UEFA Euro 2020 first week highlights
A year later, the UEFA Euro 2020 has started and it is great to see fans back in the stadium for the European championship. The 2021 rescheduled edition is being played in 12 different cities and all big nations have responded.
England 1-0 Croatia
Raheem Sterling scores his first ever goal for England in a major tournament as England beats Croatia in the remix of the 2018 World Cup semi final.
Coach Southgate on the win:
“The majority of the game we were in control and didn’t give Croatia many opportunities and we looked dangerous. The key was to get pressure on Croatia’s midfield players and we managed to do that. That limited some of the supply and the defenders dealt with the longer balls well and read the game well. It was a day when everybody who got onto the pitch performed well and that was set up by the whole group.”
Netherlands 3-2 Ukraine
Entertaining game saw 5 goals scored in the second half. The Dutch were-up 2-0 but a resilient Ukraine squad fought back into the game to level at 2-2. At last the Oranje found the solution with 5 minutes left to play and grab the 3 points.
Spain 0-0 Sweden
The first scoreless draw of the Euro for a disappointing result. Spain, a legitimate contender has not played well and clearly lacks the finishing touch. the 2012 Euro winners will need to produce a much better level of football if they are to advance far in the tournament.
The 2016 defending champions with a late start
Hungary 0-3 Portugal
Playing in a full stadium with over 67,000 fans the Hungarians played a very good game until the last 10 minutes where they ran out of gas. Portugal scored three goals to claim the win and Cristiano Ronaldo added 2 more goals top his international career. In the making, He passed French legend, Michel Platini, and becomes the all-time scorer at the Euro Championship with 11 goals now and counting.
“The important thing was to win. It was a difficult game, against an opponent who defended very well, but we scored three goals and I am very grateful to the team for helping me to score two goals and be the Star of the Match.”
2018 World Champions start well
France 1-0 Germany
The most anticipated match of the first week saw the World champions in control during most of the game. Les Bleus got also two goals denied for offside but were the masters defensively as Germany barely had any chances to score. France got its goal from Hummels’ own goal at the 20th and never looked back. Mbappé’s crosses were deadly and the Frenchman could also have been awarded a penalty. Ultimately France dominated the game and deserved to win. Germany will have to play much better to have a chance to move onto the next round. Next up are the European defending champions Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo.
France coach Didier Deschamps:
“We played a great game against very good opponents. I knew my players would be ready and we were up for the fight. We weren’t far away from scoring the second goal that would have made us safe, but we didn’t suffer that much in the second half. It was a strong match with quality and talent.”
The goal of the week was scored by Schick against Scotland. The Czech Republic player scored a goal from 50-yards out and gave his team a 2-0 win over the Scottish.
Denmark versus Finland was overwhelmed by Eriksen’s cardiac arrest as the Inter Milan player collapsed on the pitch. Thankfully first responders were quick enough to reanimate him before leaving to the hospital. It reminds us that we are all humans and not machines and we wish Eriksen a speedy recovery, hoping to see him play again professional football.