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Thread: Euro 2008 - England Ousted by Croatia!

  1. #1
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    Euro 2008 - England Ousted by Croatia!

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html

    England's Euro '08 dream finished
    Shock loss to Croatia puts Beckham & Co. in the cold




    Posted: Wednesday November 21, 2007 5:02PM; Updated: Wednesday November 21, 2007 7:53PM




    WEMBLEY, England (AP) -- England's so-called golden generation sat dejected on the muddy field of Wembley Stadium, trying to drown out the celebratory cheers of Croatian fans.

    The unthinkable had happened: The nation that invented modern soccer, which plays at a stadium that styles itself as "the venue of legends," had failed to qualify for next year's European Championship.

    Needing only a tie at home in its final qualifier, England allowed two quick goals, then rallied in the second half, getting an equalizer off David Beckham's cross to Peter Crouch. But Mladen Petric scored in the 77th minute, giving Croatia a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night that prompted a new round of soul-searching for soccer's Mother Country.

    "It will be a summer without seeing the flags out in the streets and seeing the atmosphere around England, and that's going to be devastating for the country," Beckham said. "We all know there are more important things than football in the world, but for us not to qualify for a competition it's a huge, huge thing."

    Beckham was benched for the first half, one of the debatable decisions by coach Steve McClaren, then came for the second in Beckham's 99th game for England. McClaren also started goalkeeper Scott Carson -- in just his second international appearance -- in place of regular No. 1 Paul Robinson, who didn't even dress. Carson's blunder on his first touch led to Croatia's first goal.

    "It's going to hurt for a long time," England midfielder Steven Gerrard said. "It will take a long time to recover from this. It's wrong to make excuses. That's the easy way out. As players we've got to take responsibility."

    It's the first major tournament England will miss since the 1994 World Cup -- England last missed the Euros in 1984 -- and is likely to lead to the departure of McClaren, much criticized since he replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson. Graham Taylor quit six days after England failed to qualify for the '94 World Cup.

    "No, I'm not stepping down," said McClaren, who made a quick exit after the final whistle. "Ultimately I take responsibility and I accept that. It is my job to get us qualified and I failed to do that. I don't want to discuss my future."

    Beckham, too, hopes to be around for the 2010 World Cup. McClaren dropped him last year, then brought back the 32-year-old midfielder. Wednesday's game was the first time since the 1998 World Cup that Beckham was dressed and available for an England game but did not start.

    "I'm not retiring," said Beckham, willing to keep commuting to the national team from the Los Angeles Galaxy. "I have always said that from the moment I was taken out of the team and the moment I came back into the team. I'm not stepping down."

    Beckham, Gerrard, Michael Owen, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are all described as the best players of their generation. But they fell short over a 15-month qualifying campaign.

    "I read in your papers that no Croatian player would start on your team," Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said to the English reporters. "I mean, seriously, wake up."

    In a game played simultaneously, Russia beat Andorra 1-0 to climb one point ahead of England and finish second to Croatia in Group E.

    Niko Kranjcar scored in the eighth minute on a 25-yard shot that dipped, bounced off the field and went into the net off Carson's arm. Ivica Olic made it 2-0, beating an offside trap in the 14th.

    But Frank Lampard Lampard converted a penalty kick in the 56th after Jermaine Defoe was fouled by Josip Simunic in the penalty area and Beckham's cross in the 65th set up the equalizer from Crouch, who chested the ball and volleyed it past goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.

    Petric broke the tie in the 77th, eight minutes after he entered the match, beating Carson with a 30-meter shot to the far corner.

    England, eliminated in the quarterfinals of last year's World Cup, was missing Rooney, Owen and Terry because of injuries, and they watched from the team dugout. They came on the field after the final whistle to support their teammates in front of 88,091 fans.

    Beckham, Lampard and Gerrard, all visibly upset, stayed for a while on the field, acknowledging the crowd as Croatia's players celebrated in front of their cheering fans.

    "It's not just Steve, it's the players," Terry said. "We are the ones going out there and not getting the right results. It's not just up to Steve to take it all on his shoulders; as an England team we all take the big responsibility."

    England, whose qualification chances dwindled when it wasted a second-half lead and lost at Russia last month, had been given new hope when Russia was beaten at Israel on Saturday. But playing against a team that already clinched a berth in the 16-nation field, England failed to take advantage.

    "We've felt we'd been given that second chance," Beckham said, "and you have to take them when they're given to you and it was handed to us on a plate like that."

  2. #2
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    LOL, we went out to an Irish bar after the match was over and there was a handfull of English fans in there. They looked like the dog just died.

