Knockout Stages Round-Up (Euro 16 Diaries Vol. 13)


Hello? Is it safe? Can I come out of hiding? You sure? Ever since England were humiliated by Iceland, I haven’t been into the outside world and haven’t been on my blog, but now it’s final day so I might as well round up what has been going on since the defeat whilst I’ve been mourning the loss of my sanity.

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The first quarter final match saw Poland face Portugal, and after a fiery, quick-paced first half which saw Renato Sanches cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s early goal, the game was dull up until a penalty shootout, which Portugal eventually won 5-3.

Wales shocked the world of football by walloping Belgium 3-1, with a beautiful Robson-Kanu Cruyff turn which sent every football pundit into raptures and provoked a couple of Premier League teams to show an interest in snapping up the free agent striker. Marc Wilmots was heavily criticised for his lack of ability to get the best out of an extremely gifted squad, who are clearly far better on FIFA 16 than they are in Euro 16.

Germany and Italy, maybe two of the best teams in the competition, met prematurely in the third quarter final, and a tight game went to penalties, which went on forever before Manuel Neuer’s save finally sent the Germans through 6-5. Simone Zaza will always be remembered for his run up that was almost as long as his penalty was high!

In the last quarter final, that team lost 5-2 in a thriller to the hosts France, in the highest-scoring game of the tournament.

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Heroic Wales faced off a Portugal side who had not previously won a single game in 90 minutes at the tournament, but they proved a class above Wales and Ronaldo did enough to send the triumphant Welsh packing. 2-0.

Germany, after seeing off a superb Italy side, played an even better France side, and if anyone was going to beat the world champions, it would be the hosts. In the end, Antoine Griezmann scored another two goals to send Germany home, but the final 2-0 scoreline did not reflect the equal match-up.

And so, Portugal and France would face off in the final of Euro 2016…

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