News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

This article was first published 7 years ago  » Sports » Euro 2016: 5 disappointments of group stage

Euro 2016: 5 disappointments of group stage

By Aruneel Sadadekar
June 24, 2016 09:14 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IMAGE: Flairs are thrown onto the pitch during the Euro 2016 Group D match between the Czech Republic and Croatia at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on June 17, 2016 in Saint-Etienne. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images.

Euro 2016's round of 16 gets underway on Saturday after the completion of the group stage.

Besides surprises aplenty, there were some major upsets and heartbreaks in the preliminary round.

Aruneel Sadadekar/ presents his top five disappointments from the tournament thus far.

Flares and fights

IMAGE: England supporters throw projectiles amongst tear gas at the port of Marseille ahead of the game between England and Russia. Photograph: Jean-Paul Pelissier/ Reuters.

Despite several superb goals and thrilling comebacks, Euro 2016 was more in the news for fan violence and flares on the pitch.

The tournament has already seen several recorded instances of football hooliganism and clashes between fans.

From brawls between Russian and England supporters in Marseille to Croatian fans throwing flares on the pitch in their match against Czech Republic that injured a steward and stopped play, a string of incidents threatened to ruin the festive atmosphere in France.

The same game also saw Croatian fans fighting amongst themselves inside the stadium.

While Northern Ireland endured a dream passage into the knock-outs, two of their supporters lost their lives in separate incidents during the course of the tournament.

Zlatan woe 

IMAGE: Sweden's forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes off the captain's armband. Photograph: Erik Martensson/Reuters.

Curtains came down on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's international career with a disappointing exit from the group stages.

Unarguably the most successful player in Sweden's history, the talismanic striker looked clearly off-colour and failed to score in the tournament.

Admitting disappointment by the result, he added that he made 'many fantastic memories' of representing his country.

The colourful fans who thronged Sweden's games will surely miss their hit-man, who called time on his international career after the team's failure to make the Round of 16.

More importantly, his failure in front of the goal is likely to raise doubts in the minds of Manchester United fans, as the striker is expected to join the English Premier League giants next season.

Russia's nightmare

IMAGE: Neil Taylor of Wales scores the team's second goal past Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Barring their injury-time equaliser to force a draw against mighty England, Russia have everything to forget about in Euro 2016.

Disappointing defeats from a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales and Slovakia resulted in a bottom-place finish for the Russians.

Adding salt to their misery was the arrest of several of their fans for creating violence in France.

An absolutely disastrous performance just two years before hosting the World Cup proves that Russia need to build the team from scratch. 

Turkey's heartbreak 

IMAGE: Turkey’s players during a match. Photograph: Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters.

A cruel way to be eliminated, as Ireland scored late to pip Turkey to a third-best place.

After a morale-boosting thrashing of heavyweights Netherlands in the qualifiers, their fans were optimistic of Turkey's chances.

But barring the 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic, Turkey had nothing to smile about in Euro 2016.

Czechs and Cech


IMAGE: Spain's Gerard Pique (second from right) heads the ball to score his team's first goal past Czech Republic's keeper Petr Cech during their Group D match at Stadium Municipal in Toulouse. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images.

Their over-reliance on old names and old legs led to their downfall in France.

The Czech Republic suffered a major heartbreak when Gerrard Pique scored a late goal to guide Spain to 1-0 victory.

Besides collecting only a solitary point from their three games, it is difficult to recollect any special achievement from a team that had one of the world's best goalkeepers in Peter Cech.

Their come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Croatia in a game, which saw flares hurled on the pitch, remains the only significant memory of the Czechs during this tournament.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Aruneel Sadadekar /