The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Euro 2008: The Best Goal of the Knockout Stages

There were nineteen goals in the six quarterfinal and semifinal games, which is not bad considering that Italy-Spain, like a cyclops searching for a graphical way to convey his surprise in a chat room, couldn’t get past 0-0. As ever in this contest, I’ll be exercising an unearned monarchical privilege by naming the winner myself. However, you are invited to topple my wobbly dictatorship with your cool display of reasoning in the comments. The nominees are. . .

Daniel Güiza v. Russia

Semih Senturk v. Germany

Philipp Lahm v. Turkey

Semih Senturk v. Croatia

Ruud van Nistelrooy v. Russia

Dmitri Torbinski v. Holland

And the winner is…Semih, for his last-ditch equalizer against Croatia. In the future, I’ll probably enjoy watching Güiza’s goal against Russia (that chip-pass from Fabregas!), Lahm’s against Turkey, and Torbinski’s against Holland (the cross from Arshavin!) as much or more as Semih’s. But given the context of Semih’s shot, the certainty of defeat, the mad scramble that preceded the strike, and the way the perfectly-hit ball seems to come flying out of nowhere, it’s impossible to overlook. Still: the day before the final, how great is it to have all these moments to remember?

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Euro 2008: The Best Goal of the Knockout Stages

by Brian Phillips · June 28, 2008

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