Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Euro 2024 data dive: Pedri matches Ronaldo feat, Hjulmand stunner denies England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jun 2024

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Thursday’s action at Euro 2024 brought our first group winners in Spain, and plenty of frustration for England.

Before La Roja clinched top spot in Group B by overcoming Italy, the Three Lions were pegged back in a 1-1 draw with Denmark, who were arguably unfortunate not to win the game.

Despite an underwhelming performance, Gareth Southgate’s team remain in control of Group C with four points, after Slovenia and Serbia drew 1-1 earlier in the day.

Here, we round up the standout stats from Thursday’s action.

Slovenia 1-1 Serbia: Jovic rescues last-gasp draw

The early kick-off delivered yet another late twist as Slovenia were denied a landmark victory at the European Championships with the last kick of the game in Munich.

Having seen efforts by Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic repelled by the imperious figure of Jan Oblak, Serbia found themselves behind as Zan Karnicnik’s goal put Slovenia on the cusp of their first-ever win at the Euros.

However, Luka Jovic had other ideas. The Milan striker rose the highest from another Serbia corner, heading the ball beyond Oblak to score the latest result-altering goal in a Euros match of all-time (excluding extra time), with his equaliser timed at exactly 95 minutes.

The result keeps both side’s chances of making the last 16 of the competition alive, but for Slovenia, it could have been a memorable day in Munich.

Matjaz Kek’s side remain winless at the Euros from their five matches (four draws, one loss). Karnicnik’s opener was just the second time they had gone ahead in a game at the competition; the last time they did so was during a 3-3 draw with Yugoslavia at Euro 2000.

But for all of Serbia’s attacking intent, their lack of clinical edge in the final third proved costly despite their late goal. Just four of their 15 shots were on target, with talisman Mitrovic having an afternoon to forget.

With his six shots in the match, Mitrovic had the most of any player in a single game at Euro 2024.

With the Al-Hilal striker having failed to find the back of the net, it means the last four players to have more than six shots at a European Championships have not scored – the other three coming at Euro 2020.

Denmark 1-1 England: Scrutiny piles on Southgate

While the other game in Group C finished with the same scoreline, the encounter will not be remembered in a hurry, in particular for England fans.

Harry Kane opened the scoring in Frankfurt. His opener was his fifth goal at the Euros, becoming the first England player and eighth player overall to score five or more goals at both the men’s World Cup and European Championships.

He also became the third man to score at four different major international tournaments for England, along with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

But Morten Hjulmand equalised with what was his first goal for Denmark in all competitions (in his ninth appearance). It was also Denmark’s ninth goal from outside the box at the European Championship, with only three teams netting more on record (since 1980 – Germany 15, Netherlands 12, France 11).

Denmark’s leveller was the eighth goal England have conceded from outside the box at the Euros. No side has conceded more on record in the history of the competition (since 1980, Portugal are level with the Three Lions).

There have been 13 goals scored from outside the box at Euro 2024, already more than there were in the entire group stages of Euro 2020 (12).

England have now won just two of their last eight competitive meetings with Denmark (four draws, two losses), having won each of their first four such games against them.

Spain 1-0 Italy: Pedri matches Ronaldo feat, unwanted history for Cristante

In the final game of the day, Spain produced another dominant performance to clinch top spot in Group B with a 1-0 win over defending champions Italy.

Riccardo Calafiori’s second-half own goal made the difference, the defender becoming the first Azzurri player to ever put through his own net in a European Championship match.

He is also just the second Italian to score an own goal at a major tournament (World Cup/Euros) overall, after Cristian Zaccardo versus the United States at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which Italy won on German soil.

If they are to lift more silverware in Berlin next month, they will need a dramatic improvement, having attempted just four shots in a tame performance on Thursday – their fewest on record (since 1980) in any match at the Euros.

Spain, on the other hand, look like genuine contenders after following up their 3-0 thrashing of Croatia with another deserved victory. They have won their first two games of a European Championship tournament to nil for just the second time, previously doing so in 2016 (1-0 versus Czechia, 3-0 against Turkiye).

Fabian Ruiz produced an energetic performance in the heart of La Roja’s midfield, winning possession in the final third on six occasions, the most by any player in a Euros match since David Silva in a 2008 quarter-final between Spain and Italy (also six).

Team-mate Pedri, meanwhile, kept things ticking over on his 12th major tournament appearance for Spain (World Cup/Euros).

That is the joint-most by any European player while aged 21 or younger, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who played 12 times for Portugal at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

There was a piece of unwanted history for an Italy midfielder, though, as Bryan Cristante received a yellow card just 20 seconds after coming off the bench at the start of the second half, the quickest booking for a substitute on record at the Euros (since 1980).

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