Euro 2020 – Friday Recap

by SoccerCatch
Euro 2020 - Sunday Recap
Euro 2020 - Sunday Recap

Euro 2020 returned to action on Friday with a set of low-scoring affairs as England and Scotland faced each other in their 100th official match.

Let’s take a look at what happened at Euros today.

Sweden 1-0 Slovakia

Following a goalless draw with Spain in their Group E curtain-raiser, Sweden had to pick up all three points against Slovakia to boost their hopes of advancing to the knock-out stage of Euro 2020.

Despite keeping the Spaniards at bay, Janne Andersson’s men failed to attempt a single shot on target against La Furia Roja, raising concerns about their attacking capacity.

Another impressive defensive display from Sweden saw them prevent Slovakia from producing a shot on target, though they had another quiet match in the attacking sense.

After a bore first half that witnessed neither side create a single clear-cut opportunity, Sweden upped the tempo in the second 45 minutes, pursuing an all-important goal.

Werder Bremen’s Ludwig Augustinsson raised above his marker on the hour mark to meet a perfect corner-kick delivery from Emil Forsberg, but his header rattled off the crossbar.

Sweden continued to put Slovakia’s defense under pressure, with Real Sociedad forward Aleksandar Isak wasting two decent chances to put his side in front.

The key moment of the match took place in the 76th minute. Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka brought Robin Quaison down to the ground in the 18-yard box.

Forsberg was relentless from the spot, firing his side to a massive 1-0 victory and a step closer towards securing qualification.

Ahead of the final group stage fixture, Sweden are top of Group E. They take on underperforming Poland in a decisive encounter on June 23.

Croatia 1-1 Czech Republic

Croatia entered Matchday 2 on the back of a narrow 1-0 loss to England at Wembley, desperately looking to bounce back against the Czech Republic side they have not lost to in any of their previous three internationals.

Meanwhile, Jaroslav Silhavy’s men enjoyed a stunning start to their Euro 2020 journey, overcoming Scotland 2-0 in their Group D opener.

Bayer Leverkusen star Patrik Schick, who stole the show against the Tartan Terriers, made sure to give his team a first-half lead on Friday.

Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren hit Schick with an elbow after a corner, with referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande pointing to the spot after consulting with the side-pitch monitor.

The 25-year-old forward sent Dominik Livakovic the other way to give the Czechs a half-time lead.

Schick is currently the leading goalscorer at Euro 2020, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku following with two goals apiece.

However, the spot-kick proved insufficient for the Czech Republic to claim back-to-back European Championship wins as Ivan Perisic put things back to square one two minutes in the second half.

The Inter Milan utility man received an inch-perfect through ball from Andrej Kramaric and managed to settle himself for a top-class finish to draw the board.

A draw may be enough for the Czech Republic to reach the round of 16 if the results on Matchday 3 go their way.

But they will face a stern test in the shape of England in their third match at Euro 2020.

Meanwhile, the 2018 World Cup runners-up have to beat Scotland in the final group stage fixture to preserve their hopes of making it through.

England 0-0 Scotland

Wembley Stadium was the venue as England and Scotland locked horns in their most-played fixture in football’s history.

After squeezing past Croatia in their inaugural match of Euro 2020, the Three Lions were keen on solidifying their place at the top of the section against arch-rivals.

Despite succumbing to a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic in their first match at major tournaments in the 21st century, the Tartan Terriers seem to have managed to pick themselves up.

In a match that saw plenty of running and temp but very few scoring chances, Scotland managed to hold an all-star English team to a goalless draw.

Unfortunately for Steve Clark’s men, a stalemate in London leaves them with the faintest of hopes that they can qualify for the knock-outs.

Andrew Robertson and co will trade tackles with Croatia in their final group stage outing after drawing a blank in both of their Euro 2020 matches so far.

On the other hand, England will take on the Czech Republic in a game that would see both teams progress from the group stage with a draw.

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