Sport Recaps

The Euros 2020 Recap: Group Stage Matchday 1

We bring you all the biggest headlines from the first matchday of the group stages at the European Championship starting in Rome. England host Croatia, Spain take on Sweden, plus we’ll cover every other game from Matchday 1.

Italy begin Euro 2020 campaign with victory

Italy got off to a bright start in Group A as they recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Friday night. 

Roberto Mancini’s men took the lead on 53 minutes when Domenico Berardi fizzed a low ball across the face of goal in search of a teammate which Merih Demiral couldn’t help but turn into his own net. 

The Azzurri’s doubled their advantage just after the hour mark when Ciro Immobile was the quickest to pounce on a loose ball to fire his effort beyond the reach of Ugurcan. 

Italy wrapped the game up in the 79th-minute when Lorenzo Insigne collected the through-ball from Immobile to curl his strike home superbly into the bottom corner. 

Wales earn a point in Baku opener

A second-half header from Kieffer Moore was enough to rescue a point for Wales as they drew 1-1 against Switzerland at the Baku Olympic Stadium. 

Vladimir Petkovic’s team went ahead shortly after the break when Xherdan Shaqiri whipped in a brilliant cross which was met by Breel Embolo who headed home from close range. 

The Dragons found the equaliser on 74 minutes when Joe Morrell curled a wonderful ball into the box to pick out Moore who guided his header beyond the reach of the goalkeeper Sommer. 

Mario Gavranovic thought he’d found the winner for Switzerland late on when he rifled in the dropping ball but this was ruled out for offside following a VAR review. 

Finland edge the Danes following a dramatic turn of events in Copenhagen

Finland beat Denmark 1-0 in their first major tournament match at the Parken Stadium, but it’s not a game that will be remembered for the right reasons. 

Just four minutes before half-time, Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed on the pitch and after referee Anthony Taylor immediately called medics onto the field, the Inter Milan midfielder had to receive life-saving CPR before leaving the stadium and being taken to hospital in a ‘stable condition. 

The game resumed later that evening where it was Finland who found the winning goal on the hour mark when Joel Pohjanpalo met the cross in from Jere Uronen to head home past Kasper Schmeichel. 

Lukaku at the double for the Red Devils

Belgium are well and truly up and running after they earned a dominant 3-0 victory over Russia at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg. 

Romelu Lukaku put his team ahead after just 10 minutes when he controlled the cross in from Mertens to turn and fire his effort home beyond the reach of Anton Shunin. 

The Red Devils’ lead was doubled on 34 minutes when Thorgan Hazard’s initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper but parried straight into the path of the substitute Thomas Meunier who tapped home the rebound from close range. 

Lukaku made it three in the closing stages of the game after he outpaced the Russian defender Diveev to finish low into the bottom corner. 

England dominate in Wembley opener

England have opened their Euro campaign with a win for the first time ever after they recorded a 1-0 victory over Croatia at Wembley Stadium. 

The Three Lions almost went ahead inside 10 minutes when Phil Foden collected the through-ball from Raheem Sterling but his curling effort could only hit the post. 

England did eventually take the lead just before the hour mark when Sterling latched on to a superb pass from Kalvin Phillips to slide in the only goal of the game past Livakovic. 

Austria claim first Euros win

Austria have earned their first-ever Euro’s win after they claimed a comfortable 3-1 victory over North Macedonia at the National Arena in Bucharest. 

The hosts went in front on 18 minutes when Stefan Lainer met the teasing cross from Marcel Sabitzer to head home beyond Dimitrievski at his near post. 

North Macedonia found that all-important equaliser just before the half-hour mark when their captain Goran Pandev capitalised on a defensive mix-up to tap in before Franco Foda’s side re-took the lead in the 78th-minute when Gregoritsch poked home the cross from David Alaba. 

Austria made it three late on after Marko Arnautovic played a brilliant one-two with Laimer to take the ball around the goalkeeper and wrap up the game for his team.   

Netherlands edge 5 goal thriller in Amsterdam

A late goal by Denzel Dumfries was enough for the Netherlands to beat Ukraine 3-2 at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam. 

The Flying Dutchmen went ahead on 52 minutes when Georginio Wijnaldum was the quickest to pounce on a loose ball inside the area before Wout Weghorst doubled their advantage after he rifled his strike beyond Bushchan at his near post. 

Ukraine pulled a goal back in the 75th-minute when Andriy Yarmolenko curled a superb solo effort into the top-left hand corner before Roman Yaremchuk levelled it up when he headed home from close range. 

Frank de Boer’s men found the winner just 5 minutes from time when Dumfries rose to meet the brilliant cross from Nathan Ake to turn in past the goalkeeper. 

Schick scores screamer in Scotland win

Czech Republic have started Group D with a victory after they beat Scotland 2-0 at Hampden Park in Glasgow. 

The visitors took the lead shortly before the break when Patrik Schick met the cross in from Vladimir Coufal to head home into the bottom corner. 

The striker added his second of the night and sealed the three points on 52 minutes after he collected the through-ball from Tomas Soucek to volley the ball over the goalkeeper from the halfway line in what was the best goal of the tournament so far. 

Slovakia record shock victory

Slovakia have pulled off a surprise victory in Group E after they beat Poland 2-1 at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg. 

Pavel Hapal’s team opened their account on 18 minutes when Robert Mak’s solo effort deflected off the shoulder of Wojciech Szczęsny and into the back of the net in what was the first-ever goalkeeper to score an own goal in European Championship history. 

Poland found the equaliser just 30 seconds after the break when Maciej Rybus cut the ball back to Karol Linetty who bundled over the line from close range. 

The hosts’ hopes of making any kind of comeback soon vanished after they were reduced to 10 men with Grzegorz Krychowiak receiving a second yellow card for a late challenge on Michal Mrazik. 

Slovakia got the winning goal on 69 minutes when Milan Skriniar met the corner in from Hamsik to rifle his effort low into the bottom left hand corner. 

Spain disappoint in Seville

Spain were held to a goalless draw on Monday night as they drew 0-0 against Sweden at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville. 

The best chance of the first half fell to Alvaro Morata who was allowed in on goal following a defensive error by Marcus Danielson, but he could only fire his strike wide of the right-hand post. 

Sweden’s golden opportunity came in the second period when Alexander Isak squared the ball to Marcus Berg who was unmarked in the box but he failed to tap home from point-blank range at the back post. 

Despite Luis Enrique’s side dominating most of the possession throughout the game, they were unable to take advantage of this and therefore had to settle for the point. 

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