Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Euro 2024 scores, results, highlights, standing: France take care of business, Belgium upset, Ukraine lose

UEFA Euro 2024 has its first big shock with Belgium falling to a bruising 1-0 loss to Slovakia in a match where Romelu Lukaku twice saw goals ruled out. That result means Group E is all shook up with Romania also earning a big 3-0 win over Ukraine to kick off their tournament. France’s meeting with Austria went as expected with Les Bleus winning but it was not the dominant performance many expected from the favorites in a 1-0 victory which saw a bloody Kylian Mbappe withdrawn by the end of the game in Dusseldorf.

Here’s everything you need to know from day four in Germany.

Euro 2024 scores for Monday

  • Romania 3, Ukraine 0
  • Belgium 0, Slovakia 1
  • Austria 0, France 1

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Austria 0, France 1: French favorites open with a win

Few expected France to suffer at the hands of Austria in Monday’s final Euro offering but Didier Deschamps’ men were made to work harder than expected for their 1-0 victory in Dusseldorf which sets up the second Group D game vs. Netherlands perfectly. Ralf Rangnick’s side gave Les Bleus as good as they got and the pre-tournament team to beat emerged with an opening success but by the narrowest of margins.

There will not be any French panic just yet with their first points on the board and level pegging with Oranje ahead of Friday’s meeting, but there will be concern over Mbappe who not only looked far from his peak best form but also left the field bloodied late on. Maximilian Wober put through his own net after 38 minutes after a moment of magic from the Real Madrid-bound France captain but a clash of heads with RC Lens’ Kevin Danso means that there is now an additional fitness doubt over the 25-year-old talisman.

The Austrians enjoyed more chances and a greater share of the ball than many would have predicted but Deschamps’ men did what they do best and ground out the result without truly excelling. The win could and arguably should have been more convincing had Mbappe’s finishing been sharper in the second half but a victory at the first time of asking is often the start of French recipes for success and the hope will be that this is about to follow a similar blueprint.

Although this one was billed as the big one of the day, the earlier offerings arguably had more about them which sets up the next round of games for France and especially Belgium perfectly. The Belgians now have a huge clash with the Romanians in Group E which they cannot even afford to draw while the French — who will remain form favorites — will have to be much, much better against the Dutch if they are to advance to the knockout phase at the first time of asking and possibly top the group.

Belgium 0, Slovakia 1: Euro 2024’s first big upset

Belgium’s all-time record goalscorer he may be, and by a country mile at that, but this was an altogether too familiar experience for Romelu Lukaku as a host of chances came and went for the 31 year old in a shock defeat for the vestiges of this golden generation. Twice in the opening six minutes in Frankfurt, the Roma loanee had the sort of chances he so often buries in qualifying campaigns. In the seventh minute Ivan Schranz did what Lukaku could not, snaffling the chance that secured victory for Slovakia in their Group E opener.

The Falcons had plenty of help from Belgium en route to goal, Jeremy Doku giving up possession in his own half. Robert Bozenik’s first time strike was well saved by Koen Casteels but as red-shirted arms went up to appeal for an offside Schranz pounced on the rebound, thudding home at the near post.

Belgium could and perhaps should have still found the win, such were the volume of chances they created. Leandro Trossard couldn’t punish Martin Dubravka when the Slovak goalkeeper drifted off his line while Lukaku took too heavy a touch when played in behind by Carrasco. David Hancko miraculously cleared Johan Bakayoko’s shot off the line, Onana flicked a promising header wide, Kevin De Bruyne’s low drive was held by Dubravka: it seemed like nothing would break the way of the Red Devils.

That agony was personified by Lukaku, whose pursuit of an 86th international goal was hindered by the trinity of opposition, artificial intelligence and officials. Semi-automated offside technology judged that the Chelsea forward had just drifted offside when he turned Amadou Onana’s header home early in the second half. A VAR review then concluded that the sprightly Lois Openda had handled the ball when chasing down the left flank to deliver his cross.

In that moment it was clear this would not be Belgium’s day, the number three side in the world beaten by No.48, the biggest upset in FIFA ranking terms that the European Championships has yet seen. 

Romania 3, Ukraine 0: Lunin errors punished

Romania came into this tournament wondering where on earth the goals were going to come from if they could not even score against Liechtenstein in their last friendly before arriving in Germany. A little helping hand for Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin was all they needed to claim their biggest ever tournament win.

Ukraine had started encouragingly enough, controlling possession and probing the opposition backline even if Artem Dobvyk was crowded out by the robust duo of Radu Dragusin and Andrei Burca. Romania, meanwhile, had pressed aggressively without getting too much joy from their opponents until the 29th minute when Lunin was played into pressure by his defense, hastily clearing the ball directly to Denis Man. There was still plenty of work to do to turn an error into a goal, but Nicolae Stanciu did that with a rocket of a strike that will surely be a contender for goal of the tournament.

Romania weren’t satisfied with one, however, and used their opener as the starting point for a much more assertive display over the remaining hour. Man was impressive throughout, getting the Tricolours on the path to a second with his dart infield. Ukraine could not win possession as it broke free, Razvan Marin instead hitting a low, powerful drive through the bodies around the area. Though forcefully hit, the shot really ought not to have had enough to beat Lunin, so excellent between the posts for the Champions League winners during last season.

The pain was not done for Ukraine, who will have work to do against Slovakia and Belgium if they are to escape the group, let alone repeat their feat of making the Euro 2020 quarterfinals. Man’s cross was turned in at close range by Denis Dragus, who along with Marin and three others is representing the academy of Gheorghe Hagi on the international stage. This was only a third win in 54 years for Romania without their most legendary player, who had made the trip to Munich to see his country claim a win to rank alongside those the ‘Maradona of the Carpathians’ led them to in his pomp.

How things stand

Group D

Pos. Team W D L GD Pts.

1

Netherlands

1

1

3

2

France

1

1

3

3

Austria

1

4

Poland

1

-1

Group E

Pos. Team W D L GD Pts.

1

Romania

1

3

3

2

Slovakia

1

1

3

3

Belgium

-1

4

Ukraine

1

-3

Tuesday’s schedule

All times Eastern

All games are available on Fubo (try for free).

  • Turkey vs. Georgia, 12 p.m. on Vix 
  • Portugal vs. Czech Republic, 3 p.m. on Fox (preview)

What happened on Sunday?

The goals didn’t flow quite as freely as they had in previous days but Euro 2024’s third day still delivered tension in all three games, all of which went to the wire. The Netherlands made the start they needed to in what promises to be a competitive Group D, substitute Wout Weghorst scoring with his first touch as a 1-0 deficit became a 2-1 win for Ronald Koeman’s side. Three years and four days after he had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, Christian Eriksen marked his return to the European Championships with a goal but it was not enough for Denmark to overcome Slovenia, who equalised in the second half through Erik Janza. England rounded off the night with a bright start, a Jude Bellingham goal and a gritty if underwhelming 1-0 win over Serbia. 

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