Belgium comfortably defeated Republic of Ireland, a late own goal saw Iceland throw away their first-ever Euros win versus Hungary, while Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Portugal had to settle for a scoreless draw with Austria on another eventful, and controversial, day at Euro 2016.
As ever, we present the pick of the more seldom-seen moments of gold from the tournament in France, featuring a Hungary fan who thought he possessed superpowers…
ONLY THOSE WHO DARE TO FAIL GREATLY CAN EVER ACHIEVE GREATLY
Hungary are on the verge of sealing progress to the round of 16 following their 1-1 draw with Iceland, but it was not all good news from the Stade de Velodrome for the Hungarians.
Saturday’s clash in Marseille was marred by more crowd trouble, with a group of around 200 Hungary fans moving from one end of the ground to the other ahead of kick-off, breaking through a limited cordon before racing along the Tribune Ganay.
When they reached the far corner, they were met by a group of around 20 stewards who held them back for around five minutes, presumably until back-up from the police arrived. It failed to materialise and the group, seemingly in a co-ordinated move, burst through before joining their compatriots in the south stand.
One fan failed to make it, though, and provided comic relief as he attempted to cross via a piece of tarpaulin and fell approximately 10 feet on to the concrete floor.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly,” Robert F. Kennedy once said. Said fan sure seems ready to achieve greatly after Saturday’s epic fail.
— Stefan Coerts (@StefanCoerts) June 18, 2016
FRENCH FAN OF ALBANIAN ORIGINS HITS BUM NOTE
The use of flares has been a running theme throughout Euro 2016. The game between Croatia and Czech Republic was halted on Friday after supporters threw them on the field while fans of Russia and Hungary have also been guilty of burning them in the stands.
But one supporter went the extra mile as he attempted to smuggle one into the fanzone in Nice to watch hosts France’s game with Albania on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old succeeded in getting it past security but only by hiding the seven-inch object up his bottom.
That was where the amusement ended though as, when he set it off, he burnt himself and two fellow fans.
He will appear at Nice Correctional Court on Monday and faces a fine.
VARDY DOES WHAT HE WANTS
Following dreadful scenes of fan violence in Marseille, the response of Russia at Euro 2016 – from government ministers to boss Leonid Slutsky and members of his playing staff – was to deny, play down any wrongdoing and speak of western conspiracies. In short, they put up the shutters.
A response of sorts came from England striker Jamie Vardy at the conclusion of his news conference in Chantilly. A Russian journalist in attendance wanted to know why Vardy had dealt out that most vicious of 21st-century insults – the Twitter block – to his lookalike Lee Chapman, the man who outstayed his welcome around Leicester City’s Premier League title celebrations at a pace akin to his hero’s most potent on-field asset.
“Am I not allowed to block anyone?” Vardy retorted. “There’s a lot of people blocked on my Twitter for various reasons that I don’t need to go into.” With that, off he went, leaving our Russian companion no closer to the truth in his concerns for Limelight Lee. We’ll keep our eyes open for the “various reasons” behind Vardy’s prolific use of the block button, though. We’re intrigued.
RONALDO GOALSCORING DROUGHT MYSTERY RESOLVED
Cristiano Ronaldo had an impressive 10 shots in total in Portugal’s Euro 2016 opener against Iceland, six of which were on target, but failed to find the net on matchday one.
The Real Madrid striker got another chance to open his account at the finals in France on Saturday, with Portugal taking on Austria as they went in search of their first victory.
Ronaldo once more managed 10 attempts in total, although only three of them were on target this time around, yet he was again unable to make the difference.
The 31-year-old even failed to convert a penalty, hitting the upright from the spot instead as Portugal had to settle for a scoreless draw.
The one time Ronaldo did find the net, the linesman had his flag up on a frustrating evening for the prolific attacker.
National team coach Fernando Santos refused to discuss his star man’s struggles at the post- match news conference, but the reason for his inability to score became clear shortly after anyway.
Turns out the English are behind Ronaldo’s personal crisis, with former striker Gary Lineker having jinxed the Madrid ace.
Think I can explain Ronaldo’s remarkable demise. I backed him to be top scorer. #jinx
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) 18 juni 2016
A PAJAMA PARTY TO HONOUR THE GREAT GABOR KIRALY
Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly is arguably one of the most remarkable players around at the European Championship.
The Szombathelyi Haladas shot stopper became the oldest player to ever appear at the tournament in his side’s win over Austria on matchday one and celebrated by keeping a clean sheet in the process.
The 40-year-old is not so much famous for his newly set record as he is for his interesting fashion sense, though.
Kiraly has become renowned for wearing his trademark tracksuit bottoms, regardless of the weather conditions.
The Hungary legend’s clothing choices prompted a number of Canadian sportscasters to copy his remarkable style, donning a similar tracksuit ahead of Saturday’s match between the Hungarians and Iceland.
— Diego Valdes (@DiegoValdesBCN) June 18, 2016
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