Euro 2012 Bracket: Another Spain vs. Germany Final Is a Guarantee
The group stage at Euro 2012 is over, and no team in the knockout round will be able to prevent a repeat of the Euro 2008 final matchup of Germany against Spain.
The full schedule for the remaining matches can be found at ESPNFC.com.
These two sides were the favorites coming into the tournament, and they have been the most impressive teams through the first three matches.
Germany was the only team in the tournament to win all three of its games. This is an incredible achievement considering that Group B was labeled the “Group of Death” due to all four teams being ranked in the top-10 in the world heading into the tournament.
While Germany’s results have made them the most impressive team at the European Championships, Spain’s statistics are staggering.
La Roja has controlled the ball 70.3 percent of the time in their first three matches and are far and away the tournament leaders for this stat, according to Whoscored.com. Spain also leads the tournament in pass success percentage, shots per game, shots on target per game and shots allowed per game.
Despite these remarkable numbers, Spain has looked disinterested at times and their 1-0 victory over Croatia in the final group-stage match was anything but convincing.
The match was still in doubt until Jesus Navas’ goal in the 88th minute, and a loss would have resulted in shocking early exit for the defending champs.
Spain’s lack of urgency in crucial situations is concerning, but the team is no stranger to 1-0 victories. All four of La Roja’s victories in the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup were by this score line.
Will Spain and Germany meet in the finals?
The constant possession and probing of opposing defenses often does not produce an abundance of goals, but it allows the Spaniards to keep control of the game and get victories.
This is unlikely to change in the quarterfinal match against France or against the winner of Czech Republic vs. Portugal.
As for Germany, they will face Greece in their quarterfinals and should win handily. They will then take on the winner of England vs. Italy.
The Germans' results speak for themselves, and it is unlikely that any team but Spain will be able to give them a serious challenge.
The Spanish have not been as dominant, but they have shown the qualities that have made them the best team in the world during the past four years.
Every team in the tournament is in a class below the Spanish and the Germans, and the two favorites will meet for an epic final match.
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