Euro 2020 Knockout Stage

Euro (European Championship)Football Games

In Round 16 of Euro 2020, England and Germany encounter in Wembley, just like the 1966 World Cup final.  All the teams reaching this stage have lineups of excellent players.

Round of 16

26/06/2021.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Johan Cruyff Arena
Attendance: 14,645
Wales 0–4 Denmark
Goal:
27′ (Denmark) Kasper Dolberg
48′ (Denmark) Kasper Dolberg
88′ (Denmark) Joakim Mæhle
90+4′ (Denmark) Martin Braithwaite

At the start of the match, both sides pressed hard and did not let opponents play freely. Take each other’s spaces and aim for the goal. Gradually Denmark possessed the ball and Wales got busy defending. Kasper Dolberg of Denmark scored the opening goal in the 27th minute and maintained a good rhythm until half time.

Kasper Dolberg, who picked up a Welsh defender’s clearance, scored his second goal of the day in the 48th minute. Then Denmark did not take risks to aim for the goal, and Wales, who were on the edge, rushed forwards.

However, Wales couldn’t get close to the goal easily while holding the ball, and on the contrary, they got pinches from the counter attacks of Denmark. It can be said that Denmark took the initiative throughout the match.

Towards the end of the game, Wales tried to press hard to win the ball, but Denmark swung the ball to the other side and Joakim Mæhle scored a decisive 3rd goal.

Immediately after that, the 4th goal by Martin Braithwaite was once judged as offside and denied, but the goal was approved by VAR. When the match was over, 0–4, the big difference divided 2 sides. It can be said that Denmark took the initiative throughout the match.

At the pre-match ceremony, the Welsh national team presented a number 10’s uniform, to wish quick recovery of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen. Denmark were able to deliver good news to Eriksen, who suffered cardiopulmonary arrest during a match in the group stage and had a narrow escape from death.

26/06/2021.
London, England
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 18,910
Italy 2–1 Austria
Goal:
95′ (Italy) Federico Chiesa
105′ (Italy) Matteo Pessina
114′ (Austria) Sasa Kalajdzic

Both Italy and Austria showed attitudes to go forwards aggressively from the start of the match. Both sides aimed at each other’s goal, and it became an open game, and fierce tackles were exchanged.

In the 32nd minute, Italy’s Ciro Immobile flashed his right foot on the ball that got to the centre from the left side. The arc-shaped ball seemed to go into the top corner of the goal, but was denied by the frame of the goal.

In the 52nd minute, Austria got a free kick just outside the penalty area. Alaba aimed directly with his left foot, but missed above the crossbar.

In the 65th minute, Italy appealed for a foul, but the referee let the play go, and Austria took the opportunity to counter-attack. On the left side, David Alaba turned the ball by his head and Marko Arnautovic pushed it into the goal with his head. Austria seemed to have scored the opener, but VAR judged it’s offside.

Italy had more shots, but Austria shook the goal net. If it’s the era VAR didn’t exist, Austria would have made an upset here. The match could have gone either way, but both sides didn’t give up during 90 minutes, and it went into extra-time.

Italy’s Federico Chiesa, who ran into the ball in front of the goal in the 95th minute, warded off 1 player and struck into the goal from a close distance with his left foot. Italy took the lead at the vital moment.

Italy suddenly gained momentum and a cross from the left was dropped and Matteo Pessina scored an additional goal in the 105th minute.

In the last 15 minutes of the match turned spectacular as Austria squeezed the last power launching attacks, and Italy replied with counter-attacks.

Then in the 114th minute, Austria’s Sasa Kalajdzic returned 1 goal with a diving header from a corner kick. It must be a historic match of the Euro.

27/06/2021.
Budapest, Hungary
Puskás Aréna
Attendance: 52,834
Netherlands 0–2 Czech Republic
Goal:
68′ (Czech Republic) Tomas Holes
80′ (Czech Republic) Patrik Schick

In the first half, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic both aimed for the goal, but no goal was scored.

