EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Donbass Arena, Ukraine

Attendance: 51500

* Local time based on your geographic location.

(2) 0 - 0 (4)

FT-Pens

Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: Great chat and conversation today, one and all.

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    James Tyler: Thanks so much! Join the postgame debate on ESPNFC as our reports and opinions publish.

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    James Tyler: Join us tomorrow, and find us on Twitter:
    @JamesTylerESPN
    @jeffreycarlisle
    @rogbennett

  •  

    James Tyler: Alright, must conclude this here. Come back tomorrow for Germany v. Italy. What a day, folks. What a day!

  •  

    James Tyler: You might not believe me, but I do too. I feel bad for him too. As there will be plenty of others saying what I merely suggested, albeit on a much bigger scale.

  •  

    [Comment from Louis Abraham]
    Guys I go with Spain but I still feel sorry for CR

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto]
    Well done, gentlemen. Until tomorrow...

  •  

    [Comment from Jean-Louis in Montreal]
    JT is right. If CR had missed on 4th, there'd have been no 5th (as there was not).

  •  

    James Tyler: The last shot turned out to be the fourth shot.

  •  

    [Comment from GV]
    At the end of the day you want your best player taking the last shot. If he chokes he chokes. You have to trust your teammates to get you there. JT you mentioned earlier about the switch at the last moment being a game, maybe the linup was set that way but they were trying to get into the GK head you never know we weren't there. At the end of the day I want my best player takign the last shot, nothing to do with glory because if he misses then he choked but if he makes it he is the hero. That is the way everyone looks at it. You have to believe in your teammates. Look at the NBA and LBJ everyone gave him a hard time but he trusted his teammates to get him there and he closed the games is he selfish?

  •  

    [Comment from Kevin]
    Messi would have gone fourth. Heehee.

  •  

    James Tyler: Put this to you, Rob. If you're in his shoes, what do you do?

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    [Comment from Rob (Chicago)]
    Fair enough with the "hindsight" comment, but Ronaldo isn't clairvoyant...what role does TRUST play in this??

  •  

    [Comment from The Jonny]
    Sergio Ramos embraced the pressure, Cristiano didn't.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd say that given how influential it was, it's the primary talking point. For now. The game only just ended.

  •  

    [Comment from Drew]
    It's a valid talking point but is it the primary talking point or is it simply the first one you chose to address?

  •  

    James Tyler: If he went fourth, he would have been embracing the pressure.

  •  

    [Comment from JukeXH]
    You guys are just hating on Ronaldo, if he decided to go 4th instead of 5th you would of said he was shiing away from the pressure

  •  

    James Tyler: Cries of hindsight don't matter when those things didn't happen. Ifs and buts...

  •  

    [Comment from Rob (Chicago)]
    If Alves does his bit, and Ronaldo scores his 5th...you are all singing a different tune about how he took the pressure all upon himself.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not so, Sameer. But it's unfair to completely overlook him in all of this. He is culpable to some degree.

  •  

    [Comment from Sameer]
    Seriously? I think people just wait to find something wrong to blame it on Ronaldo.

  •  

    James Tyler: It comes with the territory, espain. I don't see how you wait in that situation. Especially as Nani went before Alves in whatever the previously agreed-upon order was.

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    [Comment from espain]
    I think that Mr Tyler is going to end up skewered more than Ronaldo the way this is trending...

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, Robert, explain Nani running up to take Alves' PK at the last.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    Umm... I'm not positive about this, but I think I remember reading in the LOTG that the manager decides on a lineup for PKs and they are taken in the order that he gives them... again, not 100% on that, just something I kinda remember reading

  •  

    [Comment from Tiesto]
    How in the world does your star player not take a penalty? I guess he got too scared since he missed on in CL semi-final and thought I would better sit this one out till the last penalty. In other words he choked.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, that too Sean.

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    [Comment from sean]
    regardless of this order stuff, spain played much better at the end than portugal. portugal played really well, but spain is the better team.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's a no-win for Ronaldo. Unfortunately that comes with the territory of being one of the world's best and biggest.

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    James Tyler: On on hand, CR7 is being too faithful of his teammates. On the other, he's being selfish for wanting that glory.

  •  

    [Comment from Javier]
    CR will say he chose to go last b/c he trusted his teammates, but the real reason he wanted to go last was so he could have all the glory. Selfish and hubris, pure and simple

  •  

    [Comment from Rodrigo]
    Prandelli mentioned that Ballotelli demanded to go first against England; knowing that, people will skewer Ronaldo.

  •  

    James Tyler: Anthony: the decisive penalty suddenly became the fourth penalty, though. The fifth wasn't even required.

  •  

    [Comment from Anthony]
    As much as I'd love to bash Ronaldo, he put himself in a position to take the decisive shot, and bear the most weight. Didn't pan out that way, but while it's impossible to overlook the "me-first" possibility, there's also the risk of pulling a Baggio at the wrong moment.

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    [Comment from Jake]
    You can fault Ronaldo...you're the best player in Europe, step up and take an earlier PK. Even the announcers alluded to it....he wanted to go 5th out of pride, because he wanted to hit the "game winner".

  •  

    James Tyler: Not true. But it will be written at length by many. It's a salient point of discussion.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Good afternoon everyone, let's do it again tomorrow. Please follow us @ESPNStatsInfo

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    JT just wants to furiously abide by the "Ronaldo is a wuss" mentality. Wont be swayed

  •  

    [Comment from Jon]
    He should've stepped in to take on the pressure after Ramos' Panenka. Ramos put the pressure on and it worked.

  •  

    James Tyler: I am? I disagree.

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    [Comment from mmmu44]
    agree wholeheartedly with James - by bashing Ronaldo your suggesting he should have second guessed his teammates ability to hog the spotlight

  •  

    James Tyler: @mmmu44 -- team sport, but PKs are one on one. Team doesn't matter there.

  •  

    [Comment from J in Macon Georgia]
    completely Ronaldo's fault. After the Spain miss, he should have jumped up and lead the team by taking the first kick. Arrogance is what made Ronaldo go last. And he paid for it.

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    [Comment from mmmu44]
    yeah JT really dont understand jumping on ronaldos back for this - its a team sport - Portugal lost - every team member should be able to hit a penalty...

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Bottom line - CR7 never took a shot. Had his chance, didn't take it.

  •  

    James Tyler: True. Just unlucky. But CR7 will feel that he could have dispatched it with ease, which would have put the pressure right back on Fabregas going 5th for Spain.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Teams that score at least one chipped penalty are 2-0 in SO this tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    Alves' shot wasn't even that bad. It hits the bottom of the crossbar. He didn't shank it

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    James Tyler: I think Alves was rattled by Ramos' PK more than being bumped back in line. Still, what a chain of events. Intriguing to see how it all went down in reality. But the perception is out there that Ronaldo didn't step up. I won't be the only one thinking that.

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    [Comment from Rodrigo]
    So Nani being Nani also affected Bruno Alves's confidence?

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    James Tyler: Yes, James, but Nani suddenly stepped ahead of Alves on PK #3. The order is not concrete by any means. And the coaches watch from the sideline, meaning there's little chance of communication during the shootout.

  •  

    [Comment from James]
    Isn't it the coach that decides the penalty order? Curious that Ronaldo gets criticised for putting faith in his team, for once.

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    James Tyler: Now hold up a second: I'm not saying he chose not to step up. But that's how it looks. Perception will be reality to everyone outside of Portugal's squad with regard to what actually happened.

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    [Comment from Michael]
    Honestly, you cannot blast him in that situation. If Alves cannot score with the pressure of taking the 4th, he certainly won't with taking the final one. Ronaldo assumed the role of pressure cooker. His team simply didn't deliver.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not his fault that Portugal lost, but you honestly think he won't regret not being able to help his team in a pivotal moment? Think you're wrong there.

  •  

    [Comment from Anton]
    This is not Ronaldo's fault. He will have no regrets. This is in no way his fault, JT.

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    [Comment from Brian]
    Will never live it down, nor should he.

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    James Tyler: Considering Nani swapped with Alves, I'd think CR7 had same ability. But he didn't.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Was it Ronaldo's decision not to take one of the 1st 4 PKs?

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    James Tyler: Well, considering Nani was able to jump in before Alves, I'd assume Ronaldo had the same opportunity.

  •  

    [Comment from kembatime]
    CR7 is going to need therapy for this one.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Whose decision was that I wonder? Bento's? Ronaldo's?

  •  

    James Tyler: I think CR7 wanted his PK to be decisive. I see no other reason to wait. Yet he overplayed his hand.

