The UEFA Euro 2020 was the 16th edition of the European Football Championship.
The tournament was held in 11 different countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Euros.
The 2020 European Championship, also known as Euro 2020, featured 24 teams, with 19 returning from the 2016 edition. Among these teams were Belgium and Italy, who had both recorded perfect qualifying campaigns with ten wins in ten matches. Also returning were the defending European champions Portugal and the reigning world champions France and Germany who qualified for a record 13th consecutive European Championship.
Making their debut in the tournament were Finland and North Macedonia, who had never previously qualified for a major tournament. Scotland, who was a co-host of the tournament, also made their return to the European Championship for the first time since 1996 and their first major international tournament since the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The Netherlands and Denmark also made their return to the tournament after missing out in 2016, with the Dutch participating in a major tournament for the first time since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In addition, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales all qualified for successive European Championship tournaments for the first time.
On the other hand, Greece, the winners of the 2004 tournament, failed to qualify and missed their second consecutive European Championship and third major tournament in a row. Other teams that failed to qualify after appearing in the 2016 finals included Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Romania.
Group A featured Turkey, Italy, Wales, and Switzerland. Italy dominated in their opening match against Turkey, winning 3-0. They continued their winning streak by defeating Switzerland and Wales, maintaining a clean sheet record. On the other hand, Turkey struggled, losing their final match to Switzerland 3-1.
The Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia competed in Group C. Austria secured their first victory in a major tournament in 31 years with a 3-1 win against North Macedonia in their opening match. They placed second in the group with a 2-0-1 record, while the Netherlands dominated with an undefeated record and eight goals scored.
Spain, Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia faced off in Group E. Poland’s mistake of scoring on their own goal in the 18th minute led to a loss against Slovakia. Still, they managed to draw against Spain thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s goal. Spain’s draw ultimately cost them first place, which went to Sweden.
Group B consisted of Denmark, Finland, Belgium, and Russia. Finland started off strong by defeating Denmark 1-0, but Denmark recovered and advanced by winning their next match against Russia 4-1. Belgium emerged as the group leader, winning all three games and scoring seven goals while only allowing one.
Group D comprised England, Croatia, Scotland, and the Czech Republic. Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick impressed with two goals in their first match, but England and Croatia took the top spots in the group.
The highly competitive “Group of Death” was Group F, featuring France, Germany, Portugal, and Hungary. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in the last six minutes of the opening match, leading to Hungary’s defeat. France secured first place with a single win against Germany, who only managed to win one game against Portugal.
The group stage ended on June 23rd, with Wales, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, France, Switzerland, England, Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine progressing to the next round.
Spain had seemed to be on their way to the last eight at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, thanks to goals from Pablo Sarabia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ferran Torres, which put them 3-1 ahead with 13 minutes remaining in normal time. However, Croatia made a comeback with a goal from substitute Mislav Orsic in the 85th minute and a header from Mario Pasalic in the second minute of stoppage time, taking the match to extra time.
Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal scored in extra time as Spain secured a spot in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 with a 5-3 victory over Croatia in a thrilling match in Copenhagen on Monday.
The Czech Republic reached the Euro 2020 quarter-finals Sunday after stunning the 10-man Netherlands 2-0 in Budapest thanks to second-half strikes by Tomas Holes and Patrik Schick.
Ukraine pulled off a dramatic upset by eliminating previously unbeaten Sweden in the Euro 2020 match. The game ended with a 2-1 score in favour of Ukraine, thanks to a goal in stoppage time at the end of extra time from a player who had been left on the bench for the entire group stage. Artem Dovbyk, a substitute, managed to guide a header from Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross past the Swedish goalkeeper, Robin Olsen. It was a historic moment for the 24-year-old forward as it was his first goal for the national team. The goal sealed the win for Ukraine and eliminated Sweden from the tournament.
It was a historic night at Wembley Stadium as England secured a 2-0 victory over Germany in the Euro 2020 round of 16. Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were the heroes of the night, scoring a goal each to lead England to their first knockout stage victory over Germany since 1966.
