First Round Summary15th Jun 2016 |
It’s always much easier to predict what’s to come in a tournament after the first round. We have now seen how the different teams are coping with the tournament, the opponents and the pressure. And we can now say something about which teams are surprising us, both negatively and positively.
Two teams are standing out as underperformers so far: Turkey and Belgium. We all know that they can do much better than what they showed us in their games against Croatia and Italy. The Turkish team didn’t seem to understand that the tournament had already started and didn’t look very hungry. Belgium’s performance against Italy was far below what was expected of a top contender. Could the answer be that they have been largely overestimated for some years now?
Hungary was considered to be one of the absolutely weakest teams of the tournament, but they still managed to shock Austria, who’s been considered to be one of the teams that could possibly do well. And despite the result, Ukraine managed to charm everyone who likes football in parts of their game against Germany. If they keep this up against weaker opponents, Ukraine may go further than expected. And what can we say about Iceland? An island with 300.000 inhabitants kept Portugal to a 1-1 draw!
The top teams don’t disappoint
With the exception of Portugal’s draw against Iceland, and England’s draw against Russia (which wasn’t that much of a shock), the top teams have all taken three points in the opening round. Some very obviously, some just at the end of the games. The surprising results in matches with lesser teams against bigger ones are one of the great traditions of the Euro Championship, and we will probably see more of these surprises in next round. But it’s in the nature of surprises that we don’t know about them, so they can happen at any time.