458 views | Akaolisa Emmanuel | June 30, 2021
The thrill at the EUROS is gathering momentum as coincidences, predictions and surprises blend to give followers an exciting tournament. None of the 8 matches in the round of 16 played out without a twist.
An emotional Denmark thrashed Wales 4-0 in Amsterdam even in the absence of its influential captain who is recovering from a cardiac arrest.
Though football pundits expected them to win, Italy left it late with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Austria at Wembley.
On Sunday, the tournament got its first major upset as Czech Republic shocked the Netherlands with a 2-0 win in Budapest, before holders Portugal were dumped out by Belgium, almost signaling the end of an illustrious national career for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Spain struck twice in extra time in Copenhagen on Monday to beat Croatia 5-3 in an absolute classic, before Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive penalty as Switzerland stunned favourites France in a shootout after an equally dramatic 3-3 draw.
The last two matches of the second round also had their fair share of memorable results. The game between common rivals England and Germany was expected to be quite interesting as history and ambition stood like a bracket between both teams.
Going by recent performances, Germany was tipped to come out victorious at the final whistle, though not with a high margin. Alas, it wouldn’t be so as England won the match 2 – 0.
The final game of the round of 16 followed suit like other which had preceded it. It was between Sweden and Ukraine, bonded by the same colors in their country flags, yellow and blue. A novice couldn’t tell which team was which. After ending the normal playing time 1 – 1, the game went into extra time and just after the final minute of the extra time where it seemed there was definitely going to be penalty kicks to determine the winner, the usual twist of this particular tournament sealed the round; a final gasp goal from Ukraine, sending them into the quarter finals.