SUNDAY June 13, 2021 saw England avenging their FIFA World Cup semi-final defeat to the Croatians three years ago.
Austria walked over debutants North Macedonia for their first ever Euro win as Dumfries of the Netherlands ruined Ukraine’s dream comeback in Amsterdam.
England 1-0 Croatia
Austria 3-1 North Macedonia
Netherland 3-2 Ukraine
England beat Croatia as Bellingham breaks EURO record
– England were handed the chance to get revenge in their Group D opener at London when they took on Croatia.
– Pre-tournament favorites, ‘The Three Lions’ stepped out onto the Wembley pitch with thousands of fans waiting in anticipation for kick-off.
– England started full of bright intentions and put huge pressure on Croatia, pinning them deep in their own half.
– Phil Foden came closest in the 6th minute curling an effort off the post and Kalvin Phillips bringing a low save out of Dominik Livaković.
– The ended goalless at the first break.
– The visitors fell behind 12 minutes at restart when Phillips’ incisive pass gave Sterling enough time to fire under Livaković.
– Croatia tried to get themselves back into the game with a bit more ambition and threw on their attacking subs but England’s dominance denied the visitors an equalizer.
– Mason Mount nearly added a second with a well struck free-kick from range but went over the bar.
– England have won all 11 matches in which Sterling has scored.
– Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever player to appear at the finals, aged 17 years and 349 days.
– Croatia’s defeat was their first in their opening group match at a UEFA European Championship (W4 D1).
Austria down debutants North Macedonia for first ever Euro win
– The National Arena, Bucharest on Sunday hosted Austria and tournament debutants North Macedonia.
– Stefan Lainer, Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautović were on target as Austria overcame a staunch North Macedonia side to record their first ever EURO victory.
– Either side were able to create chances in the early stages but both had a lot of time on the ball.
– Austria first put their chance into good use and get into trading positions as they took the lead in the 18th minute as Stefan Lainer netted with an awe-inspiring volley to open scoring.
– Austria turned the heat up the new entrants but the next score came against them . Veteran Macedonian striker Goran Pandev,20 years after making his national team debut, scored his country’s first ever goal at a major tournament.
– The match-up ended 1-1 at the break.
– Austria reclaimed the lead 33minutes later after restart as Michael Gregoritsch took the ball away from his man before netting the 700th Euros final goal.
– Arnautovic put the result beyond doubt after rounding goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski in the 89th minute.
– Austria’s Michael Gregoritsch scores 700th goal in EURO history.
– This is the first game Austria have won at a major finals since beating the United States 2-1 at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
– North Macedonia have only failed to score in one of their last 16 international matches.
‘Oranje’ delight as Netherlands edge Ukraine in 5 goal thriller
– Never before in the European Championship have five goals been scored in the second half of a match that was 0-0 at halftime.
– In a colourful game of ‘Orange and Blue’ national team kits, the Dutch announced their arrival in the tournament early at the first half after Memphis Depay had the first opportunity in minute 2, when a ride ended it with a shot that the Ukraine goalkeeper stopped in two halves.
– The first half ended goalless, but it didn’t take long for Georginio Wijnaldum and then Waut Weghorst to had a breakthrough for the hosts with two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second.
– The Netherlands looked strong and ready to kill off the game, but a brilliant strike out of nowhere by Andriy Yarmolenko kept Ukraine in the game.
– The momentum appeared to be all Ukraine’s when Roman Yaremchuk headed home from a free-kick to equalize with just 10 minutes to go.
– Dumfries, after missing an open chance in the first half, ruined ‘The Yellow and Blues’ stunning comeback striking a late, decisive blow soon after Ukraine had briefly mounted a stunning resurgence.
– Before this match, Shevchenko was the only player to have scored a EURO final tournament goal for Ukraine.
– The Dutch have won all but one of the 19 games in which Wijnaldum has scored.
– This was the tenth time the Oranje have scored three or more in a EURO match.
Group C Standings
WHAT TO EXPECT ON MONDAY
Scotland and Czech Republic kick-start their campaign, 1PM
– The Scots are experiencing their first major tournament since 1998, while Czech Republic are in their seventh-consecutive European Championships and will be looking to do better than in 2016 when they exited at the group stage.
– The two sides will be gunning for a massive win to open up their tough Group D campaign, which also includes games against England and Croatia.
– The Czechs claimed an automatic qualification berth after finishing runners-up in their group behind England.
*GROUP E: Poland and Slovakia face-off , 4PM
– Coming into the tournament amid a grim run of form, Poland kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against Group E outsiders Slovakia on Monday, in St Petersburg.
– A nation of 38 million football fanatics will be depending upon it, as the Poles attempt to make their fourth successive attempt at the finals as successful as their last, five years ago, when they made it to the last eight; losing only to eventual champions Portugal on penalties.
– Robert Lewandowski is the only player among the Polish squad to score a goal at the European Championship (in 2012 and 2016).
– The Bayern Munich man is expected to lead his side once again and it will take much effort from Slovakia to deny the striker who hit 41 Bundesliga goals last season.
*GROUP E: Spain vs Sweden, 7PM GMT
No Ramos in there but Spain will be more concerned about the men upfront finding the goals that those at the back preventing them.
Luis Enrique will place faith in Alvaro Morata, a front man with the penchant for habitually straying offside while netting beautiful goals. If he can time his run, he will be lighting up our screens. We’ll we all know he can’t and Spain will be cursing their stars subsequently.
Acknowledgement: Betway Ghana (Headline Sponsor)
Mark F. | SilverFM