UEFA Euro 2020: Sweden pips Slovakia, Croatia and England settle for draw
The 2020 UEFA Euro hosted its Matchday 9 commitments on Friday evening. Sweden happened to be the only team on the winning side, while Croatia and England were involved in draws. As the race intensifies for knockouts, we present the round-up from this matchday.
The race for the knockouts seems to be intensifying, as the UEFA Euro 2020 held its Matchday 9 assignments on Friday evening. Three matches were conducted, while only one game had a definite winner, besides the others settling for a draw. In the same light, we present the round-up of this matchday.
Sweden edges past Slovakia
In the opening game of the evening, Sweden entertained Slovakia at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium. The opening half was relatively composed, with just three promising attacks coming up, but to no avail, as the deadlock stayed in place. However, in the second half, 11 bright chances were created. Meanwhile, in the 77th minute, Emil Forsberg fired in the winner via a penalty, as the Slovakians were left heartbroken.
- In an interesting stat, the combined average age in the clash was 30 years and 125 days, which happens to be the second-highest in the Euro after 2008's Greece vs Sweden (30 years 178 days).
- Also interestingly, 88% of Sweden's goals come in the second half of Euro, which is the highest by any side having scored at least three goals in the competition.
- Alexander Isak produced six dribbles in the game, which is the highest in the tournament this year, while it is the most for Sweden in the same since Tomas Brolin in 1992.
Croatia fails to get past the Czech Republic
The 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up has not had the best of the tournament so far. After losing the opening game to England, Croatia faced off against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The opening half was relatively competitive, with Patrik Schick putting the Czech ahead in the 37th minute through a penalty, as it led at half-time. However, just a couple of minutes following the restart, Ivan Perisic fired in the equaliser. Nonetheless, both settled for a point each.
- Schick has scored all the goals for the Czech in the tournament this year. It is the most for the nation in any significant competition after Milan Baros (5) in 2004.
- Perisic happens to have scored in the previous four major tournaments (Euro/World Cup), making him the first Croatian to do so in different competitions.
England surprisingly held by Scotland
In the most anticipated game of the evening, England took on neighbouring rival Scotland at the Wembley Stadium in London. The opening half was competitive, with three promising attacks resulting, while a couple of them came from the visitor. Nonetheless, the deadlock failed to budge at half-time. The following half too largely went in favour of Scotland, as it produced a couple of attacks again of the three bright chances. However, the end result was not decisive at all, as both sides shared the honours.
- With 25 years and 31 days of average age, England fielded its youngest side in a Euro/World Cup game.
- It was the first time since a 2017 friendly that England failed to produce a single shot on target in the opening half, besides being the first since an actual game in 2014.
- England extended the record of having played the most goalless draws in the Euro/World Cup (17), a couple more than the others.
- It was England's only second competitive goalless draw in the new Wembley after 2010 against Montenegro in the Euro.
- Jack Grealish won the most fouls (4) as a substitute, which is the most in the competition this year, besides being the most in the tournament to date after Éder for Portugal (5).
- Billy Gilmour produced the most passes in a game against England (40) for a Scottish player on debut.
- Gilmour is also the youngest Scottish to start a game in a top tournament, at 20 years and seven days.
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