UEFA 2020 Euro Championship – Day 20

England (0) 2 – 0 (0) Germany

Goalscorers: Sterling (75′), Kane (86′)

Wembley Stadium, England

For all those dodgy traders making up face masks with ‘Euro2020 Winners – England. It’s Come Home!’ stop right there. Yes, the win over Germany was a joy to witness, but as the 2018 World Cup should have taught us, nothing can be taken for granted. Whilst not being the voice of doom, it was a late afternoon of joy. Raheem Sterling scored for the third successive game with fifteen to go after great work by Shaw out wide and the icing on the Black Forest Gateaux came five minutes from time when substitute Jack Grealish crossed for Harry Kane to seal the 2-0 win. Credit though to Jordan Pickford who has had an up and down season between the sticks for Everton but made vital saves when required in this game and has after four games yet to concede. There were great performances all over the park, but the Germans will look back at the miss by the usually lethal Thomas Muller when the score was just 1-0 as he dragged his shot wide when one-on-one with Pickford. The reality is that the Three Lions have to for the first time this tournament leave their Wembley home to take on Ukraine in Rome. We have to enjoy the result, but ultimately as Gareth Southgate has stated, this result means nothing if England don’t go on to win the competition. All roads lead to Rome…


Sweden (1) 1 – 2 (1) Ukraine AET (1-1 FT)

Goalscorers: Sweden – Forsberg (43′) Ukraine – Zinchenko (27′), Dovbyk (120’+1’)

Hampden Park, Glasgow

Sweden ranked 18th in the current FIFA table with Ukraine 24th, so on paper a seemingly evenly matched game, and so it proved to be. It was a pretty cagey opening, but Ukraine got their noses in front after twenty-seven minutes, as a cross-ball fell nicely for Zinchenko whose powerful drive beat Olsen in goal. Sweden though responded with a free-kick from Larsson. With the Ukraine defence and ‘keeper expecting it to be launched into the box, Larsson instead went for goal and Bushchan had to scramble across to make the save. The Swedes though were level two minutes before the break, Isak played in Forsberg, with his shot from outside the box, deflecting off Zabarnyi. All square at half-time, 1-1. Into the second-half and both sides were denied by the woodwork. First Ukraine, as Sydorchuk saw his curled effort strike the outside of the post, whilst Forsberg had two efforts that on another day would have gone in. His first came after a driving Isak run which struck the base of the post, and the second created by Forsberg himself as he collected out wide, jinked across the box, with his shot hitting the crossbar. So to extra-time, with both sides looking tired and the defining moment of the first period. Nine minutes in, Danielson, cleared from a Ukrainian flick-on, but in following through he took out Artem Besedin. Referee Daniele Orsato blew for a free-kick and showed a yellow card to the Swedish player. It was referred to VAR and after consultation it was upgraded to a red. It’s a difficult one. In slow motion this looked a horrible challenge as Besedin’s leg took the full impact of the challenge. But there’s a reason why slow-mo is used in TV and film – impact. Depending on which side you sit, either Danielson should only have received a yellow due to him clearing the ball and then making unintentional contact in the unavoidable momentum he had, or you perceive it as a reckless challenge. I go with the former, as to me there was no intention to foul the player, his aim was to clear the ball, plain and simple. ON the back of this, are we saying a tackle can only be made with no possible contact through momentum afterwards? For those of a certain age please look at the 1970 FA Cup Final for football of a different age and what tackles used to be and considered legal. Despite being down a man Sweden battled on and it looked like they had earned the chance of penalties as the last minute of extra-time was played. However, these dramatic last sixteen games had one last twist for us as the Ukraine swung one last hopeful ball into the box, where Artem Dovbyk headed home to win the game 2-1 and set up a Quarter-Final with England in Rome. Phew! A fitting climax to so simply mad last sixteen games.


So after a truly breathless set of last sixteen games, we have a break now until the Quarter Finals which begin on Friday 02 July and are as follows:

Friday 02 July 2021

Switzerland v Spain (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg)

Belgium v Italy (Allianz Arena, Munich)

Saturday 03 July 2021

Czech Republic v Denmark (Olympic Stadium, Baku)

Ukraine v England (Stadio Olimpico, Rome)

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Posted June 30, 2021 by Editor in category "UEFA 2020 Euro Championship

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