Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day 12: Group C Wraps Up

I've just about gotten over the disappointment of England finishing behind Wales in Group B yesterday, as it seems as if avoiding the Group D sides and getting a Group F side in R16 might actually be an advantage. Now we've got Group C wrapping up at noon with Germany facing Northern Ireland and Poland facing Ukraine. Germany top the group but only on goal difference. Poland are merely a goal behind and should easily take apart Ukraine, who have already been eliminated. Northern Ireland are on 3 points and will fancy qualifying as a third place team or better. So, all to play for today, eh? Join me for all the fun from around noon onward here on the LOB!

67 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Jogi Löw’s world champions have not set the continent alight in their opening two games; doing just enough to beat Ukraine and stuttering in a 0-0 draw with Poland, who play Ukraine at the same time this evening.

11:35 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

ESPN have Michael Ballack on the panel this afternoon, which should be interesting. Ballack has incurred the ire of his compatriots with his negative comments about the team. Sami Khedira, for example has referred to Ballack's comments as "comedy" and "ridiculous."

11:36 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Northern Ireland, so poor in their opener against Poland, were brilliant against Ukraine and are now on course to progressing into the last 16. Even if they lose today, results elsewhere may be enough to see them advance.

11:37 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Here's the team news out of Paris:

Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Ozil, Muller, Gotze; Gomez.

Northern Ireland (4-5-1): McGovern; Hughes, McAuley, Cathcart, J Evans; Ward, C Evans, Davis, Norwood, Dallas; Washington.

Referee: C Turpin (Fr).

11:39 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Just a quick check on the Golden Boot competition:

Gareth Bale - 3 goals
Alvaro Morata - 2
Bagdan Stancu - 2
Dimitri Payet - 2
Romelu Lukaku - 2

All other scorers are on one.

11:43 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Looks as if Low is pulling out all the stops tonight with Muller, Goetze and Super Mario Gomez all starting. That should be more than the creaky Northern Ireland backline full of low level Championship players are able to handle.

11:45 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The runner up in this group earn a plum first R16 slot on Saturday at 2pm against Switzerland. But then they run up against Spain in the Quarters.

11:49 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Teams in the tunnel now.

Mark Donaldson on the mic this afternoon in Paris.

11:54 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I've been particularly surprised by Thomas Muller's form this tournament. He's in line to best Klose's goal-scoring record but in this reduced role, he looks a shadow of the player that ripped up the last couple of World Cups.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

With Lafferty on the bench, it's clear that Michael O'Neill is going to have his side park the proverbial bus from the off.

And we're away.

12:01 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Bright start for the team in green - I'm surprised.

12:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

It has been a bitty start – with Washington knocking over Kroos in the Germany area after a long ball from McAuley – but Northern Ireland appear to be committing men forward early on.

12:05 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Some whistling going on in the stadium now - wonder what that's all about?

12:06 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

There was some weird story in the press today about an ultra band of Ukrainian fans who will be trying to disrupt the other match in Marseille with the intent of having the match abandoned. I'm not sure what that accomplishes, as their side has already been eliminated.

12:07 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Muller was through on goal but McGovern saved well. And then Washington breaks free. Comes to nothing. End to end stuff here.

12:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

McGovern definitely took one for the team there - hope he had his cup in.

12:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

If the Poles score early, which is definitely possible, the Germans will start to get a bit nervous.

12:10 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Set piece chance now for Germany...

McGovern punches and N. Ireland clear.

12:11 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Ozil was in there - N. Ireland are really under the cosh now.

12:11 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

It's clear that the tactic that is working for Germany is slicing the NI backfour with incisive balls. The conventional game of swinging in crosses to the big men is meat and drink for Cathcart and McGovern.

12:12 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - another superb save from McGovern one on one with Goetze. He's already having the game of his life. And it's only 12 minutes in.

12:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Jonny Evans crunched into Muller there and should've picked up a yellow card.

12:16 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

After weathering that storm, Northern Ireland appear to have gained some – albeit minor – foothold in the game again. They have their goalkeeper to thank for still being on level terms and, you would assume, a lot more defending is to come.

