Spain on Monday opened their UEFA Euro 2020 campaign with a goalless draw against Sweden in Seville, Spain, after their preparations were badly affected by COVID-19, while Patrik Schick scored one of the championship’s great goals in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 win over Scotland.
Elsewhere on day four of the tournament, Slovakia edged out 10-man Poland 2-1 in Saint Petersburg.
They lead the early Group E table ahead of Spain and Sweden, after the Scandinavians held on for a point at Estadio La Cartuja, with Alvaro Morata wasting the hosts’ best opportunity.
“There are no doubts about a striker like Morata,” Aymeric Laporte said of his teammate. “We know what he can do, it didn’t go in for him today it’s true, but in the next game he can score three and shut everyone’s mouth.”
Jordi Alba captained Spain in the absence of Sergio Busquets, who is still self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVIS-19.
Defender Diego Llorente was only allowed to rejoin the group on Saturday after giving a fourth consecutive negative test and was an unused substitute.
The squad was forced to train individually and their last friendly against Lithuania was passed over to the under-21s.
The Scots, absent from major tournament finals since the 1998 World Cup, were sunk by Bayer Leverkusen striker Schick in front of 12,000 fans at Hampden Park in England.
The home side started the Group D contest brightly in Glasgow, but fell behind shortly before half-time as Schick headed home a cross from Vladimir Coufal.
There was even better to come from the 25-year-old Schick, as he struck a high, curling shot from just inside the Scotland half over the head of back-pedalling Scottish goalkeeper David Marshall and into the net.
“The ball bounced back, the goalkeeper was quite high, I took a look, I saw he was out there so I slammed it in,” Schick said.
Czech Republic moved to the top of Group D ahead of their game with Croatia at Hampden on Friday.
“We want to advance, we are now facing the two favorites, sometimes you can get there on three points, but I think we’ll have to clinch one more to be sure,” Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy said.
Christian Eriksen, the Danish soccer player who collapsed on the pitch in his country’s opening Euro 2020 game, said that he was doing “fine” in an Instagram post from hospital yesterday.
“I’m fine — under the circumstances, I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay,” he wrote in a post with a photograph of him smiling and giving a thumbs-up in bed.
The 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder on Saturday collapsed on the field in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game against Finland. He was later confirmed to have had cardiac arrest.
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed
Four key men’s doubles pairings — dubbed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as “the group of death” — are to take over two courts side-by-side today just after midday in Tokyo, in matches that already have the badminton world abuzz. What is formally known as Group A pits pairings from Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Britain against one another — the former three ranked in the top 10. Taiwanese pairing Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin are set to challenge Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of India, while world No. 1 duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia are to
After complaining about flying economy class to the Olympic Games, Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying appeared satisfied with her hotel room in Tokyo, praising its proximity to the badminton venue. “It saves commuting time and allows more time to rest,” the 27-year-old Tai wrote on Instagram yesterday morning. “It’s very good.” The Athletes’ Village is about 50 minutes by car from the badminton venue, but the hotel is only a 10-minute drive, she said. “It’ll give me more time to rest and prepare, whether before or after a match,” Tai added. Taiwan’s badminton team is staying at the Marroad Inn Tokyo in Chofu City,
KEEP ’EM COMING: In her first Olympic appearance, Lo set a high bar, fighting her way to the final bouts, and earning Taiwan its second medal after Yang Yung-wei’s silver Taiwan’s Lo Chia-ling yesterday clinched the nation’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, grabbing a bronze medal in taekwondo in the women’s 57kg class. Nineteen-year-old Lo beat Nigeria’s Tekiath Ben Yessouf 10-6 at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe convention center. Lo, who is making her first appearance in the Olympic Games, worked her way to the bronze medal contest with an early 20-18 win against South Korea’s Lee Ah-reum in the round of 16, before dropping Canada’s Skylar Park 18-7 in the quarter-final. It was Anastasija Zolotic of the US who denied the former World Taekwondo Junior Championship gold medalist a chance to fight for