UEFA Euros: Round of 16 Fixtures and what lies ahead?
The UEFA European Championship 2020 was delayed by a year due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. The Euros finally kicked off on June 11, 2021, and what a treat it has been so far from packed stadiums in Hungary cheering on their team against World Champions to minnows Denmark securing qualification to the Round of 16 in front of their own fans.
The group stage of Euros 2020 saw 91 goals in 36 matches with Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo scoring 5 of those goals and taking a lead in the Golde Boot race as he helped the defending champions make it to the Round of 16 from the ‘Group of Death’.
Let’s have a look at which teams made it to the Round of 16 of the coveted tournament.
Italy won Group A in the most convincing fashion as the Azzuri made their comeback to a major tournament after missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Roberto Mancini’s men routed past Turkey and Switzerland scoring 6 goals in 2 matches whilst conceding none at the back before beating Wales 1-0 with a second-string starting XI.
Belgium won Group B scoring 7 goals while letting in only a single goal at their end coming out on top of Russia, Denmark, and Finland.
The Netherlands started the tournament with a nervy 3-2 win over Ukraine but further 2-0 and 3-0 results against Austria and North Macedonia saw the Dutch side top Group C.
England wasn’t at its best but they became the only side except for Italy to keep three consecutive clean sheets in the group stage. Gareth Southgate’s team topped Group D courtesy of two 1-0 wins over Croatia and the Czech Republic.
Sweden topped Group E courtesy of their 1-0 and 3-2 wins over Slovakia and Poland respectively after drawing their first match against Spain.
France topped Group F with just 5 points courtesy of their 1-0 win over Germany followed by 1-1 and 2-2 draws against Hungary and Portugal respectively.
Wales finished in the second position in Group A with 4 points courtesy of a win over Turkey and a draw against Switzerland. A better goal difference allowed Rob Page’s team to finish above the Swiss contingent.
Denmark had the worst possible start to the Euros with key player Christian Eriksen hospitalized due to an incident in their first match. The Danes finished on three points courtesy of a 4-1 win over Russia and finished above Finland and Russia on goal difference in Group B.
Austria made light work of North Macedonia and beat Ukraine 1-0 to end as runners-up in Group C, thus qualifying for the Round of 16 in Euros for the first time in the nation’s history.
Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 after two horrid performances and finished with 4 points to come second in Group D.
Spain was a completely different side as they routed 5 goals past Slovakia after drawing 0-0 and 1-1 against Sweden and Poland respectively.
Germany was on the brink of elimination with just 10 minutes left on the clock but Leon Goretzka emerged as the hero to salvage the Germans and help them finish second in Group F.
Best 3rd placed teams
Switzerland finished behind Wales on goal difference in Group A to become one of the first teams to make it to the Round of 16 despite finishing third. Ukraine became the only team to qualify for the knockout stages after finishing third and having only 3 points in the bag as their goal difference was superior to Finland and Slovakia.
Czech Republic did enough in their first 2 matches in Group D to finish in the top two but a 1-0 loss to England saw them slip to the third position behind Croatia on goal difference. Defending champions Portugal made it out of the ‘Group of Death’ by finishing third on the basis of the head-to-head record as they lost 4-2 to Germany.
Round of 16 Schedule
|June 26||Wales vs Denmark||Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands|
|June 26||Italy vs Austria||Wembley Stadium, England|
|June 27||Netherlands vs Czech Republic||Puskas Arena, Hungary|
|June 27||Belgium vs Portugal||Estadio La Cartuja, Spain|
|June 28||Croatia vs Spain||Parken Stadium, Denmark|
|June 28||France vs Switzerland||National Arena, Romania|
|June 29||England vs Germany||Wembley Stadium, England|
|June 29||Sweden vs Ukraine||Hampden Park, Scotland|