  •  

    [Comment from Rodrigo]
    Does taking the 5th spot imply confidence in your team? Do you take it for leadership purposes? Why?

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    Not taking the penalty hurts Ronaldo's "legacy" as much as this loss does.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    LOVE CRISTIANOS FACE

  •  

    James Tyler: Absolutely stunning. Why not depose Bruno Alves as Nani did? Instead, he sits and waits for a penalty that never comes.

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    James Tyler: He might never live that decision down.

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  •  

    James Tyler: SCORES! In off the post! Spain wins! Off to the final! And Ronaldo doesn't get to take a penalty!

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    what a mistake by Ronaldo

  •  

    [Comment from goportugal]
    you have to be insane/supremely confident to do that

  •  

    James Tyler: Fabregas up next for Spain... unbelievable. CR7 utterly impotent.

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    James Tyler: And Ronaldo might not even get to shoot!

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    James Tyler: OFF THE CROSSBAR!!! Alves feels the bar!

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Ramos biting Pirlo's style

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    Panenka!? Ramos you're crazy man. I love you, but you're crazy.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Ramos = Dane Cook

  •  

    James Tyler: Now comes Bruno Alves.

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  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Gutsy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Patricio a helpless witness to that.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Teams that chip are 1-0 in SO this tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chips it in! And Ramos does try to emulate the Pirlo/Panenka!

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    CB's showing Alonso and Moutinho how it's done

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    This feels like a massive setup for a Ronaldo fail.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sergio Ramos up for Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: A nice "Upper 90" almost by Nani. Cheeky. Love it.

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  •  

    James Tyler: Nani blasts it into the roof of the net! Tied 2-2.

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    James Tyler: Games by Portugal there?

  •  

    James Tyler: Bruno Alves strides up to take PK no. 3... wait, sike! Nani steps up.

  •  

    James Tyler: Goalie just a fraction late on it.

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  •  

    James Tyler: Scores! Smashed over Patricio!

  •  

    James Tyler: Pique up for Spain...

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    I thought Casillas had that one at first.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Classy finish by Pepe

  •  

    [Comment from KB]
    Pepe sneaks it through.

  •  

    [Comment from Hubert]
    speaking of sublime

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo's number yet to be called. Guessing he's going fifth now?

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  •  

    James Tyler: Scores! Smoothly tucked under Casillas' dive.

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    James Tyler: Pepe up for Portugal.

  •  

    [Comment from Hubert]
    Andres "Iceman" Iniesta

  •  

    [Comment from HK]
    That is how you take a penalty

  •  

    James Tyler: Casually stroked it to the right, Rui Patricio dives left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sends Patricio the wrong way! 1-0!

  •  

    James Tyler: Here comes Iniesta, all stubble and purpose.

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    James Tyler: Wow. Pressure building. I'm nervous, even, and I'm sat at a computer.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Wow. Well done by both keepers.

  •  

    James Tyler: Saved by Casillas! Hit to the left, less power than Alonso's!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Iker Casillas: EURO 2008 quarters: saved 2 of 4 vs Italy; Spain won 4-2

  •  

    James Tyler: Joao Moutinho up for Portugal...

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    James Tyler: Sublime stop by Patricio.

  •  

    James Tyler: No, they will go down in history as one of the best national teams of all time, no matter what happens right now.

  •  

    [Comment from Will Kershner]
    JT, is Spain's dynasty affected if they get eliminated here?

  •  

    James Tyler: Saved by Patricio! Hit firmly to the right but what a stop!

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso to kick first.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well then. Coin toss has happened and it looks like Spain will take first. CR7 dashes up to give Rui Patricio one last vote of confidence before returning to the halfway line. Stay tuned, folks...

  •  

    [Comment from HK]
    Penalties the TKO of soccer

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    I feel like James Tyler during the Italy v. England PK's. I'm just ready for my heart to get ripped out or in JT's case chipped by Pirlo.

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    My only prediction: Ronaldo makes his kick.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Statsie, we need you more than ever right now.

  •  

    James Tyler: The media might say so, but I say no. He's had a fine tournament.

  •  

    [Comment from BrownBatman]
    Is Ronaldo thinking about CL miss vs Chelsea, at this point??

  •  

    [Comment from Steven]
    JT, is Ronaldo's legacy tarnished any if Portugal loses here?

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Rog's prediction still in play. Olivera could have the winning PK.

  •  

    James Tyler: Brandon, that's brilliant madness.

  •  

    [Comment from Brandon]
    I stick to my original prediction: no penalties until the 7th player: 1-0 Portugal wins

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, I think so. Looked far less threatening after the 90. Which is strange considering how well they played up to that point. Definitely lost some of the initiative, a bit akin to a boxer cruising ahead on points and then just seeing out the rest of the fight to win on a TKO.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Both teams combined to go 2 for 42 crossing the ball through 120 minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from Konstantin]
    JT, do you think Portugal got on the defense in ET because they settled for penalties?

  •  

    James Tyler: Assuming all those players get to take one, of course. Just a guess.

  •  

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Spain the stronger team in ET. We'll see if that's worth anything in the shootout.

  •  

    [Comment from meet the new boss]
    Crossbar about to play a role.

  •  

    James Tyler: Aye, GGM, but give him credit for curbing that today. Has been imperious, well organized, and amazingly, not insane.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Pepe is very good no doubt. It's his side job as a amputation surgeon that's slightly troubling.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: FULL TIME IN EXTRA TIME. PKs to come.

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Jordi Alba has had a great tournament, IMO.

  •  

    [Comment from travis]
    jordi alba for sure MOTM

  •  

    James Tyler: Navas finds Arbeloa on the overlap but his near-post cross for Iniesta is cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just a few seconds left. Spain on the ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, I'll publish it now!

  •  

    [Comment from Jawatoss]
    by the way even though you did not publish it i am about to pat myself on the back, 0-0 and portugal wins on penaltys was my prediction

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely skill by Pedro on the left wing, jinking inside but one pass too many and Portugal scrambles the ball clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: Even Navas has looked threatening since entering.

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta and Fabregas on the other side. Jordi Alba too.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Pepe has been superb at CB.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Who's your MOTM so far?

  •  

    James Tyler: Cross from the left by Jordi Alba is blocked by Pepe.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with 4 chances created in ET, 6 chances created in regulation.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yup. 116th minute. We're approaching 118.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    The mark for Iniesta's WC winning goal is past, correct JT?

  •  

    [Comment from Steven]
    Final prediction: Spain wins on PKs, 4-3

  •  

    James Tyler: Offside called as Spain threatens again. Trickery involving Fabregas on the left but he's behind the last defender as the return pass is played.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Latest GAME-WINNING goal at EUROs was Michel Platini in 1984 semis vs Portugal in119th minute

  •  

    James Tyler: I've always liked him, Christian. He's definitely got fans. Though there is an odious side to his play, he does wonders in midfield. Really reads the game well and is confident in possession and in the pass.

  •  

    [Comment from Christian]
    A lot of people hate him, but you can't deny that Sergio Busquets is a great MF

  •  

    [Comment from Mat]
    Spain have dominated ET

  •  

    James Tyler: Less than five minutes of extra time remaining...

  •  

    James Tyler: Good cross from the right flank but Fabregas bundles Pereira down, perhaps looking for a PK. Ref awards a free-kick.

  •  

    James Tyler: Portugal settling into a 4-2-3-1 it seems whenever Spain is attacking.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Fouls committed POR 30; ESP 20

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    You've got to do better with that!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Brian, there, saying what we were all thinking.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: EURO SO records:

    POR 1-0
    ESP 2-1

    All major tournaments:

    POR 2-0
    ESPN 3-3

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    JUST SHOOT IT!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Pedro was clean through on goal following a nice flick on, yet as he cuts infield, Pepe sweeps across the top of the box to swipe the ball out for a corner. Fabregas hoofs it to the back post but Portugal clears.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Xabi Alonso, SPA

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso upends Ronaldo for what seems like the 15th time.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Statsie drank all of the Magic Spray.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, Jeff, I agree with Hubert. Not really a deliberate pass as a "ball hit Pepe and he froze" moment.

  •  

    James Tyler: Plus Varela scored a late winner vs. Denmark in Group B play.

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, another young, speedy striker. Not sure if this is a PK ploy or a bid to try and steal a goal on the break.

  •  

    [Comment from Hubert]
    No way, he touched it unaware that patricio was closing in.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Spain, definitely the stronger team in extra time.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR PORTUGAL: Meireles off, Silvestre Varela on.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: That's what I thought Brian.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Back pass?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Jesus Navas gets a shot from the right side, Patricio does well to stop it low and fortunately, Pepe is close by to shield two Spaniards from pouncing on it so Patricio can recover and fall on it.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think so, kg. Been a bit more open as subs start to influence game, other players tire, etc.

