Ronaldo levels overall men's scoring record as Portugal, France advance to round of 16
Sweden tops Group E; Spain, Germany earn safe passage to knockout round
Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties to tie the overall men's scoring record with 109 goals and Portugal advanced to the round of 16 at the European Championship after a 2-2 draw with France on Wednesday.
Ronaldo's tournament-leading fourth and fifth goals moved him level with former Iran striker Ali Daei at 109, while also extending his overall tournament record to 14.
Karim Benzema scored both of France's goals, his first ever at the tournament after failing to find the target at Euro 2008 and 2012.
Defending champion Portugal finished in third place in the group, one spot behind Germany. France, which had already qualified, was first.
🔝 All-time top international goalscorers:<br><br>⚽️1⃣0⃣9⃣ Ali Daei 🇮🇷<br>⚽️1⃣0⃣9⃣ Cristiano Ronaldo 🇵🇹 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EURO2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EURO2020</a> <a href="https://t.co/NRx7rCLqMC">pic.twitter.com/NRx7rCLqMC</a>—@EURO2020
Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the 31st minute and then equalized from the spot in the 60th after Benzema put World Cup champion France ahead 2-1 shortly after halftime from Paul Pogba's pass.
Benzema also scored a penalty in first-half injury time after Kylian Mbappe was fouled. It was Benzema's first international goal in nearly six years after losing his place in the team following a fallout with coach Didier Deschamps.
Pogba almost scored a winner for France midway through the second half, but Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a superb one-handed save to tip his curling shot off the crossbar and then saved Antoine Griezmann's follow up shot.
France will face Switzerland in the next round and Portugal will take on Belgium.
Sweden edges Poland, tops Group E
Robert Lewandowski had just headed the ball off the crossbar twice in as many seconds when it landed back at his feet.
Standing right in front of Sweden's goal, surely the world player of the year couldn't fail to score again? Incredibly, he could.
Desperate to make amends for possibly the most embarrassing misses of his career, the Poland striker then scored twice in a wild, end-to-end match at the European Championship on Wednesday, but it still wasn't enough.
Viktor Claesson, not Lewandowski, had the final say at Saint Petersburg Stadium with a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give Sweden a 3-2 victory and first place in Group E.
🇸🇪 Congratulations, Sweden! Into the round of 16 as Group E winners 🎉<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EURO2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EURO2020</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SWE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SWE</a> <a href="https://t.co/vVfqM0M0im">pic.twitter.com/vVfqM0M0im</a>—@EURO2020
For Sweden, it's a trip to Glasgow for a last-16 match on Tuesday. For Poland and Lewandowski, it's another early exit from a major soccer tournament.
The Bayern Munich striker leaves Euro 2020 with three goals, his best haul at a World Cup or European Championship, but he looked close to tears as he applauded Poland's fans after the final whistle.
"The fact this is my best Euros because I scored three goals doesn't comfort me at all," he said. "I would give all these goals for qualification for the next round."
Lewandowski couldn't have given any more, leading Poland's comeback from a 2-0 deficit with a curling shot in the 61st minute and then the equalizer in the 84th. He dropped deep to collect the ball and drive forward. He exhorted his teammates with clenched fists. He whirled his arms to lift Poland's supporters.
Despite all that, his performance still might best be remembered for that extraordinary sequence of events in the 17th minute when the most prolific scorer in Europe this season couldn't score into an empty net.
Not once, but twice.
After heading a corner off the crossbar, the ball rebounded straight back to Lewandowski but he could only head the ball onto the same part of the goal frame. What came next was almost farcical, as the ball got trapped between his legs and then went through the legs of Poland teammate Grzegorz Krychowiak, too.
There was audible shock, and even some laughs, inside the stadium as replays were shown on the big screens.
Emil Forsberg had already scored for Sweden by then, after 81 seconds for the second quickest goal in the tournament's history. He added a second in the 59th on a counterattack.
Poland, which collected one point from its first two games, needed a win to advance but missed a slew of half-chances before Claesson, a substitute, broke free for a goal that changed so much.
It lifted Sweden back above Spain, which was easing to a 5-0 win over Slovakia in a match being played simultaneously. Spain would have finished first in the group if not for Claesson's goal.
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It is more disappointment at international level for Lewandowski, who was coming off a record-breaking year at Bayern when he scord 41 goals in a single Bundesliga season. He has moved into third place, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, for goals scored in the Champions League, and now has 69 goals for his country in 122 games.
But it seems he will just have to settle for being a title-winner at club level. In four appearances at a major tournament with Poland, Lewandowski has departed from the group stage three times.
He is now 32, with perhaps only two major international tournaments left in him — if Poland qualifies.
Like Lewandowski, Forsberg now has three goals at Euro 2020 and has the honor of scoring the quickest goal in this year's tournament.
Only Russia player Dmitry Kirichenko — in 2004 against Greece — has scored a faster goal than Forsberg, who collected a bouncing ball from Alexander Isak's blocked shot and converted a low, left-footed finish.
The winger put Sweden ahead 2-0 by curling in a low shot at the end of a counterattack led by substitute Dejan Kulusevski.
Seeking to make amends, Lewandowski almost single-handedly brought Poland back to the game.
One more would have completed a remarkable story of redemption for the striker after his early misses.
It wasn't to be.
"I feel this team deserved more," Lewandowski said. "Maybe not applause, because we are out, but for all that we gave here, the reward is too small."