Also in the second half, many plays took place in front of each other’s goals. Netherlands’

 Matthijs de Ligt, who was about to be broken through the final line, touched the ball by hand in the 53rd minute. The judgment of the yellow card was changed to the red card in VAR, and he was sent off.

In 57th minute, the Netherlands, who went down to 10 players, replaced Donyell Malen to with Quincy Promes and adjusted the lineup.

However, in the 68th minute, Tomas Holes headed the ball returned from a Czech’s free kick. Czech took the  lead.

The Netherlands took risks to go forwards in an attempt to get goals, however, the Czech Republic attacked to the opened spaces. Patrik Schick, who ran into the cross from the left scored a decisive addition in the 80th minute.

27/06/2021.
Seville, Spain
La Cartuja
Attendance: 11,504
Belgium 1–0 Portugal
Goal:
42′ (Belgium) Thorgan Hazard

Both Belgium and Portugal entered the match with fierce defence and did not give opponents big chances. It seemed that the match would entre half-time as it was, but Belgium scored a middle shot after pass exchanges at the centre of the goal in the 42nd minute.

Portugal intensified their offensive to catch up. However, it’s difficult to break Belgium. Time was ticking, and Portugal appeared to be impatient in plays. Belgium also responded rigorously to match up.

The match was getting open towards the end, and Raphaël Guerreiro’s right foot shot hit the Belgian goal post in the 83rd minute. Their efforts weren’t capitalised and the match ended as it was, and Belgium managed to run away. The captain Eden Hazard was injured and replaced, demonstrating the intensity of the match. Belgium also suffered a painful loss.

28/06/2021.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Parken Stadium
Attendance: 22,771
Croatia 3–5 Spain
Goal:
19′ (Croatia) Unai Simon (og)
38′ (Spain) Pablo Sarabia
57′ (Spain) César Azpilicueta
77′ (Spain) Ferran Torres
85′ (Croatia) Mislav Oršić
90+2′ (Croatia) Mario Pašalić
100′ (Spain) Álvaro Morata
103′ (Spain) Mikel Oyarzabal

Spain took their pace at the start of the match. They had several decisive opportunities, but couldn’t score.

In the 19th minute, Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon missed trapping a back pass and scored an own goal. Croatia scored the opening goal in a surprising way.

In the 38th minute, Pablo Sarabia of Spain slammed a spilled ball from the goalkeeper into the goal after raging attacks. Spain caught up, and the score at the half-time was 1-1.

In the 57th minute, César Azpilicueta headed the ball crossed from the left side and Spain turned the game around.

In the 77th minute, Ferran Torres, who ran into the open space behind Croatia leaning forwards, received the ball and scored a shot.

In the 85th minute, Luka Modrić crossed the ball from a deep position and scrambled in front of the goal, and Mislav Oršić scored a goal in the end. 2-3, and Croatia chasing up.

Mario Pašalić met the cross from the left side in the second half’s stoppage time, and Croatia evened the score. Spanish players, who were aiming to get away as it was, collapsed onto the pitch. The match went into extra-time.

Spain’s feet got heavy while Croatia gained momentum. Spain’s GK Unai Simon, who scored an own goal, made a series of super saves to clear his name.

Both teams aggressively approached the opponent’s goal, and Álvaro Morata kicked the ball in after trapping off the opponent in the 100th minute . Spain took the lead again.

In the 103rd minute, Mikel Oyarzaba scored and Spain extended the lead in a short period of time.

The score was settled at 3–5 and 2 teams scored 8 goals in total after extra-time. Spain were the team who won the spectacular seesaw game in the end.

28/06/2021.
Bucharest, Romania
Arena Națională
Attendance: 22,642
France 3–3 Switzerland
France 4–5 Switzerland (Penalty Shoot-Out)
Goal:
15′ (Switzerland) Haris Seferović
57′ (France) Karim Benzema
59′ (France) Karim Benzema
75′ (France) Paul Pogba
81′ (Switzerland) Haris Seferović
90′ (Switzerland) Mario Gavranović

Both teams started the game watching their opponents.