  •  

    [Comment from kg]
    based on your comments the ET has provided more open play. Is that true?

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    No one has made a move for Magic Spray

  •  

    James Tyler: Jonathan Wilson has written about how well teams play 10 v. 11 but even so. Can't fault Bento for being cautious.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, being a man down is never good with time left on the clock and plenty of heavy legs.

  •  

    [Comment from Chipotle]
    James, what exactly is the disadvantage for either side in getting one of their men sent off right now, unless they are good at taking penalties?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ramos and Ronaldo lock arms like they're walking down the aisle and CR7 ends up on the turf. Gets a bit of Ramos's studs in his back. But he's fine.

  •  

    James Tyler: One sub remaining for Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain with no more subs to use. So this XI will be the one handling PKs should it get there.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Well done Ramos. Fabregas with a near-fatal giveaway there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Coentrao bursts down the left flank but Ramos clears the cross before Ronaldo can get his left foot around it.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with a 49-8 advantage in touches in the attacking third in that first ET period.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Moutinho's been just fine. Veloso more exhausted as he was the anchor in the middle. Not a bad spot to get some fresh legs. Plus the threat of a second yellow for Veloso...

  •  

    [Comment from NY Gunner]
    JT, what do you think of the veloso over moutinho pick at this point?

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    Alba seems to be the denfender of the future for Spain. And to think I thought Spain would miss Puyol.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR PORTUGAL: Miguel Veloso off, Custodio on

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off again!

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: And there's your lot. Fifteen more minutes of this... still 0-0!

  •  

    [Comment from Peter]
    Spain, where a central defender shoots a free kick better than Ronaldo

  •  

    [Comment from Hagar the Horrible]
    Ramos showing Ronaldo how it's almost done.

  •  

    [Comment from Hagar the Horrible]
    Alba man of the match so far

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Sergio Ramos fizzes the free-kick just wide!

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Advantage, Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Y'know Jeff, I could have sworn Llorente was match-fit...

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta and Pedro both run into Pepe and go flying. Free kick, Spain. 30 yards out, wide left.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Or more accureately, not enough targets.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Spain is finding success down the flanks, especially through Alba, but there is no one in the box for him to pass it to.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jordi Alba again gets free down the left but his cross can't find Fabregas in the middle.

  •  

    [Comment from KevNJ]
    Saved the tournament for Portugal there

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Stunning save!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Brilliant run by Jordi Alba down the left, his delicate cross finds Iniesta but the Barca star's goalward stab is parried away by Patricio!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Rui Patricio. Massive.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! And what a save by Rui Patricio!

  •  

    James Tyler: He might even be Stevie G's favorite player.

  •  

    James Tyler: (slow clap)

  •  

    [Comment from Hubert]
    here he comes.... CUST CUST-UDIO

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Casillas: allowed 6 of 7 penalty shooters to score in La Liga and Champions League; Rui Patricio allowed 5 of 5 shooters to score from the Europa League and Euro qualfying data we have.

  •  

    James Tyler: Taken short again to Iniesta but he loses possession. Quick break by Portugal but Oliveira can't reach the through-ball.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Corner for Spain. Great news for Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another corner for Spain as the short one is deflected out by Nani.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think in Wesley's mind, he's already had the job for years.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Any truth to the rumor that Sneijder wants the job?

  •  

    James Tyler: Very true, Ryan. Arbeloa has handled his business well, as have the others.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    All 4 fullbacks have been playing great defense today

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, hearing that the Oranje boss has quit despite having four years of contract left. Can't say I blame him.

  •  

    [Comment from axis]
    so Bert van Marwijk out... Guus in?

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd wager Pepe would try and use his knee to strike the ball instead. Or he'd just eat the ball and run at Iker.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: • Iker Casillas has been in goal for three shootouts with Spain…
    o EURO 2008 quarters: saved 2 of 4 vs Italy; Spain won 4-2
    o 2002 World Cup quarters: saved 0 of 5 vs South Korea; Spain lost 5-3
    o 2002 World Cup Rd of 16: saved 2 of 5 vs Ireland; Spain won 3-2

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    So what you're saying is Pepe is going to try a Paneka?

  •  

    James Tyler: True, but you still wait a few days. Everyone's still in awe of Pirlo. A repeat so soon would be lame.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    JT, that's never stopped Dane Cook from selling out a stadium while doing it...

  •  

    James Tyler: A Spanish counter ends in a Jordi Alba cross from the left corner, though Pepe cleared and destroys Pedro on the follow-though. Nothing wrong with the contact -- Pepe was watching the ball all the way -- but Pedro's down. Cue MAGIC SPRAY...

  •  

    [Comment from Joanna]
    Statsie - any info on Casillas or Rui Patricio PK shooting performance? They could be called on today...

  •  

    James Tyler: I could see no-one having the stones to Panenka today. Plus someone else just did it. Looks tacky to try and one-up that Pirlo moment so soon after. Bit like Dane Cook using a Louis CK joke 24 hours later.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    That would be incredibly risky I think Aaron. It wouldn't surprise me to see a player smash it down the middle though.

  •  

    [Comment from Cole]
    Stat from the BBC: "Cristiano Ronaldo has now had 70 shots from outside the box at Euros and World Cups, but is yet to score."

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    JT/Jeff/Rog: Does any player try a Panenka today if it goes to PKs?

  •  

    James Tyler: Well of course it's not the *only* way to do it, DaftDonald. Pirlo's thought process was witty and brilliant.

  •  

    [Comment from DaftDonald]
    JT: Pirlo seemed to put some thought into his PK

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for Spain in Portugal's half is cleared. Game is really in a massive lull. Portugal looks very content and organized. As I write that, Pedro beats the offside trap and Pepe's headed clearance falls to Iniesta, whose shot is blocked.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Interesting that Pereira was viewed as the weak link for Portugal heading into the tournament. Can't say they've missed Bosingwa that much at right back.

  •  

    [Comment from SD]
    PK's are like a more physically active version of rock paper scissors between the keeper and the shooter

  •  

    [Comment from Cole]
    I'm with you CJ. It's all about having a calm head and confidence.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd argue, Rory, that it's about "not" thinking too hard about it and going on instinct.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    PKs are all about mental prep and physical technique!! If they were a coin flip or lottery England wouldn't be 1-6!!

  •  

    James Tyler: CJ raises an interesting chicken/egg point about PKs.

  •  

    [Comment from CJ]
    PKs are more about takers 'missing' than keepers 'saving'

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    magic spray - this is your time, make the most of it

  •  

    James Tyler: Another Spain player is down. It's Busquets, who felt Oliveira's knee in his back as the Portuguese sub went up for a high ball.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo only had 10 touches in the 2nd half, 3 in the attacking third

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    Or, Matt, Ronald has tons of practice against Casilla's goalkeeping...

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    Keep in mind that if it goes to pk's, Casillas has had tons of practice against Ronaldo's penalties.

  •  

    [Comment from jay]
    Nani scores the winner.... book it

  •  

    [Comment from Tim (China)]
    Imo, Spain lost this when they pulled Xavi out. Let's see them prove me wrong.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jesus Navas bombs up the right to start the extra time, but his cross doesn't make it.

  •  

    James Tyler: To be honest, England's loss didn't do that either. Was inevitable and quite just given Italy's superiority. Was more like a means to a foreseeable end.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    JT: this shootout at least won't be able to rip out your heart and stomp on it

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Agreed, max. There is the luck factor though.

  •  

    [Comment from Brandon]
    Way to go out on a limb, JT.

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from max]
    hard to see casillas coming out second best to patricio id this goes to pks

  •  

    James Tyler: At this point I'm fearful of expressing an opinion, so I'll say the team that successfully converts the most penalties will be victorious.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    I don't know that it's "big" but it helps Portugal's cause to have the flexibility of two more subs.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven]
    JT, if this goes to PK's, who wins?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Shots: POR 10 (2) - ESP 6 (1)

    Ronaldo: 6 shots, 1 on target

  •  

    [Comment from Tim (China)]
    Big difference that Portugal has 2 subs for extra time while Spain has none?

  •  

    James Tyler: All fair points. Safe to say that pressure is being felt evenly and everywhere for many different and equally valid reasons.

  •  

    [Comment from Curtis]
    JT: I think that puts the pressure on Portugal. Its a shame when the better team has to take it to a shootout (coinflip)

  •  

    [Comment from Hagar the Horrible]
    Pressure's on both sides for sure. Spain's the easy answer given how great they've been, but Ronaldo needs a big tournament win.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think pressure's on Spain. Portugal seems quite comfy at the moment.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    JT, who's the pressure on?

