The group stage is officially over! We now know the 16 teams who made it to the knockout rounds. But how did we get there? Let’s take a look back at Matchday 3 of Euro 2020 to see just how things shook out across all of the groups!
Matchday 3 of Euro 2020
The final matchday of Euro 2020 had the drama and intrigue of teams moving up and down their group tables. In every group, there was some movement at some point in the final matches. This is the beauty of this type of international tournament as the players were really pushing to represent their nations in the final 16! On top of the first and second place teams that knew they would be advancing any team that finished in third had to scoreboard watch to see if they were one of the four best to make it on to the knockout rounds. Here’s a look at how everything shook out on Matchday 3 of Euro 2020.
Group A has had some great matches. There could be a true contender for the title coming out of this group; as well as, some underdogs. Will this group have just the top two move on, or will their third-place finisher move on as well?
Italy score goal that wins group pushing Wales to 2nd
In a match that would eventually see both of these teams finish in the top two, Italy and Wales ended both team’s group stage campaigns with a good match. In the first half, it was all Italy as they eventually found the opening goal near halftime.
In the second half, Wales defended valiantly and pushed for an equalizer, but a red card made their push lessened. In the end, Italy wins Group A, and Wales finished in second. Both teams look good enough to make a run in the knockouts. These two teams will play in their round of 16 matches on Saturday!
- Matteo Pessina | Italy | 39′
Switzerland keep knockout hopes alive in win over Turkey
Switzerland and Turkey came into their final match still alive. They had the possibility to make the knockout rounds as one of the best third-place teams in the tournament. As the game kicked off it was clear that one nation wanted that opportunity more than another.
The Swiss scored two goals in the first half, effectively downing the Turkish opportunity to move on. Turkey did keep pushing and found a goal with 28 minutes to go, but soon after Switzerland found a third goal. They won 3-1. After all of the matches were played, Switzerland found out that they were one of the four best third-place teams and are on to the knockouts. They play on Monday against the Group F winners!
- Haris Seferović | Switzerland | 6′
- Xherdan Shaqiri | Switzerland | 26′, 68′
- İrfan Kahveci | Turkey | 62′
Group B was filled with drama, the top-ranked team in the world, and a redemption story. Only two teams made it out of this group. One was obvious, and the other showcases an amazing story of strength!
Russia fall flat; Denmark advance to knockout rounds in huge win
Russia and Denmark were both alive on the final day. All Russia needed to do was win to advance; Denmark needed to win and get some help in the other Group B match. In this one, that hope was all Denmark needed to get fired up.
Denmark scored four on the day while conceding a penalty. This put them on three points with a plus-one goal differential. Russia was also on three points after the loss but had a minus-five goal differential. Denmark passed them, and thanks to Belgium winning they had a better goal differential than Finland as well. The Danish advance to the knockout rounds.
- Mikkel Damsgaard | Denmark | 38′
- Yussuf Poulsen | Denmark | 59′
- Artem Dzyuba | Russia | 70′ (P)
- Andreas Christensen | Denmark | 79′
- Joakim Mæhle | Denmark | 82′
Finland eliminated by Group winners Belgium
Finland was in a good position to advance during their final match of the group stage. Unfortunately for them, they had to go up against group winner Belgium. Finland did well for a long stretch in the match, but Belgium found their breakthrough eventually.
In the last 16 minutes of the match, Belgium scored twice, one that came off a misplaying by Finland for its own goal. Belgium’s crushed the hopes of Finland, while confirming that Denmark would also make it out of Group B. Belgium has definitely been the best side of this group taking nine points from the three group stage matches.
- Lukáš Hrádecký| Finland | 74′ (OG for Belgium)
- Romelu Lukaku | Belgium | 81′
Group C had teams in it that were all pretty evenly matched. It only makes sense that three teams out of the four made it out of this group!
Ukraine keep hopes alive despite loss to Austria who’s knockout bound
Heading into the final matchday, Ukraine and Austria were both on three points with a zero goal differential. Essentially, if one side was able to get the win, they would take second place outright. This is exactly what happened in this match.
Austria dominated the game with their shots. They had the mentality that you can’t score without shooting. Ukraine had more of the ball but didn’t shoot as much as Austria. Putting up shots seemed to bring the difference. Austria scored in the 21st minute and held off Ukraine for the rest of the match. This confirmed Austria went second, while Ukraine dropped to third. Ukraine did eventually advance to the knockouts as a third-place side.
- Christoph Baumgartner | Austria | 21′
North Macedonia sent home by Group C champs Netherlands
North Macedonia’s Euro 2020 ended against group winners Netherlands. While North Macedonia side seemed just happy to be there, they still put good efforts out there in all three matches. In this one though, they were no match for the men in Orange.
The Netherlands scored one in the first half and two in the second half. They secured their spot as group winners thanks to getting their third win from three matches. They are off to the knockout rounds to take on the third-place team from Group D.
- Memphis Depay | Netherlands | 24′
- Georginio Wijnaldum | Netherlands | 51′, 58′
There were two giants in Group D and two hopeful sides. The two giants made it through to the knockout rounds, while one of the hopeful underdogs will be playing in the round of 16!
Croatia qualify for knockouts in blowout vs Scotland
Croatia made the final of the 2018 World Cup, but in Euro 2020 they seemed to struggle in their early group stage matches. In their last group stage match, they put a pounding on Scotland. Scotland needed a win to be in contention to qualify but fell way short.
Croatia scored early on, and Scotland equalized just before halftime. As the match went on Croatia asserted their dominance scoring twice. This big 3-1 win for Croatia confirmed that they finished second in the group. Scotland had a great tournament but fell short in the biggest moment.
