After Match Day 7, the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament shows the following results.
Thursday 17 June
Group C: Ukraine 2-1 North Macedonia (Bucharest)
Group B: Denmark 1-2 Belgium (Copenhagen)
Group C: Netherlands 2-0 Austria (Amsterdam)
North Macedonia have been sent parking from the Euro 2020 tournament with a 2-1 loss to Ukraine. Having lost their first match to the Netherlands, Ukraine came all poised to seize the opportunity presented by North Macedonia as one of the purported underdogs of the tournament. With goals from Yarmolenko (29’) and Yaremchuk (34’), the Blue and Yellow need just a win or a draw to qualify alongside the Netherlands. Alioski pulled one back in the 57th minute but it was not enough to grant meaning to their hopes of advancing to the next round.
Charged and reinvigorated by the life, stability, recuperation and hopes of continuing the football career of team mate, Christian Eriksen, Denmark came to the game firing from all cylinders. No sooner than 1 minute, 39 seconds, the efforts paid off as Poulsen opened scoring to the consternation of favourite Belgium. That goal immediately became the second fastest goal in the history of the competition. But Belgium had to show why they are tournament favourites. A combination of class, style, skill, tactical intelligence, experience, and winning mentality by the flurry of stars in the Belgian team saw them equalize via Thorgan Hazard (55’) and also got the winning goal by the omnipresent Kevin de Brune in the 70th minute. Romelu Lukaku did not score but was the winner of the ‘Heineken Star of the Match’ because of his creative runs and opening up spaces for the goals to come. The introduction of Eden Hazard in the second half also changed proceedings creating more chances for goals and putting the Danes on the back foot. With this victory, the Netherlands are through to the next round while Denmark will need to beat Russia hoping that Finland loses against Belgium to finish second, though it will all depend on the goals scored in these two matches.
The Netherlands is through to the round of 16 after Memphis Depay (11’) and Denzel Dumfries (67’) scored the goals in a routine victory in Amsterdam against Austria. With Netherlands already qualified and North Macedonia already on their way home, Austria and Ukraine have themselves to cancel out for any of them to go through. Ukraine has the upper hand as a draw will see them in the knockout stages. The match promises to be tactically explosive as it will be the sole determinant for who heads where.
At the end of match day 7, the following major statistics are available:
- 18 matches have been played out of 51 matches
- 42 goals have been scored in all with an average of 2.34 goals per match and an average scoring time of 39 minutes per goal.
Friday 18 June
Group E: Sweden vs Slovakia (15:00, St Petersburg)
Group D: Croatia vs Czech Republic (18:00, Glasgow)
Group D: England vs Scotland (21:00, London)
Stay tuned here to get updates on the results, next match day fixtures and, flashpoints of the tournament as it progresses.
Azuka Edokobi is a Writer and Entrepreneur