  •  

    [Comment from CJ]
    Harsh card on Veloso and regardless of how bad the pass was, CR7 should have put it on frame

  •  

    [Comment from Brandon]
    You heard it here first: Nobody scores in ET and it takes 7 penalty takers for each team to finally find the net.

  •  

    James Tyler: Crikey, extra time.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Veloso, POR.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, but he did the hard part in bringing it in front of him and working the space to shoot. But let's not besmirch CR7 for anything.

  •  

    [Comment from Robbie]
    I disagree James, I think the pass being that far behind made it a MUCH harder shot than it looked because he lost all momentum

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. But we dare not question Ronaldo, obviously. All Meireles' fault! Bad Raul!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: About a minute of stoppage time left.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yep. Like I said, the pass from Meireles was not the greatest, but Ronaldo still had enough time to settle the ball and shoot. Has to get that on frame.

  •  

    James Tyler: One would think, John.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    If you're the best in the world, you need to make that shot Cristiano Ronaldo

  •  

    [Comment from Marvin]
    Such a missed opportunity.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    repeat after me - FAR POST FAR POST FAR POST

  •  

    James Tyler: Dear oh dear, Ronaldo.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: CHANCE FOR PORTUGAL! Portugal on the break with Meireles, pass was a bit behind Ronaldo, but still good enough, and shot is way high.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Bruno Alves heads it clear.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Not a whole lot happening here. Wait...free kick for Spain...Alonso to take it...

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Xavi: completed 67 passes, tournament low for him.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yep, that's Spain's last sub. Torres can keep chilling.

  •  

    [Comment from RCK]
    El Nino is steaming angry

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Wow. Xavi coming off for Pedro. Never thought I'd see that.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Now it's getting nasty.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Portugal's last extra time match at EURO came in 2004 quarterfinals vs England, 1-1 end of regulation, 2-2 after extra time, Portugal advanced on PK

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain's last extra time match at EURO came in 2008 quarterfinals vs Italy,  0-0 draw, Spain advanced on PK

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Arbeloa, SPA

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    This false 9 formation has had about as much success as Negredo....

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo's free kick strikes the wall, but the ref awards a yellow card for handball as Arbeloa sticks his arms up.

  •  

    James Tyler: Me neither, Taco. Truly bizarre.

  •  

    [Comment from Taco]
    Not quite sure I understand what Navas was trying to do there

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    If Portugal loses this game in regular time or extra I blame Roger

  •  

    James Tyler: Jesus Navas has a dribble down the right and fakes a couple of crosses. By the time he does cross it, the defender blocks it and clears. Portugal breaks quickly up the left and CR7 is hauled down by Xabi Alonso. Free kick, Portugal, 35 yards out. Maybe a bit further than that.

  •  

    [Comment from Zeus]
    Roger is reverse-jinxing Portugal!

  •  

    James Tyler: It was a joke, B.

  •  

    [Comment from B]
    Intriguing tactical battle, are you serious? Flat and subpar play.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: That was a hard-working shift by Almeida, even if his shooting was off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ladies and Gents... here;s your gamewinner... Nelson Oliviera...

  •  

    [Comment from neutral]
    Heroic effort and fitness from portugal to not allow spain to get into their normal swing of things

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR PORTUGAL: Almeida off, Nelson Oliveira on.

  •  

    James Tyler: More chippy play as Nani and Jordi Alba collide. Nani's studs hit Alba's foot. Alba goes down.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: That is shocking from Veloso. Portugal's set pieces have been awful.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick is swung goalward, Casillas catches it.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    portugal's crossing has been putrid. I can't remember even a contested header in the box

  •  

    James Tyler: Sergio Ramos and Nani clash in the air under a high ball. A bit of handbags between the pair. Free kick, Portugal, wide right.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo playing like a gent who, if given the choice between a run on goal or a free kick, would take the latter all day long. It has reduced his threat significantly second half so far.

  •  

    James Tyler: 12 minutes left. 0-0. Some might say boring, I say intriguing tactical battle. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

  •  

    James Tyler: Not sure why Bento's not making any subs. Maybe saving fresh legs, or fearful of disrupting the balance his side currently has. As unimpressive as Almeida's been on goal, he's been busy enough harassing Spain's passing game.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Iniesta with 50 touches today, his tournament low is 77 vs Italy.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: As well as Portugal has played, the collective decision making around Spain's penalty area, especially in transition hasn't been good.

  •  

    [Comment from Winlar]
    Great comment from Macca just now. "Spain's strategy works for Barcelona because Messi just dribbles through three players and scores..."

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: No player has attempted as many shots as Ronaldo though, so it's tough to compare. Most players do more with less this tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wasted chance by Portugal there. Won by Moutinho off Busquets and worked across field to Nani, but the United winger takes too much time on the ball and his shot/cross is blocked.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo has a nearly 4-to-1 ratio of shots to SOG.

  •  

    James Tyler: 15 minutes left, still 0-0. Bento's plan working to a tee as no matter how many midfielders Del Bosque deploys, Spain still can't get anywhere near goal.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Statsie, how does Ronaldo's shots on target vs. shots attempted compare with other players at this tournament?

  •  

    [Comment from d]
    'wasted'? what do you mean? Excellent camera coverage of a brooding Ronaldo

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo: 4 shots, 1 on target

  •  

    James Tyler: You were right to sense that, Jan.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    I sense a wasted free kick.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just over the bar!

  •  

    James Tyler: Crowd is anxious....

  •  

    James Tyler: CR7 territory...

  •  

    James Tyler: Velso runs into Arbeloa and wins a free kick, 25 yards out, central on goal.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain has now completed 831 passes into the attacking third in their five matches. Comparatively, Ireland, Greece, Sweden and Poland completed 823 combined in their 13 matches.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nearly the entire game is being played in that narrow band of midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: Coentrao tries a cross but it's blocked by the first defender. Poor effort, Fabio.

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Rog, clearly Spain need Roy Hibbert to flip this game on it's head. If only he had been born in Malaga.

  •  

    [Comment from Gudg]
    Wasteful shots is usually Miereles's game.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jordi Alba is well tackled by Pereira on the edge of the POR penalty area. A quick break by A Seleccao is then stonewalled on half way. Throw-in, Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Almeida is being more than a little wasteful.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Portugal need to get Almeida out of there. He's taking some crazy shots.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    Typical Spain fellas. Expect a goal in the 80th min

  •  

    James Tyler: Another chance for Almeida from a narrow angle and again the striker blasts wide from a narrow angle.

  •  

    James Tyler: Foul on Xabi Alonso earns him a free kick and he quickly boffs it toward goal from inside his own half... Rui Patricio's well off his line but the shot is off-target.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    The Euro's picked a hell of a time to start having 0-0 games.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    i wish the irish fans were at this game

  •  

    James Tyler: Nani's tripped by Jesus Navas. Free kick for Portugal in its own half.

  •  

    James Tyler: Let's hope you're right, Hubert. 25 minutes to go, still 0-0.

  •  

    [Comment from Hubert]
    I get the feeling something is about to happen to blow this match wide open

  •  

    James Tyler: Xavi's cross is cleared, but Spain keeps possession.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    That's the kind of stat I've been waiting for Statsie!

  •  

    James Tyler: It's whipped toward the near post but a strong header behind gives Spain a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xavi to take...

  •  

    James Tyler: Great play by Fabregas to get goalside of Pereira and continue his run. Then the POR right back hauls him down on the edge of the box.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Spain has had more possession, but not as much as usual. Portugal's high pressure has been very effective, and they've been the more impressive team.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Shots: POR 6; ESP 3

    Spain has NOT been outshot in a game this tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Pereira, POR

  •  

    James Tyler: Whoa!

  •  

    [Comment from Al]
    For those of us who can't watch, who's been controlling possession and had the majority of scoring chances/been the better team?

  •  

    James Tyler: JD: I think Nelson Oliveira, maybe. Or Silvestre Varela. A striker that would give La Roja different looks.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Portugal had 83 touches in the attacking third against Spain at the 2010 World Cup. Currently with 73.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    JT, who comes off the bench first for Portugal?

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Portugal should be frustrated. They've played their best and can't get a goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Dusty Boot Philosopher]
    Portugal not playing like the inferior team

  •  

    [Comment from FZ]
    I'm getting frustrated watching this awful match

  •  

    [Comment from CJ]
    Is Spain getting frustrated or is it me?

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Pepe, POR. For that aforementioned knee.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    That yellow card has been coming for a while for Pepe. The ref warned him earlier and now he goes into the book.