- Nikola Vlašić | Croatia | 17′
- Callum McGregor | Scotland | 42′
- Luka Modrić | Croatia | 62′
- Ivan Perišić | Croatia | 77′
Czech Republic fall to third in loss to Group D victors England
The Czech Republic looked like one of the more entertaining teams from Euro 2020. Their final match came against England, a side who hadn’t lost, but had only scored once from their first two matches. This match was set up as the winner takes the group.
In the match, England controlled the possession but only had three shots on target. One of those shots was put in by Raheem Sterling. This proved to be the winner, as the usually fun Czech side struggled to get past the English defense. The loss moved the Czech Republic to third place, and after the final match was over they found out they’d be on to the knockouts to play the winners of Group C!
- Raheem Sterling | England | 12′
Group E saw only two teams make it to the knockout rounds. The Group winners may surprise you while the runners-up finally began to show their bite in their final group stage match!
Sweden outlast Poland win Group E
Sweden has looked like a very good side at Euro 2020. They don’t always get the spotlight, but they are legit in their attack and structured on defense. Poland is a team that struggled, due to only having one way to play in their attack; serving the ball to Robert Lewandowski. This match had a lot riding on it for both nations.
Sweden needed a win to win the group; Poland needed to win to possibly make the knockouts. The action started early with a Sweden goal. They found a second goal in the second half. This was followed by two goals from Lewandowski, and it looked like the match was going to end in a draw. That is until Sweden found the winning in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time. Sweden wins the group, and Poland crashes out!
- Emil Forsberg | Sweden | 2′, 59′
- Robert Lewandowski| Poland | 61′, 84′
- Viktor Claesson | Sweden | 90+4′
Slovakia crash out losing 5-0 to Spain
Slovakia was a very fund team in Euro 2020. They sat in second place ahead of Spain on the final day. All they needed to do was draw or get a win to put themselves in a good spot to make it to the last 16. Unfortunately for them, Spain finally came to play on matchday three.
Spain had trouble in their first few matches. They struggled to attack against Sweden and beat Poland, but needed the perfect result against Slovakia to secure second place. Spain did just that as they scored five, and limited Slovakia to no shots on target. Spain moved on to the knockouts, while Slovakia dropped to third, but their negative five-goal differential meant they were knocked out of the tournament.
- Martin Dúbravka | Slovakia | 30′ (OG for Spain)
- Aymeric Laporte| Spain | 45+3′
- Pablo Sarabia | Spain | 56′
- Ferran Torres | Spain | 67′
- Juraj Kucka | Slovakia | 71′ (OG for Spain)
Drama in the final matchday saw three of the nations from the group of death move on to the knockout rounds. All three teams are legitimate powerhouses coming into the knockout rounds.
Portugal and France split points, both make knockouts
In the group of death, we got a matchup on the final group day of the 2018 World Cup winners, France, and the Euro 2016 winners, Portugal. The match had fireworks and penalties galore! France sat on four points while Portugal had three if either could get a win, they’d have a great chance at winning the group.
Unfortunately, there was no winner in this match. There were goals though. Ronaldo converted two penalties for Portugal, and Benzema converted one as well while also scoring from the run of play. France sat on five points, which was enough to win the group. Portugal sat on four points, which was enough to secure third place in the group to advance to the knockout rounds.
- Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal | 31′ (P), 60′ (P)
- Karim Benzema | France | 45+2′ (P), 47′
Germany equalizes late securing 2nd place and knocks out Hungary
Hungary looked like a great underdog in this group. They had all to play for on the last day, as a win would catapult them into the knockout rounds. Germany had that same opportunity and looked to use its pedigree to get past Hungary. Early in this match, it looked as though Hungary would do the impossible.
Hungary scored in the 11th minute and held that lead until the 66th. Germany equalized but immediately conceded again. It looked like Hungary was going to do defeat the odds, until Goretzka found an equalizer with only four minutes to go. The match ended in a draw, which was enough to propel Germany to second place in the group. Hungary had a great tournament and was most definitely the best last-place team in a group, but they failed to move on, thanks to this draw.
- Ádám Szalai | Hungary | 11′
- Kai Havertz | Germany | 66′
- András Schäfer | Hungary | 68′
- Leon Goretzka | Germany | 84′
On to the knockout rounds!
The knockout rounds begin on Saturday as the round of 16 kicks off! These matches will go to extra time after the 90 minutes are up, should the match be tied. After 180 minutes of play, the matches will transition to penalty kicks to determine a winner! Here are the matches in this round of 16:
- Wales vs Denmark | Saturday, June 26 @ noon ET
- Italy vs Austria | Saturday, June 26 @ 3:00 pm ET
- Netherlands vs Czech Republic | Sunday, June 27 @ noon ET
- Belgium vs Portugal | Sunday, June 27 @ 3:00 pm ET
- Croatia vs Spain | Monday, June 28 @ noon ET
- France vs Switzerland | Monday, June 28 @ 3:00 pm ET
- England vs Germany | Tuesday, June 29 @ noon ET
- Sweden vs Ukraine | Tuesday, June 29 @ 3:00 pm ET
These matches will be so much fun as we will see the desperation and quality that comes from knockout international football. This tournament brings out the best form from some of the biggest players in the world! Don’t miss any of the action on ESPN! We’ll of course have you covered with previews of the rounds and recaps of the matches here on Philly Sports Network!
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Mandatory Credit: UEFA Euro 2020 via Twitter