Euro 2016 On Day 4
It was great to see the Euro 2016 Championships kick off on Friday evening, and the first game was illuminated by two goals from Premier League players Giroud and Payet for the French hosts. In what was an excellent game in which Rumania played their full part Giroud opened the scoring with a fine header and then Payet of West Ham scored what will be one of the goals of the tournament deep into the game to win it for the French.
The games have been of an excellent quality so far but unfortunately hooliganism has reared its ugly head once more with England fans in the thick of it. It certainly sounds like the Russians have been the instigators of most of the trouble in Marseille but all the same it does seem to always be the English who get involved in these skirmishes and the tribal, boorish behaviour of some of the fans does fan the flames at times. From what I hear the security both inside and outside the stadium has left much to be desired which is hard to credit with the terrorist threat a very real one.
Anyhow lets not dwell too long on these fools as I would rather talk about the English display against Russia which was excellent apart from the final ball and finishing. I think if Harry Kane had been on his game (or he had played Jamie Vardy) England would have a comfortable victory, but instead after a wonderful free kick from Eric Dier they were cruelly robbed at the death by a Russian team who deserved nothing along with their supporters.
Wales played on Saturday and they made a wonderful start by defeating Slovakia 2-1. The biggest talking point of the match was Gareth Bale`s opener, a phenomenal free kick which left the keeper grasping thin air. Wales are now in an excellent position to qualify out of the group, but for England the game against the Welsh on Thursday has reached even more significant proportions.
Yesterday saw Northern Ireland play their first game after qualifying for the finals in a major tournament for the first time in 30 years. They were rather outplayed and outclassed I am afraid to say by a very good Polish side, although they were only beaten 1-0. However they will have to raise their game considerably to get anything out of their remaining games against Ukraine and the Germans.
Germany won their first game 2-0 against the Ukraine yesterday evening and were quite brilliant at times, although there were some glimmers of hope as Ukraine did create a few chances but were thwarted by the magnificent Neuer.
Looking forward to all the games today including the Republic of Ireland`s first game against Sweden. Best of luck to them.