Daily Archives: July 9, 2016

Ronaldo and Nani combines to end Welsh adventure

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European championship 2016 semi-final

Wales vs Portugal (0-2)

Portugal advances into the tournament final.

Wales’s inspiring adventure in the European Championship is brought to an end in the semi-final after they were defeated without a reply against Portugal in Lyon.

Chris Coleman’s side was carried by fervent and delighted supporters, who witnessed their team enter their biggest game and seemed, for a time, prepared to go the distance.

However, with defender Ben Davies and midfielder Aaron Ramsey missing through suspension, they entered their first ever tournament semi-final thoroughly disadvantaged.

Their biggest threat had always been Cristiano Ronaldo, which this game proved. The Portuguese captain leapt into the air and seemed to hang there as he heads in the game’s opening goal from a corner.

Wales were stunned, their defence dazed after goal. But Portugal has no qualms about taking opportunities. Ronaldo, 25 yards from out to the right of centre, mishit a low cross-shot but it finds Nani, who stretched to slide it past Wayne Hennessey from close-range.

Portugal themselves had endured plenty of pain in major tournaments too. They had lost five of their six semi-finals across this tournament and the World Cup, but this time Cristiano Ronaldo put in a world-class performance to say otherwise.

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Welsh players thank their supporters in both French and Welsh.

But even amidst defeat, the Welsh team showed their appreciation for their supporters, who backed them in recent weeks with rousing songs and splashes of red.

The squad from a country that has just 3 million natives had shown great courage, teamwork and positivity to strive forward, and had been able to keep themselves pressure-free even as the stress mounts each time they win.

The moments the players had were memorable (Gareth Bale’s free kicks, Hal Robson-Kanu’s Cruyff turn), and will nourish the ideal start for them as a team as they prepare for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which begins in September.

Euro 2016: Griezmann brace sends Germany packing

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Euro 2016 semi-final
France
vs Germany (2-0)

France advances into the grand final of the European Championship.

Euro 2016 hosts France has won their first victory against Germany in a major tournament since 1958 to send Die Mannaschaft packing their bags.

Antoine Griezmann’s goals on both sides of the break were enough for Les Blues to set up a final meet against Portugal, who had eliminated Wales with a similar scoreline.

In a night of feverish emotions, the Atletico Madrid striker scored from the spot right on half-time. The penalty was conceded to France when Bastian Schweinsteiger was penalised for handball by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli as he engaged Patrice Evra in an aerial battle.

Germany started to pressure France but Griezmann won his team the two goal-cushion with 18 minutes left, as he turned in from close range after keeper Manuel Neuer could only half-clear Paul Pogba’s cross.

His two goals bring his goal tally in the tournament up to six, three ahead of his countrymen Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.

He had made the difference when France trailed 1-0 against the Republic of Ireland in the Round of 16, scoring a separate brace that pushes him closer to the bracket of the world’s top players.

On the other hand, Germany’s defeat denies them the double of holding the European Championship and World Cup at the same time, an honour only held by France and Spain.

To add insult to injury, Germany had always been a nemesis of major tournament hosts. Their team had defeated six hosts before this, including the memorable 7-1 demolishing of Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

But with their strength in going forward and staving off pressure, France proved that they were capable enough to escape this curse, and now has been rewarded for a potentially easy final against Portugal.

Flipsid3 stuns NiP to advance into ESL Cologne last eight

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Flipsid3 tactics punched above their weight to stun Ninja in Pyjamas (NiP) by 2-1 and advance into the quarter-finals of ESL One Cologne Major.

The two teams were facing off in the decider match in group B of the million dollar Major tournament. NiP had earlier lost the group winning match against Natus Vincere, while Flipsid3 staved off elimination by beating OpTiC gaming.

However, things did not go well for Flipsid3 on the outset, despite being allowed to pick the first map, de_overpass. They looked uninspired despite a robust T-side, allowing NiP to avoid overtime and close the map early by 16-14 in the first map.

But NiP experienced a severe turn in fortunes as they picked de_cache. Georgi ‘WorldEdit’ Yaskin immediately picked up 3 USP kills in the first pistol round, and surged ahead without so much as a glare behind. Allowing them only one win on the sixth round, Flipsid3 essentially closed off the map by 14 to 1 by the first half.

NiP strutted back into things by winning the second pistol round, but they were simply too far gone. Flipsid3 only needed another pistol buy on the second round to win the next, and then closed out the series 16-2.

Flipsid3 managed to carry over their momentum to win the next map, de_mirage but under more even terms. NiP nabbed the first gun round and although Flipsid3 pulled ahead by 6-1, NiP managed dragged it to 7-7. However, Flipsid3 still managed to end things at 16-11.

This was the first time NiP was eliminated in the group stage of Valve Major. The Swedish team has been in four of the nine major grand finals and the playoffs of each previous major.

It adds further glamour that this was the first time this FlipSid3 squad has advanced into the playoffs at a Valve-sponsored event. They qualified for five of the previous nine Valve Majors, but were never able to advance past the group stage.

With the win, Flipsid3 also secures a spot in the next Valve major as NiP will be forced to go through the grueling qualifiers.