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    The final results in every group (sorry for the presentation, I'm too lazy)

    http://www.uefa.com/competitions/eur...ngs/index.html

    Group A games-points
    Poland 14 28
    Portugal 14 27
    Finland 14 24
    Serbia 13 21
    Belgium 14 18
    Kazakhstan 13 10
    Armenia 12 9
    Azerbaijan 12 5

    Group C Pld Pts
    Greece 12 31
    Turkey 12 24
    Norway 12 23
    Bosnia-Herzegovina 12 13
    Moldova 12 12
    Hungary 12 12
    Malta 12 5

    Group E Pld Pts
    Croatia 12 29
    Russia 12 24
    England 12 23
    Israel 12 23
    F.Y.R. Macedonia 12 14
    Estonia 12 7
    Andorra 12 0

    Group G Pld Pts
    Romania 12 29
    Netherlands 12 26
    Bulgaria 12 25
    Belarus 12 13
    Albania 12 11
    Slovenia 12 11
    Luxembourg 12 3

    Group B Pld Pts
    Italy 12 29
    France 12 26
    Scotland 12 24
    Ukraine 12 17
    Lithuania 12 16
    Georgia 12 10
    Faroe Islands 12 0

    Group D Pld Pts
    Czech Republic 12 29
    Germany 12 27
    Republic of Ireland 12 17
    Slovakia 12 16
    Wales 12 15
    Cyprus 12 14
    San Marino 12 0

    Group F Pld Pts
    Spain 12 28
    Sweden 12 26
    Northern Ireland 12 20
    Denmark 12 20
    Latvia 12 12
    Iceland 12 8
    Liechtenstein 12 7

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by New York Mick View Post
    LOL, we went out to an Irish bar after the match was over and there was a handfull of English fans in there. They looked like the dog just died.

    It's weird but I'd rather have them in the competition. The World Cup and Euro Cup should have the major countries.

    Kudos to Croatia though. They must be going nuts.

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    Peter Crouch is awful but his goal had a sick pass by Beckham.

    England needs to develop some new keepers(US is all over this with Friedl and Howard), Carson and Robinson are trash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Ridge Jet View Post
    Peter Crouch is awful but his goal had a sick pass by Beckham.

    England needs to develop some new keepers(US is all over this with Friedl and Howard), Carson and Robinson are trash.

    I agree on the keepers but not on Crouch.

    How many Premiership teams have an English goalkeeper? I'm thinking not many.

    Crouch is one of the most underrated players around IMO. You want to hate him because he looks goofy, but he's very solid tehcnically.

    What a shame though for England. One of the best midfield players (how much better can you get than Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard..) and striker put to waste..
    Last edited by RaoulDuke; 11-23-2007 at 07:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    I agree on the keepers but not on Crouch.

    How many Premiership teams have an English goalkeeper? I'm thinking not many.

    Crouch is one of the most underrated players around IMO. You want to hate because he looks goofy, but he's very solid tehcnically.

    What a shame though for England. One of the best midfield players (how much better can you get than Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard..) and striker put to waste..
    Liverpool won't even start him, instead they spent all that cash on Torres. I think he would be better on a lower Prem team where he'd get more time to develop his style more.

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    I was actually hoping England would qualify.

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    McClaren got just what he deserved.

    The decisions he made before this match were almost as if he were trying to lose.

    For ex:

    Not starting Robinson and starting an inexperienced keeper at that
    (also, why isn't David James playing?)

    Not starting Beckham.

    This proves to the arrogance of the English team---you've got to show up in every match. You can't get 3 points by just putting your shirts on the pitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmorris View Post
    McClaren got just what he deserved.

    The decisions he made before this match were almost as if he were trying to lose.

    For ex:

    Not starting Robinson and starting an inexperienced keeper at that
    (also, why isn't David James playing?)

    Not starting Beckham.

    This proves to the arrogance of the English team---you've got to show up in every match. You can't get 3 points by just putting your shirts on the pitch.
    James was tremendous at Portsmouth last year(haven't seen him this year though I assume hes doing well).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Ridge Jet View Post
    James was tremendous at Portsmouth last year(haven't seen him this year though I assume hes doing well).
    Exactly. I've never heard much of a reason why he wasn't called up to replace the declining Robinson.

    IMO James is one of the best English keepers. Robinson's been conceding a few too many soft goals of late, doing his best Lehmann impression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmorris View Post
    Exactly. I've never heard much of a reason why he wasn't called up to replace the declining Robinson.

    IMO James is one of the best English keepers. Robinson's been conceding a few too many soft goals of late, doing his best Lehmann impression.
    Robinson is awful and Carson just kind of hangs back in net too much. Its hard to describe but James plays agressive by punching out so many coners and taking away tons of opprutunites and the other 2 play not to lose and hang back in net too much.

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