Witnessing Partial History
by Cheval John
When I got to the club house at 2:30 p.m , I saw that Spain was leading Italy 2-0 going into half time.
I thought I missed out because I saw that it was going to start at 2:30 p.m.
What I failed to realize was that the start time was in eastern time and not central time.
In reality, I did not miss anything but the two goals that was scored by David Silva and Jordi Alba that gave Spain a 2-0 lead.
My thinking was that Italy had a chance to make a comeback because they had really good players like Mario Balotelli.
What I did not know was that they never scored 3 goals in any of the games they won to reach the final and would have to get 3 goals in order to beat Spain.
They came out with urgency in the first 10 minutes of the second half as had chances to score.
They even used their final substitution that brought in Thiago Matta to give them fresh legs.
The result was they managed only three shots, but still could not score.
Worst of all, Matta went down with a hamstring injury that left Italy shorthanded and dashed the hopes for them to win.
Substitutes Fernando Torres and Juan Mata scored the final two goals for Spain in the 83rd and 88th minute, respectively to put the game out of reach and to win the title.
A lot of history was made in Spain’s run at the 2012 UEFA Euro Tournament.
Here are a few stats that stood out:
Spain only conceded one goal in the entire tournament. Ironically, that conceded goal was against Italy in the first round.
With the win, Spain became the first team to win three straight major tournaments. (UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup).
Fernando Torres became the first player to score in two UEFA Euro finals appearance. He scored the game-winning goal in the Euro 2008 final against Germany that gave Spain their first Euro title.
Vicente del Bosque became the second head coach in history to win the UEFA Euro Cup and the FIFA World Cup.