Few days ago I wrote a post on how to watch Euro 2008 online for free, using some P2P applications and by visiting couple of websites for channels links. Well I also realized couple of days ago that Justin.TV the website that gives you the ability to broadcast an online channel using your webcam or any other sources, I found that people who got Aljazeera Sports Channels or any other channels who do show Euro 2008 are actually broadcasting the matches on Justin.TV, and some of those channels are broadcasting on good quality.
You can always find the best channels before the start of the match by few minutes, you can sort by number of viewers, those channels who disable the chat have the best video quality, this is depending on my experience. You can search for channels and their schedules, you can even watch what they broadcasted before, Justing.TV keeps archives of all the broadcasts until the owner deletes them.
Today the Austrians were wearing red tops, white shorts and red and white socks, while Croatia were wearing all blue.
Croatia go into this game missing several key players, including Arsenal’s Eduardo, while Austria seem to have a pretty full squad.
Once the game kicked off, it soon became apparent this was going to be a thriller, both teams attacking well. But it was in just the second minute when Austria conceded a silly penalty, carelessly running in when there was no real need. The Austrian defender just clipped the Croatian striker, but paid the price for it, as new Tottenham Hotspur signing Luka Modric slotted home from the spot. A shade lucky, as it was right down the middle of the goal, but Croatia won’t complain!
After that it was pretty one way traffic for fifteen minutes or so, Austria putting relentless pressure on the Croatian defense, pounding shot after shot and playing in cross after cross, while Croatia were struggling to create any real momentum or force. Unfortunately for Austria though, they couldn’t quite convert their efforts into a goal, although the Croatian manager, Slaven Bili?, seemed extremely relieved when Croatia started dominating play, almost exactly reproducing the actions of the Austrians, forcing the Austrian goalkeeper, Vedran Runje, to make some fantastic saves, including a one on one.
Into the second half, and neither teams made any substitution. Austria have obviously had a rollocking during the half time period, and are playing very offensively. They are pounding shot after shot at the Croatian goalie, Pletikosa, who dealt with the shots very effectively and made several key saves throughout the second half, including a save from a brilliant shot, where the ball was curving towards the far side of the goal.
As the half went on, Austria became more and more fierce, while the Croatian defenders got more and more panicky. The general script for the last ten minutes was ‘Austria play it in, Croatia play it out, Austria play it in’, and Austria look more and more like scoring, but cannot get through the wall of Croatian players.
Unfortunately for Austria, the final whistle goes, and it was certainly very unlucky for Austria, as from their second half performance they definitely deserved to win the game, although you can’t help thinking if it were not for that silly penalty Austria would have had a better outcome.
After a rather disappointing first game to the tournament, everyone was hoping this might be a little more lively. Before the game, all eyes were on Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo to impress, after his midweek comments that he wants to leave Manchester United.
The captains led out their players, Portugal wearing all red, while Turkey came out in their fully white strip.
Upon kick off, to everyone’s surprise (most of all the Portuguese defenders’) Turkey made some promising attacking play, as did Portugal. Portugal came out on top in this battle though, forcing some early corners, and on the sixteenth minute having a goal disallowed for offside. Meanwhile at the other end, Turkey had a half-hearted penalty claim after Tuncay appeared to be pulled down, but, on watching the replay, it soon appeared it was a dive.
Towards the end of the first half, Portugal were making some very promising opportunities, including a series of corners, and undoubtedly the best shot of the first half: A Cristiano Ronaldo free kick which the Turkish goalie just got his fingertips to, to guide it onto the inside of the post. Portugal looked frustrated as they couldn’t quite slot the ball home. Portugal dominated the first half, with over two thirds of the possession!
In the second half it was more of the same. Portugal dominated and Turkey got the odd chance, until on the stroke of the hour mark, the Portuguese defender Pepe plays a lovely one-two just outside the box and coolly slots home through the keepers legs: 1-0 to Portugal.
Portugal kept on pressuring, making all three of their substitutions, opting for attacking players each time. Portugal hit the woodwork three times before Turkey had a half chance at the other end, where Middlesbrough striker Tuncay wildly swung at the ball and missed completely.
Then, on the ninetieth minute, Nani, the Portuguese winger, makes a run down the right, and Aurelio comes crashing in. On first appearances it’s a good tackle, but when you watch the replay the Turkey player probably should have been sent off.
Two minutes later. Cristiano Ronaldo broke loose up the left hand side, slotting through to Moutinho o the edge of the box, who calmly passed it once again for substitute Meireles to pass the ball into the empty net.
Portugal never really looked like losing, and judging by this performance definitely have what it takes to go all the way to the Euro 2008 final.
