Euro 2012: Thoughts and Observations from Portugal vs. Spain

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Euro 2012: Thoughts and Observations from Portugal vs. Spain
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
One more victory...

Here are some of my thoughts and observations from Spain's victory over Portugal on penalties in the semifinals of Euro 2012.

 

The Obvious

At the risk of repeating everyone, why didn't Cristiano Ronaldo take a penalty?

There is a possibility Portugal was saving the Real Madrid superstar for the fifth penalty. But, doesn't it make sense to have an attacking player who has taken penalties in big situations be one of the participants?

He isn't a certainty from the spot—like his penalty misses against Bayern Munich in this year Champions League semifinal and against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final—but it's stunning CR7 was absent from the penalty kick shootout.

 

The Prior 120 Minutes

The first 90 minutes were rather unremarkable and forgettable as both teams created few chances.

But, the extra time belonged to Spain as the Spanish looked dangerous—especially on the flanks, thanks to the work of Jordi Alba and Alvaro Arbeloa.

The defending champions looked slow in their attack during regulation, but displayed an increased sense of urgency and forced good saves from Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

 

The Dream Final Is Still On

Well, the dream final in eyes of many.

Hopefully a Spain-Germany final will be more open than today's semifinal, considering all the attacking talent both sides possess. 

While they're advancing, which is the only thing that matters, there seems to be something missing—whether it's the right formation, right center forward, or the lacking final pass.

Still, Spain is 90—or 120—minutes from another title. 

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