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!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quarter final 1 - Poland v. Portugal

I'm back and refreshed after two days of absolutely no footer at all. After that England v. Iceland, I swore off football forever. But we knew that wouldn't last. Now, I'm sure that today's match will test my faith, like Job facing a plague of locusts, but Poland v. Portugal is what we've got on offer. So, settle in this afternoon and suffer along with me. I'll be pouring myself a strong cocktail and advise you to do likewise.

55 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

You have to go back to 1982 to recall the last time Poland went as far in a major competition as they have done here. They finished third in the World Cup in Spain with a group of players spearheaded by Zbigniew Boniek that are largely considered to be Poland’s golden generation. Today's group isn't quite that but somehow they've found themselves in the final eight.

2:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Portugal, in contrast, are no stranger to European Championship quarter-finals. This is their sixth since the stage was introduced, more than any other nation. And the good news is that Portugal will not play as they did against Croatia, which was hardly playing at all. I'm looking forward to seeing Real Madrid's new recruit Renato Sanchez, in particular.

2:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The players getting warmed up in 80 degree heat in Marseille:

Poland: Fabianski, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Grosicki, Milik, Lewandowski. Subs: Szczesny, Cionek, Jodlowiec, Linetty, Stepinski, Wawrzyniak, Peszko, Salamon, Zielinski, Kapustka, Starzynski, Boruc.

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Eliseu, William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Renato Sanches, Adrien Silva, Nani, Ronaldo. Subs: Lopes, Bruno Alves, Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Eder, Vieirinha, Danilo Pereira, Rafa, Quaresma, Eduardo.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

2:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Before kick-off tonight Uefa has announced there will be a “moment of applause” in memory of the 43 victims of the gun and bomb attack at Istanbul’s main airport this week.

2:53 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

On the Euro 2016 Predictions Game front, only MUR and WHR had the prescience to pick Poland to make the semis; no one chose Portugal.

2:57 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Anthems now....

2:58 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

We're all set to go now, apart from the "moment of applause" for Istanbul.

3:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Poland get us underway wearing their away white kits.

3:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! Lewandowkski finally shows up!!

3:04 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Excellent start to this match. Cedric the fullback misjudged the cross field pass, allowing the winger to nip in and deliver an incisive cross to the big man. Tidy finish.

1-0 Poland!

3:05 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nani gives the ball away shabbily. Poland are seeing a lot of the ball here – and taking care of it too. This wasn’t how this match was supposed to go.

3:12 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

First chance for Skippy - it's blocked by the industrial strength center backs.

3:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

A lot of Portugal's attacks are going through Cedric who is trying to make up for that earlier clanger.

3:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No so much yet from the new Bayern man, Renato Sanches.

3:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Skippy is upended and Skippy has a chance from the free kick.

3:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Somehow he finds the tiny Polish wall with his blast.

3:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lewandowksi bursts into the box beyond the shirt tug and blasts at goal.

3:19 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Poland look comfortable here. When they have the ball in attack they also look threatening. Milik and Lewandowski are moving well and Grosicki and Blaszczykowski are providing handy width. Krychowiak and Maczynski are bossing midfield too.

3:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Wow - Renato Sanches tries a desperate effort from about 35 yards that's straight into a Polish player. I can't remember the last time I saw so many of those efforts in vain in a tournament.

3:28 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! Renato Sanches comes good!

3:36 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Renato Sanches shows his early promise by jinking inside and hitting one with his left peg.

1-1!

3:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Now it's Portugal who seem to be in the ascendancy.

3:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nani hits a tame effort at the keeper.

3:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Jedrzejczyk is booked for holding on to Carvalho as the Portugal midfielder tries to run clear on the halfway line. It’s a needless foul and one that will lead to his suspension for the semi-final, if Poland make it through.

3:47 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Half-time whistle comes. A fairly decent opening quarterfinal, given Euro 2016's standards. Two goals and plenty of interest.

1-1

3:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

We're back on at Marseille for the second half now - Portugal getting us underway. This one is deliciously poised.

4:04 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Poland have a decent spell of possession but then Piszczek misreads the signals he is getting from Blaszczykowski and knocks the ball straight out of play.

4:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Portugal can’t get on the ball. This time Blaszczykowski and Piszczek do get their signals in tandem and play a lovely one-two before Piszczek’s low cross aimed at Milik is intercepted, vitally, by Fonte. Moments later Lewandowski tries to head at goal from somewhere below sea-level but he can’t generate the power or direction to bother Patricio. An impressive start from Poland. One that mirrors the one they made in the first half.

4:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

One would have to say that today's winners have a decent shout at reaching the final. Belgium must be favorites on this side of the bracket but they have very little tournament pedigree.

4:11 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh that was poor from Skippy. He was put through brilliantly but neither shot nor crossed effectively - just a horrible slice out of play.

4:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Not a lot of goal mouth action in the past ten minutes - I can't believe that these teams are already settling for extra time. This should be the time to really go for it.

4:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lewandowski has taken a knock now.

4:29 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Joao Moutinho on now for Carvalho.

4:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Joao Mario off now and Ricardo Quaresma, who's extra time goal got Portugal to this match, comes on.

4:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - a defensive diversion nearly crept in past Flappy.

4:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Dear oh dear - that cross shows how far this match has deteriorated.

4:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Portugal have a free kick chance now - Pepe has a free header but it's ruled off for offside anyway.

4:48 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Three minutes of stoppage time to come and then probably extra time.

4:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The Polish fans rouse themselves for these final few moments.

4:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

On to extra time, then. I'm going to step away for a tick, as I fully expect this one to go all the way to penalties.

4:53 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No chances as of yet in this extra time. It smells like pens.

5:05 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Half time of extra time - sheer rubbish. After the bright start, this match has been shocking for an hour.

5:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And on we go....

5:16 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Come on now, lads - we have places to be now.

5:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Kapustka has a shot blocked and then Blaszczykowski skies his effort when he pounces on the rebound. Oh come on!

5:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Wahay - we've got a pantless streaker on the pitch - the most entertaining thing we've seen in an hour.

5:20 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Bloody hell - it's another penalty shoot-out. Argghhhh!

5:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And now we've got the irony of listening to Macca's tips for penalty takers.

5:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Skippy up first, of course - not a good pen but in.

1-0 Port

5:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lewandowski up next and a pass into the right side.

1-1!

5:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Renato Sanches - calmly into the upper 90.

5:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Two more straight in.

Port 3-2 up.

5:40 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Blasiekowsky has a pen saved by Rui Patricia - good save.

5:42 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

So, Quaresma steps up to win it....

And does!

Portugal are through to the semis!

5:43 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

I'm off to the supermarket.

Back for more of this dross tomorrow..

Cheerio!

5:43 PM  

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