In the 15th minute, Haris Seferović headed to the early cross from the left. Switzerland took the lead against the world champions.

France gradually strengthened their offensive. However, they couldn’t score and entered half-time.

France in the second half aimed to score in top gear from the kick-off. Switzerland also attempted additional goals undauntedly with effective attacks.

In the 52nd minute, Switzerland’s Steven Zuber tried to break through and France’s Benjamin Pavard stopped with a sliding tackle. VAR judged it’s a penalty kick, and France got into a desperate situation.

In the 55th minute, Ricardo Rodriguez kicked the penalty, but the goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved it sideways and clenched his fist strongly.

Immediately after that, in the 57th minute, when France picked up the Switzerland’s clearance, Karim Benzema got out of the crowd after the quick combination in the centre and scored. France made the score even.

2 minutes later in 59 minutes, Karim Benzema of France scored the second goal of the day from the central combination again.

In the 75th minute, France’s Paul Pogba scored a super goal from the long range to the top corner of the goal.

In the 81st minute, Kevin Mbabu’s cross was scored by Haris Seferović. Switzerland chased up hard.

In the 84th minute, Switzerland’s  Mario Gavranović shook the goal net but was judged offside.

Mario Gavranović’s shot in the 90th minute was an undisputed goal. Switzerland equalised at the last minute.

Switzerland had an opportunity to win but couldn’t score. In the 90 + 2nd minute, France’s Kingsley Coman’s middle shot hit the crossbar.

The winners weren’t decided in 90 minutes, and the match went into extra-time.

No goal scored in extra-time, the match wasn’t decided in 120 minutes. It’s the first penalty shoot-out in this tournament. It’s the first penalty shoot-out in this tournament.

Switzerland scored all 5 while France’s fifth player Kylian Mbappé was stopped. France, the leading favourite for the championship, left the tournament after losing 4-5 in the penalty shoot-out.

29/06/2021.
London, England
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 41,973
England 2–0 Germany
Goal:
75′ (England) Raheem Sterling
86′ (England) Harry Kane

At the beginning of the first half, the tense atmosphere clearly showed the historical importance of the match. There was very little sign that goals would be scored due to the fierce physical collisions, crushing each other’s attacks.

In the 75th minute, Raheem Sterling broke through dribbling in the centre and exchanged short passes. And finally, Raheem Sterling scored a cross from the left with his right foot. England finally broke up the tie.

In the 81st minute, Germany’s Thomas Müller broke behind England’s defensive line, but the shot went wide.

In the 86th minute, England cut the German ball and launched a quick attack with Harry Kane heading to the cross from the left side. England scored an additional goal.

England won the destined battle with the clean sheet at home.


14/06/2021.
Glasgow, Scotland
Hampden Park
Attendance: 9,221
Sweden 1–2 Ukraine
Goal:
27′ (Ukraine) Oleksandr Zinchenko
43′ (Sweden) Emil Forsberg
120+1′ (Ukraine) Artem Dovbyk

In the 27th minute, Oleksandr Zinchenko took a powerful volley shot on an exquisite pass. Ukraine scored the opener.

In the 43rd minute, Sweden’s Emil Forsberg released a middle shot, hitting a Ukrainian defender and went into the goal. Ukraine caught up just before the end of the first half, and the match became even.

In the 56th minute, Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko hit the right goal post. Shortly thereafter, Sweden attacked and Emil Forsberg’s shot hit the right goal post.

In the 69th minute, Sweden’s Emil Forsberg’s middle shot hit the crossbar.

Both teams had opportunities to score, but couldn’t score a winner and entered extra-time.

Sweden’s Marcus Danielson injured his opponent with the sole of his foot when he cleared the ball, and although a yellow card was shown, he was sent off in the 98th minute after being changed to a red card by VAR.