Spain dominates Slovakia, on to round of 16
A bizarre blunder by the goalkeeper helped Spain find its scoring touch at the European Championship.
And it also helped them advance to the round of 16.
An embarrassing own-goal by goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the first half put Spain on its way to a 5-0 victory Wednesday, coming only minutes after the hosts had missed another penalty kick and wasted more scoring chances.
Dubravka saved that early penalty from Alvaro Morata but then clumsily knocked the ball into his own net after it ricocheted high into the air off a shot by Pablo Sarabia in the 30th minute.
Dubravka stood just off his line and waited for the ball to descend. He jumped to swat it over for a corner, but the ball veered to his left and rolled off his right hand and into the net.
Desolate, he stood by the goal line as some of his teammates came over to support him.
⏰ RESULT ⏰<br><br>🇪🇸 Spain through; equal EURO record win margin<br>🇸🇰 Slovakia suffer heavy defeat in Seville<br><br>🤔 How good is this <a href="https://twitter.com/SeFutbol?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeFutbol</a> side? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EURO2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EURO2020</a>—@EURO2020
Aymeric Laporte added to Spain's lead before halftime, and Sarabia, Ferran Torres and another own-goal in the second half made it five for "La Roja," which had been facing elimination in front of its own fans.
The victory allowed Spain to advance in second place in Group E with five points. The team will next play Croatia in Copenhagen on Monday. Sweden, which defeated Poland 3-2 in the other match, won the group.
"I think this group has shown that it can overcome challenges," Spain coach Luis Enrique said. "We are gaining momentum. I'm sure that if you ask any of our rivals no one will be happy to have to play against us."
The result eliminated Slovakia, which needed at least a draw to guarantee its place in the next round.
Slovakia, which reached the last 16 at Euro 2016 in France, won its first match this year with the help of an own-goal by Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
"It is difficult to play against such opposition. You need to be well organized, you need to play well in defense, and we didn't do that. To make such mistakes against Spain, that is simply not acceptable," Slovakia coach Stefan Tarkovic said. "After the third goal, I think it turned into an exhibition match for Spain."
The game marked the return of Spain captain Sergio Busquets after he spent time in isolation following a positive test result of the coronavirus ahead of the tournament.
"It was the type of match we needed. It gives us a big boost going forward," an emotional Busquets said. "This will make us stronger. We are on the right path."
Busquets, voted the man of the match, gave Spain the balance it needed in midfield after it opened with two disappointing draws. The only player left from the World Cup-winning squad in 2010, Busquets helped the team create chances in attack and keep the defense more protected.
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Sarabia got his goal from inside the area after a cross by Jordi Alba in the 56th, and Torres increased the lead with a nice back-heel flick from close range in the 67th.
An own-goal by Juraj Kucka, who found his net while trying to clear a shot by Pau Torres, finished off the rout at La Cartuja Stadium. It was the biggest margin of victory at the European Championship since Sweden defeated Bulgaria 5-0 in 2004. No team has ever won by more than five at the European Championship.
Slovakia finished with no attempts on target.
Luis Enrique made four changes from the team that was held to a 1-1 draw by Poland, bringing in veterans Busquets, Cesar Azpilicueta and Sarabia, in addition to Eric Garcia on defense.
Spain missed its second penalty at Euro 2020 when Dubravka dived to his right to stop Morata's mid-height shot in the 12th minute. The penalty came after Koke Resurreccion was kicked by midfielder Jakub Hromada inside the area. The referee initially signaled a foul against Koke but the call was reversed by video review.
Moreno had missed a penalty against Poland.
"I had said before the match that we needed to uncork the cava [bottle]," Luis Enrique said, meaning the goals would eventually start flowing. "Today we uncorked it."
Goretzka buoys Germany in draw with Hungary
Leon Goretzka scored late to keep Germany in the European Championship after a 2-2 draw against Hungary on Wednesday.
Jamal Musiala made an immediate impact after coming on in the 82nd minute, eluding three defenders to give Timo Werner room to shoot. Werner was blocked but the rebound fell for Goretzka, who shot past goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi in the 84th.
It had looked like Adam Szalai was going to drag his team into the round of 16. The Hungary captain scored one goal early against the run of play and set up Andras Schafer to make it 2-1 right after Kai Havertz had equalized for Germany.
⏰ RESULT ⏰<br><br>AND BREATHE! 😅<br><br>🇩🇪 Havertz & Goretzka net as Germany come from behind to qualify<br>🇭🇺 Hungary eliminated after dramatic game in Munich<br><br>🤔 Best player on show?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EURO2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EURO2020</a>—@EURO2020
Germany made the better start but was caught out early yet again in the tournament when Szalai met Roland Sallai's cross with a flying header on a counter-attack in the 11th.
Germany struggled against Hungary's defensive 5-3-2 formation and was further hampered by heavy rain from a thundershower in the first half.
The home team finally made a breakthrough in the 66th when the normally excellent Gulacsi failed to punch away Toni Koos' free kick. Mats Hummels headed the ball forward and Havertz made sure from close range.
But Hungary replied immediately when Szalai played in Schafer to head the ball past Manuel Neuer.
It would have been enough to send Hungary through to the next round at Germany's expense, but substitutes rescued the game.
Germany finished second in the group with four points and will next face England at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
Portugal drew with France 2-2 in the other group and both progress, while Hungary finished last with two points and has been eliminated.