Euro 2004: First Round, Group C, Day 3

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
June 22nd, 2004 • 9:49 pm

Some Italian players are already crying foul, saying that the 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden was a fix, and Denmark’s own Tomasson, scorer of the two Danish goals, including a superb lob, is saying that Italy deserved to qualify ahead of Sweden, but the Italian press are more sensible and say that people should stop looking for scapegoats.

Contrary to what Tomasson (who’s biased due to his own club success in Italy) said, Italy didn’t really deserve to go through. Yes, they did dominate Bulgaria, and probably should have had a penalty in the second half, but they still only managed to just beat them in the dying seconds of the game. That’s against a team that went 0-5 down against Sweden. The score was probably a bit harsh, but that still says something. And Sweden fully deserved their 1-1 draw against the Italians. So the head-to-head record between Sweden and Italy is clearly to the Swedes’ advantage.

On the other hand, I am not sure Denmark deserve the second spot. Instead of putting down his Scandinavian neighbours, Tomasson would be more inspired to apply a critical eye to his own side’s shortcomings.

The 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden was ultimately a fair result — but of course the manner in which the Swedes got their equalizer (late in the game, after the Danish keeper spilled the ball) and the manner in which the game ended (it’s never nice to see two teams bringing the game to a full stop and kill time before the final whistle is blown) has cast a doubt. Ultimately, however, Italy’s destiny was out of their hands, and they only have themselves to blame for it.

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