Italy to face Spain in first semi-finals on Tuesday

Sports Monday 05/July/2021 19:21 PM
By: Uday Joshi
Italy to face Spain in first semi-finals on Tuesday
Jorginho (L) of Italy vies with Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium during a UEFA Euro 2020 Championship quarterfinal match in Munich, Germany

The quarter-finals of the Euro Cup began on July 2, with Spain taking on a confident Swiss side.

Switzerland’s star player Granit Xhaka was on the bench due to a suspension that he received in the Round-of-16 tie-breaker against France.

Spain opened the score in the 8th minute, thanks to a Jordi Alba strike which deflected off midfielder Denis Zakaria and went into the Swiss goal. Throughout the game the ball was seldom on the feet of the men in red with Spain controlling 73% possession in the 90 minutes.

Yann Sommer was a busy man as he had to keep 10 shots from crossing, the goal line which he did exceptionally. Xherdan Shaqiri equalised for Switzerland in the 68th minute which was the result of a defensive error between centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Pau Torres.

The game was forced into penalties with neither side scoring in the 120 minutes.

Captain Busquets stepped up to take Spain's first penalty which hit the woodwork reducing the widespread tension among the Swiss fans. Although the penalties started with an advantage to Switzerland, they were not able to capitalise and scored just one out of the five penalties taken. Spain scored 3 of theirs and booked a place in the semifinals.

Later that night Italy took on the Red Devils which saw one side on top of their game and the other really off-colour.

Belgium lost the game 2-1, scoring only a penalty. Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne scored for Italy before half-time, but Belgium reduced the deficit to one at the stroke of half-time. The Red Devils tried breaking the Italian defence several times but the combined experience of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci denied them.

Kevin De Bruyne played the game with a torn ligament and was still able to be the Belgians best player showing how underwhelming the performances from his team mates were. With this victory, Italy will face Spain in the semi-finals on Tuesday, July 6.

On Saturday, July 8, Denmark will take on England.

Denmark opened the scoring thanks to Thomas Delaney, who was unmarked in the Czech box and headed home the corner comfortably.

The Czech upped their game after the first setback and began asking the Denmark defence various questions but was unable to break it down completely.

On the stroke of half-time Kasper Dolberg tapped in a brilliant cross from the left hand side, doubling the lead for the Danes.

Once the players were back on for the second half, Czech Republic dominated for the first 15 minutes in which they were able to score a goal which came off the boots of in-form man Patrick Schick making him the joint top scorer in this Euro with five goals. The game ended at 2-1 with Denmark reaching their first semifinal in 29 years.

The final game of the quarterfinals was played between the Three Lions and Ukraine in Rome.

Harry Kane opened the scoring in the fourth minute by slotting home a brilliant pass from City winger, Raheem Sterling.

Luke Shaw was in the limelight for most of the game assisting Harry Maguire in the 46th minute and Harry Kane in the 50th minute, taking England's lead to 3-0.

13 minutes later, Jordan Henderson bagged his first goal for England by heading home a Mason Mount corner which sealed the game for the Englishmen.

Ukraine was not effective in front of the goal thanks to rock solid defending from Harry Maguire, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Kyle Walker. England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been the main reason for England not conceding a single goal this tournament. England is set to play Denmark on Wednesday, July 7.