Euros: Day 7 – Lack of the Irish
I was able to pull myself out of my depression of looking at the SportAZine.com stats only to be pushed further into depression by Spain only to be uplifted by the Irish fans, who reminded us all that it’s just a game.
We went into the day with Croatia on top with 3 points, Italy and Spain knotted at 1 point, and Ireland with a goose egg. I was hoping for some Irish luck. Here’s how it unfolded:
Italy v. Croatia (1-1)
My only fantasy player in this game is Nikica Jelavic. He did nothing. I should have picked up the other Croatian striker, Mario Mandzukic, who did score and was not taken off.
Spain v. Ireland (4-0)
Spain did not play game 1 with a striker. There was speculation they would do it again. However, Fernando Torres started the game (David Villa is injury) and he scored the fastest Spanish goal in Euro history (3 minutes and 49 seconds). He added a second later.
I have fantasy players on both sides of this one, and they might have canceled each other out: Aiden McGeady and Gerard Piqué. The best I could hope for was a McGeady hat-trick and 2 Piqué set-piece goals. Even though my bracket needed Spain to win, I would have been willing to toss out my bracket for an Ireland win. That didn’t happen. Even though my team is named “Aiden McGeady !!” I might have to drop him for the last game. Italy needs a win and Ireland is out of the tournament.
The most interesting thing that could happen would be if Spain draws with Croatia 2-2 (or any large score). If Italy beats Ireland (which anyone with half a brain expects at this point) and there’s a draw in the other game, 3 teams will tied on 5 points. Because of the way the tie-breakers work, the games against Ireland will be tossed out and the “goals scored” category will become the tie-breaker, with Croatia and Spain going through. The Guardian suggested Spain might well try to make this happen on purpose. However, if Spain somehow slips up and loses the game, then Croatia and Italy would go through (with an Italian win), so it doesn’t really make sense for Spain to let the game stay close. If there is 5 minutes left and the game is tied at 2-2, there’s not a lot of incentive for either team. Croatia could get top spot in the group with a win, but with only 5 minutes left why push forward against arguably one of the best teams the world has ever seen? I suspect a 1-1 draw is more likely and in that case the Ireland scores would come into play. Italy would need to win by 3 goals to beat Croatia’s margin of victory…or just score a lot of goals and win by 2, but how many 4-2 scorelines do you see in the world? Not many.
Eric let me know last night that he needed to do a training run for his upcoming half-marathon this morning and wouldn’t be able to write a game summary of Game 2. The Heat tied up the series at 1-1.
After only 3 games since May 26, the MLS is kicking back off tomorrow with 7 games, the first ones starting at 7PM Eastern. None of the games will be on broadcast television, but there’s one game on ESPN2. The MLS has a nice TV listing page.
Speaking of running, did you know Lance Armstrong recently won the Ironman 70.3 in Florida? I knew there were new doping allegations, but I didn’t know why until this morning.
I also stumbled across this piece on the Lingerie Football League. Did you know the girls aren’t paid?? I guess they are looking for modeling jobs. Better not get that face roughed up on the field!