UEFA Euro 2012 Wrap-up

With Spain notching another historic win we can now say that while that some might have predicted the result of the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, the way we got there was quite surprising. From the beginning of the tournament hopes were high for the home teams Poland and Ukraine and people had early favorites pegged as Germany and Holland.

As the tournament moved forward it was clear that some of the big heavy hitters like Holland we’re going to be early victims of difficult groups. Russia was a surprise victim of Greece and was left out of the quarterfinals, while Portugal and Denmark battled it out for the second slot out of the Group of Death. England, France, Spain and Italy matched expectations by clearing the group round without too much effort. But that, sadly, left home teams Poland and Ukraine out in the cold.

Greece and Czech Republic were easily dispatched by Germany and Portugal in the quarters, while France put up a valiant effort against future-winners Spain before succumbing and Italy waited until the last minute to seal England’s fate.

With the semis set for Spain v Portugal and Germany v Italy everyone thought they would see a rematch of Euro 2008 with a Spain v Germany final. But with two powerful strikes Mario Balotelli crushed Germany’s hopes of coming home with the trophy.

While Italy put up a fight for the first half of the final, Spain eventually won out with a record breaking score line of 4-0.

From now until July 9th it’s still possible to get a different result through our UEFA Euro 2012 Challenges. Or, if one of your favorite teams got knocked out early now is the time to replay the tournament to get the results you were hoping for.

The Warsaw fan zone, billed as the fan zone to end all fan zones, held over 100,000 people.

L’viv stadium all lit up postgame.

Polish fans in Krakow watch and hope that the national team can manage a win against Czech

Republic to survive the group.

Ukrainian fans show their pride.

Fans get the Euro experience right when they land at the airport....

from getting to play a little FIFA while they wait for a connecting flight...

To playing some foosball courtesy of Euro sponsors Carlsberg.

Fans gather for the final Ukraine group game with hopes of defeating England.

After a disallowed goal the mood in the L’viv fan zone is tense.

With host cities being both large and small, bumping into one of the teams at your hotel wasn’t uncommon.

When there wasn’t soccer to be watched fans explored the host cities.

The fan zone in L’viv.

The local fans in Ukraine showed there support even after their team had been knocked out of the tournament.

Even though they were clearly disappointed after the loss to England.

During the game the streets were nearly deserted as fans were huddled around TVs or on the fan zones.

After the last game was played in Warsaw the stadium still shown throughout the final.

Photos by Josh Herrig