Euro 2020 (Group Stages – Part Two)
The second round of group stage games got underway in Baku on Wednesday evening as Austria maintained their 100% start in Group A, ensuring qualification along the way, as they dispatched Finland 2-1 thanks to goals from David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic. The other group game saw Italy record their first win as they made easy work of Turkey, handing them their second successive defeat, as they cruised home 2-0.
Denmark are another side who are enjoying a great start, a 1-0 win against Poland seeing them have 2 wins from 2, Jacob Bruun Larsen of Hoffenheim with the only goal, while Valencia defender Daniel Wass sat out the victory.
Thursday began with the Belgians in action over in Bucharest, and the Group C leaders won their second game and ensured passage to the knockout stages with a 3-1 win in Romania, beating Bosnia comfortably with Leandro Trossard of Brighton among the goalscorers on the evening. Back in Group B, Ukraine pulled themselves level on points with Russia following a 1-0 victory, Sergiy Kryvstsov with the only goal although Junior Moraes also missed a penalty early on in that game.
Group C, dubbed the group of death by some, then saw the Netherlands and France play out a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam, both sides now chasing the second qualification spot behind Belgium in that one. Manchester United forward Anthony Martial had given France the lead before his former team-mate Memphis Depay pulled the hosts level late in the game to ensure a point, which sees them move 3rd above Bosnia in the table.
A packed Wembley saw England pick up their first win on Friday evening, the 2-1 victory over Portugal enough to see the hosts move to the top of Group D. Cristiano Ronaldo had given Portugal the lead just before the break, but the visitors were then dealt a blow when Valencia star Gonçalo Guedes had to be replaced, suffering a bruised thigh just shy of the hour mark. Minutes later England found themselves level through Tammy Abraham, before Marcus Rashford grabbed a vital winner 2 minutes from time to give England every chance of reaching the knockout stages.
Over in Bilbao at the same time, a 2 minute double salvo by Álvaro Morata at the San Mamés saw Spain reach the knockout stages with 2 wins from 2, the Czech Republic the unlucky recipients of the defeat, although they still find themselves second in Group E following their opening round win. Valencia skipper José Gayà played the full game, while team mate Carlos Soler remained an unused sub in the win.
The day ended with Scotland, in their first major tournament since 1998, picking up their first point with a2-2 draw against Sweden, although they remain at the foot of the table. Hampden Park was the location, and Sweden were in front inside 3 minutes before Callum McGregor pulled the Scots level 7 minus later. The hosts then took a surprise lead through James Forrest before Sweden then equalised just before the break, both sides knowing it will be tough to get out of the group stages ahead of England and Portugal.
Saturday saw Kosovo and Switzerland both pick up their first point, the first ever for Kosovo, as they played out a 1-1 draw in Bilbao, Lazio striker Vedat Muriqi grabbing the first goal of the tournament for the Kosovans to bring them level. The round came to a close with a double stalemate in Group F, as first Croatia and Germany played out a 0-0 draw in Munich, and then Hungary registering the same score against Wales in Budapest. Croatia and Germany both sit top of the group on 4 points, with the draw at the Puskás Aréna meaning Hungary and Wales now both also have a point.Share this: