Euro 2020 Day 13 Review

Lived up to the hype!

Group E

Sweden 3 vs. 2 Poland

Forsberg scored within 2 minutes to give Sweden the lead. Forsberg then doubled the lead in the 59th minute. Lewandowski responded back with a goal in the 61st minute and Lewandowski equalised for Poland in the 84th minute. It was Sweden though who grabbed the winner as Claesson scored in the 93rd minute. Sweden go through to the next round having topped the group while Poland finish bottom of the group and are knocked out. 

Slovakia 0 vs. 5 Spain

Slovakia had to win or draw or at the very least not lose heavily but neither of those things worked out for them. Spain were rampant in this must win game. Morata missed an initial penalty after which Dubravka scored an own goal and Laporte scored to give Spain a 0-2 lead at half time. Sarabia, Torres, and a Kucka own goal sealed the deal for Spain. Slovakia are knocked out of the Euro’s having not built on their initial win while Spain needing a win got it in emphatic fashion and finish 2nd. 

Group F

Portugal 2 vs. 2 France

This group must have changed hands at least 8 times during the course of 90 minutes as all the teams had a chance to go through. Portugal scored first as Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 30th minute. Benzema equalised for France with another penalty although this one was a bit of a farce. Benzema gave France the lead in the 47th minute but Ronaldo equalised for Portugal in the 60th minute via another penalty. The result meant that France finished as group leaders while Portugal finish 3rd on goal difference and reach the Round of 16. Neither team were in their best form though. 

Germany 2 vs. 2 Hungary

This game was a crazy one supported by the storm that fell upon on Munich. Hungary got the surprise lead in the 11th minute via Szalai. Germany were no where near their best and struggled to get shots on goal. Everyone felt like Germany would score but Hungary were not going to let them do it without suffering. Germany finally equalised in the 66th minute via Kai Havertz after the ball was knocked around in the box. Hungary instantly replied back as Schafer scored in the 68th minute to give Hungary the lead once again. Germany had to work again and Goretzka managed to equalise in the 84th minute. Germany then held on for the win. Germany go through in 2nd place while Hungary are knocked out. In a group with 3 of the best teams in the world it was Hungary who were the most consistent and they gave a proper go to all three teams. The Hungarian players can leave with their heads held up high.

 

Euro 2020 Day 13 Preview

Final day of the Group Stage!

Group E

Sweden vs. Poland

Sweden sit top of the group and regardless of the result should be through to the next round although in what position is yet to be seen. Poland are bottom of the group with a point and this is a must win game for them. A win for Poland would guarantee a place in the Round of 16 regardless of results elsewhere but anything other than a win and the Polish are out. 

Slovakia vs. Spain

Slovakia sit 2nd in the group with 3 points and a win or draw would be enough to see them reach the next round. A loss could potentially see Slovakia knocked out depending on results in other groups. Spain have to win this game if they want to qualify for the next round. A loss would see Spain get knocked out while a draw might not be enough. Pressure on Enrique and co to get the job done but unlike Sweden Slovakia also have to show up and perform. 

Group F

Portugal vs. France

Portugal sit 3rd in the group with 3 points and they need to get a win or draw to reach the Round of 16. France have 4 points and sit top of the group which means that they are through to the next round although it is yet to be seen where they finish. Neither team has performed at their maximum potential yet and this is a replay of the last Euro’s final. The game is going to take place in a full stadium in Hungary so the atmosphere will be great. Plenty of top players on show for both teams but pressure is very much on Ronaldo and co. 

Germany vs. Hungary

Germany sit 2nd in the group with 3 points and similar to Portugal a win or draw would guarantee them a place in the next round. Hungary sit bottom of the group with one point and have to win if they want to go through to the next round. A must not lose game for Germany while it’s a must win game for the Hungarians. The game is also happening in Munich so Germany will have the home advantage. All to play for in this group. 

Euro 2020 Day 9 Review

Germany won in great fashion but Hungary stole hearts on the day.

Group E

Spain 1 vs. 1 Poland

Morata gave Spain the lead in the 25th minute as he tapped in a cross from Moreno. Spain dominated the 1st half and had several chances to increase the lead but the finishing was lacking. Poland replied back in the 2nd half as Lewandowski rose highest to head in the equaliser in the 54th minute. In the 58th minute Moreno was brought down in the box and VAR gave Spain a penalty. Moreno stepped up and hit the post and Morata skied the rebound. Spain had several more chances to regain the lead but once again could not finish. Spain sit 3rd in the table after 2 draws as the finishing continues to cost them points. Poland have a point but remain bottom of the table. The group is wide open and nothing will be decided until the final round of games. 

