Day three of Euro 2020 will have been a sobering affair for many football fans after seeing Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapse on the pitch against Finland, resulting in the Group B tie between the two nations to be postponed.
Thankfully, Eriksen is now in a stable condition and the game even managed to go ahead again, but Saturday evening was a timely reminder that there are more important things in the world than football and everyone at The Sportsman would like to send their thoughts to the Dane and his family and wish him a speedy recovery.
Away from that terrible ordeal, there were plenty of talking points to unpackage across the day’s three games which began with Wales, who made a solid start in their bid to recapture the country’s heroics from 2016...
Kieffer Moore Snatches Point For Wales Against Switzerland
Wales came from behind against Switzerland to secure an important point in their Group A tie in Baku thanks to a thundering header from Kieffer Moore.
Robert Page’s side had suffered against the raw pace and power of the Swiss for decent chunks of the game and were dealt a blow when Breel Embolo broke the deadlock. They could have found themselves further behind were it not for Danny Ward, who pulled off a string of excellent saves to keep his side in the game.
After numerous missed chances, including a disallowed goal that was ruled offside by VAR, Wales punished Switzerland when Moore, with a superb glancing header, latched onto a cross from the right to secure a vital point for the Dragons. They weren’t at their best but Wales certainly showed their fighting spirit to take a share of the spoils. Next up they face Turkey on Wednesday.
Finland Claim First Ever Major Tournament Win
Win or lose, it should have been a historic day for Finland, who made their first appearance in a major tournament, but what should have been a memorable moment for the nation became one that, for the worst possible reasons, no football fan will likely forget.
The game had looked like it would be rearranged to a later date after Eriksen’s collapse but both sides were back on the pitch to resume play less than two hours later after players and coaches, having been consulted in the dressing rooms, agreed to carry on.
Upon resuming, understandably, the atmosphere was largely subdued after the incident, with little separating the two sides. Out of nowhere, and with their first shot on target, Finland took the lead when Joel Pohjanpalo headed in from Jere Urenon’s left-wing cross for their first ever goal, and win, at a European Championship. Finland might have been unfancied going into this tournament but those three points will be vital and they could surprise a few people in Group B.
Romelu Lukaku Bags Brace As Belgium Cruise Past Russia
Even without Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium proved they’re definitely one of the teams to beat this summer after brushing aside Russia 3-0 at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg.
Romelu Lukaku left little wonder why he’s the favourite to bag the Golden Boot this summer after bagging a brace. The in-form Inter Milan forward scored in each half, sandwiching a sole goal from Thomas Meunier. Russia were lacklustre and seem a shadow of the team that impressed on home turf in the World Cup three years ago, but that’s taking nothing away form the Red Devils who hardly put a foot wrong across the 90 minutes.
The Belgians are joint-second favourites to lift the trophy with Betfred at 6/1. One thinks they’ll probably be there or thereabouts by the tournament’s end.