Today’s main report reviews the first round of matches in Group D from the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. Vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the report for learners who wish to improve their English. You can read a transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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The Good

England. Who really would have predicted that England would be the ‘good’ from this group? Pre-tournament their preparations were in tatters, with injuries and other controversial omissions yet coach Roy Hodgson has organised the players into a team – something that many of his predecessors were unable to do. An opening draw against many people’s dark horses France was followed by an exciting come from-behind 3-2 win over bogey side Sweden. The final game saw another victory, this time away at the co-hosts Ukraine to leave England top of a group for the first time since 1996. Can they go all the way and win it?

The Bad

The calls for goal-line technology were yet again heard as Ukraine were denied a possible equaliser against England with the ball clearly over the line. The fifth official, who was standing only a metre away, was unable to see it and did not award the goal, infuriating the Ukrainian coach Blokhin. FIFA president Blatter reiterated his position on introducing GLT (goal-line technology) but yet again another game’s result has been affected.

The Ugly

It wouldn’t really be an international tournament without some French in-fighting. After the poor showing four years ago – complete with public fall-outs – and the debacle of two years ago in South Africa when players refused to train, yet again some members of the French national team have fallen out with each other with reports of a blazing row taking place after their defeat against Sweden. They have made it through to the knock-out stage but it appears that all is not well with Les Bleus.


  • predecessors: Those before him (e.g. Cappello)
  • bogey side : A team against which you normally don’t do very well
  • go all the way: To win the whole competition
  • equaliser: A goal that ties the game (e.g. 1-1)
  • award the goal: To give the goal
  • infuriating: Making someone really angry
  • reiterated his position: Re-stated his position
  • fall-outs: Fights; quarrels
  • the debacle: Big problems, chaos, a huge mess
  • fallen out with each other : Have argued with each other (badly)
  • blazing row: A really strong argument or fight
  • Les Bleus: The nickname of the French national team
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Learn English Through Football

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Euro 2012Episode 143