Group F

Hungary 1 vs. 1 France

Hungary once again fought hard for 90 minutes and got their first points of the tournament but they arguably should have had 3. Hungary gained the lead right before half time as Fiola scored to make it 1-0. France equalised via Griezmann in the 66th minute after some sloppy defensive play by Hungary. France had many chances throughout the game to score but Benzema and Mbappe seemed to have left their finishing boots in France. Hungary saw out the game for the draw and it felt like a win as the whole stadium in Budapest went mad. Hungary remain bottom of the table but now have a point and they stand a chance at qualifying. France go top of the table but only by a point and nothing is guaranteed for them either. 

Portugal 2 vs. 4 Germany

The highest scoring game of the tournament so far as Germany roared back after the loss to France and thrashed Portugal. Germany had an opening goal ruled out for offside and Portugal gained the lead in the 15th minute via Ronaldo. Havertz then scored in the 35th minute to equalise for Germany after brilliant work from Gosens. Guerreiro then scored an another own goal to give Germany the lead in the 39th minute after he converted Kimmich’s cross. Havertz then made it three in the 51st minute with Gosens getting another assist. Gosens then sealed the win by adding a fourth via a header in the 60th minute. Jota got one goal back for Portugal in the 67th minute after some great work from Ronaldo again. Portugal drop down to 3rd with the loss while Germany rise into 2nd with the win. They are separated by goal difference and the group is very much still open. 

Euro 2020 Day 9 Preview

Big games once again!

Group E

Spain vs. Poland

Spain take on Poland with both teams looking to win their first game. Spain sit 3rd in the group with a point and need to win if they want to qualify in the top 2 places. With Poland it’s the same as they sit bottom of the group with 0 points and so 3 points are must. Spain had all the possession against Sweden in the first game but failed to take their chances while Poland were lacklustre against Slovakia. This should be a cagey affair but Spain should dominate possession. 

Group F

Hungary vs. France

Hungary sit bottom of the group after having suffered 10 poor minutes against Portugal. France sit 2nd in the group on goal difference after having beat Germany. It’s a must win game for Hungary although a draw could be a decent result depending on results elsewhere. Hungary fought hard and played well for 80 minutes of the game against Portugal but they capitulated after that. France weren’t at their best against Germany but took their chances and got the job done. A win for France would take them into the Round of 16. France should win this but at least Hungary will have that full stadium home support behind them. Should be a fun game but it would take a massive performance over 90 minutes for Hungary to leave with a point or more. 

Portugal vs. Germany

Group leaders and Euro holders Portugal look to secure a place in the Round of 16 with a win against Germany. Germany sit 3rd in the group on goal difference and for them this is a must win game if they want to reach the Round of 16 by qualifying in the first two places. Germany played well against France but France just had that x factor. Portugal were poor against Hungary for 80 minutes but the Hungarians lost steam in the final 10 and Portugal took advantage. This should be a brilliant game to watch with top players all over the pitch. Pressure on Germany for sure to win this game. 

Euro 2020 Day 5 Review

Results can be misleading.

Group F

Hungary 0 vs. 3 Portugal

On the face of it one might think that this was a straightforward win for Portugal but the reality is far from it. Portugal were left frustrated for much of the game and Hungary showed great fight to keep the game goalless up till the final 10 minutes. Hungary actually scored first but their goal was ruled offside. Portugal finally got the lead through some fortune as Guerreiro scored in the 84th minute via a deflection to get the lead. Hungary then lost their calm as Portugal took advantage. Ronaldo scored a penalty and got another as Portugal completed the route. Portugal go top of the group on goal difference as Hungary drop to the bottom. It was a valiant effort from the minnows and if they show similar fight in the rest of their games they still could manage some upset. Portugal had to get 3 points in this game as they face tougher tasks ahead.

France 1 vs. 0 Germany

Hummels scored an own goal in the 20th minute and that was enough to get France the win on a day when they could have easily scored quite a few more. Mbappe and Benzema had goals ruled out due to offside on both occasions Mbappe had just drifted ahead of the line. Germany didn’t have several chances but they had a few decent ones that were either saved or went wide. France go 2nd while Germany are 3rd. Two teams that still need to play Portugal and Hungary so its not the end of the world for Germany but its a big win for France. 

Euro 2020 Day 5 Preview

The toughest group there is and Hungary!

