The 2008 European Championships kicked off in impressive fashion on Saturday, with the Czech Republic and Portugal registering Group A victories in the tournament’s first day of action.
Co-host Switzerland outplayed the Czechs for much of their opening match, but an inability to finish coupled with the emotional departure of injured captain Alexander Frei proved too much to overcome as the Czech Republic defeated Switzerland, 1-0. Czech striker Vaclas Sverkos ran onto a headed long pass and scored the lone goal in the Czech’s victory.
Portugal showed why they are considered one of the tournament’s title favorites with a dominating 2-0 victory against Turkey. Real Madrid defender Pepe scored the opening goal on a beautiful run to make it 1-0 Portugal before substitute Raul Mereiles buried the final pass in a beautiful match-ending sequence to seal the victory.
Group B action begins on Sunday, with Austria facing Croatia and Germany playing Poland.
What did you think of today’s action? Did you think the Swiss were unlucky? Did Portugal look like a champion? Will the Czechs repeat their 2006 World Cup form by winning the opener before flaming out?
Share your thoughts below.
I don’t get the praise for Turkey. I thought they were very mediocre, they could have given up four goals to a Portugal team that wasn’t playing their best at all. If Turkey advances, it’s because the Swiss can’t score and the Czech team is old. But I’ll still take the Swiss as team 2 to advance.
Portugal dominated that game. I think to say that they cruised is a very accurate description. Could have scored three other goals pretty easily between the goal that they called back for Offsides, Nuno Gomes hitting the post and Ronaldo hitting the post.
Unlucky for the hosts. Frei is out for the tourney. Im anxious to see how Croatia do today.
“portugal cruises”? not exactly…
Your sarcasm is obvious and noticeable, but questioning the lack of an effective striker is totally acceptable.
That one fellow, what’s his name, Christiano something?
He seems to have scored once or twice in his life.
Watching that Portugal-Turkey game just got me thinking….Who is going to score the goals for Portugal? They have ZERO striking options!!! Maybe I shouldn’t have picked them in my pool…
Too bad for Switzerland. They were doing so well. But it was Turkey that surprised me the most. I thought they were everywhere in the beginning and I liked their speed. It was unfortunate they couldn’t have scored or at least tied. Portugal didn’t look like a champion to me or maybe it’s because I want them to do horrible so I can have a laugh. It was frustrating to watch that game.
turkey’s finishing has to improve greatly, as they had several chances to leave this game with at least a draw… i can count at least two clear goals that were squandered by their strike force…
but they did play very well, but not as well as i’d expected. and, for the record, the referee should have called that foul on ronaldo that left turkey totally exposed for the second goal…
don’t believe the hype, this portugal team must play sharper.
as for the czechs, a purely professional performance (away) against a very very strong suisse side… if you’re going to play a host side in the opening match, you may as well do it like they did
No better way to describe the Czechs other than lucky. But hey, that’s football.
i thought the big surprise today was turkey. they may have lost, but they looked quite good, and i think there’s a good chance they’ll sweep the rest of their games, or at the very least, make the rest of the group interesting by possibly beating the czech rep and losing to switzerland (assuming portugal wins out, since they’re certainly the class of the group).