— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 15, 2016
Slovakia faced Russia in the first of the three games on match day 6, which the Slovakians won 2-1.
Slovakia midfielder Vladimir Weiss opened the scoring for his side in the 32nd minute with a side-footed finish. Napoli star man Marek Hamsik, who set up the first goal, then went on to double Slovakia’s lead all by himself, by scoring a sensational goal, and arguably the goal of the tournament so far. The 28-year-old fired a thunderous shot, which hit the post and went into goal right at the stroke of half time.
Russian midfielder Denis Glushakov did pull one goal back for his team in the 80th minute, but it wasn’t enough, as Slovakia went on to win the game.
Russia coach Leonid Slutsky talked about whether or not he made the appropriate team selection during the post-match interview: “I wouldn’t say that because if the plan we had at the beginning had been executed, and if we had scored the first goal, it would have been a different game. After we went behind, we had to change our plan, especially the system in midfield.”
Slovakia coach Jan Kozak also had his say on the game: “The match was very close and tense; nobody wanted to open up space and concede. At half-time we said it was only 2-0, we had things under control for a time, but we got tired. The last 10 minutes seemed to last a very long time.”
Kozak also heaped praises on Hamsik – the game’s man of the man – by stating: “He has matured as a person and as a player at Napoli – he is ready to play for a very big club.”
Russia will now need to win their game against Wales if they are to stand even the slightest chance of progressing, whereas a victory over England will see Slovakia go through to the knockout stages.
The second game of match day 6, which was played between Romania and Switzerland, ended in a 1-1 draw.
Swiss defender Stephan Lichsteiner conceded a penalty in the early stages of the first half by grabbing Alexandru Chipciu’s shirt inside the box. Romanian striker Bogdan Stancu converted from the spot, giving Romania the lead in the 18th minute.
Switzerland managed to dominate the possession thereafter, and finally scored the equalizer in the 57th minute, as Admir Mehmedi hit the bouncing ball first-time directly into goal from 12 yards out.
Securing three points would have sent Switzerland through to the knockout stages, but failure to do so now means that their fate will depend on how well they do in their final group game against the mighty French, which will take place in Lille on 19 June.
The Romanians will also face-off against the Albanians in Lyon on the same day.
France defeat Albania 2-0 in the final game of match day 6, thereby becoming the first team to qualify for the Euro 2016 knockout stages.
The hosts have secured their spot in the knockout stages, thanks to two late goals coming from their two star players.
The first half remained goalless with hardly any notable incidents. However, in the second half, Ledian Memushaj came close to open the scoring shortly after the game resumed, but managed to hit the post instead. French striker Olivier Giroud also hit the woodwork, and it wasn’t until the 90th minute that France managed to open the scoring.
Antoine Griezmann finally ended Albania’s defensive resistance by meeting Adil Rami’s cross from the right wing with a well-placed header, which incidentally was the first shot on target of the entire game! French star man Dimitri Payet then doubled the lead in the 96th minute with what was the final kick of the game.
The Albanians – who performed brilliantly against France for a majority of the game – must now win their final group game against Romania under any circumstances if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.