Every team has now played two games in Euro 2016 and glancing the standings, I don’t believe anyone had this setup. Group F, more than anything has completely turned on its head and the four teams faced off today. Many expected Portugal to finally take charge and go after Austria as they were expected to do against Iceland. The results were well…
1) Biggest winner: Belgium
Literally the biggest winner because they won by the largest score margin, a 3-0 victory against Ireland. But more importantly, it means Belgium is back in the hunt to advance and at least a draw against struggling Sweden should be more than enough to advance to the knockout round.
2) Standout performer: Robert Almer – Austria
Robert Almer had to deal with a disorganized defense and a increasingly frustrated Portugal team, the Austrian goalkeeper held his own and saved six shots to earn the draw. He also had a bit of luck as he went the other way on Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty kick that hit the post. And speaking of Ronaldo…
3) Biggest loser: Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
There’s unlucky and there’s Cristiano Ronaldo today. Ronaldo did everything but score and you could see that it was frustrating him. Two big moments were his disallowed goal off a free kick when he was offside and his penalty kick that hit the post. Ronaldo still hasn’t scored in this tournament after two games and is trying to become the first player to score in four consecutive Euro tournaments.
4) Best tweet:
I'm never talking crap about Iceland. Ever.
— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) June 18, 2016
5) Biggest surprise: Hungary is on top of Group F with a game to go
The team who had to get in on the playoff round and was regarded as one of the worst teams in the tournament, Hungary has been proving everyone wrong with a win over Austria and a draw to Iceland. While Hungary hasn’t yet clinched a knockout stage spot, they should have nothing to lose against Portugal. A draw guarantees one of the third place spots and it’s likely that even with a loss, four points is good to advance.
6) Worst moment: Flares thrown after Hungary goal
Again with the flares. You can increase security and increase the amount of levels someone must go through before entering a stadium, but when they clearly aren’t doing their job (and they apparently aren’t when flares are still regularly getting in), that means UEFA didn’t learn a thing from what happened France in November and are lucky nothing like that has happened yet. I get that flares are visually appealing and all but it’s not the time nor the place at this point now.
7) Best goal:
Belgium’s first goal against Ireland was more on the great run by Kevin de Bruyne but Romelu Lukaku had a great finish as well.
8) Sunday’s games
We enter the third group game and you know what that means, everyone plays at the same time. Group A will play tomorrow as France/Switzerland and Romania/Albania face off at 3:00 PM ET. Switzerland need to beat France for the group while Romania and Austria face a must win for a chance to advance to the knockout stage.