Some matches did upset the odds at Euro 2016 Round of 16 so it will worth taking the time to revive what happened at Euro 2016 so far.
Some of the knock-out games seemed pretty obvious and one-sided, which ended up being the other way around, while others were expected to bring spectacular entertainment which also failed to happen. Let’s see what happened at Euro 2016 Round of 16 and which star teams had to say goodbye!
Switzerland v Poland: First knockout game, first penalty shootout
Online sportsbooks in France expected this to be a close clash between two teams on the same level, representing similar forces. They were proved to be right: Poland dominated the first half and took the lead thanks to a score from Blaszczykowski, but the second half was all about Switzerland.
They had more chances to score but eventually only Shaquiri did with a beautiful bicycle kick. The extra time passed on without any other goal so the game was decided by a penalty shootout, which Poland won as they scored all 5 of their penalties. Xhaka missed his for Switzerland and it cost them the qualification.
Wales v Northern Ireland: Bale keeps on shining
Wales were regarded as favourites for this clash at most betting sites as they have a much stronger squad with the likes of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey or world class forward Gareth Bale. However, they couldn’t really prove that they are that much better than their UK-mates Northern Irelanders. The game passed by pretty dull until the 75th minute.
That’s when a perfect cross arrived to the center from Bale, and poor old MacAuley, whom we mentioned in our previous articles which was about the oldest players at Euro 2016, put the ball into his own net. This was the first match where Euro 2016 top scorer Gareth Bale failed to score, however he still had a crucial part in creating the goal that earned Wales’ place in the Quarter-Finals.
Croatia v Portugal: The most boring game at Euro 2016
The Croatia v Portugal derby was expected to be the most attractive game of Euro 2016 Round of 16 as it’s about two terrific teams with many exceptional footballers such as Manczukic, Rakitic and Modric on the one hand and Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanchez on the other hand. However, that didn’t really happen: Croatia decided it’s best to give up on what they have been playing so far and focusing on defending instead of playing.
The tactics were working properly. The Portuguese players couldn’t find a hole on the Croatian wall and after 90 minutes of game it was still a goalless draw, with very few occasions to score. Just when the teams were about to accept that it’s going to be decided on a penalty shootout, Cristiano Ronaldo gave a fantastic ball to Quaresma, who didn’t miss. 3 minutes before the penalties, Portugal have won the game and qualified for Euro 2016 Quarter-Finals.
France v Ireland: We must say goodbye to a Euro favourite…
Obviously the hosting nation was the favourite according to all online betting news in France. However, you know, the ball is round, anything can happen in football and as it usually does happen in these occasions, upsetting the odds was an actual possibility as Ireland took the lead already in the second minute thanks to a penalty.
However, the second half completely overturned the game mostly thanks to the fantastic performance by Antoine Griezmann. He equalized in the 58th minute with a perfect header. Only 3 minutes later France were already leading due to another goal by the Atletico striker who completely defeated Ireland in the 66th minute as he was tackled brutally when going one on one to the Irish keeper. Immediate red card, and completely merited. Unfortunately we won’t see much more of the amazing Irish fans.
Germany v Slovakia: The Slovaks were powerless
The Germany v Slovakia game was also a favourite of online bettors as Slovakia had no chance in defeating Germany, not even according to Euro 2016 predictions beforehand and it became even more obvious as the minutes passed by during the game. The World Cup holders quickly took the lead thanks to a great shot by Boateng.
Later on in the first half, they could have decided the game already, but it had to wait as Mesut Özil missed the penalty given for Germany. However, not even the keeper could have saved his team in the 43rd minute when Mario Gomez scored. Draxler added another one to the list and has set the final result at 3-0. Slovakia stood no chance.
Hungary v Belgium: Hungarian soldiers died fighting
Belgium were also clear favourites for this clash but Hungary already surprised Austria, Iceland and Portugal so they were ready to upset the odds once again in the Euro 2016 Round of 16. However, Belgium put out their best performance at Euro 2016 so far and showed why they are regarded as one of the top favourites to win the tournament. They quickly took the lead and could have scored 3-4 more goals in the first half if it was not for a world class performance by the oldest player at Euro 2016, Hungarian goalie Gábor Király.
However, the Hungarians survived the first half with 1-0 and a completely different team came out for the second half: they created several chances to equalize and they could half but world class goalkeeper Courtois saved his team on several occasions. The Hungarian gala went on for some 15-20 minutes and then Belgium hit the overly attacking team on counter attacks: Batshuayni, Hazard and Carrasco scored, setting the final result at 4-0. Hungary lost by the worst result at Euro 2016 so far yet they were the best at fighting. It’s also worth mentioning what kind of a person Fellaini is. We wrote about that in another article.
Spain v Italy: Surprisingly easy win for Italy
Those who usually bet on sports in France during the Euro 2016 Round of 16 and all other rounds, must have noticed that Spain were clear favourites for this encounter. Italy were playing well enough at Euro 2016 but nobody really expected them to be able to challenge Spain for a real battle.
Oh but they did, and how well they challenged their rivals! Italy played a perfect game and their qualification was not in question, not even for a split second. They have been leading since the 33rd minute thanks to Chiellini, and they decided that Spain will have to leave France in the 91st minute when Pelle doubled Italy’s goals.
England v Iceland: Two quick Europe exits for England
Another game which was expected to be an easy win for the favourites, which was England, obviously. It seemed to be even easier when the UK-based islanders took the lead thanks to a quick penalty in the 4th minute, which was taken by Man Utd star Wayne Rooney. Everything seemed to be going all well…
Not for too long, though. It took no more than 2 minutes for Iceland to equalize. Sigurdsson was the hero who resurrected Icelandic hopes in the 6th minute and only 12 more minutes later, Iceland were winning the game: Sigthorsson scored another goal against England. Wilshere, Vardy and Rashford came in as substitutes but none of them could really help the team. Iceland defeated England by 2-1 and qualified for the Euro 2016 Quarter-Finals.