2016 UEFA European Football Championship: Semi Finals
July 5, 2016 4:27 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Last stop before Paris

In their best* performance so far, Portugal overcome an early goal by Lewandowski thanks to rising star Renato Sanches, and after an uneventful second half and overtime, Quaresma capitalised on the Blaszczykowski miss on the shootout to send Portugal to their fourth Euros semi-final since 2000, where they will meet Wales, who also started from behind against Belgium thanks to a magnificent shot by Nainggolan, but Ashley Williams equalised from a corner also around the half hour mark, by the time Wales was looking in control of the game. The difference between both games was in the second half, where 10 minutes in, Robson-Kanu put Meunier and Fellaini out of the play with a perfectly executed Cruyff turn, and got the ball past Courtois putting Wales ahead. Belgium looked more and more desperate and less discerning as time advanced, and after seeing a penalty claim denied by the officials, Vokes headed the ball perfectly for the third of the night, and putting the game out of contention, and confirming first time participants Wales mirrored the history of their next opponents - reach the semi-finals in their debut, also in French soil.

And speaking of history, before kickoff, it was against Germany, playing against a team that denied them a place in the final in 1970 (in what was called the game of the century), 2006 and 2012, and lost a final in 1982. After an uneventful, tactically matched first half where Germany looked to have the upper hand but not doing much with it, they returned stronger, and Özil scored following a deflected low cross on the near post. Minutes later, Buffon kept Italy in the chase denying Gomez/Chielini the second, but it was Italy who scored thanks to a poorly judged handball in the box by Boateng, and the subsequent penalty converted by Bonucci. With few chances on overtime, the penalties were a display of poor technique, with Zaza (subbed in to kick in the shootout) doing a bizarre run-up and kicking it wide, Muller following with a weak shot Buffon saved easily, Pellè and Schweinsteiger kicking what could be the decider weak and wide, and at the 9th round, between Italy's unbeaten streak against Germany and Germany's penalty streak, something had to give, and Darmian kicks weak for a Neuer save, and Hector barely gets the ball past Buffon and puts Germany in the semi finals.
On the final game of this round, France easily beat Iceland, with Giroud and Pogba putting the hosts ahead in the first quarter of the game, and despite the usual combativeness of the Nordic team, it would be Payet and Griezmann to score again for France. With the outcome all but decided at half-time, France started saving their legs for the semi-final against Germany, and Sigthórsson finished a low cross for a consolation goal, but any remote possibility of a comeback was quickly put to bed as Giroud scored his second goal deflecting a long pass from a free kick. The final score was set by Bjarnsson heading one in with less than 10 minutes to go, with Mangala denying the last chance of a comeback with a clearance following a low cross.

SEMI FINALS (all games at 21:00 local)
6 July Portugal - Wales
7 July Germany - France
posted by lmfsilva (63 comments total)
As a fully paid up English person can I just say that I hope Wales batter the living poop put of Portugal.
posted by biffa at 5:38 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll be watching the semis, but have a very inopportunely scheduled camping trip that won't be over in time on Sunday. Somewhat grumpy.
posted by mzurer at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2016

As an unpaid Portuguese, I just want this to be over.

(Also, Guy Roux said something about the questionable age of Renato Sanches. I'm not even going near the national press tomorrow)
posted by lmfsilva at 1:10 PM on July 5, 2016

Man that Guy Roux/Sanches thing is some grade A bullshit. I hadn't heard about it so googled, and even on Reddit they are calling him out!

So looking forward to a France/Wales final; sorry lmf, but Wales deserve to be there way more than Portugal.

From bklyn: "Schweiny and Khediera are secretly injured"

Apparently it's true, Schweiny has Knee ligament injury, can't remember what's wrong with Khediera.

Predictions anyone?

Wales 2 Portugal 1
France 3 Germany 1
posted by marienbad at 2:19 PM on July 5, 2016

If Pepenbauer is out, Portugal will have some difficulty keeping Bale quiet. But if he is, 1-0 will probably do it. In overtime, because in this shitshow of a tournament, who else to win but a team that won't win any game in regular time?