  •  

    James Tyler: Xabi Alonso gets a knee in the back from Real Madrid teammate Pepe as the pair go up for a high ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ha ha, Yuli!

  •  

    [Comment from Yuli]
    Almeida thinks he's Steven Gerrard.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SPAIN: David Silva off, Jesus Navas on. There's your width, La Roja.

  •  

    James Tyler: The Barca man goes in the book for suggesting to the ref that CR7 should have been booked for a dive inside the box.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Sergio Busquets, SPA

  •  

    James Tyler: Al: it's more about changing the angle of the cross and/or keeping the ball. But fair point.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Yes. I can remember when good sequence by Negredo, although to be fair, Spain have been off their collective game due to Portugal's pressure. Not much service.

  •  

    [Comment from Al]
    You mentioned a low rate of return on corners...I feel like short corners almost never work

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Almeida as some crisp passing frees the striker inside the left side of the box. Pique does well to stop him getting a better angle and as such, Almeida shoots wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think so, Bill. Spent most of his time getting fouled by Bruno Alves.

  •  

    [Comment from bill]
    for those of us not able to watch would you rate the negredo experiment a failure?

  •  

    James Tyler: Selfish by Almeida. A 3-on-3 break for A Seleccao and with Ronaldo infield and (I think) Coentrao on the flank, Almeida bangs a shot well over the bar from 30-odd yards.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nani booms it in, an in-swinger, but it's poor. Cleared to halfway.

  •  

    James Tyler: Coentrao works hard to win a corner off Alvaro Arbeloa.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: 25 touches for Ronaldo, 13 in the attacking 3rd.

  •  

    James Tyler: 55 minutes gone, Spain with its extra midfielder back in the mix. Will it make a difference?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Pepe gets a lecture from the ref after taking a whack at Cesc.

  •  

    [Comment from dave]
    how many touches does ronaldo have? not many it seems.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain has scored a goal in all 18 competitive matches since the 1-0 loss to Switzerland at FIFA World Cup 2010. They are unbeaten in all 18 of those matches.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think because it's regarded as a pass with a low rate of return.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    I understand why Barcelona doesn't take long corners regularly (a dearth of aerial threats and a plethora of passing options) but with the inclusion of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos (and to a lesser extent, the Spanish forwards) wouldn't it make some sense for Spain to use long corners.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Portugal is now 0-12 crossing.

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Cesc is referred to as a 'false 9'. Incidentally, so is Fernando Torres.

  •  

    [Comment from Billy Johnson]
    Is that Bruno Alves or Benico Del Toro in Sin City?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Here comes the false nine.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SPAIN: Negredo off, Fabregas on. The great striker experiment is over.

  •  

    James Tyler: Here comes Cesc. He's primed and ready to enter.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: ESP has completed 3,077 passes this tournament and created 64 scoring chances, so ESP creates a scoring chances every 48.1 completed passes; POR has completed 1,466 passes and created 56 scoring chances or once every 26.2 passes.

  •  

    James Tyler: Quick move upfield by Portugal wins a corner. Moutinho thwacks it into the box but it is poorly hit and cleared. Well, Jordi Alba wins a goal kick, at least.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    That's an apt description for just about every Spain corner.

  •  

    [Comment from Clare]
    Bring on Navas for Silva! Silva has been pretty mediocre lately.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good move down the right flank by David Silva but Arbeloa's whipped-in cross is headed behind by Pereira. Spain takes a short corner, from which nothing interesting happens.

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain with an elongated, hoofier tiki-taka to try and break Portugal's full-court press.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    Bruno Alves is due for a booking, all these crazed jumps

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, Nani bends a cross in for Almeida but it's nodded clear. Then Negredo is fouled again in the air by Bruno Alves.

  •  

    James Tyler: Doubt it, DW, but that Portugal had 48 hours extra rest might help.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    is either team in better shape fitness-wise?

  •  

    James Tyler: Almeida has been quiet, but he's working hard to pressure Spain in possession high up the field.

  •  

    [Comment from Poli Dimakos]
    Portugal need a few heroes right now! They have the talent and have been creating opportunities. They can't wait for Ronaldo, Meireles, Nani and Almeida need to come out big this half!

  •  

    James Tyler: No subs on yet, I'm hearing. I don't see Navas in play.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's a long story, Nick. And I was kidding. Probably.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Wait a minute, the ball already has a tiny robot in it and they STILL don't have goal-line technology?

  •  

    [Comment from Bill Johnson]
    Navas, best buy in fifa 11

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Off again, folks.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    Just noticed that Xavi is playing, he's been missing all game

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    ...Navas on, tips the balance in Spain's favor. So sez the Sloth.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Hmmm....let me check.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Carlisle, does the magic Sloth have any 2nd half predictions we should be aware of?

  •  

    James Tyler: The ball has a tiny robot in it, Adam. It's very friendly and delivers very reliable information.

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    How is pass length measured accurately from a TV screen?

  •  

    [Comment from Dusty Boot Philosopher]
    Portugal playing solid so far. Keep pressing... FORCA PORTUGAL!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Avg pass length in the first half: POR 22.0 yards, ESP 17.7 yards

    Spain finishes first half with 65 touches in the attacking 3rd, its fewest in any half at this tournament

  •  

    [Comment from Martin]
    Rog, can you give us an update on Figo's dress? Still rocking his shirt from his time on the field?

  •  

    James Tyler: In a 4-5-2?

  •  

    James Tyler: Bold move, TFA. Sneak 12 men onto the field?

  •  

    [Comment from TFA]
    If I am Del Bosque I would bring on Torres/Llorente for Negredo.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lot of Space behind the Portuguese defenders for Spain to exploit in the second half if they can fix their front line

  •  

    James Tyler: Seeing unhappy WAGs is entertaining enough that someone should make a Tumblr.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Nervy I would say. Some broken nails down there for sure right now.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Silva has been quiet, so I'd bring in Navas, as Matt said earlier.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Rog, what's the environment like right now on Spanish WAG row?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: No Boddingtons. My conversations with barmen have gotten about as far as "Beer Please." I drink whatever they give me.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Chances created (passes that lead directly to shots) in the 1st half: POR 2; ESP 4 (tournament low for ESP).

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    you put on torres, of course

  •  

    [Comment from MikfromPoland]
    Put Llorente in!

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Silva comes off, Fabregas on. DelBosque's mustache scores to win the game.

  •  

    James Tyler: so, if you're Del Bosque, what do you do?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I can vouch for the local brew in Poland, Zywiec. Excellent.

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Rog, do they have Boddington's in the Ukraine?

  •  

    James Tyler: They're engaged now, Marin!

  •  

    [Comment from Marin]
    Spain will win and St Iker will kiss his girlfriend again.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wow. We have a prize fight! There was a One Man team on the field after all tonight... but it was Spain. Iniesta has been their only threat.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: • Spain is 2-1 in EURO shootouts, including a win over Italy in the 2008 quarters. David Villa, Cazorla, Senna & Fàbregas converted; Dani Guiza's try was saved.
    • 1-2 in World Cup shootouts, beating Ireland & losing to South Korea in 2002.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: • Portugal won its only EURO shootout, defeating England 6-5 in the 2004 Quarterfinals. Ronaldo and Postiga both converted in that shootout.
    • Portugal also won its only World Cup shootout, defeating England 3-1 in the 2006 Quarterfinals. Ronaldo, Postiga & Hugo Viana all converted in that shootout.

  •  

    [Comment from Martin]
    Del Bosque will calmly mutter something into his mustache.

  •  

    [Comment from Curtis]
    Statsie, what are Portugal and Spain's penalty shootout records?

  •  

    [Comment from Peter]
    Spain's bench is much deeper. Navas or Pedro + Llorente will kill this game

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Doesn't mean they haven't had any attempts though. Ronaldo put one shot just wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: CR7 had one just past the post.

  •  

    [Comment from jay]
    Portugal still hasn't gotten a shot on goal, thats kind of important to scoring goals

  •  

    [Comment from Wid]
    Now that Portugal feels confident, Spain comes out of the half and scores.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt]
    Del Bosque will call on Jesus for help. Jesus Navas

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Bento is winning the tactical battle, in a landslide. Definitely up to Del Bosque to find a solution.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: How will Del Bosque respond?

  •  

    James Tyler: HALF TIME: Spain 0, Portugal 0. Paulo Bento must be elated. His plans are largely working.

  •  

    James Tyler: More fouls. More whistles from the crowd. Negredo is clattered in the air by Bruno Alves. Free kick to Spain, just inside the Portugal half. Lofted forward by Xavi but Rui Patricio collects.

