Wayne Gretzky and Michael Scott’s famous quote that, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” seems a fitting theme for the fourth day at UEFA Euro 2020.
The day saw a couple of surprising results occur as well as a surprising shot on net that went in. It featured a couple of teams that disappointed in their opening match despite being the host nation on the day, our first red card of the tournament, and our first goalless draw.
So, in case you missed anything or needed a refresher, here’s what happened on day four at the Euros:
Czech Republic 2, Scotland 0
12,000 fans were on hand in Glasgow to see Scotland’s first match at a major tournament since the 1998 FIFA World Cup, but it was the Czech Republic who started well when forward Patrik Schick forced goalkeeper David Marshall into a reaction save going down to his right at the near post in the 16th minute. Scotland would eventually regain control of the match and almost opened the scoring through Andrew Robertson, who’s shot towards the top center of the net was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík. However, the Czechs would convert their next chance following a corner when Schick rose to meet Vladimír Coufal’s cross and direct his glancing header to the bottom left corner of the net a few minutes before halftime.
The Czechs were on Scotland from the jump in the second half with Schick and Vladimír Darida forcing Marshall to make consecutive saves, but the Scots had an even better chance to equalize when Jack Hendry hit the crossbar with his shot from just outside the box. They would end up ruing that they didn’t convert that chance a few minutes later when a blocked shot would rebound all the way to Schick in the middle of the pitch. Seeing Marshall way off his line, Schick went for goal and his effort curled beautifully over the outstretched arms of the retreating goalkeeper and into the back of the net for his second goal of the match. Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes had an open look at goal in the 66th minute, but the lack of power on his shot allowed Vaclík to make a kick save. The Czech Republic’s defense would hold firm after that chance and secure all three points in their opening match.
The Czech Republic will look to secure their place in Group D in their next match vs. Croatia while Scotland will have to come up with a result vs. their rivals England.
Slovakia 2, Poland 1
All eyes were on Poland’s Robert Lewandowski in the buildup to this match and he didn’t disappoint initially as Slovakia had to block two consecutive shots of his inside of the box within the first 10 minutes. However, there were warning signs on the defensive end for Poland when Ondrej Duda was allowed to cut in on his right and fire a shot just wide of the left post in the 14th minute. Slovakia would be successful on a similar move a few minutes later when Róbert Mak split two defenders cutting in on his right and unleashed a shot that rang the near post, hit off the back of Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, and wound up in the net. Lewandowski whiffed on his only other chance of the half as he bore the brunt of the focus of Slovakia’s defense.
Poland’s response was immediate in the second half when just 30 seconds in, left wing-back Maciej Rybus squared a ball in the box for Karol Linetty, who was able to score from close range despite kicking the ball off his shin. The dynamic of the match would change again in the 62nd minute when Poland were reduced to 10 men after Grzegorz Krychowiak received his second yellow card of the match after he stepped on an opponent. Slovakia would cash in on the man advantage in the 69th minute when center-back Milan Škriniar settled a headed pass from a corner in the box and smashed home his shot into the bottom left corner. Poland had a few opportunities at the end for a late equalizer, including Lewandowski glancing his header just wide of the far corner.
Poland face group favorites Spain in their next match while Slovakia will face off against Sweden.
Spain 0, Sweden 0
The first half of this match was pretty much all Spain as they had 84 percent of possession. Their first real chance at a goal came in the 16th minute when Dani Olmo rose up to meet a cross from Koke, but his header was saved by Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen going down to his left. Koke would follow up a few minutes later with his own chance, but he dragged his shot just wide. Spain’s other major chance came in the 38th minute when Álvaro Morata was in on goal after a miskick from Sweden’s defense, but he missed just wide of the target as well. Sweden then had a glorious chance to open the scoring when striker Alexander Isak broke into the box and patiently waited for the Spain defense and goalkeeper Unai Simón to commit, but his shot was cleared off the line and then off the post by Marcos Llorente into the arms of Simón.
Spain seemed to allow Sweden into the match in the first part of the second half, and they nearly got on the board after Isak maneuvered his way around multiple defenders in the box before squaring the ball to Marcus Berg, but he bumbled his shot wide from close range. Spain would continue to dominate possession, but as a result of not creating as many chances, elected to replace their entire front three by the 74th minute. The payoff almost happened in the 90th minute when substitute Gerard Moreno met Pablo Sarabia’s cross with a strong header, but Olsen was quick to react again to make the save. Moreno and Sarabia had a few more looks deep into stoppage time but were emblematic of Spain’s day in front of net.