Euro 2020 – Saturday Recap

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

Euro 2020 was back in action on Saturday with a set of Group F fixtures accompanied by a Group E encounter between Spain and Sweden.

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

Hungary 1-1 France

Hungary staged the biggest surprise of Euro 2020 so far, holding the tournament favorites France to an unlikely 1-1 draw at the packed Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Despite entering their Matchday 2 encounter against Les Bleus as huge underdogs, the Hungarians managed to pick up a half-time lead through Attila Fiola.

Didier Deschamps’ headline performers Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema failed to capitalize on their chances early on and were brutally punished on the stroke of half-time.

Fiola, who tormented Benjamin Pavard down the left flank, exchanged a sublime one-two with Roland Sallai and escaped the Bayern Munich defender to give Hungary a surprising lead in the first-half stoppage time.

France leveled the score in the 66th minute as Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann slotted the ball home following Mbappe’s brilliant solo effort against several opposition defenders.

However, the reigning World Cup titleholders failed to complete the turnaround, with RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi thwarting Mbappe’s potent left-footed attempt from point-blank range.

Deschamps will be frustrated with his team’s performance ahead of their decisive Matchday 3 clash against Portugal.

Meanwhile, after going down 3-0 to the defending European champions, Hungary have given themselves an outside chance of miraculously making it out of ‘Group of Death’ with a win against Germany in their final group stage fixture.

Portugal 2-4 Germany

Encouraged by a 3-0 thrashing of Hungary in their Group F opener, Portugal went into their Matchday 2 meeting with Germany with high hopes.

However, Fernando Santos’ men completely fell apart at the Allianz Arena despite taking an early lead through the European Championship all-time highest scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Joachim Low’s side assumed control of the game early on and continued to pile on the pressure after falling behind in the 15th minute.

Germany’s unrelenting attacks paid off in the 35th minute. Atalanta’s Robin Gosens whipped the ball into the six-yard box, with Ruben Dias scoring an unfortunate own goal to put things back to square one.

It took Die Mannschaft only four minutes to turn the table on the Selecao, with Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro slotting the ball past his own keeper to fire the Germans to a half-time lead.

Chelsea’s Champions League hero Kai Havertz put clear daylight between the teams six minutes into the second half on the back of another delightful cross from Gosens.

The 26-year-old crowned his breathtaking display with a towering header to propel his side to a 4-1 lead on the hour mark.

Portugal managed to pull one back as Ronaldo returned the favor to Diogo Jota for a first-half assist in the 67th minute.

However, the reigning champions’ hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 knock-outs have suffered a massive blow as they need a positive result against France on Matchday 3 to progress from Group F.

Meanwhile, Germany, who bounce back from a frustrating 1-0 loss to Les Bleus, are in the driving seat to finish top of the section heading into their group stage finale against Hungary.

Spain 1-1 Poland

After a dismal goalless draw with Sweden in their Euro 2020 curtain-raiser, Spain put on another underwhelming performance on Saturday night.

La Furia Roja squandered a half-time lead provided by Juventus striker Alvaro Morata to begin their Group E journey with back-to-back draws as Robert Lewandowski gave Poland hope of reaching the knock-outs.

Spain got off the mark in the 25th minute, with Morata tapping in Gerard Moreno’s cutback to open his side’s account at Euro 2020.

However, only seven minutes post the restart, the inevitable happened. Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski got the better of Aymeric Laporta in an aerial duel to cancel out Spain’s lead.

Moreno, who had a decent game up until that point, wasted a golden opportunity to restore his side’s lead, with his spot-kick effort rattling off the post.

Missed chances came back to bite the Spaniards, leaving them staring at the prospect of failing to qualify for the European Championship knock-outs for the first time since the 2004 edition.

On the other hand, Poland could still seal a place in the round of 16 if they manage to beat Sweden in their final group stage fixture on June 23.

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