Before kick off was the usual pre-competition celebration, and this year it consisted of volunteers aged fourteen to seventy with boxes on their heads. They would then make different sceneries, including mountains and disco floors. When they had finished, there was a small firework celebration and hundreds of balloons were released from the boxes on people’s heads.
The celebration was over, the nation anthems had been sung: it was time for action.
The teams were lead out by their captains, who both had very serious looks on their face. Switzerland were wearing all red, while Czech Republic wore all white.
The game kicked off, and you could tell this match wasn’t going to be too exciting. After Switzerland got the ball, they sat inside their own half, with every single Czech Republic player behind the goal. The Swiss made a couple of runs down the wings, resulting in either being tackled or a poor cross most the time, forcing a couple of shots wide or into Petr Cech’s hands the rest of the time. Although the Czechs weren’t that much better, lumping the ball forward to their 6’7” striker, Jans Koller (who most the time didn’t get it, and when he did he was tackled.).
Then, right near the end the most memorable event of the first half. After a wild shot over the bar, the Czech Republic striker, Alexander Frei, jars his knee. He looks to be in serious pain, but refuses the stretcher and instead hobbles off with an ice pack strapped to his knee, wiping tears from his eyes.
In the second half is when the game came alive for the Czech Republic. About twenty minutes into the second half, Jans Koller is taken off for striker Sverkos. Sverkos then puts the Swiss defence under serious pressure, and after around 10 minutes on the pitch scores a nice half volley.
With about ten minutes to go, the Swiss stepped up a gear, pounding long balls into the Czech penalty box (every one of which was just headed back to them) and putting on several attackers. Although this late surge of energy was left right until the end, and was undoubtedly left too late, the Swiss failing to find a way into the Czech goal.
The opening Ceremony was short and boring, hoping that the first match of the championship would show some talent and excitement, but it didn’t. The first match was also boring, I know that Czech Republic scored a goal through Sverkos, but even that I knew from watching the match highlights. I preferred to play PES 2008 on PS2 with friends rather than watch this match
But the second match had it all, it was great match with explosive talents from both sides, although Portugal had most of the control of the field and most of the shots on target. But Turkey also had some really dangerous attempts on the goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo was trying his best to score, not caring much if his team actually wins or loses, he looked focused on scoring himself and he did shoot some shots he could have passed to players near the goal.
Pepe scored a canceled goal in first half, he was offside, but then on the second half he was able to score a very nice goal. The substitute Raul Meireles scored the second goal by the end of second half.
Few minutes before Euro 2008 started today both Aljazeera Sports +1 and +2 on ORBIT changed to Aljazeera Sports 1 and 2. Those are the free to air channels that ofcourse do not air Euro 2008. I have already talked about this before, it was pretty clear that Euro 2008 wont air on ORBIT. But people still had hope, mainly because when they called ORBIT call centers they were told that the championship will be aired on Aljazeera Sports +1 and +2, which is ofcourse not true.
Many many subscribers are mad and frustrated now from both Aljazeera and ORBIT. I would suggest them to aim their anger on ORBIT because they were the ones giving false hope to their customers.
If you are an ORBIT subscriber what would you do ?
I just heard the good news, Arsene Wenger will be one of the analysts in Aljazeera Sports Channel’s Euro 2008 coverage. I heard that some other big names might be there too, but for now this is the biggest name that I heard so far, it will be very interesting in hearing his say on the matches. And yet again Aljazeera Sports keeps surprising us. From now on I will expect anything, the sky is the limit.
The European leagues ended, Real Madrid crowned champions of Spain, Inter Milan became the Italian champions again, and Manchester did the double with the league and champions league. And now comes the summer, but not your usually boring eventless summer, this summer we have UEFA Euro 2008.
After few days from now Euro 2008 will kickoff with Switzerland playing Czech Republic and Portugal against Turkey. Here in the Middle East to watch the championship you will need to subscribe to Aljazeera Sports channels, Usually people try to avoid subscribing with a pay TV service and try finding alternatives on other channels on other satellites such as Hotbird, but this scenario does not seem to be happening now because the fee to subscribe to Aljazeera Sports Channels is not expensive, its around 40 US Dollars per year, this is heaven compared to other pay TV in the region.
Aljazeera Sports has launched a new website for Euro 2008, its in Arabic and am not sure if they will launch an English version. The website provides all information needed such as news, schedules, timings, history, photo album and results.
UEFA Euro 2008 groups goes as follows:
Group A: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland Group C: Netherlands, Italy, Romania, France Group D: Greece, Sweden, Spain, Russia