The Euro’s 2020 Summary
F.H. Macdiarmid 01/07/2021
At this stage in the tournament we are down to 8 remaining teams, whittled down from the 24 strong that burst through the qualifiers, those 8 being England, Ukraine, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark and The Czech Republic. Let’s go back however, and review some of those teams that couldn’t make the cut to the semi-finals:
France: They Bigger They Are…
As two-time champions and one-time runners up to previous championships (1984, 2000 and 2016 respectively), France were expected to win in their group stage. What was not expected was for France to be beaten in a nail-biting episode against Switzerland, wherein France had a two goal lead on the Swiss at the 75 minute mark, which Switzerland responded to by levelling the playing field in less than 10 minutes. Then, another half an hour of extra time going by goal-less from both sides, Switzerland having flawless (5/5) penalties and M’bappe’s shot being stopped short by Sommer (Truly earning his №1) sealed France’s football fate.
Germany: Beaten Black, Yellow and Red
Having narrowly escaped the clutches of Group F (also known as the group of death), Germany faced off against England in their first Round of 16 match. Due to Kane’s early-game reception of a desperately rough pass from a surrounded Sterling and Germany’s impressive rap sheet of goals tallied up against Portugal in Group F, most England fans were expecting their players to be coming home bar a trophy, but, thanks to Pickford’s incredibly quick thinking against one of the fastest shots seen all season from Havertz, Sterling’s stealthy goal past Neuer and a powerful header into the goal from Kane, England managed to survive their fight with Germany.
Netherlands: High Fliers Cut Short
It’s always a surprise when a comfortably positioned, promising team’s chances are shot down by a desperate underdog clinging to victory like their life depends on it. As one of the six teams that concluded the group stage at the number one spot within their group, I expected The Netherlands to do far better than they did, once they got through the gates of the group stage, they were immediately beaten 2–0, by The Czech Republic, a team who barely made it past the group stages as one of the best 3rd place performing teams.
North Macedonia: The Underdogs
The 2020 Euro’s were North Macedonia’s first time ever getting past the qualifiers, beating both powerhouses like Germany 2–1 and weaker teams like Lichtenstein 5–0. Despite this impressive precedent, the team were knocked out at the group stage, causing further grief from supporters with the knowledge that this would be the last time their star player and captain Goran Pandev would ever grace the international stage.