By Ashley Paiva
The Euro Cup has finally started after being cancelled last year due to COVID. By now, it’s been just over a week since the beginning of the world-known tournament. Friday, June 11th, showcased the first group stage matches between Turkey and Italy, with Italy dominating that match in a 3-0 win. Saturday, June 12th consisted of three matches, a tie game of 1-1 between Wales and Switzerland, and a landslide of a win from Belgium against Russia for a 3-0 game. As well as a match that many people will probably say should have been cancelled between Denmark and Finland. Sunday, June 13th, went on to host England and Croatia, with England coming out on top with a 1-0 win. Austria and North Macedonia, Austria making their debut appearance in the Euro Cup, played with Austria winning in a 3-1 game. The last match on June 13th was between the Netherlands and Ukraine, and after a back and forth match, the Netherlands popped out on top with a 3-2 win.
The match between Denmark and Finland was stopped two minutes before the half-time whistle when one of Denmark’s players, Christian Eriksen, collapsed on the field. After what seemed like an eternity of seeing the medical team at the match work with him, he was carried off the field on a stretcher. There has since been news that he is conscious, alert, and stable in the hospital recovering. According to the update given by Deadline, the player suffered from cardiac arrest, which is what caused him to collapse. The game was postponed for about an hour, but resumed after halftime, despite many believing that after such a traumatic event the game should be cancelled.
On Monday, June 14th, there were another three matches, the first between Scotland and the Czech Republic leading the Czech to win in a 2-0 game. The second match between Poland and Slovakia ended with Slovakia winning in a 2-1 game. The day’s final match consisted of Spain and Sweden, which finished with no goals on either side, a 0-0 game. Tuesday, June 15th, hosted only two games, the first between Hungary and the 2016 Euro Cup champions, Portugal. After a long game of back and forth, Portugal finally gets a goal in the 84’ minute by Raphael Guerreiro. Three minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second goal from a penalty kick. Ronaldo soon scored Portugal's third goal in the extra time given, leaving the game 3-0 for Portugal. Portugal will go up against Germany on the 19th, and France on the 23rd. The second match of Tuesday between Germany and France ended in a 1-0 game for France, causing Germany to lose their opening match for the first time. This group is the most dangerous for Portugal to be in since it has both France and Germany in it. These two teams are extremely well put together. However, as of right now, Portugal has a good chance to top the group and move on. All we can do for now is to wait and see who comes out on top and go on to the next round.
Wednesday, June 16th begins the second group of matches within the group stage, starting with Finland and Russia. Russia takes the match at a 1-0 win at the end of 98 minutes. Following that comes Turkey and Wales, with Wales beating Turkey 2-0. Finally, the last match of the day was between Italy and Switzerland, which was a very one-sided game. Italy took the match with a 3-0 win. Thursday, June 17th, continues with another three matches, the first being between Ukraine and North Macedon. Ukraine was extremely dominant in this game, and while North Macedonia battled well in this match, Ukraine came out on top with a 2-1 lead. To keep North Macedonia from being eliminated they now must depend on the results of the end of day match. The second match of the day between Denmark and Belgium follows that. Even with Danish player Christian Eriksen, the player who collapsed from a heart attack in their first match earlier in the week, absent from the match, Denmark makes the first goal in the early minutes of the game. Belgium turned the game around, taking the match 2-1 at the end. To finish off the day, Austria takes on the Netherlands at 3 pm EST. Back and forth battles between them to score before a penalty kick was scored by the Netherlands. Later in the second half, the Netherlands scored again leading them to win the match in a 2-0 game.
To round out the work week, Friday has three matches as well, starting off with Sweden and Slovakia. After a very long 0-0 game for the first half and part of the second half, there is finally a goal. Sweden scored a goal on a penalty kick in the 77’ minute, leading them to a 1-0 victory over Slovakia. Following that goes Croatia and the Czech Republic battling each other. This game was finished very quickly, by the end of the first half all the goals were scored. The final time score was 1-,1 with the Czech Republic scoring first so they got the point for the match. Finally, England and Scotland battle it out to finish the day. England and Scotland have had a rivalry going for a long time. This match was thought to be the most interesting match of the day. After a back and forth between the rival teams, the final score came out to be 0-0. A tie game, with no goals on either side. If you want to keep up with the rest of the matches, watch them on TSN to see who wins. The times are 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm EST. What will happen in the rest of the matches to come? Will Portugal keep its title for a second time in a row? Or will someone boot Ronaldo off of the throne as “King of Europe?” Only time will tell to see who wins the 2020 Euro Championship Cup and who is left in the dust.