Preview of Portugal vs. Spain-A A +A
Thursday, June 28, 2012
ALL eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to carry Portugal on his shoulders against the titleholders Spain in the EURO 2012 semifinals.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque is fully aware how the volatile Ronaldo can wreck havoc to Spain’s defense.
Portugal cruised to the semifinals by demolishing Czech Republic 1-0 in the quarters and Ronaldo instigated furious goals in Portugal’s recent wins to propel his team. But will the defending champs concede?
Spain’s “tiki-taka” style of play, short-passing that prioritize ball possession, building up slowly and finishing with two to three speed passes into goal for scoring opportunity, has been their trademark. It’s the reason why Spain has been successful and constantly the number 1 team football team.
We all know the defending champions will not easily surrender their title. Portugal and Ronaldo must exert extra effort to intelligently outclass, outmaneuver and outplay Spain in order to advance to the finals. Expect Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva and company to play the spoiler’s role this time.
The last time the two countries met was during the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa where Spain defeated its Iberian neighbor 1-0 in the round of 16 en route to capturing the championship. They were able to silence Ronaldo in the match up but tomorrow’s game will be different.
Ronaldo has been playing tremendously after a slow start. Will the defense hold for Spain? Or will there be a Ronaldo breakout?
What’s positive about Spain is that they have not lost any of their four major semifinals. Portugal coach Paulo Bento will start his same line up for the seventh straight game, except for Helder Postiga who suffered a thigh injury. With both coaches looking optimistic and expecting a victory, expect tomorrow’s tussle to be exciting.
My prediction: Spain 2, Portugal 1 (Jun-jun Carballo)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 28, 2012.