France beats Germany 2-1. Game not that different from Germany - Italy, but France has more players able to make a difference.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:31 PM on July 5, 2016

I really want to see Wales go through but the combination of Pepe being in and Ramsey being out is going to be a real problem. I think Ramsey's link-up play and aggressive forward runs have been a huge underappreciated factor in the Welsh attack. I'm going to go with Portugal advancing on pens 1-1 and France 2-1 over Germany.
posted by Lame_username at 7:20 PM on July 5, 2016

On the positive side, celebrities should be safe for a few days, for the first time in all of 2016.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:39 PM on July 5, 2016

Just curious, how English fans react to Welsh team celebration after England elimination?
posted by nims at 7:06 AM on July 6, 2016

Wales 2 Portugal 1
France 3 Germany 1

same for Wales vs Portugal, the opposite for France vs Germany
posted by bigendian at 8:30 AM on July 6, 2016

just curious, how English fans react to Welsh team celebration after England elimination?

Yeah, it's a tricky situation. The thing is, like with pretty much everything, you can't get exactly what you want, and have to settle for the best you can. I don't agree with a lot of what Corbyn says or does but he is still my choice to lead labour. So come on, Wales!!
posted by marienbad at 9:25 AM on July 6, 2016

Pepe possibly out!
posted by marienbad at 10:01 AM on July 6, 2016

Pepenbauer out is confirmed. Bruno Alves starting. Hide yo' legs.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:00 AM on July 6, 2016

Not long now... any Wales fans around? Portugal fans? Other than me and lmf! I am at work so will have to see what happens; it might be quiet and I get to watch it, then again, you know what customers are like.
posted by marienbad at 11:42 AM on July 6, 2016

I'm a hesitant fan of Portugal, but Cristiano Ronaldo irritates me to no end, so underdog Wales gets my cheers today.
posted by mzurer at 11:49 AM on July 6, 2016

First Wales game I've been nervous about.
I just hope they learned the lesson against England and don't sit back.
posted by fullerine at 11:57 AM on July 6, 2016

Interesting half. Portugal seem to have had the best possession but haven't done much with it. Wales working hard but missing Ramsey big time.
posted by marienbad at 12:47 PM on July 6, 2016

Oh, look, another terrible game.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:47 PM on July 6, 2016

I would not say terrible; if Wales can keep up the good cohesion in defense, they might surprise the clumsy Portugueses.
posted by nims at 12:55 PM on July 6, 2016

I thought I had an idea (Portugal 1 Wales 0) but Wales are playing well, attacking cohesively are Portugal don't seem to quite get that CR07 is still a force but Sanchez is more, uh, vital and ambitious and I kinda think a Portugal goal lies with anyone but CR07.

France really surprised me with their team play. They were playing with each other so much more effectively. Germany are at a disadvantage with so many key players sitting out (injury or yellow cards (Hummels)). If they get through it'll be a tactical coup - and Mueller and Özil will have to hit every goal they try for. (There's still a chance - Kross is still strong and if Özil and Mueller can recalibrate to find the goal and Goetze comes on and gets hot ... there's not unreasonable reason to hope.)
France 3 Germany 1
posted by From Bklyn at 12:59 PM on July 6, 2016

Yeah, terrible is a bit harsh. More cagey than bad. It's like Portugal don't know how to win and Wales are too scared of losing.
posted by marienbad at 1:00 PM on July 6, 2016

Well, Mr.Ronaldo, that was pretty damn clean.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:06 PM on July 6, 2016

posted by marienbad at 1:06 PM on July 6, 2016

It's far from over.
posted by nims at 1:08 PM on July 6, 2016

Well, it's over for me. What's the point in football if Portugal is winning?

posted by bigendian at 1:14 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

The only way this could be worse is if ronaldo scores a free kick
posted by fullerine at 1:19 PM on July 6, 2016

Well, let's not pretend like Wales is some sort of wonder team (for this tournament) being pushed out by negative football. That was Croatia.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:20 PM on July 6, 2016

Damn - I rushed home from work as it was only one nil and I get home and it's bloody two nil. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
posted by marienbad at 1:23 PM on July 6, 2016

I'm just disappointed they've played so badly
posted by fullerine at 1:34 PM on July 6, 2016

I think the lack of Ramsey and the occasion worked against Wales tonight.
posted by marienbad at 1:47 PM on July 6, 2016

Portugal are into the final. Unbelievable.
posted by marienbad at 1:50 PM on July 6, 2016

Given the ball away more times in this game than in the previous 5.
Dreadful performance from pretty much everyone.
Bale's had a shocker.

