will be reduced to two that will play in the final at Stade de France in Paris.
Wednesday, July 6: Portugal – Wales
Portugal has not won a match in the European Championships at full-time. The only game they have won by a deciding goal was the round of 16 against Croatia, through a late goal in the second overtime half. In the quarterfinal they got the worst possible start against Poland when the Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski scored 1-0 early. Portugal managed to score the equalizer though and the match went to penalties, where Ronaldo and his teammates managed to win. In the semifinal of the European Championship, Portugal will face Wales who eliminated Belgium with a 3-1 victory. Unexpectedly, according to many, but we think that Belgium has been the tournament’s most overrated team with a lot of individual talent but where it appeared early that they will not get the full effect of their squad. The question is if Wales can overcome the Portuguese defenses in the same way?
Thursday, July 7th: Germany – France
Germany played a defensive battle against Italy, owning much of the ball possession. Many of us thought that the game was decided when Mesut Ozil threw himself forward and put 1-0 to the Germans in the second half. However, penalties would be required even in this game. Italy got the 1-1 goal on a penalty shot. The penalty was preceded by a hand situation in the German defense area that looked a little funny. Looking at the situation again we see that the defender Jerome Boateng was in a struggle with an Italian attacker that fell. Then, Boateng raises his arms in the air to show that he had not done something against the rules, after which the ball hits one arm. During the shootout, many of the players missed. Finally, Germany could move on to the semifinals. There, the host nation France awaits after putting an end to Iceland’s success story in the 2016 European Championships. The French owned the game from start to finish and had a comfortable 4-0 lead after the first half. The match eventually ended 5-2 and we are impressed by Iceland’s efforts in the qualifiers, group stage and playoffs. Coach Lars Lagerbäck has managed to get the maximum out of his men and was hailed by the people’s cheers and one last giant volcano when they landed home on the island.
Who will win the semi-final then? We predict 2-1 Germany!