UEFA Euro 2020: Matchday 17

It always going to be nearly impossible for the two games on match-day 17 at UEFA Euro 2020 to follow up what happened the previous day.  However, it didn’t disappoint.

In one match, you had two old-time rivals clashing once again in the knockout round of a major tournament.  In the other match, you had two teams looking to extend their surprise runs this year.

By the end of the day, we were left with the final eight teams vying for European Championship glory.  As far as how we came up with the last two entrants, here’s what happened:


England 2, Germany 0

The stage was set for these two teams to renew their rivalry once again in front of a nearly half full Wembley Stadium.  After a bit of a feeling out period, England nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Raheem Sterling sent a curling shot headed for the right corner, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was able to make the diving save.

Germany had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 32nd minute when Kai Havertz slid in his Chelsea teammate Timo Werner on the left side of the box, but the striker was unable to lift his shot past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.  Both teams plodded along to finish out the half.

The Germans were the aggressors at the start of the second half as Pickford was called into action to lift a wicked volley from Havertz over the bar.  England brought on fresh legs a few minutes past the hour mark in order to regain control of the match.

The breakthrough occurred in the 75th minute when England were able to work the ball over to Luke Shaw on the left side of the box and the left-back played a perfect ball into the six-yard box for Sterling to redirect into the back of the net for his third goal of the tournament.

Germany could’ve tied it in the 81st minute when Havertz played a through ball that set Thomas Müller on a breakaway, but the forward’s attempt from outside the box traveled just wide of the left post and out of play.

England would make Germany pay for that missed opportunity a few minutes later when substitute Jack Grealish received the ball in the same space as Shaw did and fired a ball into the six-yard box that was headed in by Harry Kane to seal the match.  It was the striker’s first goal for England at the Euros.

The win was England’s first vs. Germany in a knockout match at a major tournament since the 1966 FIFA World Cup final.  This was also Germany’s first loss in the Round of 16 at a major tournament and was also Joachim Löw’s final match as manager.


Ukraine 2, Sweden 1 (AET)

A match considered to be an afterthought by plenty of fans and pundits, there was plenty of action early on.  Ukraine’s Roman Yaremchuk had a good look at goal in the 11th minute, but goalkeeper Robin Olsen went down to his right to make the save.

Despite an even number of attempts, Ukraine struck first in the 27th minute when Andriy Yarmolenko received the ball on the right side of the box and sprayed a cross to the back post with the outside of his left foot.  Oleksandr Zinchenko was there to hit a first-time volley on the bounce that had just enough power to beat Olsen to the right side of the net.

Sweden would equalize a few minutes before halftime when Emil Forsberg’s shot from outside the box took a big deflection before bouncing over the diving Georgiy Bushchan and into the net for his fourth goal at Euro 2020.

A wild sequence occurred around 10 minutes into the second half when Ukraine’s Serhiy Sydorchuk rang the right post with a strong effort from inside the box, only for Sweden to counterattack a minute later and see Forsberg hit the same post with a shot from the left side of the box.

Dejan Kulusevski forced Bushchan to make a diving stop on his attempt following a corner in the 66th minute before Ukraine marched down the field to see Yarmolenko’s shot from the right side saved by Olsen.

Sweden were again unlucky in their search for the winning goal in the 69th minute when Forsberg hit the woodwork for the second time in the match, this time hitting the crossbar with a thunderous effort after cutting in on his right foot. Neither side could come up with another strong chance, so extra time was required.

The dynamic of the match changed in the first period of extra time when VAR upgraded a yellow card shown to Sweden’s Marcus Danielson to a straight red for a high, studs-up challenge on the leg of Ukraine’s Artem Besedin.  Despite being down a man, Sweden made it through the first 15 minutes without conceding.

It seemed like the match was headed to penalty kicks as it got deeper into the second period of extra time, but Ukraine came through in stoppage time when Zinchenko whipped in a cross from the left side towards the near post, which was headed in by 24-year-old Artem Dovbyk.

This is Ukraine’s first-ever appearance in the quarterfinals at the Euros and their first at a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup.  They will face England in Rome on Saturday.


For more of my soccer coverage, check out “Atletico TV” on Facebook and the “Gateway to Soccer Show” on YouTube, as well my previous recaps here.