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Start of Euro 2024: Early Victories, Records, and Sensations

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Photo: Start of Euro 2024: Early Victories, Records, and Sensations. Source: UEFA
Photo: Start of Euro 2024: Early Victories, Records, and Sensations. Source: UEFA

The European Football Championship — Euro 2024 — is currently underway in Germany. Despite the tournament just beginning, many exciting matches have already been played, and new records set.

The tournament kicked off in Group A with the opening match between Germany and Scotland, as detailed by The Gaze. Typically, the opening matches of major international tournaments tend to be uneventful and low-scoring. However, the German team broke this tradition, delivering a surprisingly entertaining and high-scoring game. The hosts scored five goals against the Scots, who could only reply with one.

In another Group A match, Switzerland narrowly defeated Hungary. After scoring two goals in the first half, the Swiss aimed to maintain their lead. However, Hungary pulled one back in the 66th minute and continued to press, creating a tense finish for Switzerland. The Swiss secured their victory with a third goal in the third minute of added time, winning 3-1.

In Group B, one of the tournament's favourites, Spain, comfortably defeated Croatia 3-0, securing their victory by half-time. Meanwhile, another favourite, Italy, faced difficulties against tournament debutants Albania. The Balkan team scored within the first 23 seconds, setting a record for the fastest goal in European Championship history. Italy responded with two goals in the first half, setting the final score at 2-1. Nevertheless, the persistent Albanians continued to threaten the Italian goal, causing Italian fans considerable anxiety.

In Group C, England pragmatically overcame Serbia with a 1-0 victory. The Balkan team had several opportunities but failed to capitalize on them. The other match in the group between Slovenia and Denmark ended in a tense 1-1 draw, with both sides playing an evenly matched and uncompromising game.

In Group D, the Netherlands achieved a come-from-behind victory over Poland, winning 2-1. After conceding first, the Dutch quickly equalized and scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute. In the other match, Austria faced France, where the French secured a narrow 1-0 win. Interestingly, the only goal came from an own goal by an Austrian defender in the 38th minute.

The biggest surprises so far have come from Group E, where Ukraine plays. Serhiy Rebrov's team unexpectedly lost 3-0 to Romania, despite being the pre-match favourites. In another shocking result, the group favourites Belgium also suffered a surprise defeat, losing 1-0 to Slovakia.

We now look forward to the conclusion of the first round of the group stage, which will take place tonight with the matches Turkey vs. Georgia and Portugal vs. Czech Republic. This will be followed by two more full rounds and the playoffs, promising nearly a month of exciting and spectacular football.

Notably, UEFA has organized the Euro 2024 match schedule to reduce team air travel by 75% compared to Euro 2016.

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