After all the drama of the group stages, we finally got knockout international football and it didn’t disappoint. Now just eight teams remain in the competition with the Euro 2020 quarter-finals ready to be played starting July 2.
Just when you think you’ve everything in football, the sport has a funny way of making you believe anything is possible. June 28 would forever be remembered as one of the most exciting match days in the history of the European Championships as Croatia and France were knocked out of the competition, after providing us with two classic matches.
If the Round of 16 was anything to follow, the quarter-finals are going to be a blockbuster of an event. Here we’ve taken a quick look at the four ties.
SWITZERLAND vs SPAIN
Tournament favourites France were drawn against Switzerland in the round of 16 tie and nobody gave the Swiss team even a glimmer of hope in this matchup. Against all the odds, Switzerland managed to pull off an upset by winning the penalty shootout and book a seat in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
The team to be involved in the first match of June 28 was Spain and La Roja put on a show in their game against Croatia. They scored twice in extra time to qualify for the next round with a thumping 5-3 victory.
BELGIUM VS ITALY
FIFA World number one team Belgium were up against the defending champions Portugal in their Round of 16 match and Roberto Martinez’s side put on a performance worthy of the best team in the world. They didn’t get flustered at all throughout the 90 minutes and Thorgan Hazard’s screamer was enough for them to keep their tournament hopes alive.
Italy were up against Austria in their Round of 16 match and needed Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina to come off the bench and help them qualify for the next round. This clash between Belgium and Italy promises to be the most high profile match of the quarter-finals.
CZECH REPUBLIC VS DENMARK
Two teams that no one would have had in their quarter-finals prediction before the start of the tournament are the Czech Republic and Denmark. Both these teams have played some wonderful football and deserve to be in the last eight of the competition. Denmark breezed past Wales with a comfortable 0-4 victory while the Czech Republic ensured that Frank de Boer, Netherland’s coach, got the sack as they beat the Dutch 0-2.
UKRAINE VS ENGLAND
The final match of the Euro 2020 quarter-finals would be played in Rome between Ukraine and England. Ukraine scored with virtually the last kick of extra-time to book a place in the quarter-finals of a major tournament for just the second time.
On the other hand, England pulled off a historic result at the Wembley Stadium as they beat Germany 2-0 in their round of 16 match. Gareth Southgate pulled off a tactical masterclass in this match against the Germans and England remain the only team yet to concede a goal in this tournament.
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