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.
SWITZERLAND 1-1 (0-1);4-5 POLAND [after penalties]
Goal(s): 0-1 Jakub Blaszczykowski (39′), 1-1 Xherdan Shaqiri (82′)
Poland won 5-4 on penalties against Switzerland after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes in Saint-Étienne with Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka missing the only penalty of the shootout.
Poland were more alert at the start as within seconds of the kick-off a mistake by Djourou was nearly put away by Milik and Poland had some more half chances before Switzerland got their act together, but for all the ball possession there were no real chances to show.
Just as Switzerland had a chance through Dzemaili, Poland scored off a counterattack which was finished off by Jakub Blaszczykowski in the 39th minute.
The Swiss were better in the second half, but they had to wait until the 82nd minute for the equaliser which came off the boot of Xherdan Shaqiri, a bicycle kick, the goal of Euro 2016 so far. It stayed 1-1 after 90 minutes and the game went into extra time, where both sides tried to avoid mistakes until Switzerland upped the tempo but the chances for substitute Derdiyok were wasted and a late chance for Poland through Piszczek was denied by keeper Sommer.
Then came the shootout and Xhaka’s miss, which resulted in Polish celebrations of qualify for the first time for a UEFA Euro quarterfinal.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland) #SUIPOL
WALES 1-0 (0-0) NORTHERN IRELAND
Goal(s): 1-0 Gareth McAuley (75′, own Goal)
Wales were made to work hard and were lucky to beat a better Northern Ireland at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Northern Ireland’s Dallas tested Wales keeper Hennessey in the 10th minute before Aaron Ramsey scored an offside goal for Wales and then Ward again tested Hennessey, but that was it as both sides had too much respect of each other and didn’t want to risk too much.
Wales controlled the game after the break, but chances were non-existent until Gareth McAuley put the ball into his own net in the 75th minute off a Gareth Bale cross with Robson-Kanu behind him ready to score. Thereafter Northern Ireland tried their bit but they did not get a chance to equalise and Wales created history by becoming the first debutant in 20 years to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Gareth Bale (Wales) #WALNIR
CROATIA 0-0;0-1 PORTUGAL
Goal(s): 0-1 Ricardo Quaresma (117′)
In what was expected to be an entertaining match-up between Croatia and Portugal in Lens turned out to be a total disappointment.
It was a tactical game in which Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos packed his midfield not to allow Croatia’s creativity take control and the Croatians under coach Ante Cacic seemed surprised and clueless how to break them down.
The match really only came to live in the last five minutes of extra time with Croatia first risking something with Ivan Perisic’s 116th minute header hitting the post and then Croatia lost the ball going forward and Portugal used the chance with Subasic saving a Cristiano Ronaldo shot but substitute Ricardo Quaresma was there to head the ball into an empty net to the joy of the Portuguese at the ground.
Croatia now put everything into attack and got a final chance just before the final whistle with Vida putting the ball just wide for a third time in the game and Portugal moving into the quarterfinals.
Carlsberg Man of the Match: Renato Sanches (Portugal) #CROPOR