e-2004
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
  Russia bow out
An inspired 13 minutes from brilliant substitute Cristiano Ronaldo that included setting up Rui Costa for the second goal (Costa apparently winning his 92nd cap when he came on) ensure that Portugal finish two-nil victors, and retain some hopes of qualifying for the next stage.

Russia definitely had a better second half but as soon as Ronaldo came onto the pitch it seemed the game was up for them. He must surely now play from the start for the Portuguese.

As Mark notes, their next match is against Spain - who are just ahead of their neighbours on four points, which is also the tally that Greece can boast - so the home team must here go for broke and hope that Russia, in playing for pride, can demonstrate some of the spirit that had Portuguese hearts in mouths during periods of the second half and thereby make life difficult for the surprisingly highly-placed Greeks.

One other youngster who would be nice to watch from the start of that derby match between the hosts and Spain would be Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, brought on with barely ten minutes left against Greece today, to replace Raul.
Coach Saez is right when he says that Spain should have beaten Greece, but maybe he should consider how right it is we're only seeing Torres in patches at the moment.
Raul has hardly covered himself in glory at major championships to date, so perhaps it's time to take a risk on the youngster and see what he can do for more than a handful of minutes.

scott.
 
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Blog for discussion of Euro 2004 football tournament.

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Scott - somedisco

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