The EURO 2020 euphoria keeps building up with each passing day.
Wednesday’s fixtures served lovers of the sport a spectacle to behold as domineering Italy thrashed the Swiss 3-0 to extend their unbeaten run, securing early round of 16 spot at the Euros.
A remarkable Wales side shook off muddled Turks to their knock out stage hopes alive ahead of their daunting final group game against Italy in Rome.
Russia breathed a little life into their campaign with a home advantage after they eked out a narrow win against Finland in a game which was low on quality.
We begin today’s episode reliving the glorious and inglorious moments from Day 6.
Turkey 0-2 Wales
Italy 3-0 Switzerland
Russia 1-0 Finland
Welsh magic renders Turkey powerless
A remarkable Wales side made a significant step towards qualifying for the knock out phase of Euros as they overcame Turkey after a gripping encounter in the tournament.
Superb Wales made it 4 points from 2 games by beating Turkey.
Turkey failed to make any real impact in a match that came off at a near venue Baku, Azerbaijan.
Though the two sides squandered glorious opportunities at both halves, the Welsh side proved a little thrifty as Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts struck late in each half in Baku to inflict Turkey’s second defeat.
Star of the match, Welsh Captain Gareth Bale despite blazing a penalty over the bar in the 60th minute, played a crucial role in his side’s winner with a superb pass that ultimately led to Connor’s late goal.
Ramsey becomes the first Welsh player to score at 2 consecutive EURO finals.
Wales have now won 4 of their 7 meetings with Turkey.
Miranchuk Stunner gives Russia first win
Russia achieved a narrow 1-0 win over Finland but should have scored more on a night where they were profligate in front of goal.
Atalanta forward Miranchuk’s decisive strike came in first-half stoppage time and victory followed Saturday’s opening 3-0 Group B defeat to Belgium.
Russia came within inches of doubling their lead shortly after the restart.
Finland had upset Denmark 1-0 in their opening game, in a match overshadowed by Christian Eriksen’s collapse, but, although they improved in the second half against Russia, they failed to seriously trouble Stanislav Cherchesov’s side.
Joel Pohjanpalo – the match winner against Denmark – had a ball in the net early on, only for his header to be ruled out for offside.
Locatelli double powers Italy to Knockout stage
Manuel Locatelli scored twice and Ciro Immobile added a late third as Italy sealed their place in the Euro 2020 knock out phase with a game to spare after a rampant 3-0 win over Switzerland in Rome.
Giorgio Chiellini thought he had hit the opener after 19 minutes but after a VAR check, the referee disallowed the goal for handball.
Sassuolo midfielder Locatelli put the Azzurri ahead on 26 minutes in the Group A clash, adding a second just after the break with Immobile scoring for the second consecutive game a minute from time.
The Azurris exhibited their supremacy in a game that many thought the Swiss would have proved resilient.
Switzerland had few chances with Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri blasting over after an hour.
Immobile missed several chances to add to his tally, sending a header over the bar early from a Leonardo Spinazzola cross.
Italy now tops the Group A table and into the Round of 16.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy continue their 29-game unbeaten run,10 straight clean sheets,31 goals without reply and becomes the first team to make it into the knock out phase.
Group A Standings
Group B: Denmark vs Belgium – Parken Stadium , Copenhagen, Denmark 4 PM
An stricken Denmark side prepare to make an emotional Euro return on Thursday evening in Group B as they welcome Belgium to the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
The Danes opened their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Finland – which was overshadowed by the harrowing events involving Christian Eriksen – while Belgium eased to a 3-0 win over Russia.
Belgium Star striker Romelu Lukaku who paid a fitting tribute to his Nerazzurri teammate Eriksen after taking just 10 minutes to break the deadlock against Russia during their opening fixture, will now come face to face with reality when they take on Denmark.
Group C: Ukraine vs North Macedonia – National Arena Bucharest, Romania 1PM
With optimism to bounce back after previous late defeats in their opening fixtures, Ukraine and North Macedonia face off in Bucharest.
Andriy Shevchenko’s side gave a great account of themselves against the Netherlands but suffered heartbreak in the dying embers of the match to lose the match 3-2.
North Macedonia were outplayed by Austria in their Group C opener and look forward to take three maximum points for possible round of 16 berth when they take on Ukraine.
Group C : Netherlands vs Austria – Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam 7PM
With optimism to continue their winning streak from their opening fixture, Netherlands is handed another home advantage when they take on Austria in Amsterdam Arena.
Both nations can play without too much pressure having made winning starts to their respective campaigns on Sunday.
After failing to qualify for the last European Championships and the 2018 World Cup, the Dutch are back at a major tournament for the first time since 2014.
They got off to a winning start, beating Ukraine 3-2 in perhaps the game of the tournament so far, and are looking to book their place in the knock out phase when they face game Austria.
The Austrians are handed a much tougher test against the ‘Oranje’ after securing three maximum points when they beat newcomers North Macedonia in their opener.
Acknowledgement : Betway Ghana (Headline Sponsors)
Mark F. | SilverFM