When the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020 had announced its postponed arrival amidst a show of music and balloons at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, little did anyone know what it had in store. Brushing aside the off-the-pitch noise of beverage snubs in the viral press conferences and the fans’ furore about taking a knee before the kick-offs, the tournament has been nothing short of enthralling on the pitch.
Right from the start, the 16th edition of the European Championship has impressed one and all — be it with Italy’s new-age renaissance under Roberto Mancini or with England’s quest to keep their dream alive or with the downfall of the giants.
GOLIATHS SHOWN THE DOOR EARLY ON
Upholding the drama of the sport, the Euro 2020 served multiple shocking moments as soon as the knockouts began. Where Austria stumbled, both Czech Republic and Switzerland succeeded as they respectively knocked out heavyweights Netherlands and reigning FIFA World Cup champions France. While Frank de Boer’s team failed to turn up on the night and shot themselves in the foot with a Matthijs de Ligt sending off, Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus were stunned by the hands of Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer and the sheer doggedness of their opposition.
Netherlands reached a new low in their 2-0 defeat to the Czechs on Sunday after failing to register even a single shot on target for the first time in the combined history of the UEFA European Championship and the FIFA World Cup. On the very next day, France were knocked out on penalties after being held 3-3 at the end of the extra time. Switzerland received all the plaudits on Monday as they overturned a 3-1 deficit in the final ten minutes of the normal time and went on to reach their first quarter-final at a major tournament in 67 years. On the other hand, holders Portugal were also shown the door in the last-16 by Belgium after a timid 1-0 loss.
new source: indian express