UEFA EURO 2012: Knockout stages preview

Just 12 days removed from the opening match in Poland, Euro 2012 has been as good as advertised and more, with 60 goals scored and not a single 0-0 draw in 24 group stage matches.  Host countries Poland and Ukraine each treated their fans to close and controversial thrillers before narrowly missing the knockout stage, while four teams that won their opening match (including Ukraine) somehow failed to escape the group stage.  As the quarterfinals kick off this afternoon, here are some keys to look for throughout the knockout rounds.

How far can Cristiano Ronaldo carry Portugal?

After wasting two golden opportunities against Denmark, Cristiano Ronaldo came alive against the Dutch in his final group stage match, scoring the equalizer and game-winner to send Portugal through to the quarterfinals.  [Read more…]