A day of decisions without any competition, as Croatia, Poland and Germany win their matches without conceding a goal. Luka Modric stood out with possibly the best goal of the tournament, while Bastian Schweinsteiger showed how valuable he still is with a clutch supersub goal.
Turkey 0 Croatia 1: So far, the tournament’s most aggressive, not to mention violent match, usually coming from the Turkish side, who were beaten by a brilliant one touch volley by Luka Modric, sending a powerful shot that bounced before Volkan, tricked by the trajectory. Somehow, only four yellow cards were used by referee Jonas Eriksson, in a match that puts Turkey in a big problem looking forward at the rest of the group stage.
Poland 1 Norther Ireland 0: Despite their rich history, Poland have never won a Euro match before, until now. Northern Ireland built their entire game plan on parking the bus and crossing the ball. It didn’t really work for them. Poland didn’t score, but were completely dominant from 0 to 90, sticking to their plan of crossing relentlessly while Grzegorz Krychowiak takes care of the pace and spacing. Arkadiusz Milik was the one who broke the deadlock, and despite the presence of Robert Lewandowski, he was the most dangerous player Poland had in the match.
Germany 2 Ukraine 0: It was going to be the third one-nil of the day, but then came Bastian Schweinsteiger, two minutes after coming on as a sub, and connected with Mesut Ozil’s cross. Earlier on, Shkodran Mustafi scored his first goal for the national side, Jerome Boateng made one crazy goalline clearance and Germany overcame their defensive problems thanks to their advantage on pretty much every patch of grass.
Group C Table
|1||Germany||1||1||0||0||2||0||+2||3||Advance to knockout phase|
|3||Northern Ireland||1||0||0||1||0||1||−1||0||Possible knockout phase|
Group D Table
|1||Croatia||1||1||0||0||1||0||+1||3||Advance to knockout phase|
|3||Czech Republic||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Possible knockout phase|
What did we learn
- Croatia aren’t exciting, but they’re physical, have a fantastic midfield and Modric is the one component that makes them special at times
- Turkey need to figure out how to focus. Not get carried away into a mini-brawl on the pitch, but channel their fantastic talents
- Poland have one way of winning matches, and it’s fun to watch. But their lack of creativity could be difficult to make up for against more difficult opponents
- Not playing anything resembling easy-on-the-eyes football. However, that’s how they made it into the tournament, and to be frank, they don’t have a lot of options at their disposal
- Germany have problems in their defensive line and Joachim Low doesn’t really have a striker. But his front six are as talented as they come, and when you have Bastain Schweinsteiger as a super sub…
- A team that seems to lack the confidence it needs in order to make it out of this group. In the minutes (30-45) they actually pressed Germany, they managed to create quite a few chances
- 13 Different players with one goal each