UEFA EURO 2020 QUARTER-FINALS REVIEW
The curtains come down on the UEFA EURO 2020 on Sunday, July 11.
The exciting tournament that for the first time has been played in 11 different venues has produced a mixture of thrill and anxiety while revving up emotions that are just as diverse as the venues.
With only two matches standing between any of the remaining four teams and the coveted trophy, it is a good time as any to take stock of what has transpired after the round of 16.
Denmark, England, Italy, and Spain Fight for the Ultimate prize.
After 48 games, these four nations remain with Spain taking on Italy as England tackles the emotionally charged Denmark.
England Decimate Ukraine
Andriy Shevchenko may have assembled an incredible lineup but they were not any match to the Three Lions when the two teams met in Rome on Saturday. Gareth Southgate’s conservative playing techniques seem to keep England going, and with impressive results.
England buried four goals past Heorhiy Bushchan. Harry Kane opened for England just five minutes into the game. Harry Maguire doubled England’s lead at the beginning of the second half. Kane got his brace four minutes later with Jordan Henderson completing the rout on the 63rd minute.
Danes Outwit the Czech Republic
Denmark qualified courtesy of two goals from Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg. The dangerous and physical Czech side pulled one back through Patrick Schick early in the second half.
However, the Danes, perfectly weathering both their opponents and the red-hot temperatures of Baku, ensured it is the only goal the Czech Republic scored.
Schick’s goal was his fifth, putting him at par with Cristiano Ronaldo and firmly in the race for the tournament’s golden boot.
Spain Endure the Swiss
Spain qualified for the last four after beating a spirited Switzerland on penalties following a one-all draw on regulation time.
Luis Enrique’s men were the first to draw blood on the eighth minute through Denis Zakaria’s own goal. Xherdan Shaqiri leveled for the Swiss an hour later. The rest of the game was somewhat thrilling with several attempts coming from the Spaniards. However, Yann Sommer was invincible between the sticks, fending off La Furia Roja and sending the game to a penalty shootout.
After a series of goofs that almost made Spain versus Croatia tie a comedy of errors, Unai Simón was magnificent for his side, saving two shots and earning Spain a 3-1 win.
Mancini’s Men Sweep Out Belgium
Italy now has 13 consecutive wins and an unbeaten run that is 32 games long. It is this impressive record that they unleashed on Belgium, setting the stage for a thrilling, intense typical of two excellent teams out to play fantastic football.
The Azzurri’s first goal came after Nicolò Barella intercepted Marco Verratti’s pass, made a mockery of the Belgian defence before tucking the ball behind Thibaut Courtois. Lorenzo Insigne doubled the lead 13 minutes later.
Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for Belgium at the stroke of half-time through a penalty kick.
Spain goes on to play Italy on Tuesday, July 6, while England will battle it out with Denmark the following day.
It is a litmus test for England as they come face-to-face with a side that has milked its emotion for all it is worth and got better by the moment.
It would be interesting to see how punters bet on this.
Wembley Stadium plays host to both games.