The 2016 UEFA European Championships is being played across France from June 10 to July 10 for the first time with 24 nations across 10 venues in nine cities with the French capital Paris being the only city with two venues in the Stade de France and the Park de Prince.
The defending double champions are Spain, who are three time record champions along with Germany.
GROUP D – Matchday 2
Czech Republic 2-2 (0-1) Croatia
A superior Croatia wasted chances galore to allow the Czech Republic back into the game and score a 2-2 draw.
Croatia looked good going forward, while the Czechs again like in their match against Spain were ultra-defensive. Croatia lacked the killer instinct in the first half an hour, but went ahead in the 37th minute when Milan Badelj won the ball from Jaroslav Plasil and it to the left to Ivan Perisic and the winger scored from about 14 metres out with a placed shot.
The match picked-up in the second session with the Czech’s now more in the game, but except a Ladislav Krejci shot didn’t come about but it gave the Croatians more space for their attacks and they doubled their lead in the 59th minute when Marcelo Brozovic found Ivan Rakitic and he lobbed the ball over an onrushing Petr Cech.
But Croatia soon after lost their influential playmaker Ivan Modric and a feeling of having secured the three points allowed the Czech Republic to make an unlikely comeback. First substitute Milan Skoda headed the Czech’s first goal in the 76th minute, but Brozovic missed the decider for Croatia before referee Mark Clattenburg had to stop the game for a few minutes as Croatian fans threw fireworks onto the field and there were fights in the stands.
In added time Croatian defender Domagog Vida handled the ball in the area and the resultant penalty was blasted into the nets by Tomas Necid to give the Czech Republic a late 2-2 draw against the Croatians.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) #CZECRO
Spain 3-0 (2-0) Turkey
Defending champions Spain scored a fluent 3-0 win over Turkey, who showed some promise at the start but were beaten by the superior quality of La Furja Roja.
Turkey made a strong and confident start with striker Burak Yilmaz having to be stopped by Sergio Ramos with a foul and the Spain captain received a yellow card, but thereafter it was mainly Spain to pressed Turkey deep into their half.
But Spain needed 34 minutes to go ahead with Alvaro Morata heading in a Nolito cross and not having digested the shock of going behind, Turkey were two down in the 37th minute when Cesc Fabregas’ cross was unintentionally headed on by Mehmet Topal to Nolito who placed the ball into the net. Turkey were in danger of disintegrating but kept the scoreline the same until the break.
In the second session Spain continued with their dominating game and made it 3-0 in the 48th minute when Andres Iniesta found Jordi Alba free on the left, who squared to Morata to seal the win.
Morata soon after missed the target with a head to score his third, while at the other end Burak could not reduce the deficit. Thereafter it was a done deal with Spain and Turkey both having some half chances.
In this form, Spain are surely the top favourite to complete their UEFA Euro treble.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Andrés Iniesta (Spain) #ESPTUR