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LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 29: Raheem Sterling of England scores their side’s first goal past Manuel Neuer of Germany during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on June 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo : Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
After four epic days in the round of 16, the quarterfinals now beckon for the eight remaining teams in the Euro 2020 tournament. Four critical matchups will be contested in the quarters from July 2 to 3.
The quarterfinal round begins on July 2 with two mouth-watering ties on the schedule. Kicking things off is the much-anticipated clash between Switzerland and Spain. The match will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, starting at 6 p.m. CEST (Central European Summer Time).
Spain looks to keep momentum against Switzerland
Both teams were involved in a dramatic round of 16 matches last Monday. Spain avoided a total collapse after surrendering two late goals in regulation, scoring twice in extra time to record a heart-stopping 5-3 win over Croatia.
The Spaniards have hit their stride in the tournament after a slow start, scoring five goals in each of their last two matches, the first side to accomplish that feat in the history of the European Championships.
They will have their work cut out against the Swiss, who staged a miraculous comeback of their own in their round of 16 match against reigning World Cup champions France. Switzerland scored twice in the game’s final nine minutes to overhaul a 3-1 deficit and force extra time against the French.
They eventually prevailed via penalties after Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved Kylian Mbappe’s spot-kick in the shootout. It was a memorable win for the Swiss, who recorded their first knockout win at a major since the 1938 World Cup. Switzerland and France last faced each other at a major tournament back in the 2010 World Cup, with the Swiss emerging as 1-0 victors.
Following that quarterfinal match is the heavyweight clash between Belgium and Italy. The game will take place in Munich, Germany, with the match kicking off at 9 p.m. CEST. Both teams have been playing some excellent football at the moment, going undefeated through their first four matches in the tournament.
The Italians head into this matchup with a 31-game unbeaten streak. They will fancy their chances against the Belgians, who have some major injury concerns at the moment. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were both taken off in their win against Portugal and are major doubts for the game against Italy.
Draw opens up for England
Quarterfinal action resumes on July 3 with two matches on the schedule. Opening things off is the showdown between the Czech Republic and Denmark. The match will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, with the game kicking off at 6 p.m. CEST.
The Czechs qualified for the last 8 after shocking the Netherlands 2-0. They took full advantage of Matthijs de Ligt’s dismissal, with Tomáš Holeš and Patrik Schick scoring the winning goals in the second half.
On the other hand, Denmark is flying high at the moment, scoring four goals in each of their last two victories against Russia and Wales. They have rallied around the unexpected departure of Christian Eriksen, who collapsed due to cardiac arrest in their opening group match.
The Danes will look to get the better of the Czechs this time round. The last time they faced each other in the quarterfinals of the Euro tournament back in 2004, it was the Czech Republic who cruised to an easy 3-0 win.
The quarterfinal round concludes with the game between England and Ukraine. England reached the last eight with a 2-0 win over Germany while Ukraine qualified for the quarters with a stunning 2-1 victory over Sweden after extra time.
The match will take place in Rome, Italy, with the game kicking off at 9 p.m. CEST. The Three Lions have won four of their previous seven matches with Ukraine, drawing twice and losing just once.
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