Group F

Hungary vs. Portugal

The holders Portugal kick off their tournament as they play against Group F minnows Hungary. The good thing for Hungary is that the game is gong to be held at the Ferenc Puskas stadium in Budapest so there is a home advantage of sorts. Hungary won one and drew one of their friendlies. Portugal drew one and won one of their friendlies. Like I said in the in group preview I don’t know much about the Hungarian team. I do know the goalkeeper Gulasci and Szoboslai who is out injured so misses the tournament. Portugal on the other hand have quality that every one knows, led by the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo. Hungary have hope because there have been some upsets in this tournament already but on paper there is only one clear winner. 

France vs. Germany

The game of the first phase of games. World Cup holders France take on a sleeping giant in Germany. Now I say sleeping giant because Germany haven’t been doing well over the last few years. Their qualification campaign has also been stop start but they have made it and still have the quality that is needed to win the competition. France go into this game having won both their friendlies while Germany drew one and won one of their games. France are basically the standard of a national team at the moment. Quality and strength in depth and a stable team all over. The only real enemy to France is France itself. Germany are for sure the underdogs in this game but its going to be a great game. 

Euro 2020 Group F Preview

The Group of Death.

France

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History

France have taken part at the Euros from the beginning of the tournament in 1960. They won the competition in 1984, and 2000. They are heading into their 10th Euros as the no.2 ranked team in the world. They also happen to be the World Cup champions. France find themselves in a tough group but they are the favourite to win the Euros. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (AC Milan)

Defenders – Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Clément Lenglet (Barcelona), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Lucas Digne (Everton), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Léo Dubois (Lyon), Jules Koundé (Sevilla) 

Midfielders – Paul Pogba (Man United), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)

Forwards – Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kinglsey Coman (Bayern Munich), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Marcus Thuram (Monchengladbach) 

Manager – Didier Deschamps

Most Caps – Hugo Lloris (124)

Captain – Hugo Lloris 

Star Player – N’Golo Kante

Picking a star player in this France squad is almost impossible. Everyone is a top player at their respective clubs and now that they have brought back Benzema they are even better. A front 5 of Pogba, Kante, Mbappe, Griezmann, and Benzema is criminal. It’s clear to see why France are favourites and it’s going to be interesting to see whether they can go one step further than 2016 and win it all this time around.

Germany

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History

Germany made their debut in Euro 1972 as West Germany. They managed to win that tournament and as West Germany they won the Euros in 1980 as well. As Germany they won the Euros in 1996. Germany are now heading into their 13th Euros as the 13th ranked team in the world. Germany have managed to reach the semi-finals of the last two Euros and they will want to go one step further. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders – Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig), Matthias Ginter (Monchengladbach), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Robin Koch (Leeds), Christian Günter (Freiburg)

Midfielders – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hofmann (Monchengladbach), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Monchengladbach), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gündogan (Man City), Emre Can (Dortmund), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Forwards – Kevin Volland (Monaco), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (Chelsea) 

Manager – Joachim Löw

Most Caps – Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller (101)

Captain – Manuel Neuer

Star Player – Thomas Muller

When it comes to squad depth Germany are up there with one of the best squads in the tournament. Similar to France each player is a regular at their club. Recent form hasn’t been the best for Germany though and the question is whether they can make their talented team click. It will also be interesting to see whether Timo Werner can get firing again because if that happens then they could make easy work of teams. Thomas Muller’s involvement at national level is a good sign and he should bring that lethal touch upfront regardless of whether Werner plays. It’s going to be tough to get out of the group but I think Germany will reach the knockout stages for sure. 

Hungary

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History

Hungary will take part in their 4th Euros this time but find themselves in the toughest group possible. The team is ranked 40th in the world and in 2016 they managed to reach the Round of 16. Form wise they have been doing well but considering their group I don’t see them reaching the knockout stages. They would need to play out of their skin and hope for the best elsewhere. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Péter Gulácsi (RB Leipzig), Dénes Dibusz (Ferencvaros), Ádám Bogdán (Ferencvaros)

Defenders – Ádám Lang (Omonia), Ákos Kecskés (Lugano), Attila Szalai (Fenerbahce), Attila Fiola (Fehervar), Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig), Gergö Lovrencsics (Ferencvaros), Endre Botka (Ferencvaros), Bendegúz Bolla (Fehervar)

Midfielders – Loïc Négo (Fehervar), Ádám Nagy (Bristol City), Tamás Cseri (Mezokovesd), András Schäfer (Dunajska Streda), László Kleinheisler (Osijek), Dániel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union), Dávid Sigér (Ferencvaros)

