Euro 2020 matchday 17: the best Belgium in the world faces defending champion Portugal
Posted On June 27, 2021
World-leading Belgium and title-holders Portugal will face off on Sunday in a bid to secure a place in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals against Italy
The Netherlands, meanwhile, will face the Czech Republic at Puskas Arena for the right to meet Denmark, which ended Wales’ hopes with a 4-0 victory in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Kasper Dolberg scored on either side of half-time at the Johan Cruyff Arena, before late goals from Joakim Maehle and Martin Braithwaite concluded in an impressive victory.
Wales, which were one of the most traveled sides in the tournament, finished with 10 men after substitute Harry Wilson was sent off in the last minute as Gareth Bale’s men bowed.
Italy had finally sent a stubborn Austria after extra time at Wembley.
The Azzuri had appeared to be one of the best teams in the tournament in the group stages, but struggled to find clear chances as Austria remained firm, with a long-range effort from Ciro Immobile hitting the crossbar .
Austria, who finished second to the Netherlands in Group C, were the better side after the break and had the ball in the net thanks to a header at the far post from Marko Arnautovic – but the former West Ham forward had his effort canceled by VAR for offside.
Italy finally opened the scoring in the fourth minute of extra time when substitute Federico Chiesa shot at the far post and Matteo Pessina scored a weak second, before Sasa Kalajdzic headed for late but deserved consolation.
Welsh captain Bale waived a post-match interview when asked about his future following the defeat to Denmark. Bale led Wales in their 96th cap but, in the preparation for the tournament, there has been speculation the 31-year-old might consider retiring. When asked if this would be his last game for Wales, Bale rolled his eyes and walked out of the post-match interview on the pitch. Wales caretaker coach Robert Page defended Bale’s reaction after being asked about his future saying emotions were running high. Wales fans everywhere will be praying that the Real Madrid forward decides to give Qatar another chance at the 2022 World Cup.
The beautiful Italian work of Mancini
Italy boss Roberto Mancini was eager to play down the label of his country’s favorites ahead of the round of 16. finally said. Mancini’s well-established team have now exceeded the unbeaten number set by Vittorio Pozzo’s team between 1935 and 1939. There are only three left to go. No pressure.
Message of the day
Is Denmark ready for a fairytale finish
Denmark became a lot of people’s ‘second team’ for the way they reacted after Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest in his opening group game and had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator. They may have qualified for the knockout stage on a wave of emotion, but that still shouldn’t deflect Kasper Hjulmand’s strong footballing performances on their way to the final eight.
Quote of the day
Italy continue to innovate at Euro 2020. In addition to extending their unbeaten run to 31 games to set a new national record, the Azzurri also had not conceded a goal for 1,168 minutes until Kalajdzic finally pierces their resolute defenses. Before that, the Netherlands were the last team to score against Italy in a Nations League game in October 2020.
Holland v Czech Republic (Round of 16, June 27, Budapest, 1700 BST) Belgium v Portugal (Round of 16, June 27, Seville, 2000)