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Euro 2020 Rewind: France wins Group of Death, Sweden edges Poland to top Group E

World Cup winners France were expected to impress at Euro 2020, but Didier Deschamps side did more than that by claiming top spot in the Group of Death.

France held on for a 2-2 draw with Portugal on Wednesday, taking the top spot and setting up a Round of 16 clash with Switzerland. Karim Benzema scored twice for Les Bleus to give them a positive result heading into the knockout stage.

Germany used a late equalizer from substitute Leon Goretzka to finish second in Group F after a 2-2 draw with Hungary. The Germans will next face England in London in the Round of 16, a much tougher clash than the one they faced today.

Sweden and Spain also advanced on Wednesday taking the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in Group F respectively. Viktor Claesson’s 93rd minute winner helped Sweden remain unbeaten in the tournament while Spain rolled past Slovakia 5-0.

Here’s a look back on the action from Day No. 12 of Euro 2020:

Portugal 2, France 2

(Cristiano Ronaldo 31′, 60′) – (Karim Benzema 45+2′, 47′)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been sensational for Portugal during the European Championship and the star forward helped his team earn a draw with defending World Cup winners France.

Ronaldo scored a pair of penalty kick goals to help Portugal tie France 2-2 on Wednesday. The result sees Portugal finish third in the group, but ultimately is a bounce-back performance after losing 4-1 to Germany in its second group stage match.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal in the 30th minute, striking into the bottom-left corner after Hugo Lloris was whistled for a foul on Danilo.

VAR ruled in favor of a penalty kick decision before halftime as Nelson Semedo bundled into Kylian Mbappe inside of the box. Karim Benzema sent Rui Patricio the wrong way and celebrated his first goal of the tournament which tied things up.

Paul Pogba played distributor in the 47th minute, playing Benzema in with a through ball assist. Benzema did the rest, scoring into the bottom-left corner for his second goal of the match.

Jules Kounde was whistled for hand ball though just before the hour mark and Ronaldo would equalize for Portugal, scoring his second penalty kick goal of the match.

Both teams finished with five shots on goal apiece and split the points in what ended up being a thrilling affair from Budapest.

Portugal will next face Belgium in the Round of 16 while France takes on Switzerland.


Germany 2, Hungary 2

(Kai Havertz 66′, Leon Goretzka 84′) – (Adam Szalai 11′, Andras Schafer 68′)

Germany didn’t make it look pretty against Hungary, but did enough to advance into the knockout stage with a 2-2 draw.

Leon Goretzka came off the bench to score the equalizing goal for Joachim Low’s men in the 83rd minute. The Bayern Munich midfielder struck home inside of the box to end Hungary’s dream of eliminating the Germans and advancing to the Round of 16 themselves.

Adam Szalai’s 11th minute goal broke the deadlock from Munich as Hungary raced out to an early lead against the favorites. Germany would own possession as the match went on and eventually tied things up with Kai Havertz scoring his goal in as many matches.

The Chelsea forward nodded home from close range after Mats Hummels header was blocked.

Andras Schafer flicked momentum back into Hungary’s favor in the 68th minute, heading past Manuel Neuer after the goalkeeper missed his clearance attempt. However, Hungary’s defensive work would unfortunately let them down in the final minutes.

Goretzka answered for the Germans with a stellar strike past Peter Gulasci, giving Germany all they needed to advance. Up next for the Germans is a date with Group D winners England.


Sweden 3, England 2

(Emil Forsberg 2′, 59′, Viktor Claesson 94′) – (Robert Lewandowski 61′, 84′)

Sweden almost saw its quest for the top spot in Group E come crashing to an end, but a late winning goal in Saint-Petersburg handed the Swedes the top spot.

Viktor Claesson’s 94th minute winning goal proved to be the difference as Sweden edged Poland 3-2 to top Group E over Spain. Robert Lewandowski scored a second half brace for Poland to tie things up, but their fight back fell just short.

Claesson received a pass from Dejan Kulusevski in stoppage time before racing past several Poland players and hitting a shot into the corner.

Emil Forsberg struck first for Sweden in the second minute, finishing inside of the box after Poland failed to clear. Alexander Isak played a pass to Forsberg, allowing the midfielder the opportunity to create room for a shot on goal.

Forsberg struck again in the 59th minute, capping off an impressive counter attack from the Swedes. Kulusevski placed a pass to Forsberg, giving the playmaker room to guide a shot around Wojciech Szczesny.

Lewandowski started the comeback attempt in the 61st minute, curling a shot between both Sweden center backs and into the top corner. The Bayern Munich star was at it again in the 84th minute, connecting with Przemyslaw Frankowski and coolly beating Robin Olsen for the second time.

Claesson played the hero in stoppage time though, sending Sweden into the Round of 16 as group winners.


Slovakia 0, Spain 5

(Martin Dubravka OG 30′, Aymeric Laporte 45+3′, Pablo Sarabia 56′, Ferran Torres 67′,Β Juraj Kucka OG 71′)

Spain finished as runners up in Group E after rolling to a 5-0 final group stage victory over Slovakia.

Three different players got on the scoresheet for Luis Enrique’s side while Slovakia also conceded twice into its own goal. Martin Dubravka foolishly punched a shot into his own goal in the 30th minute which cancelled out his earlier penalty kick save on Alvaro Morata.

Aymeric Laporte sent a looping header into the top corner in the third minute of first half stoppage time, doubling Spain’s lead before halftime. Gerard Moreno was credited with the assist after recycling a cross back into the box.

Things got worse for Slovakia after halftime as Pablo Sarabia opened his account at the tournament. Jordi Alba fizzed a cross into the box and Sarabia struck his shot into the bottom-right corner.

Ferran Torres added an insurance goal later in the half before an own goal from Juraj Kucka added insult to injury for Slovakia in the 71st minute. Slovakia finished third in the group on three points, but ultimately will see its dream of advance end.

Here’s a closer look at the Round of 16 schedule:

Saturday, June 26

Wales – Denmark

Italy – Austria

Sunday, June 27

Netherlands – Czech Republic

Belgium – Portugal

Monday, June 28

Croatia – Spain

France – Switzerland

Tuesday, June 29

England – Germany

Sweden – Ukraine

 

 

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