  •  

    [Comment from Eddie C]
    Spain looks outside their comfort zone with their passing. Portugal is doing a good job putting pressure on them.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    I think Alba has been trying to get forward, but Spain either doesn't see him or prefers not to use him.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd expect to see Jesus Navas introduced before anyone else for Spain in order to remedy just that.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain - 255 passes complete in the first half. its lowest in a first half at this year's EURO, 328 vs ITA in the opening match.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Spain has no attack on the wings

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Portugal is 0-9 on crosses. Worst crossing game they had was 2-28 (7.1 pct) vs GER

  •  

    James Tyler: Two minutes to half time, still 0-0 in this intriguing Iberian derby.

  •  

    James Tyler: It was, Vince, but cards were erased after the QFs.

  •  

    [Comment from VInce]
    Coulda swore that was Ramos' second yellow of the tourney. Somebody in Spain's back four was sitting on yellow, and I don't think it was Mr. Shakira.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Spain can't get out of their own half, man bites dog?

  •  

    [Comment from Underdoggin It]
    Portugal's ability to break down Spain, Jeremy

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes.

  •  

    [Comment from MIke G]
    ESP now passed the barrier for consecutive clean sheet minutes in the Euro?

  •  

    James Tyler: Goal kick for Spain as the long ball for Hugo Almeida is missed by Pique but can't be reached by the Portugal striker.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: For me, it's how uncomfortable Spain's defenders look passing the ball out of the back.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Spain looking so stifled. Portugal the first opponent to truly pressure, and they're struggling to handle it.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy NC]
    Whats been the biggest surprise so far this match, if there even has been one yet?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo fouled by Arbeloa inside the Portugal half. Another Spain passing move broke down and Portugal won the 50-50 ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Will answer that at half time!

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    JT, if it's 0-0 at half, how should Portugal feel? How about Spain?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Busquets owes Ramos a beer for that.

  •  

    [Comment from Sandy]
    The "who wins" poll is getting closer to 50-50.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Good foul by Ramos

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Terrible play by Busquets.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    Ramos has been asking for that card

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Sergio Ramos, SPA

  •  

    James Tyler: Busquets loses it to Ronaldo, who is immediately brought down by Sergio Ramos to prevent him getting free.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo with 20 touches this half, 11 in the attacking 3rd.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Spain's just trying to figure out how to get into the final third and stay there, Juan Doe.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Spain not shooting in the final 1/3.

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    Portugal has 2 extra days of rest so tiring out may not be a factor.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Clever bit of defending their by Pereira there on Iniesta; slight bump to put him off from collecting Silva's pass.

  •  

    James Tyler: Finally, they work it through the maze of Portugal players to David Silva. He has a good run towards goal but sidefoots it softly to Rui Patricio. Looked like he was intending a through-ball for Iniesta. Oh well.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's lofted downfield by San Iker but Bruno Alves is penalized for a foul under the high ball. Spain free kick on the half way line but still La Roja can't find a way forward.

  •  

    James Tyler: Again, here comes Portugal's front four or five applying pressure on Casillas, Ramos and Pique to prevent the simple passes.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    Magic Spray has been having a poor first half until now. Also disappointing? Crossbar.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Passing accuracy: POR 78.4%; ESP 83.5%

    The lowest percentage in the tournament for ESP was 86.7% vs FRA

  •  

    James Tyler: Ten minutes to half-time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nani ends up sandwiched by Jordi Alba and Sergio Ramos in the right corner. He's slow to get up. Cue MAGIC SPRAY.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Not so sure. Pressing the way Portugal is takes a physical toll. Italy put a lot into the first 65 minutes of their group stage game with Spain, and they faded down the stretch.

  •  

    James Tyler: In memory of Miki Roque, young defender who passed away following a battle with cancer.

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    Why is SPain wearing black bands?

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    With Portugal playing like this would be perfect game for Fabregas to be in.

  •  

    James Tyler: Don't think so, M. But Spain will have to work harder today than it did against, say, France.

  •  

    [Comment from M]
    If it continues this way, is the general feeling that Portugal will win?

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta gets to the byline and chips a cross in but the referee waves play dead. Ball went out. Goal kick, Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Considering Spain's general aversion to playing the long ball, it's working to stifle Spain's movement.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, Jeff. Hugo Almeida, Nani and Ronaldo are not allowing Pique and Ramos to play easy passes out from the back.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle:

    Portugal's willingness to press high has definitely unsettled Spain a bit.

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    24 teams means more opportunities for the UEFA to fine countries

  •  

    [Comment from Calvin GFOP]
    This game is going to be a joke if this ref keeps making these calls

  •  

    James Tyler: 32 mins gone, still 0-0. Only one or two decent chances to score on either side.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Attacking 3rd touches: POR 46; ESP 37

  •  

    James Tyler: Appeals for a corner but no dice.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Lovely pressure by Portugal to win the ball back in Spain's half, ball rolls to Ronaldo and his low shot is just wide of Casillas' left post!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yep.

  •  

    [Comment from VInce]
    How will 24 teams work? Group play culls field from 24 to only 16?

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Same as when the World Cup was 24 teams. Third place teams with the most points will advance.

  •  

    [Comment from Marvin]
    Can you explain the 3rd place teams advancing? How will that work?

  •  

    [Comment from J in Macon Georgia]
    Third place teams will just be more victims

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Hate it.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    Euro 2016 will have 24 teams? How do you guys feel about third place teams advancing?

  •  

    [Comment from VInce]
    negredo actually did something useful!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Great work by Negredo there to hold the ball up.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE! Spain's first real attack in 10 minutes or so. Xabi Alonso finds INiesta free on the left side of the box and curls it just over the bar. Dangerous, that.

  •  

    [Comment from John Tucker]
    As much as I have watched, Portugal is probably playing the hardest against Spain than any other team this Euro

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    JT, Portugal ain't scared of Spain and I LOVE IT!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Cries for a handball in the box against Spain. Not called. Ramos went for a diving header but misjudged the ball and it ends up pinging off his chest.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo gets free up the left flank but his centering pass finds only Spaniards. Still, good spell by Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hang about, Nani with a good run to the edge of the box before sliding it wide to Pereira but his cross is blocked. Ball ends up on the other flank with Coentrao and his cross is cleared.

  •  

    [Comment from the bagel]
    I've learned theres nothing like a derby in the semifinals

  •  

    [Comment from Marvin]
    I've learned that Spain really misses David Villa

  •  

    [Comment from J in Macon Georgia]
    We've learned that Portugal isn't afraid of going after Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Because I actually support LFC. Self-loathing is one of the things we do well. Besides finishing seventh or eighth in the EPL. But I digress... there's a Euro semi afoot!

  •  

    [Comment from Will]
    James T, why do you hate Portugal and Liverpool so much?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ronaldo with a wry smile as his rapid turn-shot from 30 yards is a mile over. At least he tried.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Harry, you've got Europa League qualifying!

  •  

    James Tyler: So, 23 minutes in. What have we learned?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: 10 touches for Negredo so far, 5 in the attacking third of the field.

  •  

    James Tyler: (Not sure whether to weep or not, DW)

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Well done by Arbeloa there on CR7 with Pique up field.

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    it's ok james, they have aquilani coming back

  •  

    James Tyler: Nani was holding Ramos' arm. But hey, if you want the referee to blow the whistle every 3 seconds, I'm sure that would be more fun.

  •  

    [Comment from Troy]
    Soft, really James? He's holding his arm.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Only if Xavi, Iniesta, or Silva get injured.

  •  

    James Tyler: Statsie: how many touches has Negredo had so far?

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    JT/Jeff/Rog: do you see Mata getting any run of play in during this game?

  •  

    James Tyler: MLS.

  •  

    [Comment from Harry]
    JT, what will I do when Euro Cup is over? And don't say 'The Olympic Games'.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ian Darke mentions those two great midfielders -- Alonso and Meireles -- that Liverpool let go. Excuse me while I weep.

  •  

    James Tyler: Looked very soft on the replay, to be honest.

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    two straight non-calls by the referee, one for each side, strange

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    probably could have been a foul on ramos

  •  

    [Comment from Calvin GFOP]
    Pro Spain officiating rears its ugly head already

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely run by Nani down the right but he's gently guided to the ground (though did grab Sergio Ramos) as he cuts infield. Referee urges play on. Well, then.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Wow. That looked like a foul by Ramos on Nani for me. Textbook case of obstruction there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pereira lofts it up the right wing looking for Nani. It finds Moutinho but his flick-on for Nani ends up with Spain on the ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Still, 18 minutes in and Portugal enjoying plenty of time/possession in Spain's half at the moment. Not shy at all.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Portugal as Pique knocks it out. Moutinho to bash it in... misses the near-post runner and Sergio Ramos heads it clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: ... and blasts it directly into the two-man wall. Next time, then.

