UEFA: Home of the cliche

Earlier today, the draw took place for next year’s European Football Championships (Euro 2004), placing the sixteen teams into four groups:

Group A: Portugal, Greece, Spain, Russia
Group B: France, England, Switzerland, Croatia
Group C: Sweden, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy
Group D: Czech Republic, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands

The BBC Sport website has a good page detailing all the fixtures for the tournament.
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The dashing of surprise

Earlier in the week, I had planned to write a piece on the Euro 2004 playoffs, celebrating the surprise results in Saturday’s games and wondering if this marked a new equality in European international football.

Luckily for me and my predictive reputation, I didn’t get the time to write it, so I’m not left with egg on my face after 4 of tonight’s results.
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Germans Win First World Cup

As told by the Associated Press:

CARSON, Calif. — Germany won the Women’s World Cup 2-1 over Sweden on Nia Kuenzer’s header in the eighth minute of overtime Sunday.

A substitute who came on 10 minutes earlier, Kuenzer soared high to deflect Renate Lingor’s long free kick over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Caroline Joensson, who was brilliant all day.

The German players mobbed her and rolled together on the ground, while Sweden’s beaten players were motionless and stunned. Much of the crowd, which was decidedly pro-Sweden, cheered the Swedes even as the entire German team stood on a podium, jumping up and down as they received their championship medals.

Germany’s first women’s world title came in the same fashion as it beat Sweden in the 2001 European Championship final – on an overtime goal. …
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