EUROS: Anguish, Relief & More

What Caught The Eye On Matchday One.

By  | Jun 16, 2021, 12:05 PM

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Euro 2020 may only be a few days old but it has already stretched our emotional capacity. Exciting matches with amazing goals intertwined with soul-wrenching scenes. Here’s what caught the eye on matchday one.   

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The Fragility Of Life

Even the most fanatic of fanatics kept their affiliation aside at the sight of the chilling images that followed the collapse of Denmark’s captain Christian Eriksen near the end of the first half of Denmark versus Finland. 

Right in front of our eyes was a man fighting for his life. What was a joyous occasion turned into a somber and quite frankly a traumatic experience. Fans at the Parken Stadium, Copenhagen watched in shock, faces winced, hands-on head. 

Eriksen’s teammates fought back tears and barricaded him to keep off the prying cameras from broadcasting to the world what was at the time an unfolding tragedy. (We take note of his recovery and progress).

Every minute of those ten forced us all to contemplate the fragility of our own existence. Nothing else mattered. Human life after all is most precious and the way the global football fraternity rallied behind Eriksen proved that.

Germany Sees Bleu

Imagine getting a call up back to the team to strengthen its core and then score an own goal right in front of your own fans that costs you the game. Yeah! That’s Matts Hummels. 
Germany just keeps bleeding losses. They could find themselves out of a major tournament at the group stage again after Russia 2018. A subdued Joachim Low on the touchline must have pondered, "What more can I really do?" with his successor Hansi Flick watching just above him. 

France, favourites for the tournament underlined their credentials once more. Probably most if not all who watched quietly thought “this is why they’ll win it.”

Where Is The Goal?

The team that scores the most goals wins the game. Can someone please tell Spain? 17 shots, five on target, 86% possession and no goals? I don’t think these guys know where the goalpost is. 
 To Sweden’s credit, they were bloody stubborn. Their statistics don’t even come close. Four shots, only one on target and 14% possession. But you know what matters, a precious point against Spain.

Cristiano GoalNaldo

You won't even notice he is 36 years old. A full match plus a brace for the Portuguese captain and a Raphael Guerreirro opener was enough to finally dispatch a stubborn Hungary. Portugal are the defending champions and kicking off with a win is crucial. And the football they played, was actually not that bad.

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Baptism Of Fire

Patrik Schick’s sumptuous double welcomed Scotland back to the international stage with a 2-0 defeat. His second goal from just inside Scotland’s half was the pick of the two. Watch that goal if you haven’t it’s well worth your time. 

Scotland had spells of good display but couldn’t capitalize on the chances they created. By the time the second goal went in, Scottish fans looked on with anguish. They knew. Up next is England at Wembley and it could be over even before they get started.

Phew! We Got Lucky

The scoreline might flatter Netherlands but Frank De Boer knows that they squeaked past Ukraine. The match seemed to be headed for a draw after Ukraine levelled but Denzel Dumfries saved Oranje the blushes with a third goal just five minutes from time. De Boer’s ability has always been questioned since he took over from Ronald Koeman and if Sunday’s scenario repeats itself, those doubts will only be amplified further.

Italy Can Play Good Football

Rome must have been heavenly on the opening night after Italy kicked off with a convincing 3-0 win over Turkey. The Azzurri were in full gear, mounted waves of attacks on Turkey and left them with no breathing space. This was a departure from their usual pragmatic, drab brand of football. Roberto Mancini’s restoration works continue and seem to have gotten people excited. But will the Azzurri keep the nation alive?  

Lukaku Delivers 

Romelu Lukaku “speaks the language of goals” the commentator said. He bagged two of three Red Devil’s goals and sealed a perfect evening. All this went down without the injured Kevin De Bryune and Axel Witsel. Eden Hazard just had a cameo appearance but having won comfortably, it just speaks to the depth of Roberto Martinez side. 

A Line For England

Did I mention that the Three Lions won against Croatia? Yep! And you know what that means? English fans are turning the volume a notch up on - it’s coming home.

A Thought on Turkey

After all the talk about how hot Turkey can be; yours truly included in that, the let down was real. We can say that Italy was very very good, which they actually were, or Turkey, hurried and suffocated out of the pack, just couldn't do their thing. They can still pull out a surprise in the next two group games. Who knows? 

More action continues with matchday 2 already underway.

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