But still, they can be proud of the way they've played in the tournament.
posted by fullerine at 1:50 PM on July 6, 2016

Wales took a gut punch with the first goal and never recovered.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:03 PM on July 6, 2016

The punditry class seems to think that tonight's game between France and Germany will be a tight, low-scoring game. I have a sneaking suspicion this might be a multi-goal thriller. Both teams are much better in attack than defense, and both have gotten to the semifinal by playing teams that like to counterattack. I have high hopes for the game, at least this morning. Probably by evening my pessimistic disposition will have colored my outlook a bit.
posted by Kattullus at 12:57 AM on July 7, 2016

Come on, France!! Two hours to go...
posted by marienbad at 9:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The beginning is exciting.
posted by nims at 12:08 PM on July 7, 2016

Should have been one nil. Vive la France!
posted by marienbad at 12:09 PM on July 7, 2016

Müller can score anytime, really.
posted by nims at 12:15 PM on July 7, 2016

France seem to be suffering some sort of angst crisis or something. Germany are well on top here.
posted by marienbad at 12:23 PM on July 7, 2016

Midfield missing Kanté. Germany is overwhelming them.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2016

France should have played Kante, arguably.
posted by marienbad at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2016

Koscielny deserves a statue.
posted by nims at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Jinx, lmf!
posted by marienbad at 12:31 PM on July 7, 2016

Wow. France ahead with an odd penalty shout.
posted by marienbad at 12:50 PM on July 7, 2016

That was a somewhat questionable penalty, particularly the delay. It also feels like there's different rules for contact depending on the side of the field.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:51 PM on July 7, 2016

Italian ref giving a bit of payback for their loss to the Germans?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:52 PM on July 7, 2016

Should Kante and Sissoko enter right now?
posted by nims at 12:56 PM on July 7, 2016

It seems like a pretty clear penalty to me. Schweinsteiger's arm was way up in the air. I assume the delay was because it was spotted by the assistant behind the goal.
posted by Kattullus at 1:00 PM on July 7, 2016

Well, Boateng out - things are grim for Germany
posted by From Bklyn at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2016

Really feel for Boateng - had a great tournament, if Germany make it to the final it will be a shame for him to miss it.

Come on France, Portugal must be watching this and thinkng please let France win.
posted by marienbad at 1:26 PM on July 7, 2016

Fucking finally, Kante is on.
posted by marienbad at 1:30 PM on July 7, 2016

Griezmann!!!! Yes!! Nice one, France.
posted by marienbad at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Clever play by Sissoko there, so so cool.
posted by marienbad at 1:45 PM on July 7, 2016

I'm okay with France getting into the final. As long as they, please, beat Portugal.
posted by bigendian at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2016

Lloris! wow!
posted by marienbad at 1:52 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

They have done it!! Congratulations, France!
posted by marienbad at 1:54 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yay! What a fantastic game, and what a fabulous performance from France. Even though Germany had possession of the ball two thirds of the time, they never looked truly like scoring until they threw everything at the French goal. And France always looked dangerous on the break. And oh look, they're doing the Icelandic clap celebration. I'm cool with that.
posted by Kattullus at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2016

It was a very tight game, thanks to the ref. The clapping was nice.
posted by nims at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2016

That said, Portugal does not stand a chance.
posted by nims at 2:04 PM on July 7, 2016

Germany was looking very unbalanced when compared to two years ago. Don't expect them to win the fifth in Russia unless they find better wingbacks and a couple of target forwards.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:08 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The German team Is very uneven, on the one hand you have really seasoned players like Neuer and Boateng and Özil, on the other Kimmich and Draxler who could grow into really good players, but aren't yet.

France won that beautifully. Or maybe Lloris and Griezmann won that beautifully for France.

I didn't think Germany would play as well as they did - in the last 15 min they were about 30 cm from a goal at least six times. The point being, of course, that close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:33 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

On review: Koscielny deserves a statue!!!!
posted by nims at 4:39 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

So does Umtiti.
posted by marienbad at 6:06 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by lmfsilva at 12:22 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

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