Sweden, who went down to 10 players, couldn’t make scoring opportunities.

Ukraine possessed the ball and aimed for a goal.

Sweden waited for time to pass, looking for a draw. However, Ukraine’s Artem Dovbyk slammed the ball into the goal from the left cross in the extra time’s second half stoppage time. Ukraine scored the winner and the match ended as it was.

Quarter-finals

02/07/2021.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Krestovsky Stadium
Attendance: 24,764
Switzerland 1–1 Spain
Switzerland 1–3 Spain (Penalty Shoot-out)
Goal:
8′ (Spain) Jordi Alba
68′ (Switzerland) Xherdan Shaqiri

Jordi Alba volleyed a ball coming over the centre from a corner kick with his left foot, and hit the opponent to enter the goal. Spain auspiciously scored the opener in the beginning of the match.

Spain failed to deal with the pass that Switzerland put on the defence line. Switzerland picked it up and Xherdan Shaqiri scored the cross from the right side. Switzerland equalised.

In the 76th minute, Switzerland’s Remo Freuler was shown a straight red card and sent off after committing a dangerous tackle against Gerard Moreno.

Spain overwhelmingly dominated the ball but couldn’t win in 90 minutes. The match entered into extra time.

In the extra time, it developed to a one-sided game, which Spain attacked and concentrated fire. Switzerland tried hard to clear the ball, and it’s difficult to get into the opponents’ end.

Switzerland managed to defend with 10 people and entered the penalty shoot-out. Switzerland, who were inferior, seemed to have a psychological advantage, however, 3 players missed and succumbed to Spain. It was a second consecutive penalty shoot-out in the knockout stage for Switzerland, but they couldn’t repeat the giant killing of defeating France.

02/07/2021.
Munich, Germany
Allianz Arena
Attendance: 12,984
Belgium 1–2 Italy
Goal:
31′ (Italy) Nicolo Barella
44′ (Italy) Nicolo Barella
45+2′ (Belgium) Romelu Lukaku

In the 31st minute, Italy entered the penalty area with a free kick but Ciro Immobile was unable to hold the ball. However, Italy quickly regained Belgium’s ball and Nicolo Barella dribbled out to score.

In the 44th minute, Lorenzo Insigne dodged 1 player and swung his right foot. The arc-shaped ball shook the goal net. Italy scored an additional goal.

Immediately afterwards, Belgium’s Jérémy Doku attempted to dribble through the penalty area, and Giovanni Di Lorenzo tripped him over, and the decision was a penalty.

In the 45+2nd minute, Romelu Lukaku took up the penalty and spoked the ball in the centre of the goal and Belgium returned 1 goal before half-time.

In the second half, Belgium aggressively attacked but could not score goals. The match ended as it was.

03/07/2021.Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku Olympic Stadium
Attendance: 16,306
Czech Republic 1–2 Denmark
Goal:
5′ (Denmark) Thomas Delaney
42′ (Denmark) Kasper Dolberg
49′ (Czech Republic) Patrik Schick

Thomas Delaney, who became free, scored with his head from a corner kick. Denmark took the lead.

In the 42nd minute, just before the end of the first half, Kasper Dolberg headed an artistic cross from the left side. Denmark scored an additional goal.

In the 49th minute, the Czech Republic made an early cross from the right side. Then, Patrik Schick scored with his right foot.

Czech Republic tried their best to attack towards the end of the match, but could not score an equaliser.

03/07/2021.
Rome, Italy 
Stadio Olimpico
Attendance: 11,880
Ukraine 0–4 England
Goal:
4′ (England) Harry Kane
46′ (England) Harry Maguire
50′ (England) Harry Kane
63′ (England) Jordan Henderson

Raheem Sterling cut in dribbling from the left side and passed towards the goal. Harry Kane, who quickly responded to the ball, scored the shot. England scored the opener.

Ukraine tried to catch up, but their attacks were sporadic and it‘s difficult to approach England’s goal, and the first half ended as it was.

