Euro 2008: Matchday 12 (Group D)

Euro 2008: Matchday 12 (Group D)

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Euro 2008: Matchday 12 (Group D)

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And then there was one. Just one spot left in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals as Group D completes group play with Sweden and Russia squaring off today with the winner rounding out the quarterfinal field.

Sweden should be favored when it faces Russia today (2:30pm, ESPN) but star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s availability is in question. Also, Russia welcomes back star playmaker Andrei Arshavin, who missed the first two matches of the tournament because of suspension.

Spain faces Greece (2:30pm, ESPN2) with nothing on the line but pride. Spain’s B team should take the field while Greece may finally try to attack since they are already eliminated.

I will be doing a running commentary on the Sweden-Russia match so feel free to join me here. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on both Group D matches in the comments section below.

Enjoy the matches.

Now, onto Sweden-Russia:

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FINAL- Russia 2, Spain 0 and Russia is in the quarterfinals where they will face the Netherlands. What a match-up that will be. And in the end maybe Sweden’s age caught up with them.

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89th minute– Apologies for the disappearance but Sweden just hasn’t come really close to scoring here. Still 2-0 Russia.

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62nd minute– Spain has equalized to make it 1-1 vs. Greece. Ruben De La Red with the goal.

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62nd minute– Mellberg with a header from close range that should have been a goal but he sent it high into the stands.

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53rd minute– The Swedes need two goals to tie and advance to the quarterfinals. Doesn’t look like it will happen today.

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51st minute– What a finish by Arshavin, who hit it just inside the far post.

Ibrahimovic looks hurt.

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50th minute- GOAL RUSSIA!!! And it’s Arshavin with the finish of a beautiful pass. Russia 2, Sweden 0.

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48th minute– A Sweden blunder gives Russia another corner kick.

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46th minute– And we’re back.

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HALFTIME– Sweden put some good stuff together late in the half but didn’t equalize. Russia leads 1-0 and look pretty strong today.

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45th minute– From the Too Little, Too Late department comes word that Greece just scored against Spain to take a 1-0 lead.

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44th minute– Ljungberg forces a save on a nice Swedish build-up.

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42nd minute– Pavlyuchenko is looking like a sure bet to make a big-money move this summer.

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40th minute– I can’t help but reminded of the way Zenit St. Petersburg tore apart Glasgow Rangers in the FA Cup final. Russia is using the same sharp, short passing to tear apart this Sweden D. Can Sweden respond?

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36th minute– Pavlyuchenko just rifled a shot off the crossbar as Russia is just shredding Sweden’s defense with sharp passing.

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33rd minute– Sweden is looking a bit flat right now. Don’t see many ideas from their attack.

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28th minute– I tell you what, Russia looks VERY dangerous here and a Netherlands-Russia quarterfinal is going to be fun to watch if it happens.

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27th minute– Henrik Larsson hits a header off the crossbar. WOW, almost an equalizer.

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24th minute- GOAL RUSSIA!!!! A BEAUTIFUL passing sequence leading to an easy tap-in. A pass from the wing, a second pass in the area, and an easy shot. TOO EASY.

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22nd minute– Guus Hiddink has Russia playing very well.

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21st minute– Arshavin with a cross turned shot that forces a save. The corner results in a great Zherkov volley that missed by inches wide. Wow, what a shot.

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15th minute– Russia comes close but a dangerous centering pass is poorly redirected. Russia has had better chances early.

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13th minute– Interesting to hear that Sweden is the oldest team in the tournament. Really? I would have had all my money on Italy having that label. Apparently Henrik Larsson is 60 years old.

Arshavin with a header wide.

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11th minute– Russia on the move, with a corner kick that is cleared, with the follow-up shot shanked.

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10th minute– Sweden has put on the pressure lately and Ibrahimovic gets a weak header on goal that Akinfeev handled easily.

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5th minute– Russians are trying to pressure and doing a decent job. And there’s a nice shot of Swedish fans, which are there in force.

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2nd minute– Ibrahimovic is in the lineup and has already kicked a Russian defender in the face.

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1st minute– And we’re under way.

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