France held Switzerland to a goalless draw to clinch top spot in Group A, while Albania recorded a hugely important win over Romania to keep their chances of reaching the knockout stages at Euro 2016 alive.
As ever, we present the pick of the more seldom-seen moments of gold from the tournament in France, featuring a number of Swiss fans who caught the eye with their outfit…
UDDERLY REALISTIC SWISS COWS BEEF UP FANCY-DRESS NUMBERS
It takes a brave man to go against the herd. Four, in fact.
Switzerland descended on Lille in huge numbers of red and white for their final Group A game with host nation France, but these intrepid fans were determined to beef up the fancy-dress numbers.
Dressed head to foot in udderly realistic cow costumes, they were the centre of attention in the city before the game, and will likely milk the post-game chatter for all its worth after a fairly placid 0-0 draw sent the Swiss into the next round.
Tired of all the puns? Don’t have a cow, man.
— Joe Wright (@JoeWright004) June 19, 2016
GOTZE AND THE STORY OF THE TREE AND THE DOG
Even though they are on the verge of booking their ticket for the round of 16, Euro 2016 has not been Germany’s tournament for now.
The reigning world champions have received their fair share of criticism following their unimpressive start to the finals, with Mario Gotze in particular the subject of harsh words.
The Bayern Munich forward is not overly worried by the negative reviews, though, and has come up with an interesting metaphor.
“Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you are the tree,” Gotze told reporters. “That’s the way it is in football. Criticism is part of the game. We can all cope with it. We are all professionals.”
Joachim Low can only hope poor Mario will soon feel like a dog again…
ENGLAND’S “A-TEAM” RUN INTO TROUBLE
It was easy like Sunday morning in Saint-Etienne ahead of England’s arrival for their pre-match press conference at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
After the noise and colour of Croatia’s temporary invasion for the Czech Republic game and ahead of what is sure to be equally raucous red and white scenes, the streets were relatively quiet, with one bar considerately blasting out New Order’s World in Motion, the undisputed greatest football song of all time (come at me, Three Lions fans), as some of the few England supporters to have arrived encouraged local children to boot a ball into the air before the they tried to head it or control it, beers in hand.
The only really worrying moment for the travelling army was when two members of the advanced party nearly got their venerable mode of transportation wedged in the underground car park near the city’s main square.
Thankfully, Omnisport was on hand to assist.
— Iain Strachan (@IainStrachan) June 19, 2016
— Iain Strachan (@IainStrachan) June 19, 2016
ICELAND’S QUALIFICATION RIDDLE
UEFA’s decision to allow four third-placed teams to advance to the last 16 at an expanded Euro 2016 has caused plenty of controversy.
It has also meant there is a multitude of permutations heading into the final round of fixtures.
Try reading what Iceland have to do to go through without stopping halfway for a glass of water and a couple of headache tablets…
Iceland would qualify with a victory, and could even top the group if the other match is drawn as they would be split with Hungary on goal difference, then goals scored, then disciplinary, though Hungary are ahead on coefficient.
A draw would leave Iceland second if Hungary win or if the other game is drawn; in the second scenario, Portugal and Iceland would be separated on goals scored, disciplinary (Portugal have a superior coefficient); even then Iceland could progress as a best third-placed side.
If Iceland lose, they still have a mathematical chance of advancing as a third-place team but only if they finish above Portugal on goal difference, goals scored or disciplinary.
Simple isn’t it?
COLEMAN LET DOWN BY HIS RUSSIAN LANGUAGE SKILLS
With his filmstar good lucks, winning smile and crisp suit, Wales manager Chris Coleman entered his pre-match news conference for Monday’s crunch clash against Russia at Stadium de Toulouse fully at ease with the situation.
Suddenly, his eyes began darting and a look of mild terror spread across his face. The opening question was in Russian. Coleman had no headphones, no interpreter and – we have to assume – absolutely no Russian.
Never fear, this tournament’s always-on-hand UEFA assistants sprung to the former centre-back’s defence. Unfortunately, the headphones in question were either borrowed from a four-year-old or Coleman has an unfeasibly large head.
After grappling with this cutting-edge piece of technology, he craned his neck towards the desk and awkwardly pressed one of the phones against his right ear. A cool, calm air was all but shattered for the subsequent 20-minute session.
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