Euro 2016 daily five: Old rivals battle; Renato Sanches set to beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s record
With Day 6 of Euro 2016 in the books, we have collated some of the best of our content from the last 24 hours in one place. All the latests news, plus group guides, kick-off times and news from around the teams can be found at our special microsite.
1 – Germany result
Old rivals Germany and Poland fought a battle of attrition that ended in a goalless draw and edged both countries towards a place in the last 16 of Euro 2016 on Thursday.
The stalemate left Germany on top of Group C on goal difference with both sides on four points from two matches.
“Always in the group stages it is very difficult to predict who is the big favourite,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “We have seen that in the last tournaments, teams that are not so strong in the group stage improved later on.”
Poland were excellent, however, with world champions Germany made to look ponderous and in need of a cutting edge.
2 – Hodgson’s choice
Roy Hodgson’s managerial career began in 1976. It has spanned four decades, involving 19 jobs in eight countries. It felt it was entering its final throes as Wales led.
The impression is of a man whose decision-making had rarely been acute in high-pressure situations during his reign for England. He was criticised for his uninspiring, unambitious substitutions against Russia. But five days later, there was a change.
The brickbats should be followed by bouquets. He brought on two strikers at half time. Both scored, one the equaliser and the other the winner. Each was involved in the other’s goal.
3 – Come rain or hail, Northern Ireland won’t fail
Having scored Northern Ireland’s first goal at a European Championships final, veteran Gareth McAuley said Thursday his side was delighted to prove a few doubters wrong at Euro 2016.
The Northern Irish shocked Ukraine with a 2-0 victory Group C on Thursday thanks to McAuley’s flying header and a late strike from substitute Niall McGinn to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last 16.
“Lots of people said we wouldn’t get a point here and now we’ve got three,” beamed man-of-the-match McAuley.
4 – Renato Sanches set to beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s record
Portugal’s Renato Sanches will become the youngest player to start for his country in a major tournament if he is selected to face Austria on Saturday.
Sanches was a second-half substitute in Portugal’s opening Euro 2016 clash against Iceland and became the youngest player, at 18 years and 301 days, to appear for his country in a European Championship or World Cup.
He took that distinction away from Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his first major tournament appearance as a 19 year old at Euro 2004.
“Everything is going well and I’m very happy to be here,” Sanches told a news conference on Thursday.
“I know there are other midfielders that are more experienced and have been more years playing in the national team than me but I’m well and ready to play.”
5 – Still everything to play for
In Greg Lea’s Euro 2016 talking points, he explains that teams in Groups A, B and C have now completed their second round of matches, with Ukraine the only nation eliminated so far.
The expansion of the European Championship to 24 sides means four of six third-placed outfits will advance to the round of 16 along with each group winner and runner-up.
As a result, there should be fewer dead rubbers in the final round of games; even Albania on zero points could go through in third spot in Group A, for instance, while a second consecutive loss for Czech Republic, Turkey, Belgium or Austria in the coming days would still keep them alive.
On the flip side, though, the system devised by Uefa is extremely messy, with fair play conduct and the country’s position in the governing body’s national team coefficient ranking system listed as tiebreakers if points, goal difference and goals scored are all equal.
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Published: June 17, 2016 04:00 AM