UEFA Euro 2016 is ready for the knockout phase as the best 16 teams qualified from the group stage. The eight matches before the quarter-finals are scheduled for the end of the week, between June 25-27, 2016. The competition that began on June 10, 2016, is the 15th UEFA European Championship and the third European final tournament hosted by France.
Teams Making It to the Knockouts
After the group stage, 16 teams of the 24, that were present in France, qualified for the knockout phase. The first two teams of every group and the best four of the third position will be the protagonists of the next eight matches.
From group A, France and Switzerland qualified after three games without a loss. France gathered seven points after two victories against Albania and Romania and a draw with the Swiss team, while the latter won against Albania and took two points out of the draws with France and Romania.
Wales, England, and Slovakia made it through the knockout phase from group B. Wales occupied the first position after two victories against Russia and Slovakia, while England qualified from the second place, after two draws with Slovakia and Russia and a victory against Wales. Slovakia qualified for the third position having four points after the victory against Russia and the draw with England.
Group C teams that qualified for the knockouts are Germany and Poland, which each obtained seven points after two victories and a draw. Also, the Northern Ireland qualified for the third position after winning only their game against Ukraine.
Out of group D, Croatia and Spain made it to the knockout phase. Croatia garnered seven points from two victories against Turkey and Spain and a draw with the Czech Republic, while Spain won against Turkey and the Czechs, gathering six points.
Italy qualified for the first position of group E after the victories against Belgium and Sweden. Belgium also made it to the knockouts after winning against Sweden and Ireland, the British team qualified for the third position after a victory against Italy and a draw with Sweden.
From group F, Hungary, Iceland, and Portugal gathered enough points to qualify. The Hungarians had two draws against Portugal and Iceland and won against Austria, the team who was also defeated by the Icelandic squad. Portugal happily qualified after three draws.
The European Cup of Surprises
Some teams that were impressive during the preliminary phase were kicked out after the group stage or scarcely made it to the knockouts. Romania, Austria or Sweden, the team Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays on, were sent home without winning any games. Also, Portugal and Belgium had to wait until all the group stage games were over to know whether or not they qualified or not.
However, teams like Hungary, Iceland or Croatia made a beautiful figure being the protagonists of some of the most impressive football matches of this European Cup edition.
Great Duels Ahead
The best is yet to come at this UEFA Euro 2016 which is ready to begin the knockout phase. As the games approach the final, the remaining teams are better and the matches are more intense. For example, in the knockout phase, Italy will meet Spain, England will face Iceland and Belgium will have to eliminate the Hungarians to get in the quarter-finals.
The other knockout phase’s games are:
- Switzerland – Poland
- Wales – Northern Ireland
- Germany – Slovakia
- Croatia – Portugal
- France – Ireland
Statistics of UEFA Euro 2016
After the first 36 matches played in the group stage, 69 goals were scored and 129 yellow cards were shown to the players who committed 841 faults. The top scorers are Álvaro Morata and Gareth Bale with three goals each. However, PSG’s superstar, Ibrahimovic, who scored 50 times for his team in the last season, did not manage to score.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first soccer player in the world who scored in four different final tournaments. He scored twice on June 22, 2016, against Hungary. His first goal, that can be seen in the video below, is one of the most impressive executions from UEFA Euro 2016 in the group stage.
Over 1.6 million spectators attended the group stage’s games from the stadium. The largest crowd was at the opening match of UEFA Euro 2016, that took place at Stade de France, on June 10, between France and Romania.
The 15th European Championship will end on July 10, 2016. The final match will take place in Paris, at Stade de France. The next European football competition, UEFA Euro 2020, will be hosted by 13 different cities across Europe, such as Brussels, Belgium; Copenhagen, Denmark; Bucharest, Romania; Dublin, Ireland; Skopje, Macedonia; and Bilbao, Spain.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Cathy Milne
The Sports Leagues: UEFA Euro 2016 Information
Transfer Markt: EURO 2016 – Attendance Numbers
UEFA: UEFA Euro 2016 knockout stage schedule
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Nazionale Calcio‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Gustave Deghilage’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License