Well, holy sweet merciful mother of crap. As one of our Anonymous commenters put it, nice and succinct like, "Turkey did it again."
Yes they did. I'm still not sure how they did it again, at least in part because my DVD burner completely spazzed and I only got limited glances of the 2nd half and none of the overtime. I have seen the goals that were scored, and I guess that's all you need to know how crazy of a finish this was.
But first the play--Croatia looked great in the first half, particularly in the first half of the first half, as they seemed to be exploiting an overly Offside Trap Turkish defense. I imagine they will be thinking about just how hard they hit woodwork in that first half for quite a while. Turkey settled a bit, or Croatia got more spazzy--it was actually a bit hard to tell which it was.
But towards the end of the second half, Croatia really poured it on, and the Turks looked all kinds of out of sorts. Croatia looked like a team looking to finish in regular time; the Turks like a team desperately holdilng onto to OT and maybe penalty kicks.
Their hand was forced in the 2nd overtime when Croatia scored on what can only be called a silly mistake by the Turkish defense, and an (almost) unforgiveable mistake by Turkish goalkeeper Rustu. It becomes totally forgiveable when your team scores in the waning moments of injury time in the 2nd OT to get the game to PK's, and you then make a huge stop in those Penalty Kicks. You are forgiven, Rustu.
Fun fact I learned in the broadcast: Naturalized citizens of Turkey (like that Brazilian chap they have) have to take on a Muslim name as part of their citizenship. Which is surprising, because one thinks of Turkey as a secular Muslim nation. So you get a Brazilian whose first name is Mehmet, and incongruous shit like that.
Oh, and it is official, I am a much poorer predictor of Euro Cup 2008 games than a 3 year old girl with a cookie addiction. Fiona is 2-0, and I am the opposite of 2-0. I have to say, I'm looking forward to a Germany vs Turkey match-up. It's like Charles Darwin is fighting Harry Potter--pure intellectual mastery vs. Scary Magic Powers.
The Saturday game on ABC couldn't be a better gateway drug for Soccer Cynics--Netherlands vs. Russia. We will talk about that in a moment.