Forwards – Ádám Szalai (Mainz), Filip Holender (Partizan), Roland Varga (MTK Budapest), Kevin Varga (Kasimpasa), Roland Sallai (Freiburg), Nemanja Nikolić (Fehervar), Szabolcs Schön (FC Dallas), János Hahn (Paks)

Manager – Marco Rossi

Most Caps – Ádám Szalai (70)

Captain – Ádám Szalai

Star Player – Ádám Szalai

I know next to nothing about this Hungary squad. I do know that Gulacsi is a top class goalkeeper and will need to be at his best if he wants to keep Hungary in this competition. Szalai seems to be the main man up front and should lead by example. They are of course missing their young talent Szoboszlai who is out injured because he would have done very well. It’s an uphill task for sure but similar to Finland Hungary have nothing to lose and can play with no fear. 

Portugal

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History

Portugal made their debut in 1984 and will be heading into their 8th Euros this summer and of course they are the holders of the competition having won it in 2016. Portugal also happen to be one of the favourites given the talent they have at their disposal. They are ranked 5th in the world and still happen to have won Cristiano Ronaldo who doesn’t seem to age. 

Team

Goalkeepers – Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Rui Silva (Granada)

Defenders – Nélson Semedo (Wolverhampton), Pepe (Porto), Rúben Dias (Man City), Raphaël Guerreiro (Dortmund), José Fonte (Lille), João Cancelo (Man City), Nuno Mendes (Sporting Lisbon)

Midfielders – João Moutinho (Wolverhampton), Bernardo Silva (Man City), Bruno Fernandes (Man United), Danilo Pereira (PSG), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Lille), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton), Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting Lisbon), Sérgio Oliveira (Porto), João Palhinha (Sporting Lisbon)

Forwards – Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), André Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), João Felix (Atletico Madrid)

Manager – Fernando Santos

Most Caps – Cristiano Ronaldo (174)

Captain – Cristiano Ronaldo

Star Player – Cristiano Ronaldo

36 year old Cristiano Ronaldo is still flying the flag for Portugal at international level. If you look past him Portugal have a squad of talented players. Patricio in goal is quite good while the defence is quality with the likes of Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, and Guerreiro amongst others. In the midfield they have Silva, Moutinho, Neves, Oliveira, Fernandes, Sanches and upfront they have Felix, Silva, Jota, and Guedes other than Ronaldo. It’s a very talented generation for the Iberian country and they have a good chance of reaching the latter stages of the competition. 

World Cup Day 13 Review

Germany will not reach Moscow. 

Group E

Switzerland 2 vs. 2 Costa Rica

A draw was enough to send Switzerland to the next round in what was a tightly contested game. Dzemaili opened the scoring in the 31st minute to give Switzerland the lead going into half time. Waston equalised for Costa Rica in the 56th minute to make the table interesting once again, but Drmić scored for Switzerland in the 88th minute which gave the impression that Switzerland would be gaining all three points. Costa Rica had their own plans in mind and a Sommer own goal drew the game and sent Costa Rica home with a point to their name. Switzerland finished second in the group. 

Serbia 0 vs. 2 Brazil

After a cagey opening 30 minutes in which both teams failed to convert chances they created Paulinho gave the Brazilians the lead with a chip finish in the 36th minute. Serbia came out the better side in the second half as they began to pressure the Brazilian box but unluckily for them their final touch was lacking. Brazil remained tight at the back and doubled their lead in the 68th minute after Silva headed in a Neymar cross. Brazil gained all three points and top the group while Serbia go home. 

Group F

Mexico 0 vs. 3 Sweden

Sweden thrashed Mexico in a surprising result in Group F to top the group. After a boring first half in which Sweden created several chances but failed to convert them, the game lit up in the second half. Augustinsson opened the scoring in the 50th minute and Granqvist added a second via the penalty spot in the 62nd minute. Alvarez failed to clear his lines and scored an own goal in the 74th minute. Mexico were shambolic and no where near as good as they were in the first two games, they lost their first place finish but thanks to South Korea still managed to qualify. Sweden top the group after a strong showing. 