In the 46th minute, FK was won by Harry Kane after receiving a foul. Harry Maguire headed the crossed ball. England scored during the opening time again in the second half.

In the 50th minute, Harry Kane in front of the goal headed a cross from the left towards the opponent’s goalkeeper’s feet. England extended the lead.

The goalkeeper managed to hit Harry Kane’s shot and England got a corner kick. Jordan Henderson scored it by heading the ball in the 63rd minute.

After scoring the decisive fourth goal, England manager Gareth Southgate withdrew some regular players to their bench and succeeded in reducing physical exhaustion. The big victory made it possible to set the base for preparing in good conditions towards the semi-final.

Semi-finals

06/07/2021.
London, England
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 57,811
Italy 1–1 Spain
Italy 4–2 Spain (Penalty Shoot-Out)
Goal:
63′ (Italy) Federico Chiesa
80′ (Spain) Álvaro Morata

It’s an encounter between Italy, who had been a favourite for the championship of this tournament, and Spain, who had been struggling to win from the group stage. Immediately after the kick-off, Italy approached Spain’s goal, but Spain gradually began to hold the ball after that. Spain’s ball possession rate in the first half was 61%.

Spain symbolizes European attacking football. Italy has been reborn as an offensive team under the manager Roberto Mancini, although their tradition is solid defence.

Spain’s goalkeeper Unai Simon was often forced to pop out of the goal. On the other hand, Spain made many scenes that caught Italy by surprise.

In the 45th minute, Italy’s Emerson Palmieri had a shot, which clipped Spain’s goal post. There was no goal in the first half although both teams attacked in full from the start. However, it was a spectacular show that we couldn’t take our eyes off.

The second half also began with the exchange of attacks. It stretched and got open that didn’t seem the middle of the match. Federico Chiesa, who picked up the ball cleared by Spain from Italy’s counter-attack, made an arc-shaped middle shot, which was scored into the top corner of the Spanish goal. Italy broke a tie in the 60th minute.

Spain, who got into a situation to chase, further strengthened their attacks. Italy, on the other hand, started playing carefully so as not to concede goals.

In the 80th minute Spain’s Álvaro Morata made a one-two pass from the dribble in the centre, then released a powerful shot and equalised.

After that, the match continued at the pace of Spain. Italy managed to hold out and entered extra-time. Spain had to battle for 120 minutes in three consecutive matches.

Spain’s dominance remained unchanged in the first half of extra-time. Italy had several big chances while Spain had the ball possession in the second half of extra-time. However, a goal was not scored and it went into a penalty shoot-out.

The first kickers of both Italy and Spain failed. After that, the kick of Spain’s fourth Alvaro Morata was stopped. On the other hand, Italy’s fifth player calmly scored, and Italy managed to advance to the final.

Álvaro Morata ended the match with a bitter look, missing an important penalty kick while scoring a valuable equaliser.

07/07/2021.
London, England
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 64,950
England 2–1 Denmark
Goal:
30′ (Denmark) Mikkel Damsgaard
39′ (England) Simon Kjær (og)
104′ (England) Harry Kane (pk)

The match seemed to be progressing at the pace of England playing at home. However, in the 30th minute Denmark got a free kick in front of the goal. The ball kicked by Mikkel Damsgaard crosses over the wall and went into the goal.With Denmark taking the lead, Wembley Stadium was momentarily silent.

England attacked to get back and Raheem Sterling had a shot in one-on-one against the goalkeeper from close range to the goal but saved in the 38th minute.

Immediately after that in 39 minutes, Raheem Sterling crossed after he cutting through from the right side, and Denmark’s captain Simon Kjær committed own goal. It was a tough scene where a shot could have been taken unless touching the ball.

In the first half, England had advantage in ball possession, which was 60%, but the scoring opportunities were almost even.

In the second half, England aimed for a winning goal until the end, but Denmark managed to defend and entered the extra time.

