Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Ronaldo injured while Serbia holds Portugal at home

Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to injure his hamstrings in the first half of Portugal’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Serbia, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The attacker will now undergo tests to determine the extent of the injury. “I’m not worried, I know my body,” Ronaldo said later.

Ukraine beat Luxembourg 2-1 with a goal by Rodrigues Gouveia late in the game and finished first in the group with four points while the Portuguese have two points in their two games. Sports enthusiasts from around the world can purchase France Euro Cup Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers - Ronaldo injured
Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Ronaldo injured

In Group H, Turkey beat Moldova 4-0, Everton’s Cenk Tosun scoring two goals between goals from Ali Kaldirim and Kaan Ayhan. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went into the dressing room of the new Eskisehir Stadium to congratulate the local team after the final whistle.

Turkey was then moved to the top by France, who beat Iceland 4-0. Samuel Umtiti opened the scoring for the World Cup winners before goals from Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann increased the score.

“We were very efficient against a very defensive team. It is a source of great satisfaction, “said France coach Didier Deschamps.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers - Ronaldo injured
Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Ronaldo injured

Iceland, who have won just one of their last 17 games, played aggressively, but that was not enough to destabilize Les Bleus.

“We knew it would be a tough challenge but their early goal made it even tougher,” said their coach, Erik Hamren. “Then when they scored the second we were really in trouble. They’re a top-class team.”

Albania came in third after their 3-0 win in Andorra. And in the other match of the English group, Kosovo played it’s first-ever Euro qualifier a 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in Pristina, with Arber Zeneli equalizing just after the hour of play.

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Is England shaping up as Euro Cup 2020 contenders?

The feats of last year’s Russian summer came as a pleasant surprise before the pain of defeat by Croatia in Moscow – but the loss to the Netherlands in Guimaraes was a setback and raised key questions about the team’s level of development. Sports enthusiasts from around the world can purchase England Euro Cup Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.

England’s win on penalties against Switzerland in the third place play-off at least ensured a positive ending but their main objective was not achieved.

Is England shaping up as Euro Cup 2020 contenders?

So what sort of shape is England in 12 months on from Moscow and 12 months out from a Euros showpiece where both semi-finals and the final will be staged on home soil at Wembley?

England offer reasons for hope

If England had won this new European trophy it would have been paraded as a major success, so the fact they did not means the cold judgment is that they have failed.

England also showed they can react to pressure when they mounted a superb late comeback to beat their World Cup semi-final conquerors Croatia at Wembley in November to secure their place in these Portugal finals.

Chelsea pair Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi will be in the frame once they overcome serious Achilles tendon injuries while Jack Grealish’s return to the Premier League with Aston Villa will come under scrutiny.

And there are others trying to push in from the margins, such as Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Crystal Palace full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

And in Southgate, who took over after Sam Allardyce’s one-match tenure, they have a dignified manager who oozes class as a personality and who – for now at least – has credit in the bank and the public on his side following England’s advance to the last four in Russia.

The platform, on many levels, has been established

Serious questions for England to answer

England are still bounded by the groundswell of goodwill they built up in Russia and which they boosted by reaching these finals and scoring 10 goals in their opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

So far so good – until the loss to the Netherlands exposed familiar faultlines that have still not been addressed.

For all the praise they have had, much of it fully deserved, the bottom line is that England have reached two semi-finals in the past 12 months and lost both.

They must prove they are not destined to always be bridesmaids. It is a reputation that is easily earned but hard to lose.

Is England shaping up as Euro Cup 2020 contenders?

And in both losing causes there was an ominous pattern that suggests this England team still has a long way to go to justify the great expectations that will accompany them into Euro 2020.

England led both semi-finals for a long spell and yet ended up losing control of the game and ending well beaten by sides with greater assuredness in possession and game management.

As they leave here for a summer break, they must find a way to show they can get over the line when it matters.

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Euro 2020: UEFA bosses should take Raheem Sterling’s lead on fighting racism

The very shameful racist abuse of Raheem Sterling Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi during England’s Euro 2020 qualifying match against Montenegro on Monday logically triggered outrage in British football. Fans who want to watch the live action of Football can buy England Euro Cup Tickets online.

However it is not the first time that black England players have been targeted during games in the Balkans. The scenes in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica were grimly similar to those in 2012 when again Rose was subjected to monkey chants during an England U21 game against Serbia and to Zagreb in 2008.

England black players are not alone in this case A banana was thrown at the Italian international by Croatian fans at Euro 2012 Partizan Belgrade’s Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz was abused by FK Rad fans in the Serbian a couple of years back the list is depressingly long.

Euro 2020: UEFA bosses should take Raheem Sterling’s lead on fighting racism
England Euro Cup 2020

Racism in Balkan football is not new and other forms of discrimination including homophobia anti-Semitism or anti-Romany sentiment are widespread in the game and beyond.

On top of that normal expression of ethnic hatred towards teams or players from neighboring countries remain at the core of Balkan football fan culture.

The lack of diversity and social debate about racism in the region leads many to trivialize the severity of racist behavior and reduce it to a form of acceptable football related banter. It is widely accepted as a form of psychological terror against an opposing team and more importantly particular players.

The fans doing the monkey chants on Monday were sitting in the main stand. They were most likely not fanatical hooligans but ordinary supporters for whom this sort of behavior is regarded as normal.

Euro 2020: UEFA bosses should take Raheem Sterling’s lead on fighting racism
England Euro Cup 2020

The fact that the Montenegro manager Ljubisa Tumbakovic saw no reason to comment on the incidents in the post-match press conference says a lot about how seriously the issue is being taken.

The Montenegrin FA issued a tame statement while Montenegro’s sport and youth minister described the game as a sports festival with a carnival atmosphere condemning only inexplicable messages by some fans in the stadium.

In 2013, the Croatian FA promised its support to defender Josip Šimunić after he was fined for chanting a fascist slogan Za dom spremni For the homeland ready the fish really does rot from the head down.

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