It was a feast of goals on Monday with Switzerland turning off a high spirited French side with a dramatic comeback that levelled it at 3-3, dragging the match into penalties after a hard fought Extra time at Bucharest and finishing it off in style with Yann Sommer saving the final spot kick from Kylian Mbappé.
The favorites, the World Cup holders, were surprisingly damped out of the competition pencilled in as theirs, a day after the reign of defending Champions Portugal was truncated by the Red Devils of Belgium.
Spain regained their rythm after a freaky own goal and a flamboyant Croatia fightback to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals with a dramatic 5-3 extra-time victory at the Parken Stadium, Copenhagen on Monday.
As the last 16 takes shape, we begin today’s episode reliving the glorious and inglorious moments from Day 18.
Croatia 3 – 5 Spain
France 3 – 3 Switzerland(4-5 on pens)
France 3 – 3 Switzerland(4-5 on pens) : Buoyant Swiss damp France out of Euros in penalty shoot out
Switzerland made an incredible comeback from 3-1 down in the final minutes of regular time to extend a gripping game against World Champions, France into Extra Time and winning on penalties after a decisive Mbappé miss.
The French turned up the game in the early minutes, but the Swiss revived and turned it on to see off the tournament favorites.
Switzerland held a 1-0 lead thanks to Haris Seferovic’s first-half header but Karim Benzema latched on Mbappé pass to clip in the equaliser and the Real Madrid forward added a second two minutes later after Yann Sommer had parried Antoine Griezmann’s shot. Paul Pogba capped it up with a stunning curling strike to make it 3 – 1.
Just when it seemed that Les Blues had made it to the quarters, the Swiss refused to lie down as Seferović pulled one back late through another header and Mario Gavranović rifled a dramatic equaliser from outside the box to force extra time and into penalty shoot out.
Switzerland converted their first five penalties to lead 5-4 up, Kylian Mbappe’s whipped effort was met with a rock-solid hand from Yann Sommer.
The Swiss did it against all odds with a shoot out success against France to set up Spain in the quarter finals at Saint Petersburg, Friday 2 July.
Spain survive Croatians scare in 8-goal thriller
In a game full of twist and turns, Alvaro Morata really answered critics as ‘La Roja’ recovered from a quirky own goal and a dramatic Croatia fightback to seal a quarter final spot at the Euros with a 5-3 extra-time victory on Monday.
Croatia held on to an unexpected 1 – 0 early goal when Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon allowed a backpass from Pedri to slip into the net.
Spain responded superbly through Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres but Croatia hit back with two goals in the last five minutes of normal time from substitutes Mislav Orsi.
Goals from the much-maligned Alvaro Morata in 100′ minute and Mikel Oyarzabal three minutes later finally settled an eventful contest in Copenhagen that had ended 3-3 after 90 minutes.
The game ended 5 – 3 for the Spaniards, setting up a quarter-final match up against Switzerland who knocked out favorites France out of the competition on penalty shoot out.
England vs Germany – Repeat or Revenge ? : Wembley Stadium , London 4PM
England and Germany renew hostilities at Wembley Stadium in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020 on Tuesday evening, as the two nations bid for a place at the quarter finals.
It is about 25 years since the two perennial rivals met in a sizzling semi-final encounter at Euro 96.
Hosts, England were unfortunately knocked out by the Germans via a penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium on June 26 in front of some 76,000 spectators.
The ‘Three Lions’ is handed another home advantage to avenge their quarter of century long loss as they also await a major trophy. This match could either make or break England’s summer.
England have played Germany 32 times in official matches. England have won 13 games and Germany has won 15 games, drawing 4.
Sweden vs Ukraine: Hampden Park, Glasgow, 7PM
Sweden and Ukraine will look to pull off a few surprises at Euro 2020 in Glasgow on Tuesday evening and will be intent on winning this fixture as they bid for a quarter final spot.
The pair now clash in Glasgow after Sweden scored a late winner to top Group E last week to unwittingly help Ukraine into the last 16.
The Euro 2020 last 16 campaign is already taking shape and the final tie of the first knockout round will pit together an in-form Swedish side with decidedly fortunate opponents – who qualified with just three points and a negative goal difference.
The Ukrainians reached the Round of 16 on the back of a hard-fought victory against North Macedonia and will have to play out of their skins in this encounter.
The pair have not much history. These two teams have faced off just 4 times in their history, with Ukraine recording 3 wins and Sweden have won 1.
Acknowledgement: Betway Ghana ( Headline Sponsor)
Mark F. | SilverFM