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.
FRANCE 2-1 (0-1) IRELAND
Goal(s): 0-1 Robbie Brady (2′, penalty), 1-1,2-1 Antoine Griezmann (58′,61′)
Hosts France were tested and had to score a 2-1 comeback win over Ireland in an intriguing pre-quarterfinal.
Ireland had the perfect start into the game as within the first minute Paul Pogba brought down Shane Long inside the box and referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed to the dreaded spot and Robbie Brady gave the Irish a surprise lead. France was shocked and Ireland were looking for the counter and they had the better chances in the first session.
After the break France increased their pressure and within three minutes Antoine Griezmann’ double strike in the 58th and 61st minute turned things around for L’Equipe Tricolore. The Irish were beaten and lost Shane Duffy on a red card for a last man foul on Griezmann in the 66th minute to complete their eight bad minutes.
France could have enhanced their lead in the end, but it stayed 4-0 at the end and the hosts moved into the quarterfinals.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Antoine Griezmann (France) #FRAIRL
GERMANY 3-0 (2-0) SLOVAKIA
Goal(s): 1-0 Jerome Boateng (8′), 2-0 Mario Gomez (43′), 3-0 Julian Draxler (63′)
Defending world champions Germany once more stamped their authority on an opponent at Euro 2016 by rather easily beating Slovakia 3-0 in Lille.
Germany made the perfect start in the 8th minute with defender Jerome Boateng banging the ball into the net following a Toni Kroos and could have enhanced their lead in the 13th minute after Mario Gomez was fouled in the area by Martin Skrtel, but Mesut Özil’s penalty was saved by a strong Matus Kozacik in goal.
But Germany kept the pressure on their opponents with Slovakia only having a chance through a Juraj Kucka header which Manuel Neuer cleared over the crossbar
and then Germany doubled their lead just two minutes before half time when Mario Gomez scoring off a brilliant pass from Julian Draxler.
Slovakia came out a better side in the second half, but except an early Juraj Kucka shot there came little from then the Slovaks and Germany sealed the game in the 63rd minute when Draxler got his goal following a Kroos corner and Hummels headed it on. Germany were through but thereafter wasted a few more chances to win the game with a bigger margin.
Now they await tomorrow’s winner between Italy and Spain in what could be a classic quarterfinal.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Julian Draxler (Germany) #GERSVK
HUNGARY 0-4 (0-1) BELGIUM
Goal(s): 0-1 Toby Alderweireld (10′), 0-2 Michy Batshuayi (78′), 0-3 Eden Hazard (79′), 0-4 Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco (90+1′)
Belgium controlled Hungary for most parts of the game, but got a little scare before scoring three late goals in a 4-0 rout of the Eastern Europeans, who did not deserve to concede four goals.
After missing early chances through Lukaku and de Bruyne, it was a Toby Alderweireld header which gave Belgium a 10th minute lead and it would stay this way until the break as Belgium wasted tons of chances and Hungary also couldn’t use the few long range chances that they had.
After the restart both teams had their chances in an open game before Belgium sealed the game in just over a minute after 78 minutes. First following a corner, Eden Hazard found substitute Michy Batshuayi to score with his first contact and then captain Hazard himself scored after a fine solo. Hungary were beaten but they tried to get a consolation goal but conceded one more in added time through another substitute in 0-4 Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco.
Belgium now face an impressive and tricky Wales in the quarterfinals.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Eden Hazard (Belgium) #HUNBEL