The UEFA European Football Championships are running and the first round of the group stage is finished. We have enjoyed some great football for a week and this post summarizes some of the highlights.
France 2-1 Romania
Comment: The opening match was a tight history. Olivier Giroud gave France the lead in the 57th minute just to see it be tied after a penalty shot 10 minutes later. However, Dimitri Payet blessed the host nation with a late goal and thereby securing the win for France.
Albania 0-1 Switzerland
Comment: Beforehand, much about this match-up were about the brothers, Granit Xhaka of Switzerland and Taulant Xhaka of Albania. After 90 minutes of play, we learnt that Granit was the harder one.
England 1-1 Russia
Comment: England control this match from the start. In minute 73 the Lions took the 1-0 lead and everything seemed to go as planned for Roy Hodgson’s men. However, at 90+2 minutes Russia tied the match unexpectedly.
Germany 2-0 Ukraine
Comment: 2014 FIFA World Cup champions Germany is one of the favourites for winning the Euro as well. They managed to get the win in the first game against Ukraine, but the score was 1-0 for a long time and Ukraine was close to tying it. Sebastian Schweinsteiger made a late appearance and made a brilliant goal, despite a troubled season in Manchester United.
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Sweden
Comment: The opening match was very important for both teams. In order to secure a spot as one of the best third placed teams, both Ireland and Sweden needed a win here since it was the easiest match in the group. The first half was pretty much a disaster from Sweden’s side, with unorganized and horrible play. Ireland had the best chances but did not manage to convert. In the second half they got the lead though. In fact, Ireland scored both goals in this match: Ciaran Clark scored an own goal with a brilliant header on a pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 1-1 became the end result, and neither of the teams were particularly happy about it.
Belgium 0-2 Italy
Comment: Italy came to this tournament as underdogs and many had great expectations on Belgium. However, it was Italy who played the most creative game and they also got the fair win. They should be able to go far in this tournament and it will be interesting to see how Sweden are going to play against them in the next round.
Portugal 1-1 Iceland
Comment: Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck’s Iceland did it again: they denied Cristiano Ronaldo any scoring! Although Portugal owned much of this game, Iceland still managed to tie the game by a goal from Birkir Bjarnasson in the 50th minute. Nani gave Portugal the lead twenty minutes before the equalizer.
Wales 2-1 Slovakia
Turkey 0-1 Croatia
Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland
Spain 1-0 Czech Republic
Austria 0-2 Hungary