Euro 2020 is only a week and the major tournament has offered a delectable fare of top goals with top assists from high rated stars and best national teams in the world going toe-to-toe in the 16th edition of the UEFA European Championships.
Friday’s fixtures saw Sweden take a slim 1-0 win to overtake Group E leaders Slovakia to the top of the summit.
Ivan Perisic stunner handed Croatia a needed lifeline in 1-1 draw with Czech Republic to keep their round of 16 hopes alive whiles a well-organized Scotland side held England to goalless draw in an eagerly anticipated game.
We begin today’s episode reliving the glorious and inglorious moments from Day 8. RESULTS
Croatia 1 -1 Czech Republic
England 0 – 0 Scotland
Sweden 1- 0 Slovakia
Emil Forsberg fires Sweden to 1-0 victory over Slovakia
Sweden picked their first Euro 2020 win against Group E leaders Slovakia in Russia. The win, saw the ‘Blue and Yellows’ overtake Slovakia side to the top of the summit.
Slovakia were looking for back to back victories in a major tournament for the first time when they faced a Swedish side who had never lost to Slovakia in their 5 previous encounters (W2 D3).
A half of missed chances saw both teams going to halftime with no goals.
Emil Forsberg’s 77th-minute spot kick earned Sweden a slim 1-0 victory over Slovakia, that put the Scandinavian side on track for the knockouts.
A well-organized Slovakia side found some rhythm which resulted in a late hand ball but a short VAR check determined that the incident did not merit a penalty.
Sweden made a dud Spain with a point in their Group E opener but played a more offensive game on Friday edging out Slovakia 1-0 to boost their last 16 qualification hopes.
Having won their opening game against Poland, Slovakia still have a chance to progress to the knockout stage even as they face group favorites Spain in their final game on Wednesday.
Ivan Perisic gives Croatia lifeline in 1-1 draw with Czech Republic
After their hopes were almost dashed in a disappointing 1-0 defeat to England, Croatia were aiming to salvage their fortunes when they took on Czech Republic on Friday at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
The 2018 World Cup finalists needed to win this game, especially following Czechia’s win over Scotland in the opening fixture.
Croatia were well off the pace in the early stages and were dealt a huge blow when the Czechs were awarded a penalty after centre back Dejan Lovren struck striker Patrick Schick with his elbow inside the box.
Zlatko Dalic’s men bounced back strongly soon after restart.
Ivan Perisic scored a stunning second-half equaliser as Croatia pegged back Czech Republic for a 1-1 draw in Group D on Friday to boost their slim hopes of qualifying to the knock out phase off the European Championship.
Czech Republic now tops Group D on four points, with second-placed England also on four with a goal.
Croatia and Scotland will face off in their third group match-up. Both teams still have chance to qualify for the next stage.
England and Scotland play out goalless draw
England and Scotland opened their rivalry at the Wembley Stadium on Friday in their second game of Group D.
England were out to book their place in the last 16 whiles Scotland were out to keep their Euro hopes alive after losing 2-0 to Czechs in their opener.
The Three Lions jumped into action early in the first half and started asking questions from the Scotland area in the 11th minute where Stones rose above all meeting the ball with a powerful header, denied by the wood work.
It was a game devoid of a lot of attacking football as both teams defended brilliantly pushing the game to goalless at the break.
England increased their intensity after restart but Scotland proved they were no easy pushover with their tight defenses.
Declan Rice and Stephen O’Donnell had the best chances of the game in the first half.
England and Scotland shared spoils in London as they played a goalless draw at the Wembley Stadium.
This result still keeps Scottish hopes alive despite England finding the second spot in Group D on 4points.
Group D Standings after Game 2
Group E: Spain vs Poland – Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla 7PM
Spain is in contention of a first win at the Euros after a frustrating goalless opening draw with Sweden.
Similarly, Polish captain Robert Lewandowski is yet to hit the net. Something’s got to give tonight in the first competitive international between the sides since 1959.
Luis Enrique’s side opened their Group E challenge with a goalless draw against Sweden on Monday, while Poland suffered a 2-1 loss to Slovakia, which has placed them in a tough spot ahead of this match.
Poland have only won one of their previous 10 international games with Spain, though, losing eight times in the process, including a 6-0 defeat when the two nations last locked horns in June 2010.
Spain cannot go through or be eliminated on Matchday 2.
Poland will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose to Spain.
Group F: Hungary vs France – Puskás Aréna, Budapest 1PM
France began their campaign on perfect note with a 1-0 success over Germany.
Les Blues look forward to maintain their success to Euro 2020 knock out phase when they make the long journey to Budapest to face off against Hungary on Saturday in Group F.
The hosts fell victim to a 3-0 defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal during their first game and will be having a great task when they come up against the favorites, despite a home advantage towards qualification to the last 16.
With striker Antoine Griezmann is set for his 50th straight international appearance for France tonight, this fixture will not be an easy one for Hungary.
France will be through if they beat Hungary. They will be confirmed in the top two if they win and Germany do not beat Portugal.
Group F: Portugal vs Germany – Allianz Arena, Munich 4PM
Title holders Portugal will be looking forward to book their spot in the knockout phase of the European Championship with one match to spare when they take on Germany in Munich on Saturday evening.
Fernando Santos’s side seek to continue their success to secure a smooth knockout berth when the face off wounded German side in Munich.
Portugal opened their Euro 2020 campaign with a 3-0 win over Hungary, but Germany have work to do in Group F, having suffered a 1-0 loss to tournament favorites France.
Cristiano Ronaldo started the tournament with a brace against Hungary but he has not scored in four duels against Germany. The 36-year-old however, has beaten German goalie Manuel Neuer nine times at club level.
Germany look for efficiency against Portugal, with no goals scored and no points in the standings, the pressure is on Germany to do much better before the team’s final Group F match against Hungary, also in Munich.
Germany will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose to Portugal and Hungary do not beat France.
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Mark F. | SilverFM