In the extra time, it was a one sided game, in which England attacked and Denmark defended. Kasper Schmeichel made a good save in a decisive pinch.

In the 102nd minute, Raheem Sterling went down in the penalty area and was judged as PK.

In the 104th minute, Harry Kane shot the penalty. Kasper Schmeichel dived to the left and saved once, but Harry Kane pushed the rebound in. England took the lead for the first time in this match.

England dominated the match and won as it was. They secured to advance to the final taking place at Wembley Stadium.

Final

11/07/2021.
London, England
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 67,173
Italy 1–1 England
Italy 3–2 England (Penalty Shoot-Out)
Goal:
2′ (England) Luke Shaw
67′ (Italy) Leonardo Bonucci

England pierced the hole when Italy could not check the defence in the mid-field and attacked freely in the 2nd minute. Luke Shaw scored a cross from the right side with a volley.

In the 35th minute, Italy’s Federico Chiesa broke through the centre and took the middle shot with his left foot but went off to the right of the goal.

Also in the 62nd minute, Federico Chiesa swang his right foot after breaking through by dribbling, but the goalkeeper dived sideways and saved.

In the 67th minute, it’s a scene of Italy’s corner kick. Marco Verratti headed the ball in the far side after players competed in front of the goal. After the goalkeeper touched and  bounced off the goal post, Leonardo Bonucci pushed the ball in. Italy equalised at the away stadium.

After that, the onslaughts of Italy continued, and England management became busy working at the bench.

When Federico Chiesa, who was  making a massive performance, broke through by dribbling, he was injured in a collision with an opponent and the game was temporarily on hold. Then because of the injury, he was replaced with tears in the 85th minute. Due to this interruption, England got back on track, which was fortunately.

As it entered the stoppage time, the pace of the match began to settle down, perhaps because both teams started getting aware of extra time, and if they saw an opportunity, they intended to finish with a single blow. However, both teams understood the danger of conceding a goal during this phase, and continued to defend aggressively, and gradually the whistle was blown.

England and Italy entered extra-time carefully. 

In the 108th minute, England got big opportunities from Kyle Walker’s long throw-in, but the Italian goalkeeper saved well.

Both teams managed to approach the goal somehow, but no goal was scored. The champions of Euro 2020 had to be decided in the penalty shoot-out.

Italy’s second player missed while England’s third and fourth players missed. In a situation where the match is decided when Italy’s fifth player scores, the ball the England goalkeeper managed to touch hit the goal post and it was stopped. The fifth player under huge pressure of England hanging by a thread was Bukayo Saka, just 19 years old. The ball that went onto the loose course was stopped without mercy.

Italy got victorious, while the young England players who missed the PK covered their faces in tears. With this regret as motivation, they should be growing much bigger in 3 years.

The manager Roberto Mancini, who led the attacking football throughout to the top, wept as he hugged the Azuri players who were running up. The team colour of Italian football has been traditionally solid defence, but if it turns into an attacking style in the future, it would be largely credited to Roberto Mancini.

The Wembley Stadium, which became quieter as the awards ceremony went on, seemed to symbolise the Euro 2020 held in 2021 during the novel coronavirus crisis.

Euro 2020 Group Stage

Extraordinary Euro 2020

Author: Takuya Nagata. Amazon Profile

Novel writer, Creator. Traveled to Brazil and trained football at CFZ do Rio (Centro de Futebol Zico Sociedade Esportiva) in Rio de Janeiro. Played soccer for the Urawa Reds (Urawa Red Diamonds), one of the biggest football clubs in Japan, and toured to Europe. Retired at young and voyaged alone to England and graduated from UCA, the UK’s university. Established careers as journalist, football coach, consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Knowledgeable in creative and technology fields as well. Launched “MINIЯISM” (minirism), the art movement that contributes to the development of societies and the knowledge hub “The Minimalist.” The founder of “Propulsive Football” (PROBALL), the world’s first ever competitive mixed football facilitating diversity and spirits for equal participation of the society.
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