Greetings fútbol fans! I am EA SPORTS Game Changer JBHuskers, and I'm going to embark on a journey through the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament in real-time with the actual tournament that has just gotten underway. To give you a disclaimer, I am not the most skilled FIFA player in the world, but am definitely getting better each day. Since I am not one of the most skilled players in the world, I might be giving myself a challenge. I am mostly Irish; therefore, I have decided to control Ireland. The Irish are definitely in a tough draw as they have defending champion Spain, along with Italy in Group C. I will also be playing on Professional difficulty, as Semi-Pro difficulty is too easy for me, and I have quite a bit of fits with Professional. I will be writing a blog after each round of the Group Stage, comparing it with what is happening in the real tournament. From there, we will see how far I can take Ireland to see if we can get to the knockout stage.
Ireland's opening match was against Croatia out of Group C. Both teams had a lot of excellent chances early, including a couple of wide open misses by Croatia. Ireland was able to get through a great amount of times as well, but would be stood up on numerous occasions by Croatian goalie Pletikosa. The stalemate would finally end at 40' as a very hard shot was deflected, and Robbie Keane was able to break through and get a nice juicy rebound to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. One of my biggest downfalls in my career of playing the FIFA Soccer series is once I score a goal, I have a tendency to give one up. That definitely came to play here as Croatia rebounded quickly and tied the game up at 1-1 on a well placed kick by Daniel Srna at 42'.
After that mark, I was afraid this could turn into a shootout that I couldn't keep up with; however, the entire second half was pretty much like the first 40 minutes of the first half where both teams had plenty of chances, but none could get through. Ireland controlled the ball and the shots for most of the second half; however, Croatia put together quite a flurry at the end of the game which had the Irish fans on the edge of their seats. In the end, Ireland pulled out one point with a 1-1 draw with Croatia. Let's take a look at the standings after one match in both my simulation, and in real life:
As you can see, Group A has played out exactly how it was simulated with the Russians being the only team to net three points. Group B was half right, as not many people could predict Denmark pulling off a major upset against the Netherlands. Group C is definitely out of sorts, partly my fault as I was able to pull off a draw against Croatia, who in real life dominated the Irish 3-1. Defending champions Spain took care of Italy in the sim; however pulled into a draw with them in the real match. Group D is just as much out of sorts as Group C with the Ukraine coming from behind and defeating Sweden 2-1 in real life; while England and France played to a draw.
That is all for the first edition of My UEFA EURO 2012 Journey. I will return after Match Day 2 is fully completed. I will have an uphill climb on my hands as Ireland will take on defending champions Spain in the next match.