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Holland 1-3 Russia – Arshavin On Top Of The World

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Watching Russia beat Holland 3-1 tonight in Basel to qualify for the semi-finals of Euro 2008, we may have seen the future champions of Europe. Their performance, at times, was simply breathtaking.

Over the entire 120 minutes, the best team deservedly won the match. Holland had plenty of chances to score but they were, for once, wasteful in front of the net. The Netherlands was also extremely lethargic in this game especially in midfield where it often seemed like they had forgotten to play their one-touch football which had been so awe-inspiring to watch throughout the tournament thus far.

What impressed me most about Russia was their shooting accuracy. Time after time, Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar kept Holland in the game after making fingertip saves to prevent Russia from scoring. It wasn’t just Russia’s shooting accuracy but the speed and placement of their shots was simply stunning. The Russians kept on pinging the shots in at van der Sar.

There were so many highlights for the Russians. Dmitri Torbinski’s goal for Russia to make it 2-1 was simply sublime. Andrei Arshavin controlled the midfield and was rewarded for his hard work with a goal. Roman Pavlyuchenko continued to torment Holland and he too got a goal for Russia. While there was little between both teams in the first half, from the second half onwards Russia began to take control and looked by far the better side. Russia coach Guus Hiddink is a bloody genius.

If you haven’t noticed, a pattern is beginning to emerge in Euro 2008. So far, every team that’s qualified for the semi-finals thus far has lost one of their matches in the opening round of the European Championships. Sometimes you have to taste defeat to get the kick up the backside you need to go on to be victorious. The shame of it for Holland was that their first loss of the tournament came in a game where defeat sent them out of the tournament and heading home.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Django

    June 22, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Holding you to that damir, size L Turkey home kit, with Tuncay’s name and number.

  2. damir

    June 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    If Turkey make it to the final I will buy and deliver you a Turkish team jersey, cuz’ there is no way I see them going past the Germans.

    But I’ll admit that the Russians are sensational so far and I’m cheering for them, I really am, but whether Spain or Italy win I can’t see them blowing past either of those powerhouses.

    Arshavin though, DAMN!

    VDS was excellent that’s why the Dutch ONLY conceded 3 goals.

  3. Django

    June 22, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    How is that comment so silly? Russia looked the best side all tournament yesterday, and eventually just overwhelmed the Dutch. And as for Turkey…who knows? They’ve made it this far as an incredible surprise, but at this point, who’s to say they can’t make it to the final? Spend less time congratulating yourself on making correct predictions and enjoy the game a bit.

  4. eran.ru

    June 22, 2008 at 3:44 am

    ??????? ??????? ???????.
    Arshavin,Zhirkov,Pavluchenko and and “7 number” Torbinsky showed fanatsic game

  5. damir

    June 22, 2008 at 12:37 am

    u should stay anonymous for that silly comment.

    Not only did I say that Holland would continue their trend of buckling under pressure but I told everyone that the reason they won 3 straight was LUCK.

    I didn’t see the Turkey – Croatia game turning that way.

    And I said the same thing about Portugal that I mentioned about Holland and I’ll repeat it for Spain.

  6. Anonymous

    June 21, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    i say turkey and russia in the final

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