Day two saw the second match in Group A and the first two games of Group B take place. The first of the UK’s home nation teams took to the field when Wales faces Switzerland in Baku. Finland Travelled to Copenhagens Parken Stadium to face Denmark, And Belgium traveled to St. Petersberg to face Russia in the Krestovsky Stadium.
(I am not a sports journalist. I am just a journalist who likes watching live football and writing about stuff! If you want to correct anything I have written then please contact me via Twitter @BrokeBritannia).
Wales vs Switzerland: 1 – 1
The second group B match saw the first British team, Wales, face Switzerland, the world’s number 10 ranked team. The match took place in the gigantic Baku Olympic Stadium, Azerbaijan. The first half was slow to start although Switzerland was in control for the majority of it. Early on, Wales Kieffer Moore’s head was centimeters away from taking the lead, only to require medical attention a few minutes later following a clash of heads. Moore was quickly bandaged up and sent back into the match.
The second half saw Switzerland come out of the blocks hard, with Embolo scoring minutes into the half. Switzerland looked like they trying to lock the win down but Wales refused to give up! Then, it came, about 75 minutes into the half, the previously burst open and bandaged up Kieffer Moore used that wonderful head of his to thump the ball past the Swiss goalie for the equalizer. It was a brilliant goal, dare I say, poetic!
The last 10 minutes of the match were full of energy, the game was anyone’s for the taking but Wales was not giving up without a fight. Switzerland almost secured the win 5 minutes from the end with a great shot by Gravanovic although if he was any more offside he would have been in the stands.
Injury time saw Switzerland throw everything they had at Wales, but they kept their composure and a few great saves by Ward allowed them to hold onto the draw and the point.
A draw is a great result for Wales. Sure, a win would be nice but at the same time, a draw puts both teams above Turkey in the group with Italy sitting at the top. Wales is in a great position, all they need to do is not lose!
Watch the highlights below…
Denmark vs Finland: 0 – 1
Truth be told, I was not planning to watch or write about this match, but, plans change. As I was sitting killing time before the start of the Belgium match, and I noticed people on social media were shocked about something. Then I saw Sinan Kose express that same shock and it struck me that something bad must be happening in Denmark vs Finland match. So I turned the channel, not knowing what to expect, and was instantly struck by one of the worst things you could possibly tune into, a real person having a real medical emergency, live on global television. A truly heart-wrenching sight.
Just before the end of the first half of the Denmark vs Finland match, Denmark striker Christian Erikson was struck down by a medical emergency and had to receive CPR on the pitch. As of yet what actually happened is not public knowledge; All we do know though is that by all accounts, the player collapsed and died on the pitch and was brought back to life by paramedics in attendence.
While I am sure that he and everyone around him would rather this never happened, Erikson was lucky that whatever happened to him occurred while he was playing football. He was lucky to be in an arena with the best medical professionals seconds away from where he collapsed. The paramedics yesterday were straight-up hero’s; Their quick reactions manage to save this man’s life.
A conscious Christian Erikson was later transferred to a hospital for testing and recovery. I wish Christian and his family nothing but the best in the future and I hope he makes a full recovery.
The Denmark Vs Finland match was later restarted, reportedly at the wishes of Erikson. I don’t know whether the Denmark squad were rattled from what had happened earlier or if today was just not their day, but whatever the case Finland managed to take the win and the three points.
Watch coverage of the match below…
Belgium vs Russia: 3 – 0
Last but not least, we had the top-ranked team in the competition (and world) traveling to St Petersberg to take on Russia. For some bizarre reason, I had predicted this match to be a draw. It took a grand total of 10 minutes for Romelu Lukaku to slap me in the face with a bit of football reality, and his first goal of the tournament. Interestingly there was an offside call made as Lukaku looked to be a foot or 2 offside. However, a technicality with the way Russia ignored Lukaku being offside led to the goal being given. I think the call was a bit unfair but at the same time, I am not a referee!
Belgium’s second goal came 24 minutes later when Thomas Meunier managed to rebound an open palm save back past the Russian Keeper Shunin. Russia gave it their best but by the end of the first half, they were already looking tired and the game was already more or less over for them. They simply could not deal with the pace or persistence of the Belgium squad.
The second half was a bit of a bore-fest. Belgium came into the half knowing that all they needed to do was stop Russia from playing, and that’s what they did, with ease. Towards the end of the half, Russia tried to fire up only for Lukaku to put them firmly back in their place with his second goal of the match which seemed to come from nowhere.
Yesterday may have been a day of national celebration in Russia, but at the end of it, an on-form Romelu Lukaku ended any celebration of Russian football.
Watch the highlights here…
Day two of the euro 2020 (2021) tournament will go down as one of the most infamous days the European championships have ever seen. While a lot of good football was played yesterday, the Erikson incident and the visceral drama that came from it will be etched into the memories of everyone who witnessed it. It is my hope that people take something from yesterday is the lesson that the quicker someone in danger can get medical attention the more chance they have of surviving a medical emergency.
Day three will see England take on Croatia, Austria will face North Macedonia, and the Netherlands will face Ukraine in the evening. See you all then!