I have to confess that the France – Portugal game only held my interest for the first half. There’s some irony that Henry’s, ahem, additional effort when tackled by Carvalho will leave the Portuguese claiming foul play. I suppose they’d be well able to tell?
Anyway, not a pretty game or even that entertaining, but even though Portugal had the better of it in the second half, there’s plainly something missing (like a striker, eh Scolari?) Cristiano Ronaldo actually played like he meant it, the rest of the team seemed to be half a beat off. Just not good enough on the day. Aside from Ronaldo’s pirouettes of course.
And, whining notwithstanding, that’s the key measure isn’t it: if you’re good enough on the day, even if it’s just for 30 seconds, you can score and perhaps even win. The best antidote to crappy dull risk-avoidance footall is a goal, or preferably two. If you can’t score over 90 minutes, you don’t deserve to go through…
CLARIFICATION: by “if you can’t score over 90 minutes,” I’m really referring to equalizing in this case. Obviously once you get out of the group stage this can be amended to 120 minutes, etc., etc. But it’s not nearly as pithy now that I’ve beaten this thought to death.