After the completion of two pool games, the only teams that have no chance of advancing to the quarterfinals are Sweden and Ireland. Sweden have lost both of their games (2-1 to Ukraine, 3-2 to England) in tight fashion while the Irish were completely outclassed in their first two contests (3-1 to Croatia, 4-0 to Spain).
In Pool A and Pool B, all four teams have the chance to advance going into the third and final game of pool play.
In Pool A, Russia (4 points) is in the driver’s seat and will go through with a win or a draw. The Czech Republic (3 points) and Poland (2 points) will each go through for certain with a win. Greece (1 point) needs to win and need the Czechs and Poles to draw.
Final Pool Games- Russia v. Greece, Poland v. Czech Republic- June 16th
In Pool B, Germany (6 points) is in control and will go through with a win or a draw. Portugal (3 points) will go through with a win and Denmark can still go through if they win against Germany and Portugal draws or loses. The amazing fact is that the Netherlands (0 points) still have the ability to go through if they defeat Portugal by two goals and the Germans defeat the Danes. It is very plausible that this takes place and while the Netherlands have not played good soccer early in this tournament, no country wants a quarterfinal match-up with the World Cup finalist from two years ago.
Final Pool Games- Germany v. Denmark, Netherlands v. Portugal- June 17th
In Pool C, Croatia and Spain (4 points) sit up top. They play each other in the final game and a draw will probably see them both through. Italy (2 points) plays Ireland and can go through if they beat the Irish and no draw occurs in the Croatia-Spain contest. If a draw takes place between Croatia and Spain, goal differential will come into play and the Italians will have to make up 2 goals on the Croats and 4 goals on the Spanish.
Final Pool Games- Croatia v. Spain, Italy v. Ireland- June 18th
In Pool D, England and France (4 points) share the spoils at the top of the table. Both go through with a win in their final pool game. Ukraine (3 points) has the ability to continue in the competition if they can defeat the English in their final pool game.
Final Pool games- England v. Ukraine, France v. Sweden- June 19th
Shocking news of the tournament
1. The Netherlands may get knocked out in pool play. I would have never imagined a team so talented and with their recent pedigree in big tournaments on the verge of elimination early in this Championship.
2. Spain, while looking somewhat safe, still is a doubt to advance. I think they will proceed , but did not think that their last game would even matter in pool play. They got their tactics wrong against the Italians and fixed them against the Irish. If they are going to win this tournament, they need to play with a recognized striker up front (Torres, Llorente).
Best Team So Far
Germany has looked the best so far. Both games have been clinics and while there were some tense moments late against the Dutch and the Portuguese, they achieved the result they desired in both games. They are playing really sound soccer.
About the Author
Written by Michael Jenkins
I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Graduated from THE University of Arizona. I now reside part time in San Francisco, CA. I am a diehard Phoenix Coyotes fan (season ticket holder since Day 1) and a diehard Chelsea FC fan. I am passionate, energetic and highly grateful to get the opportunity to work in this business again.