South Korea 2 vs. 0 Germany

After a goalless first half it seemed that Germany were still in the driving seat as Sweden had not scored in their game either, and as the second half drew on Germany only needed a goal to send them to the knockout stage. 45 minutes became 90 minutes and time was beginning to run out as Sweden had won their game but a point would not be enough for Germany. Germany began to commit men forward leaving open spaces at the back for the South Koreans to exploit. Young-gwon gave the South Koreans a shock lead in the 92nd minute after poaching a goal in the box following a cross. At first the goal was given offside but the referee consulted VAR and replays showed that the ball last came off a German defender which resulted in Young-gwon being onside. The goal counted and the South Koreans went into euphoria. Interestingly the referee had given Germany 9 minutes of extra time to score a goal but now they needed two in 7 minutes. A cross in the 96th minute was met by Neuer who was now in the Korean half but he failed to control the ball and lobbed pass by the Koreans was met by Son who ran the ball into an empty goal. Germany kept up the tradition of the winners going out in the group stage while this became their worst finish in the competition for 80 years. South Korea also go home but they finished above Germany and beat them in their final game and that is a decent memory to take back with you. 

World Cup Day 13 Preview

Who will make it out of Group F?

Group E

Switzerland vs. Costa Rica

Switzerland go into the game knowing that a win would guarantee them a place in the round of 16 while a draw or a loss would also work but would depend on Serbia’s result against Brazil. Costa Rica lost their first two games and while having shown their fighting spirit they have not managed to match the results of the last World Cup. This is Costa Rica’s last chance to get points on the table and go home with a better experience of this World Cup. 

Serbia vs. Brazil

The loss to Switzerland meant that Serbia put themselves in a complicated situation going into the final group game. A win for Serbia would guarantee them a place in the next round while a draw could also be enough if Costa Rica beat Switzerland. Brazil also need the three points to guarantee them a place in the round of 16 while a draw would also guarantee them a place in the next round. Serbia and Brazil have both shown glimpses of their quality in their previous two games but neither has amazed fans with their performances, these teams will need to play with more passion and skill if they are to make it to the next round. 

Group F

Mexico vs. Sweden

Group F stays complicated as the final round of games approaches. A win or a draw would take Mexico through to the round of 16 while a loss could also be enough but Germany would have to lose to South Korea. For Sweden a win could guarantee them a place in the next round but if Germany won it would come down to goal difference. A draw and or a loss would also be sufficient for Sweden but it would depend on the other games result and goal difference. Mexico have been ruthless in this World Cup and their pace will cause the Swedes problems, Sweden did well to win their first game and almost got a draw against Germany Sweden need the win more than Mexico to keep their fate in their hands. 

South Korea vs. Germany

Germany’s result against Sweden meant that South Korea still had a chance to qualify for the next round, but that chance is that they have to beat Germany. A loss or a draw would not be enough and a win would also come down to goal difference. For Germany a win or a draw could be enough but Sweden would have to lose to make the situation clear. A loss could also be enough but it would come down to goal difference and the result in the other game. The second half against Sweden showed a revitalised Germany side and they will be raring to go against South Korea, South Korea have nothing to lose and if they play as they did in the second half of their game against Mexico they could cause an upset. 

World Cup Day 9 Review

Germany resurrect themselves. 

Group F

South Korea 1 vs. 2 Mexico

A Vela penalty in the first half and a goal by Hernandez in the 66th minute were enough to almost see Mexico through to the knockout stages. South Korea tried hard to breach the Mexican defence throughout the game and managed to with a brilliant goal by Son in the 93rd minute but it was too little too late. South Korea can still make it to the next round but they need to beat Germany in their last game and hope that Sweden lose to Mexico. Mexico themselves are not guaranteed qualification and need at least a point to reach the round of 16. 

Germany 2 vs. 1 Sweden

Sweden opened the scoring via Toivonen in the 32nd minute and managed to see off the first half without any real threat on their goal. Germany seemed to come out a different side for the second half and were on attack mode from the 45th minute. Reus got an early goal in the 48th minute equalise for the Germans but Sweden stayed strong and seemed to be reaching towards a hard earned point but Kroos had other plans. A free-kick in the 95th minute was expertly swung into the top corner by Kroos to give Germany the win and three very important points. Germany have to beat South Korea in their last game to reach the last 16 while Sweden have to do the same. 

Group G

Belgium 5 vs. 2 Tunisia

Belgium secured a place in the Round of 16 with an emphatic win against Tunisia in the early kick off. Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the 6th minute via a penalty spot and Lukaku doubed the lead in the 16th minute. Tunisia replied two minutes later to reduce the deficit to one goal but Lukaku added his second and Belgium’s third right before half time. Eden Hazard added his second in the 51st minute while Batshuayi added the fifth in the 90th minute. Khazri got a consolation goal in the 93rd minute but Tunisia will be going home after their last group game. Belgium seem to be on fire with the likes of Lukaku and Hazard in peak form, their final game comes against England which could determine which of the two finish in first place. Tunisia will play Panama in their last game and hope that they can go home with a win in their bag.