However, it was Sterling who broke the deadlock with just 15 minutes remaining on the clock, capitalizing on a defensive mistake by the Germans and calmly finishing past the goalkeeper. Kane sealed the win for England in the dying minutes with a cool finish.
France, who were considered favourites to win the Euro 2020 crown, in addition to their World Cup victory in Russia three years ago, had taken the lead after coming back from a 1-0 deficit to lead 3-1 and seemed to be on their way to victory, but ultimately conceded two late goals.
Switzerland made history by winning their first-ever knockout tie and penalty shoot-out at the European Championship, defeating the reigning World Cup champions 5-4 on penalties after an exciting 3-3 draw in Bucharest.
Denmark celebrated the 29th anniversary of their greatest triumph by advancing to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, thanks to Kasper Dolberg’s two goals in a convincing 4-0 victory over Wales, played in front of jubilant travelling support in Amsterdam.
Italy advanced to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 at Wembley on Saturday, as substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina scored in extra time, leading Italy to a 2-1 victory over Austria.
Belgium vs Portugal
Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, aimed to defend their 2016 Euro trophy but could not bounce back after Belgium’s Thorgan Hazard scored just before halftime in Seville, leading Belgium to hold on to their 1-0 victory.
Belgium eliminated the reigning European champions Portugal from Euro 2020 in Seville. A Thorgan Hazard goal in the first half proved to be the difference maker in the last-16 tie. Despite losing both Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to injury during the game, the Red Devils could hold onto their lead and secure the victory. This marks a major upset as Portugal, the holders of the European Championship, were eliminated early in the tournament.
England defeated Ukraine by a score of 4-0 in Rome. Some saw this victory as a form of revenge for England’s previous loss to traditional rivals Germany in the Round of 16. Kane continued his goal-scoring streak by opening the match for England.
Spain secured a narrow victory over Switzerland in a match that saw an early goal for Spain, followed by a Swiss equaliser in the 67th minute. The match ended in a penalty shootout, with Spain advancing to the semi-finals and Switzerland returning home with the pride of reaching the quarter-finals.
Italy came on a quick advantage and was 2-0 ahead. Romelu Lukaku scored the 2-1 and brought back the tension. Despite Belgium’s efforts to level the score in the second half, Italy held firm and secured the victory.
Thomas Delaney for Denmark scored an early goal at the 4-minute mark, with Kasper Dolberg doubling the lead in the 41st minute. The Czech Republic responded with a goal from Patrik Schick, but it wasn’t enough to stop Denmark from claiming the game and advancing to a semi-final match against England.
After a tense hour of play, Italy broke the deadlock at the 59-minute mark with a powerful strike across the box. Spain responded with a goal at the 80-minute mark. The match came to a thrilling conclusion with Italy barely winning in a penalty shootout, earning them a spot in the final at Wembley Stadium, either to see Queen perform at Live Aid or to face England.
At Wembley Stadium, Denmark opened the scoring with a thrilling goal from Mikkel Damsgaard off a free kick taken well outside the box after 29 minutes of play. England equalised in the second half, but the real drama came during extra time with the awarding of a penalty to England after Raheem Sterling “tripped” in the box. Harry Kane converted the penalty, leading England to its first men’s major tournament final in many years.
Italy emerged victorious as champions of the UEFA Euro 20
20, defeating England in a penalty shootout 3-2 on July 11th at Wembley Stadium in London.
The match was not a clear-cut win for Italy in the first half, as England’s Luke Shaw scored the fastest goal in Euro final history in just one minute and 57 seconds, causing a massive uproar from the crowd. England continued to dominate the midfield with the efforts of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, but they could not score another goal.
Italy’s recognisable strength, having remained unbeaten in 33 consecutive matches and only conceded ten goals, came to the forefront in the second half. Italy equalised the game in the 67th minute, with Leonardo Bonucci scoring the goal.
The game had to be decided with a penalty shootout. Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho missed their penalties. Italy won 3-2 after penalties.
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