12:22 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Still 0-0 in Marseille, which will suit the Germans.

12:23 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The Northern Irish fans are having a great old sing song now with Will Griggs On Fire.

12:23 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Muller was away and fired just wide from an acute angle.

12:24 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

My goodness - the N. Ireland fans are having a great time, all bouncy bouncy right now. They are loving their time at Euro 2016. German fans very quiet right now.

12:26 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Jamie Ward is sprung and he hits one from about 20 yards. Never smothers it. He won't be beaten from that range.

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - off the keeper and post there by Muller!

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Muller could've had a hat-trick at this point.

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The NI players are happy to knock it about a bit, takes the pressure off the backline for a bit.

12:29 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! The breakthrough finally - Super Mario Gomez!

12:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Sloppy passing from the NI midfielders, then a deadly close control pass from Ozil to Muller, played back to Gomez and in off the keeper.

1-0 Germany at the half hour mark.

12:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

That goal had a bit of inevitability about it. But that hasn't silenced the NI fans - they're still having a whale of a time, regardless.

12:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Germany in total control now and you could definitely see more goals coming.

12:33 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Northern Ireland, as it stands, will need to avoid being thumped here – and then hope other results go in their favour. Honestly, on this evidence, they are unlikely to find a way past Neuer.

12:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Muller has one off the bar!!!

Could so easily have been two.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - a mad scramble - should have been a goal again.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Mario Gomez was in on goal and tried to side foot it but scuffed it straight into McGovern's arms.

12:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Wahay - Stu Dallas earns a corner for NI.

12:41 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

If they could equalize here, who knows?

12:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ward crosses straight into Neuer's arms. Shame.

12:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

As the first half winds down, it's still goalless in Marseille. All going to Germany's plan.

12:43 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - the linesman got one in the goolies there and is winded. He'll need some treatment at the interval. And here it is.

1-0 here and in total control of the game and the group play.

12:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

We're back on for the second half at Paris. Let's be honest - the Germans should have been 8 or 10 goals up. NI are lucky to still be in this one and need to keep the score down in order to qualify for the next round.

1:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Aaron Hughes lost his man but McGovern bailed him and the team out.

1:08 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh- Mario Goetze should have scored from his sliding effort. Put it wide.

1:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Poland have scored then - Blasiekowski with that goal. Doesn't change anything, yet. Germany still a goal better.

1:11 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Strange change there - Goetze to come off and Schurrle on. It's true that Goetze was wasteful today.

1:12 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Boateng was all at sea there. I've never rated him as a defender.

1:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Germany could easily be out of sight by now. They appear to be playing a different game to their opponents. Theirs is a dominance as thorough as Spain v Turkey and Belgium v Republic of Ireland. Still, it’s only 1-0 and Northern Ireland will be eager to keep it that way for as long as possible.

1:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Another corner chance now for NI:

Decent effort there by Evans and they have another corner.

1:16 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Another Poland goal and this one could get interesting.

1:21 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Pigstick coming on to replace Khedira.

1:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Jamie Ward coming off and Magennis coming on.

1:26 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Great ball over from Hector but Gomez couldn't get on the end of it.

1:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Northern Ireland's only hope is really a rare set piece chance.

1:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Boateng comes off; Howeides on.

1:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Down to the last fifteen minutes - if things stay the same, all three sides should progress, Germany meeting a third place team on Sunday, Poland meeting Switzerland on Saturday.

1:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Northern Ireland would have to wait to see what happens in the other three groups.

1:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Gomez with a great header down from Kimmich's cross - another superb save by McGovern.

1:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Things winding down here, with both sides seemingly pleased with their efforts and the result.

1:43 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I'm not sure that this will quiet the critics of this German side. They certainly had enough chances to run away with this one. But that was true of England yesterday, too.

1:45 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ozil, on his right, sends a half volley wide. There will be three minutes added on.

1:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Really boring finish to this match.

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

That's it, then. Germany go through top of the group, with Poland wrapping up second place. NI will have to wait to see if they go through. And Ukraine will have a flight home to look forward to.

1:50 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I'll be back with a fresh thread for the Group D matches in a bit.

1:51 PM  

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