Saturday, June 07, 2008

Euro 2008 started today

The first game of the tournament was Switzerland-Czech Republic 0-1. First of it we had a colourful ceremony at St. Jakob-Park in Basel.The display, conceptually designed by artistic director Martin Arnaud and the Auditoire agency, combined the various elements that will make EURO a memorable experience – the heritage of the two host countries, sport and culture, and UEFA's values of fair play, respect and the joy of football. The 13-minute show featured around 1,000 performers of various nationalities, aged between 14 and 70. Among the images prevalent were Alpine horns and yodellers, the green summer pastures and white winter landscapes of both countries, and the splendour of Lake Constance, bordered by both host nations.Svěrkoš took on the role with 19 minutes remaining. Following a period of Czech pressure prompted by Sionko and Plašil, the striker latched on to Zdeněk Grygera's forward header to direct a cool, low finish to Benaglio's left – the 24-year-old's first international goal. A player from FC Baník Ostrava had just ruined Switzerland's big day.
Portugal won against Turkey by 2 second-half strikes from Pepe and substitute Raul Meireles who secured all three points for Cristiano Ronaldo's team at the Stade de Genève.

It was a deserved victory for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men who also rattled the woodwork twice through Nuno Gomes. For Turkey, by contrast, defeat here continues their unhappy sequence of results against not just Portugal but also teams coached by Scolari – his Brazil beat them twice at the 2002 FIFA World Cup – and makes Wednesday's Group A meeting with Switzerland a virtual eliminator.

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