As we wind down our amazing Month of Soccer, it's time for one last round of speculation.
Since there are just 4 teams remaining, I'll go for it and predict all 3 remaining matches (there is no 3rd-place match in these Euros?)
- Portugal vs Wales. Last Friday, Wales found a fire that few thought they possessed, even though their strong early results against Russia and Slovakia should have been fair warning, and ripped through an extremely talented Belgian side. Portugal, meanwhile, once again failed to decide their match in the first 90 minutes, and squeaked through on the penalty shootout. Portugal have experience and talent, but here I'm voting with my heart: Wales triumph 2-1.
- Germany vs France. Germany played a thoroughly exhausting 120 minutes against a fierce Italian team, and only survived because in the final penalty shootout between the best two goal-keepers on the planet, Manuel Neuer was just a hair's-breadth superior to Gianluigi Buffon. France, meanwhile, found the form they've been hunting all tournament, and annihilated scrappy Iceland. France have been hardly tested so far; their toughest match was against the Swiss, early on, in a situation in which the outcome barely mattered. Will they suffer a letdown versus the Germans? I think not, but this one is not easy. The match is tied 2-2 after 90 minutes but a French goal in extra time takes them through to the final, 3-2.
- Wales vs France in the final. France snap back to form after surviving Germany. Wales, meanwhile, are spent; their depth is exposed. The hosts take home the winner's cup with a convincing 2-0 final victory.