Thursday, June 05, 2008

Getting ready for Euro 2008

With Euro 2008 just around the corner, participating teams cautiously prepared for the competition with friendly matches late May and early June.
Group A - Co hosts Switzerland will kick off the tournament having kept a clean sheet in their 2 recent matches against Slovakia 2-0 and Liechtenstein 3-0. After beating Lithuania 2-0 the Czech Republic bid farewell to their fans with a strong second-half performance in their 3-1 win over Scotland. Turkey played 3 matches in Germany where they lost 3-2 to Uruguay, but were victorious against European oppositions beating Slovakia 1-0 and Finland 2-0. Portugal also played in Germany where they put 2 past Georgia without reply.
Group B – Co hosts Austria showed most promise with a 1-1 draw against Nigeria and the 5-1 thrashing of Malta. Germany did not show their usual power, losing a 2 goal home lead to draw 2-2 with Belarus, but ended their preparations with a 2-1 victory over Serbia. Croatia were also less than convincing in their 1-0 home win over Moldova and 1-1 draw in Hungary. Poland travelled to Germany where they shared 2 goals with Macedonia and managed a 1-0 win over Albania before returning home for a 1-1 draw against Eruo 2008 absentees Denmark.
Group C – The French preparation had a South American flavour with Ecuador, Paraguay and Colombia visiting France. Failing to penetrate the French resistance goals were scarce as France registered 2 against Ecuador and 1 from the spot against Colombia. World champions Italy settled for 0ne friendly match in which they defeated Belgium 3-1 in Florence. The Dutch enjoyed a 3-0 win over Ukraine before drawing 1-1 with Denmark and beating Wales 2-0, whereas Romania’s only test resulted in a 4-0 victory over Montenegro in Bucharest.
Group D – Reigning European champions Greece defeated Cyprus 2-0 but will be defending their title after a 3-2 loss in Hungary. Russia smashed 6 past Kazakhstan without reply, before flying off to Germany where they continued their winning streak with wins against Serbia 2-1 and Lithuania 4-1. Spain needed a late goal to beat Peru 2-1 and a single goal to get the better of the USA. Sweden did enough to beat Slovenia 1-0 but were left with plenty to ponder after suffering a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Ukraine.
Euro 2008 will take place in Switzerland and Austria June 7th-29th. Full reports can be read at

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