Tag Archives: Altintop

Germany v Turkey – post game

I am just exhausted. You know what the Turkish team reminds me of – the trick birthday candle that you just can’t blow out. So you finally get a big bucket of water and douse it. That’s what Germany had to do. I still don’t believe the Turks lost since the last two minutes of injury time were black screened due to technical difficulties. I had absolutely no doubt that Turkey would come back and score during that time. However, it was not to be. It is amazing that everyone who saw this run will talk of this Turkey team’s performance long after anyone remembers who won the tournament. Hats off to you. You played with possibly four starters and almost made it to the final.

However, the Dwarf (that’s not my nickname for him – it’s what they call him in Germany) made Turkey pay. First he crossed for Klose to leap and nod in in typical Miroslav fashion, then he got turned inside out by Sabri who crossed for Semih to score with the touch of the tournament and finally he cut in on the left wing, dished off, kept running and finished off by wrong footing Rustu with a high blast at the near post. It was a brilliant finish. And it didn’t give the Turks enough time to get another goal back.

Turkey started the game very well and had the Germans looking very ordinary. Ballack really had a sub par game and Lehmann was up to his usual walkabout tricks. Kazim Kazim blasted one off the crossbar before mishitting another one off the other side of the crossbar. Lehmann was totally lost on the rebound, Friedrich was ball watching and Ugur Boral put it in between a confused Lehmann’s legs. This after Lehmann almost let a cross by Altintop leave him stranded too far out of the six yard box. So, Germany was lucky it was only 1-0. They were also lucky that the Turks didn’t immediately shut up shop for the half and instead allowed Podolski space on the wing to cross for Schweinsteiger to make a brilliant touch finish to the far post.

Pre-game prediction: Germany 3 Turkey 1

Result: Germany 3 Turkey 2

Scorers: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Philip Lahm (Germany) Ugur Boral, Semih Senturk (Turkey)

I didn’t see enough from Germany in this game to change my prediction that the winner of Russia v Spain wins this tournament. The German backs are going to have a hard time dealing with the movement, passing and trickery of Villa/Torres/Silva or Arshavin/Pavlyuchenko/Zhirkov. I hope the Russia v Spain semi final delivers what it’s capable of – the best game of the tournament…

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Group A third round pre-match – Czech v Turkey, Portugal v Switzerland

Portugal are through as winners of Group A and Switzerland are out with two losses against Turkey and Czech Republic.  The winner of the Turkey/Czech Republic game goes through to the next round to play Croatia.  They are even on points, goal difference and goals scored, so if it is a draw at regular time, there will be penalties to determine the winner.

The main game is about matchups.  Both teams play well collectively, have good technical skill, are tough to break down defensively, have had recent success on the world/Euro stage and strikers who are good but yet to set the tournament alight.  Czech Republic vs Turkey.  Petr Cech vs Volkan Demirel in goal. Tuncay and Nihat vs Koller and Baros (and Coach Brueckner needs to start both of them) up front.  Servet Cetin vs Rozenahl at center back. Turan vs Sionko at attacking midfield.  All key matchups that need to be contested.  We need to see Altintop step up for the Turks – he has too much talent to not have an impact.  This is not going to penalties much as that would be highly entertaining given Demirel’s heroics for Fener against Sevilla in the Champions League and Cech’s participation in one of the most dramatic penalty shootouts in recent memory in the 2008 Champions League Final.  I predict a Czech Republic victory in a close game.  Even if it goes to penalties, I will pick the Czechs to win.

“I will make about five changes before the match and the standard three (substitutions) during it,” said Scolari. I wouldn’t be surprised if Switzerland does the same to blood some of the younger players.  So it’s tough to call this one with the Swiss probably desperate to win at least one match at home.  That said, I think the Portugese bench players who start will be desperate to impress Scolari, so the intensity will be even higher.  I predict a Portugal win with Nani and Almeida on the scoreboard.

Pre-game predictions: Czech Republic 2 Turkey 1

Portugal 3 Switzerland 2 

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