  •  

    James Tyler: Bit contentious; free-kick for Portugal deep in Spain territory on the left side of the box. CR7 fancies a shot?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Possession: 54-46 in favor of Spain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arbeloa tries to run through Fabio Coentrao but concedes only in fouling the Portuguese left back.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain's high avg pass attempt distance: 19.1 yards against Croatia in the group stage.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    Anything interesting happening in the WAG section, Rog?

  •  

    [Comment from Martin]
    Statsie, what are the possession stats so far?

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Statsie is having a Xavi-like tournament, always on the ball!

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball intended for Ronaldo over the top is overhit. Casillas gets it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Whoops, cross was for Nani. Typing is hard, you guys.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Avg pass attempt distance: Portugal 27.5 yards, Spain 17.9

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Arbeloa caught up field on that run by CR7. He needs to be careful with his positioning.

  •  

    James Tyler: Great run by Ronaldo down the left all the way to the touchline. His cross is there for Hugo Almeida but Casillas reads the play and comes off his line to collect.

  •  

    James Tyler: @the bagel -- very much a boxing move. Let the other guy exhaust himself.

  •  

    [Comment from the bagel]
    Portugal may be affecting their play, but wait until they start to tire than we'll see Spain again

  •  

    [Comment from squared]
    Crybaby7 used up his 3 Int'l goals for the next 5 years in the last 2 games.

  •  

    James Tyler: Former La Masia product and spent a brief time at LFC before moving to Real Betis. Was fighting cancer.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'd say yes. Portugal is forcing Spain to play longer passes than normal. Not necessarily vertical, but horizontal too.

  •  

    James Tyler: In memoriam of Miki Roque, 23-year-old defender, who passed away yesterday.

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    sorry I was late what are the black armbands for?

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    Are Portugal actually affecting Spain's style of play?

  •  

    James Tyler: Yet Nani loses possession. Spain hoofs clear, Portugal resets.

  •  

    James Tyler: Look at Fabio Coentrao go... his lung-bursting run is finally halted by Pique's slide. Still, throw to Portugal deep in La Roja territory.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Spain is actually shooting. This is weird

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    INIESTA IS BRILLIANT!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Sterling Archer]
    gotta hit the target Arbeloa

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I was just thinking Spain needed to make more use of Alba. Nice contribution there.

  •  

    James Tyler: CHANCE! Lovely one-two by Iniesta and (I think) Alba sets the Barca man free inside the box. His pass for Negredo eludes the striker and Arbeloa blazes over from 20 yards.

  •  

    James Tyler: Iniesta and David Silva combined on the left side of the box but the gaps close up quickly...

  •  

    James Tyler: Fair point, TM. Really trying to spray passes around instead of the controlled distribution.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    More passes of 30+ yards already by Spain than we typically see in an entire half.

  •  

    James Tyler: Long ball for Almeida goes all the way back to Casillas.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    I'm outplaying France sitting here.

  •  

    [Comment from cobs]
    That streak is about to end in next 10 Mins... There, I've said it!

  •  

    James Tyler: Also, did Statsie jinx La Roja's peerless defense?

  •  

    [Comment from SD]
    in just 7 minutes portugal have already outplayed france......

  •  

    James Tyler: Nothing much to report yet. Six minutes of careful sparring my both teams.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain has not allowed a goal since conceding to Italy in the 61st minute of the opener. They have now gone 325-plus minutes without allowing a goal at EURO 2012, the LONGEST scoreless streak in tournament history.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd say Belgium, too. Supremely talented core of players but equally prone to in-fighting as their Dutch neighbors.

  •  

    [Comment from Scouser]
    What teams would've made this tourney more interesting had they qualified? My vote's for Turkey

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Last meeting between these 2 teams: Portugal won 4-0 in friendly in Lisbon in November 2010. It was Spain's worst loss in 47 years. (Carlos Martins 45', Hélder Postiga 49', 68', Hugo Almeida 90').

  •  

    James Tyler: Spain settling into a passing rhythm but Portugal definitely pressing more than most opponents have done thus far.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: France.

  •  

    [Comment from Troy]
    Where will Euro 2016 be held at?

  •  

    James Tyler: No -- Ramos is CB alongside Pique. Arbeloa at RB.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric W]
    Sergio Ramos back at RB?

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Portugal does have the best white uni's - not sure if Croatia's count

  •  

    James Tyler: Meireles hoists it in from the left but Casillas springs off his line to catch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Veloso swings it to the back post and Casillas palms it behind for another corner. Taking no chances.

  •  

    James Tyler: Miguel Veloso wins a corner as his long-range shot is deflected well wide of goal. Good hustle by Nani prior to that.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Funny you should ask TwistyMaze. My take on that.

  •  

    James Tyler: Let's try for the second half.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    JT, why don't we also do a countdown in the chat? Or would we not be able to match Ukraine's lack of intensity?

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    Spain's squad outside the starting 11 - how far would they go in this tournament? Semi's at least?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: And we are OFF!

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: So Negredo scored against the US last year. I'm sure he's thinking "If I can get past the US, this will be easy."

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain has completed a tournament-high 2,779 passes, which is more than double Portugal's total of 1,281.

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    Spain in their Tottenham uniforms again.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nick just went all literature on us. So there's that.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    I predict CR7 does something extraordinary: I have the great poet Fernando Pessoa on my side. Who else did he have in mind when he wrote 'O Infante'? "God wills, the man dreams, and the work is born... He hallowed you, form-unvailing you went."

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Statsie 2, Pirlo's mind 0, Pirlo's hair 1,000

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Don't think so Mike R., and Keith Andrews was the last to get the boot for two yellows I think.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike R.]
    Have we had a straight red since Szczesny? I think we're overdue.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Oh, why can't Pepe give the "Respect" speech?

  •  

    [Comment from soccer fan]
    the whining is this match will be epic. if you thought nba players whine wait til you watch this

  •  

    [Comment from RonaldoFan01]
    3-2 portugal. CR7 game winnner. stuns all Spain!

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    Statsie 2, Pirlo's mind 0

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    Post 3, Spain 2, Portugal 1

  •  

    James Tyler: Portugal's anthem is begging to be sampled on Kanye West's next album. Just saying.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Spain 4-3 in a thriller.

  •  

    [Comment from Neil]
    I predict a Pepe red card (i know i'm playing it safe with that)

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    3-2 with CR7 netting the winner in ET. Spain will also miss a PK sometime in the second half.

  •  

    [Comment from Roger]
    Portugal 3-1 Nani scores 2

  •  

    [Comment from J in Macon Georgia]
    From a neutral perspective, this game is going to be a shootout. 4-2 Portugal wins.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    3-2 Portugal!!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Spain 3, Portugal 0, CR7 pouty faces, 13

  •  

    James Tyler: Plenty of people picking 2-0 Spain... too many to publish....

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Also going with Spain 2-1, but in extra time.

  •  

    [Comment from soccer fan]
    3-1 spain

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Based on a minimum number of touches it is the highest.

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    Spain will win 1-0 or 2-0, or 3-0, or 3-1. or 2-1, or 4-2, but spain will win

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm angling at 2-1 Spain. BUT Ronaldo scores first.

  •  

    James Tyler: With under 10 minutes to kick off, let's see some predictions?

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    Statsie, is that the highest % in the tourney?

  •  

    James Tyler: Lineups again, then:
    SPAIN (4-3-3):
    1-Casillas;
    17-Arbeloa, 3-Pique, 15-Sergio Ramos, 18-Jordi Alba;
    8-Xavi, 16-Busquets, 14-Xabi Alonso;
    21-David Silva, 11-Negredo, 6-Iniesta.

    PORTUGAL (4-3-3):
    12-Rui Patricio;
    21-Pereira, 3-Pepe, 2-Bruno Alves, 5-Fabio Coentrao;
    16-Meireles, 4-Miguel Veloso, 8-Moutinho;
    17-Nani, 9-Hugo Almeida, 7-Ronaldo.

  •  

    James Tyler: Teams are in the tunnel. Xavi is so focused, you could mistake him for a wax statue at Madame Tussaud's.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo in the final third of the field averages one SOG every 6.7 touches

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Iker has been the best

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Come on, it's gotta be Torres!

  •  

    James Tyler: Over/under is set at 4.5

  •  

    [Comment from Pirlo]
    How many times will Statsie baffle us with his brilliance today?

