UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16

Detailed analysis of round 2 of UEFA EURO 2024 and predictions for Round of 16

The Euro 2024 continued it’s interesting run with a second round of group stage fixtures last week. We were treated to more exciting matchups, as Croatia and Albania met for the first time in the history, while there was the repeat of Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was also in the news, but not for the reason one would expect him to. With all that and much more, here’s a detailed analysis of round 2 of UEFA Euro 2024 and predictions for Round of 16.

Group A: Germany mean business

Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan (Getty Images)

Germany, the hosts of the tournament, cantered into the last-16 of the Euro 2024 with a 2-0 defeat of Hungary for their second win from as many games. Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan struck apiece for the Diemannschaft, who were uncharacteristically profligate on the night.

On the other hand, Scotland were pushed on the brink by the Switzerland, as they conceded their early lead to draw 1-1. Scott McTominay had put them in front after only 13 minutes, but a sloppy defensive play allowed Xherdan Shaqiri to pull the Nati level. The Tartan Army were left with just a point after two games, and rock bottom of the standings in Group A.

Group B: Spain see off holders Italy; Croatia on the brink

Spain vs Italy
Spain vs Italy (Getty Images)

Matchday two of the Euro 2024 saw arguably the biggest contest of the tournament yet, as Spain locked horns with defending champions Italy. It was a tense affair with La Roja eventually edging out the Azzurri, courtesy of an own goal from Riccardo Calafiori. It was enough for them to reach the knockout stages, having cruised past Croatia 3-0 in their opener.

Speaking of Croatia, the Vatreni flattered to deceive once again as they drew 2-2 with minnows Albania. Having fallen behind early in the game, Zlatko Dalić’s side huffed and puffed, until their persistence paid off midway through the second half, and Croatia struck twice in quick succession. Going into the extra time, a win seemed almost confirmed, until Klaus Gjasula equalized for the Red and Blacks in the fifth minute of added time following some excellent team work.

Croatia need to beat Italy in their final group fixture to stand a chance of progressing.

Group C: England held in lowly draw; Serbia leave it late

Denmark vs England
Denmark vs England (Getty Images)

Following their unconvincing 1-0 win over Serbia on matchday one, England put up another disappointing performance to draw 1-1 with Denmark. Harry Kane scored his first goal of Euro 2024 to put the Three Lions in front after only 18 minutes into the kick-off, but Morten Hjulmand pulled the Danes level with a 30-yard stunner just minutes later. Gareth Southgate’s side continued to push for a winner in the second half but saw a shot from Phil Foden hit the post as the Euro 2020 runners-up had to settle for a share of the spoils.

In the other game, Serbia came back from the dead to draw 1-1 with Slovenia, as Luka Jovic canceled out Zan Karnicnik’s second-half opener for the latter, in the 95th minute. It may not be enough for them to seal a progression, but it gives them a chance, as the Eagles aren’t mathematically out of the tournament yet. They face Denmark in their last game, whereas Slovenia take on England in a stern test of their progression hopes.

Group D: Netherlands and France play out tense draw; Poland knocked out

Netherlands vs France
Netherlands vs France (Getty Images)

In another top-billing clash, the Netherlands and France met at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, but the game failed to live up to the hype, as the giants finished goalless. Without Kylian Mbappe, who missed the clash after sustaining a broken nose from their first encounter, Les Blues were lacking their usual cutting edge. Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot, and Aurelien Tchouameni all came close for France, whereas Dutch forward Cody Gakpo saw an effort pushed away by Mike Mignon. Nonetheless, both sides remain in contention to reach the knockout stages with four points each after two games, occupying the top two positions in the group.

Poland were officially knocked out of Euro 2024 after their shock 3-1 loss to Austria left them pointless even after two games. Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic scored apiece after the hour mark for Das Team, as Krzysztof Piatek had canceled out Gernot Trauner’s opener in the first half. For the second European championship running, the Eagles failed to progress beyond the first round.

Group E: Race for last-16 still on for all four sides

Group E
Group E (Getty Images)

This is perhaps the most interesting group at the Euros so far. All four sides – Belgium, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine – are currently tied at three points each heading into their final group fixture, as each of them currently stand a chance of reaching the round of 16. Belgium, who lost their opening game 1-0 to Slovakia, recovered to beat Romania 2-0, despite Romelu Lukaku seeing yet another goal ruled out by VAR. He also missed a few easy chances in the game, but courtesy of Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne, the Red Devils revived their campaign.

Meanwhile, Ukraine pulled off a stunning 2-1 victory over Slovakia, as second-half goals from Mykola Shaparenko and Roman Yaremchuk eclipsed Ivan Schranz’s 17th-minute goal for the Falcons. A rudderless display in their 3-0 loss to Romania on matchday one meant Ukraine were among the favorites to bow out early, but now, the Blues and Yellow stand a chance of reaching the knockout stages for the second Euro cup in a row.

Group F: Portugal made light work of Turkey, Georgia held the Czechs

Portugal
Portugal (Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal cruised into the next round of Euro 2024 with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Turkey. Goals from Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes, on either side of an own goal from Samet Akaydin, earned the Selecao a big win. As for Ronaldo, he unselfishly set up Fernandes after coming in with a great chance of opening his account in the showpiece. The Selecao have officially won Group F, and will be looking to complete a clean sweep by defeating debutants Georgia in their last group fixture too.

Speaking of Georgia, the Crusaders delivered a defensive masterclass to frustrate the Czech Republic, who had 27 shots in the game, of which 12 were on target, but could only net once as they drew 1-1. Georges Mikautadze, who scored the nation’s first goal of a major tournament last week against Turkey, followed it up with a penalty here, before Patrick Schick pulled the Locomotives level. The Czechs need to beat Turkey in their last game to stand a chance of progressing, as they have only one point after two games.

Predictions for Round of 16

Germany and Switzerland have reached the last-16 after their latest game, whereas Hungary, who finished third in Group A, face a tense wait to learn their fate. Italy are poised to join Spain in the next round from Group B, whereas France and the Netherlands should have no issues either. Turkey are likely to reach the knockout stages of the European championship for the first time since 2008. It will be interesting to see which sides progress from Group E, which is finely balanced right now.

Also Read: What Happened to Hungary’s Barnabas Varga Against Scotland in EURO 2024?