Euro 2020: Slick Germans stun holders Portugal

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, June 20, 2021, 02:28 AM IST
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Robil Gosens | AFP

Munich: Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring but from then on it was pretty much one-way traffic as Germany, inspired by Robin Gosens, stunned the holders, Portugal 4-2 in Euro 2020 a Group F, at the Football Arena, here on Saturday.

At the Puskás Arena, Budapest, Hungary got off the mark in Group F as they worked hard to hold France, and at the La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, in Spain Group E, Poland held Spain 1-1.

Germany went on the attack from the off in Munich, thriving on the vibrancy offered by their wing-backs. Robin Gosens, even found the net but his well-taken finish was ruled out for offside. Back they came, wave after wave, but Portugal repelled them before the sucker punch: Cristiano Ronaldo starting and finishing a thrilling counterattack.

Die Mannschaft picked themselves off the canvas, dusted themselves down and resumed the barrage. The pressure told with two own goals in the space of five minutes late in the first half, with Rúben Dias and Raphaël Guerreiro inadvertently beating Rui Patrício. Portugal were stunned, unable to muster a response; and it got a lot worse before it got better.

By the hour mark it was 4-1 and the holders were out on their feet. Kai Havertz tapped in before the brilliant Gosens headed in a cross from Joshua Kimmich. Joachim Löw rang the changes, with half an eye on Wednesday, and Portugal improved, pulling one back through Diogo Jota. Renato Sanches rattled the post too with a stunning strike but the damage was done.

Hungary 1-1 France

At the Puskás Arena, Budapest, Hungary got off the mark in UEFA EURO 2020 Group F as they worked hard to hold France.

The finals co-hosts led at half-time through Attila Fiola but Les Bleus hit back via Antoine Griezmann to move on to four points ahead of their group finale against Portugal, where they may well require a point. Hungary must beat Germany in Munich on Wednesday to have a chance of a round of 16 berth.

Hungary began the brighter but France were soon into their stride. Péter Gulácsi did well to deny Karim Benzema from distance and shortly afterwards Kylian Mbappé headed just off target. The Hungary captain Ádám Szalai was forced off injured midway through the first half and the world champions kept pushing, Griezmann and Mbappé combining to set up Benzema, who half-volleyed wide.

There seemed only one team that could score before half-time – but not the side that did. In added time, Fiola played a running one-two with Roland Sallai, beat Benjamin Pavard and Raphaël Varane, and slid his shot past Hugo Lloris.

France continued to press despite that setback and just prior to the hour Ousmane Dembélé, only just introduced, smashed an effort against the post. The equaliser arrived shortly afterwards, a long Lloris clearance finding Mbappé, who worked the ball back via a Willi Orbán deflection for Griezmann to smash in. France now sensed the victory that would take them through with a game to spare, but Gulácsi bravely denied Mbappé and Varane nodded wide with the final touch.

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