LondonOne hour agoAuthor: Sundar Saktawat
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Italy found themselves one goal behind at the start of play in the Euro Cup final. The fervent and defiant supporters of England were stunned with joy. It’s okay. But also ask, where did the goal come from? The goal came in such a way that in the very first minute of the game, England defender Harry Maguire gave a corner with his carelessness. The Italian team went ahead to take a corner. This is a perfect counter-attack situation.
England scored on this counter-attack. But it wasn’t part of the game-plan – both Gareth Southgate and Roberto Mancini weren’t expecting it. If the goal had happened just before or after half-time, it was a different matter. But scoring a goal in the second minute of the game means – there is still a whole game left. And believe me – 90 minutes in football is not less than an eternity.
Italy team with Euro Cup 2020 trophy.
As the game came to a standstill after the first ten minutes, Italy took over the threads of the plot. This was inevitable, as the Italian team was superior to England in every respect in terms of experience, technique and talent. England (Trippier, Rice, Phillips) had no answers for Italy (Verratti, Georginio, Barella) in midfield.
Before the start of the game, José Marinio said that England striker Harry Kane would play in the deep to avoid Italy’s legendary defender-duo Kiellini and Banucci. The same thing happened, but it also made them ineffectual. In fact, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane did the roll-reverse.
Luke Shaw (right) celebrates after scoring a goal in the second minute of the match. Together with the English captain Harry Kane.
Sterling was wearing the number 10 jersey, but played as number 9 (centre forward), Harry Kane was wearing the number 9 jersey but played as number 10 (attacking midfielder), although he did not get creative logistics from midfield . In the second half, Italy’s ball-possession crossed 70 percent.
The Italian players would have taken the ball home with them and decorated the table with vases, as they had claimed ownership of it. England remained hostage in their half. His attacking ability was exposed. Somewhere the question also arose whether this team was eligible to play the final? If the teams of Belgium, Spain or Denmark had been in the final, would there have been a tough competition?
Italian players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout.
There are two types of competitions in football – league and cup. I consider league football to be a classical style, in which 20 teams play each other in two matches – home and away. And after these 38 matches the winner is decided. No one can ever become a winner in the league by chance or luck. Whereas in the cup-format, the teams do not play each other, playing in groups from where they have to qualify for the knockout rounds.
In the knockout, if she wants, she can drag the game to a penalty shootout and try her luck by showing a tactical-play. A lot also depends on which teams are in your group or who you face in the knockout rounds.
Italy’s forward Kiesa (left) impressed everyone with his performance throughout the tournament.
This is why in the cup-format, very often a team can win a title or reach the final without being the best team in the competition – such as Italy itself, which despite not being the best team in the world in 1982 and 2006. Cup was won. Then the teams of Brazil and France respectively were also better and also the fans-favourites. But in this Euro Cup, Italy’s team has definitely proved to be the best team.
Roberto Mancini played a free-flowing 4-3-3 formation throughout the tournament and played attacking football in contrast to the Italian-culture. Italy could have scored more than one goal last night. Playing in the left wing, Federico Kieza broke England’s defense more than once. Remember that Kiezza was the best forward for Juventus in the last season.
It was unfortunate that the Euro Cup final was decided by a penalty shootout, as Italy deserved to win in game-time. A penalty shootout is like a gamble. There is a loss of footballing aesthetics and the loss of collective effort.
Harry Kane takes the first shot during the penalty shootout.
It depends on the individual qualities and coincidences. Anyone can score a goal in a shootout and anyone can miss a penalty, it does not decide the best style of play, talent, strategy. But knockout matches are hungry for results. Teams in the league format share points appropriately on such occasions.
This team of Italy is undefeated from the last 34 matches. From not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup to winning the Euro Cup, the team has come a long way. It is good for the sport that the Serie A (Italian League) remains relevant and the dominance of the English Premier League and La Liga (Spanish League) decline. Italy’s captain Giorgio Kielliani has won his first international title.
Italy captain Giorgio Kiellini with the Euro Cup.
Kielani is the legend of this game, it would not have been better if he had left without any title. José Marinio rightly said that Kielini and Banucci should go to Harvard to lecture on the art of central-defending. He has mastered this skill. Good defending is no less important in football. A defensive-block is just as important as a goal, even if it is not as visible.
The Euro Cup started on 11 June. Around this the Copa America also started. The best teams from Europe and South America presented a month-long feast of fine football. Writing well on a topic like football does two things – first, football-fans get inspired to read, while the general reader also becomes interested in football and develops an understanding of the game.
I wrote this series on Euro Cup. Now in two days I end this episode by writing on the finals of Copa and Euro respectively. There is a World Cup next year, if possible, then again this topic will have to be written continuously, but that’s all on it for now. Soccer fans and football readers goodbye to the World Cup. See you.