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    spain's best play so far has been reputation

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Iniesta would get my vote.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Spain's best player thus far? I'd go with Silva.

  •  

    James Tyler: Absolutely no love for that song. Every Bush song is the same three or four chords, only played at different speeds. Boo.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex M]
    JT - come on, no love for Bush's "Machinehead"? That's been flowing through NFL stadiums on every third down since 1996.

  •  

    James Tyler: MAGIC SPRAY will get plenty of minutes today. To his credit, Busquets has not been the callous playactor of the Euros. Just from what I recall of his travails with gravity last season with Barcelona.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    With Spain and Portugal in the semis, where is MAGIC SPRAY on the teamsheets?

  •  

    [Comment from Spain Medical Staff]
    How many times will I have to miraculously revive Busquets today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Though I am glad it finally usurped "Song 2" by Blur as the de facto sporting event pump-up song.

  •  

    James Tyler: Seven Nation Army. Next!

  •  

    [Comment from Robbie]
    More annoying? Seven Nation Army or... vuvuzelas?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll plump for THREE times. This one ain't finishing 1-0.

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Do you think Clint Dempsey would make the starting 11 or at least the 18 of either team?

  •  

    [Comment from SEVEN NATION ARMY]
    How many times am I gonna be sung today???

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This place is empty. It feels like Ukraine threw a party and nooone came.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Spain with 44 shots on target and Portugal with 33 in the tournament... However, Spain averages a shot on goal every 22.7 attacking third touches. Portugal is more direct in attacking, averaging a shot on target every 17.6 touches.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Yellows were wiped out after the quarters. To my knowledge, no players have been suspended for today's game.

  •  

    James Tyler: All of the players, Sputnik.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    How many Spain subs would start for England? Cesc, Torres, Mata, Pedro, Llorente?

  •  

    James Tyler: Ahh, there it is. The Coldplay song. NOW I am ready for action. Well, once I hear Alan Parsons Project and "Sirius"

  •  

    [Comment from Jesse]
    Which players, if any, are missing today's game? who is going in with yellow's?

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Statsie, what's the most interesting stat about this matchup?

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    I'd say Meireles. He hasn't been that great in the tourney and needs to break things up in the Spanish midfield

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Big night for Moutinho. And Coentrao can make a huge statement

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I'd say Nani and Joao Moutinho need to step up for Portugal. Moutinho has quietly been very impressive this tournament. He'll need to be that valuable link between defense and attack.

  •  

    [Comment from Father Time]
    I feel this game is all about who scores first. Particularly Portugal cannot afford to let Spain score first

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Ronaldo has hit the post a tournament-high 4 times so far.

  •  

    [Comment from Murf]
    Aside from Ronaldo, which Portugal player needs to step up the most to give them the edge over Spain?

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    Rog, has any of the cologne from the Portugese national team worn off yet or are you still walking around like a free advertisement for drakkar noir?

  •  

    [Comment from Eric]
    Ronaldo hits the post at least 3 times today.

  •  

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Not sure Arebeloa will actually see much of Ronaldo given the latter's tendency to float around the field.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd expect Xavi/Busquets will slide across to double up on CR7 and help Arbeloa. Or Pique moves out to assist and the backline simply shifts across to compensate. Barca is great at doing that. If a fullback pushes up, the other three defenders slide across to cover the space.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Cesc provides less steel than Busquets and Xabi Alonso. Not that either are Roy Keane mind you, but it's all relative.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arbeloa was asked about that in yesterdays press conf. Lets just say -- he looked nervous then. Portugals big challenge will be to get Cristiano the ball in places he can hurt Spain

  •  

    James Tyler: Think it's their Real connection that prompted Del Bosque to stick by his right back. Knowing his tendencies, his moves, etc.

  •  

    [Comment from Andre]
    What is the tactical value not pushing Cesc back to centre mid?

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    How eaisily will Arbeloa be exposed? He knows Ronaldo well enough from Real, won't he be able to hold his ground?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Negredo makes a lot of sense. He is hungry. Eager to prove himself. Offers a physicality to survive a bit of a Pepe/Alves roughing up, and more than anything -- he is a signal to the rest of the side not to be complacent

  •  

    James Tyler: 8 goals at that World Cup, a singular brilliance.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hard pushed to refute what original Ronaldo did in 2002.

  •  

    [Comment from Sean]
    James, if Portugal pulls off a win in the tournament, with Ronaldo scoring a goal or two along the way, will this be the greatest individual performance since Maradona '86?

  •  

    James Tyler: Father Time: I'd say Cesc. And no.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ronaldo is just walking around with the ball balanced on his head. That used to impress me till I learned about the gel as adhesive thing. but he is either super calm or trying to affect the look od someone super calm

  •  

    [Comment from Father Time]
    James who comes off the bench first Torres or Fabregas and do you expect both to play?

  •  

    James Tyler: Rumors have it that Del Bosque reckons Negredo has had success against Pepe at club level for Sevilla.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Fabregas too, although he has played some.

  •  

    [Comment from NYCToon]
    Llorente must be wondering what he has to do to get on the fiel for Spain

  •  

    [Comment from Turner]
    If Spain was going to go with Negredo why not put Llorente up front?

  •  

    James Tyler: No. After all, the world needs ditch-diggers too (aka those dull World Cup/Euro qualifiers against Belarus)

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: I would wager Torres hasn't played his last minute in this tournament. But we'll see.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex M]
    Hey Jeff, JT, Rog...here's an overreactive question. Has Fernando Torres played his last minute in a Spain shirt?

  •  

    [Comment from Ronaldos hair]
    How do I look today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Portugal not changing a thing in deference to La Roja. But will it prove successful?

  •  

    James Tyler: On a scale of 1-10, I'd say a 50.

  •  

    [Comment from juan doe]
    JT, how stoked are you to finally see someone stand up to Spain and not change their formation and back down?

  •  

    James Tyler: Other fave derby names: Galician derby (Celta Vigo v. Deportivo La Coruna), "De Klassieker" between Ajax and Feyenoord.

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Oh yes. I think I heard from every one of them after the Italy game. ;)

  •  

    [Comment from Taco]
    There are Fernando Torres fans?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hello America. Old Rog reporting in from Donetsk. The Press Box here is right behind the Spanish WAGS. A blatant attempt to ensure we dont write watching Spain is boring

  •  

    Jeff Carlisle: Greetings everyone! I wonder what the Fernando Torres fans are thinking now?

  •  

    James Tyler: It's certainly close, Phil.

  •  

    [Comment from Phil]
    Is the 'Iberian Derby' the best rivalry name ever?

  •  

    [Comment from Aaron]
    Statsie is Statsie. Nothing more, nothing less.

  •  

    James Tyler: Your first look at the LINEUPS, then we'll get to some questions/comments:

    SPAIN (4-3-3):
    1-Casillas;
    17-Arbeloa, 3-Pique, 15-Sergio Ramos, 18-Jordi Alba;
    8-Xavi, 16-Busquets, 14-Xabi Alonso;
    21-David Silva, 11-Negredo, 6-Iniesta.

    PORTUGAL (4-3-3):
    12-Rui Patricio;
    21-Pereira, 3-Pepe, 2-Bruno Alves, 5-Fabio Coentrao;
    16-Meireles, 4-Miguel Veloso, 8-Moutinho;
    17-Nani, 9-Hugo Almeida, 7-Ronaldo.

  •  

    James Tyler: Roger Bennett and Jeff Carlisle will be here presently, along with a Statsie!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Jason York here from ESPN Stats and Information.

  •  

    James Tyler: YES. Alex M with the big news of today: Alvaro Negredo gets the nod-redo up front for Spain.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex M]
    Negredo huh? Sorry Fernando.

  •  

    [Comment from Christi]
    Woohoo! Welcome back, JT!

  •  

    [Comment from Jan]
    Happy semis!

  •  

    James Tyler: Love that Caddyshack.

  •  

    James Tyler: Folks, Judge Smails is here!

  •  

    [Comment from dean]
    It's easy to grin / When your ship comes in / And you've got the stock market beat. / But the man worthwhile, / Is the man who can smile, / And who follows STATSIE in his seat.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's Wednesday. It's the Euro semifinals. It's Spain vs. Portugal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Happy Euros!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Portugal

  • 10(2)

  • 19

  • 31

  • 43%

    57%

  • Spain

  • 11(5)

  • 25

  • 21

Match Stats

  • Portugal
  • Spain
10(2) Shots (on goal) 11(5)
31 Fouls 21
6 Corner kicks 7
2 Offsides 3
43% Time of Possession 57%
5 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 0