After Match Day 2 of the Round of 16, the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament shows the following results and review.
Sunday 27 June
R16 Match 3: Netherlands 0-2 Czech Republic (Budapest)
R16 Match 4: Belgium 1-0 Portugal (Seville)
We are beginning to see big upsets in the tournament which re-enacts the unpredictability of the game of football.
In the first match of the day, Match 3 of the Round of 16, Czech Republic stunned one of tournament’s favourites, the Netherlands with a 0-2 win to advance to the Quarter final stage of the competition. This came at the heels of Match 1 upset where Denmark defied all odds and a chequered start to demolish Wales 0-4. The Oranje came out blazing but missed chances by Matthijs de Ligt and Memphis Depay did not give them the needed comfort to dictate the game’s pace.
The Jaroslav Šilhavý’s side threatened the opposite goal post when Tomáš Souček glanced wide Petr Ševčík’s cross and Antonín Barák flashed over from close range. The Netherlands’ undoing grew more when they were reduced to ten men as last-man De Ligt’s handball denied Schick a clear run on goal.
In the 68th minute, Frank de Boer’s men were punished for their wastefulness as the Czechs capitalized on their misfortune to lead the game with Holeš’s powerful header finally breaking the deadlock following Barák’s free-kick. They sealed victory in 12 minutes when Holeš advanced and teed up Patrik Schick to seal a quarter-final spot. Schick, ipso facto, became the second Czech to net four times at a EURO tournament, alongside Milan Baroš who scored 5 goals in 2004.
In the second match, Match 4 of the Round of 16, Thorgan Hazard’s stunning first-half strike was all that was needed to end the Seleção’s reign as European champions. That goal halted Cristiano Ronaldo who seemed to be on a record-breaking spree at the tournament.
Portugal started well with early advances on goal as Diogo Jota drove wide while C. Ronaldo burnt the palms of Thibaut Courtois with a free-kick. Had that goal gone in or had he scored any goal in the game, Cristiano Ronaldo could have become the top scorer in the history of international football. The Belgians, on their own, seemed to be having a quiet night as Rui Patricio remained untroubled until close to the interval, when T. Hazard’s vicious swerving effort fizzed past the Portuguese goal tender to break the deadlock and seal the match.
After the break, the Seleção came smoking. Having lost Kevin de Brune to injury, the Belgians seemed to have lost rhythm in the midfield. They would ever remain grateful to a resolute defence as the Portuguese fired from all angles to have some grips around the trophy again. Diogo Jota fired off target, Ruben Dias tested Courtois with a header while Raphael Guerreiro fired against the post. It was, in the end, the Belgian’s day to the consternation and disappointment of the defending champions, the Seleção.
At the end of the last set of group matches, the following statistics are available:
- 40 matches have been played out of 51 matches
- 104 goals have been scored in all with an average of 2.60 goals per match and an average scoring time of 35 minutes per goal.
Monday 28 June
R16 Match 5: Croatia vs Spain (18:00, Copenhagen)
R16 Match 6: France vs Switzerland (21:00, Bucharest)
Azuka Edokobi is a Writer , a Farmer, a Supply Chain Expert and an Entrepreneur
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