June 20th, 2011

Weekend Results: Tales Of The Unexpected

England NT kits. Now specially designed with an absorbant patch to soak up tears. Image: Reuters/Daylife

Having stretched our resources to the absolute minimum to bring you the kind of in-depth coverage of the Euro U21 tournament you might expect from Kickette, we are pleased to advise that after this weekend’s fixtures, there are only four teams left in the competition. This isn’t necessarily good news for you as, chances are, your team has been knocked out. For us though, it’s great, as it means less time trying to decipher tables, and more time trying to fight off the notion that we really should be doing something more constructive with our lives than staring at photos of young boys.

It’s a constant struggle, y’know?

European U21 Championships

Enthusiastic dancing in front of inanimate objects is an activity we frequently enjoy in the Kickette office, but not usually while we’re sober. We admire Frank Feltscher of Switzerland’s style nonetheless. Image: Getty Images/Daylife

Having throughly digested our Midweek Results post, you will be fully conversant with the team standings going into the final group games. You will know that Switzerland went into their fixture against Belarus on Saturday having already won Group A. They still crushed Belarus 3-0, though.

No disrepect to Belarus fans or the team, but of the back of a result like that (coupled with the fact that the Belarus U21 side isn’t a footballing powerhouse, as far as we’re aware), you wouldn’t expect to be criticised for thinking that they would be off home. Except that Iceland beat Denmark 3-1 in the day’s other fixture. Which meant that everyone else in the group finished on the same number of points, goals scored and goals conceded. In these circumstances, the old ‘head-to-head’ record is dragged out of the broom cupboard, dusted off and applied. Iceland’s result against Denmark was insufficient to see the hosts through, hence Belarus qualify.

Imagine the scenes in Minsk!

On Sunday, the ‘Group of Death’ (seriously, would we enjoy a tournament any less if the media didn’t feel obliged to saddle one of the draws with this tired cliche? We feel the ‘Group of Pretty’ would offer much more to the average football fan), came to a shocking conclusion as the Czech Republic snatched a victory from under the noses of the England bubbas.

Having taken the lead in the 76th minute via a Danny Welbeck header, Stuart Pearce’s side paid the price for two draws in their other group games. Two late goals from Jan Chramosta and Tomas Pekhart crushed England’s hopes of a trophy, or even a more traditional semi-final exit, and sent an ecstatic Czech side through.

The only surprise that occurred in Spain’s qualification is that they actually dropped points. Their 1-1 draw against England, plus the 3-0 win over Ukraine yesterday meant the Spanish puppies finished on seven points, and not the full quotient of nine. No open topped bus parade if you win, lads.

Actually, reflecting on recent events, that might be a good thing.

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CONCACAF Gold Cup

Presented without comment. Mghghhhgggh. Image: Reuters/Daylife

Washington DC was the venue for the USMNT’s 2-0 victory over Jamaica; a win that puts Bob Bradley’s side in the semis. Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones did the damage, setting up a Wednesday fixture against Panama. Meanwhile, Mexico beat Guatemala 2-1 to take a place in the other semi vs. Honduras.

Just imagine how much hot there will be on the pitch if the USMNT face Mexico in the final. We totally are. And it’s interfering with our sleep patterns.

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22 Responses to “Weekend Results: Tales Of The Unexpected”

  1. emma says:

    i like the goalie…………..oh and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, i want mexico to win

  2. MADRA BEAG says:

    I love that photo of Frank Feltscher! One for his granny's mantlepiece for sure.

    (PS when did this "NT" business start for teams of the non-american persuasion? I do not approve).

  3. @DebStimson says:

    Well done to Spain! (por favor) Juan Mata and Javi (!!!) had really good games imo.

  4. Carolé says:

    Hold up! Who's the beauty in the 3rd pic? ö
    Daaamn, if the hottest goalie of the 21st century (=iker) ever thinks of retiring (like in 10 years) I think we have a new guy that will happily take his place… :)

    And how come Chicha keeps getting cuter and hotter post after post??

  5. Carolina says:

    How about a little more on Panama v. El Salvador Kickette? T'was quite dramatic :) .

  6. Carvivlie says:

    I hate when I have to remind myself that they are under 21.

    • Lashes says:

      Actually they are not – the should be born before 1. January 1988 to be allegeable for under-21 teams, but still..
      Most of them are very very very very very young (I'm "only" 24 but 18 feels creepy).

  7. blake2108 says:

    Both My nationalities went out of tournaments last night. England and Jamaica. Although after the Jamaica game a lot of the USMNT got shirtless. Cheered my up a little

  8. Gladys says:

    Could anything be hotter than a Boca/Chicha stand off in the US goal area if they make it to the finals! Mature man-candy vs. adorable near-jail-bait. Die-and-go-to-football-heaven.

  9. YoungChelsea says:

    These U21 are so cute! Cannot wait till they grow up!!

  10. naylovee says:

    I'm predicting U.S. will go against Mexico at the cup finals if we pull our sh*t together and beat Panama this time around. Mexico won't have any trouble, they haven't had any so far in this cup. But as an american, I want the cup back from Mexico lol.

    • @DebStimson says:

      Panama's speed is what hurt us the most, I thought. Hopefully Bob can sort out a better way to defend so we don't get beat in the final 1/3 of the field again.

  11. Faija Sajeda says:

    This is like the 3rd time where I've read a post on the U21 games but yet again have become completely distracted by a picture of Chico.

  12. EEF says:

    The Swiss goalie is cute!

  13. Melissa says:

    little off-topi here i know, but i can not keep it for myself any longer ! Ces Fabregas has a new gf, he and carla really did split up:(
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2005…

    ps: congratz to mexico and the little sweetheart chicha:)

    • iram says:

      ehhh…not that pretty. he likes simple girls. But that is nice i guess- simple guy!

    • Alia says:

      thats not a very flatering bathing suit she's wearing
      im jsut being mean :( i liked him with carla :(

  14. IrishBlue says:

    Chicharito is giving an intense look of lust to the collection of Kickette Soldier-Girls huddled in the corner, waiting for their moment to jump on him. If that's not a look of "Come and get me" I don't know what is…

  15. Much better from the US!

  16. xandra says:

    Chicharito for the win!