Euro 2020 Daily Wrap: Wales Sent Packing With Bale's Future Uncertain

We now know two of the teams through to the last eight of Euro 2020
22:55, 26 Jun 2021

The last-16 got underway today with two intriguing ties which gave us our first two quarter-finalists. Wales were humbled by an inspired Denmark performance while Italy scraped past Austria at Wembley. Here is how an exciting Saturday unfolded.

Wales sent packing by dynamic Denmark

There is to be no repeat of Euro 2016 for Wales this time around as they were thumped 4-0 by a dominant Denmark in Amsterdam. Two goals from Kasper Dolberg and one apiece for Martin Braithwaite and Joakim Mæhle late on saw the Danes deservedly progress to the last eight, the first team ever to recover from losing their first two games to reach the quarters.

Of course, Christian Eriksen has been in everyone’s thoughts but this performance is sure to have put a smile on his face. A brilliant tactical display from manager Kasper Hjulmand, after his side were being dominated for the opening 15 minutes turned the game in their favour in front of a huge backing in Amsterdam. 

He switched from five at the back to four at the back and in doing so nullified the threat Wales had posed through Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, while it also allowed his side to attack at will. The Welsh following will find a couple of the refereeing decisions difficult to swallow, but even so they were beaten by the better team. Baku awaits for Denmark, where they will take on the Netherlands or the Czech Republic for a place in the final four. 

Wales Dumped Out As Denmark March On
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Italy need extra-time to get past Austria

Austria pushed Italy all the way to extra-time but ultimately Roberto Mancini’s men proved too strong, winning the game 2-1. The Austrians, massive underdogs ahead of kick-off, outplayed their illustrious opponents over 90 minutes and Marko Arnautovic thought he had given his side the lead with a second-half header, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside by Stuart Attwell on VAR, as the English officials faced up to a busy night.

Federico Chiesa came off the bench to score in extra-time before Matteo Pessina took the game away from Austria at Wembley. David Alaba's side showed huge fight in the second period of extra-time, as Sasa Kalajdzic ended Italy's run of clean sheets with a diving header, but it wasn't quite enough. This wasn’t in keeping with the polished displays we saw from the Azzurri in the group stages, but it is job done - they are in the quarter-finals for the fourth successive European Championships. 

Italy squeeze through after tough Austria test
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Bale’s future uncertain after post-match interview

Gareth Bale was left irritated by a question after Wales’ exit from the competition and walked away from his post-match interview. Having spoken about his pride in the Welsh team, when asked whether this would be his last game for Wales amid retirement rumours, he immediately walked away. 

“He is feeling like any other player in the changing room - disappointed," manager Rob Page said.

"Why would he want to answer a question about his future? For me it's an insensitive question. He's just come off the pitch after a defeat. It's about the group and how we bounce back from it."

 

Southgate in line for new contract

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England have made rapid progress under manager Gareth Southgate and now the boss is set to be rewarded with a contract extension, no matter the result against Germany on Tuesday.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “Our support is unwavering, we are 100% behind Gareth. Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him.... We feel he is brilliant, both on and off the pitch. We want him to carry on. He's doing a great job. Regardless of Tuesday. Absolutely.”

His current contract expires after the 2022 World Cup next winter, but it now seems likely, having reached England’s first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in 2018, that he will be sticking around a little longer, if he chooses to. 

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