By Robert Haile
The delayed European Championship 2020 have started on Friday, June 11 with the opening game in Rome, Italy.
The Euros will take place in eleven cities with fifty one matches to take place with the final to take place in London.
The last time the Nessun Dorma rang out in Italy, this time sang by Andrea Bocelli, they made the semifinals.
Italy took a step on that road as they started their campaign with a three-nil over Turkey the first time in the Euros that Italy have scored more than two goals.
After a goalless first half Merih Demiral had the infamy of scoring the first goal of the tournament, sadly it was an own goal as the Turkish player turned the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Ciro Immobile doubled the Azzurri’s lead after Ugurcan Cakir pushed Leonardo Spinazzola’s out and Lorenzo Insigne wrapped up the win with a classy goal.
Fellow Group A teams Wales and Switzerland played out a one all draw with another goalless half, the Swiss took the lead early into the second half when Breel Embolo headed Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross in.
Kieffer Moore after almost giving the Welsh the lead in the first half, equalised with a header from Joe Morrell’s cross.
The Swiss thought they had won the match when substitute Mario Gravanovic scored but was ruled out through VAR.
Finland’s first game at the Euro’s was a memorable one against Denmark but for a distressing reason as the host nations Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch where he received CPR.
The match was suspended but later completed after Eriksen was confirmed to be awake in hospital with Finland’s Joel Pohjanpalo scoring the only goal of the game.
The worlds number one ranked team Belgium put three past Russia in St Petersburg.
Eriksen’s Inter Milan teammate Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring and shouted ‘Chris, Chris, I love you’ in front of a television camera.
Substitute Thomas Meunier added a second before Lukaku finished the game off with his second.
In a replay of the World Cup semifinal England faced Croatia at Wembley and in a cagey game Raheem Sterling scored the only goal to give the Three Lions three points.
North Macedonia made history with their first appearance and almost took a point from the game.
Austria took the lead through Stefan Lainer before Goran Pandev equalised, Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic scored late on to give the Austrians a three – one victory.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst scored two goals in six minutes looked to have given the Netherlands all three points but Andriy Yarmolenko’s twenty five yard effort and Roman Yaremchuk left the Dutch shell shocked.
With eighty five minutes gone Denzel Dumfries gave the Dutch their first win at a major tournament after seven years away.
Scotland’s return wasn’t as happy at Hampden as the Czech Republic recorded at two-nil victory with the longest goal in the championships recorded history.
Patrik Schick’s incredible shot from the halfway line could already take goal of the tournament as he added to his tally.
Slovakia recorded a surprise victory over ten man Poland.
A Wojciech Szczesny own goal gave Slovakia the lead before Karol Linetty equalised for Poland.
After Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off on sixty two minutes Slovakia scored the winner seven minutes later with Milan Skriniar.
Spain dominated their game with Sweden with eighty five percent of the possession but couldn’t find a winner in a nil-nil draw.
Cristiano Ronaldo set another record as he became the championships leading goal scorer.
Hungary had held out eighty fourth minute when Raphael Guerreiro deflected shot found a way in, Ronaldo then converted a penalty to make it two-nil.
Ronaldo then rounded goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi for his second.
The heavy weight show down between France and Germany was decided by a single goal.
Mats Hummels had the infamy of turning the ball into his own next to give the French a win to start their tournament.
Friday, June 11
Turkey 0 – 3 Italy (Group A)
Saturday, June 12
Wales 1 – 1 Switzerland (Group A)
Denmark 0 – 1 Finland (Group B)
Belgium 3 – 0 Russia (Group B)
Sunday, June 13
Austria 3 – 1 North Macedonia (Group C)
Netherlands 3 – 2 Ukraine (Group C)
England 1 – 0 Croatia (Group D)
Monday, June 14
Scotland 0 – 2 Czech Republic (Group D)
Poland 1 – 2 Slovakia (Group E)
Spain 0 – 0 Sweden (Group E)
Tuesday, June 15
Hungary 0 – 3 Portugal (Group F)
France 1 – 0 Germany (Group F)