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Elfy

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I want in sounds like fun..

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As I said, I am not a great specialist in Football. However, I somehow have the feeling that albania is not in the top favourite for the euro 2016.^_^

Eric Cantona changed my mind about the chances of Albania.

Check this out (If you have no fear of our french accent..)

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Day 2:

So the second day of the European Championships was today and it was a day of good football and late drama.

First off @Riley 's Switzerland played @titefronce's Albania. It was a good game with Switzerland taking an early lead through Fabian Schar with a 5th minute header. Albania made it harder for themselves in the 37th minute when Lorik Cana was sent off for a second booking. Despite a good showing and forcing the Swiss goalkeeper into some good saves the score stayed the same.

Switzerland 1-0 Albania

The next game was @baby_becky's Wales against @minachan16's Slovakia. It was Wales' first tournament game in over 50 years and they got off to a great start with Gareth Bale wrong footing the goalkeeper with a free kick to open the scoring in the 10th minute. Ondrej Duda equalised for Slovakia in the 61st minute with a neat finish at the near post to equalise before Hal Robson-Kanu shinned a goal in 10 minutes for the end to win their first tournament game in half a century.

Wales 2-1 Slovakia

Final game of the day was @Soggynappy's England taking on @Leaf's Russia. England dominated most of the game but couldn't find a breakthrough until the 73rd minute when Eric Dier smashed home a free kick from close range. It looked good for England who were playing very well until in the last minute of stoppage time when V. Berezutski, Russia's captain, looped a header home to equalise and disappoint a certain DD admin who is running a sweepstakes ( :( )

England 1-1 Russia

Still early days in the group stages though so no reason to despair if your team lost. Still plenty of time to turn things around!

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Day 3

The third day of the tournament just ended and just like yesterday we have three results to report.

To kick the day off @Dill_Pickle's Turkey played @Musashi's Croatia. In truth this was a one sided game with Croatia always the stronger of the two sides. Turkey had their best effort early on with a header straight at the 'keeper. It was the 41st minute when the deadlock was broken when Luka Modric hit a superb volley from distance to give Croatia the lead. The second half got no better for Turkey who struggled to find any chemistry and Croatia continued to dominate the match. Twice Croatia hit the bar, firstly from a Dario Srna free kick and then a header from Perisic. Turkey had one half chance late on but Croatian defender Vedrun Corluka, bloodied from an early collision, threw himself in the way for the vital block.

Turkey 0-1 Croatia

Next we had Poland (Not selected for anyone) take on @baba's Northern Ireland. This was probably the worst match of the tournament so far. Northern Ireland looked to play a very defensive game and spent most of their time with 9 men behind the ball and hoofing it long to Kyle Lafferty whenever possible. This is Northern Ireland's first European Championship and they lack the quality of a lot of the teams around them, they try to make up for it with hard work. The hard work and defensive strategy worked for the first 45 minutes as Poland couldn't find any kind of breakthrough. However, it was all undone after just 5 minutes of the second half when Milik was able to slot a shot home from the edge of the penalty area. Northern Ireland switched to a 4-4-2 formation as they searched to get level but they could never fashion themselves a clear opportunity.

Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland

To finish the day we had the current World Champions @PaddedPJs's Germany taking on @wittle texian's Ukraine. Ukraine looked like they were struggling early on as the Germans played much more fluent football. It seemed Ukraine were just getting into the game when a free kick from Toni Kroos was headed home from close range by Mustafi in the 19th minute. Germany proceeded to dominate much of the game and Ukraine's best chance was with a couple of minutes to go when the defence and goal keeper miss-communicated and it almost lead to a comical own goal. In injury time, with Ukraine pushing players forward looking for an equaliser, Germany counter attacked and Mesut Ozil swung in a beautiful cross that was tapped in at the far post by substitute Bastion Schweinsteiger.

Germany 2-0 Ukraine

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Day 3

Another day done and three more results for everyone.

To start of we had @Dribbles's Spain taking on @Elfy's Czech Republic. It was a game that Spain controlled for the majority of the match with Czech Republic being forced to defend for virtually the whole match. Just when it seemed like the Czech defence had been able to keep the Spanish at bay Spanish defender Gerard Pique managed to get on the end of an Andreas Iniesta cross to head home in the 87th minute. The Czechs managed to force one good chance right at the end but a good save from David De Gea meant that Spain could hold on and win their opening group game.

Spain 1-0 Czech Republic

To follow up we had the Republic of Ireland (not drawn by anyone) facing @Alvin Spacemunk's Sweden. This was more a 50/50 match with both sides equally matched which made for a more open game. The first half ended in stalemate but with just two minutes of the second half played Wes Hoolihan curled home a wonderful shot from the edge of the area and give the the Irish something to defend. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden's star player, was kept quiet by a hard working Irish defence but it was his wriggling away from defenders and dangerous cross in the 73rd minute which Ciaran Clark stooped to try and clear and in doing so scored an own goal. Both sides pushed forward looking for a winner, the Irish in particular having a great chance near the end, but the score remained level.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Sweden

Finally we had what is probably the star match of the opening round of matches with Belgium (not picked by anyone) with a "golden generation" of players faced the historically strong @BabyTau's Italy. The Italians have a relatively weak side this year but have a history of performing well at tournaments no matter what. It should be no surprise then when the Italians started much the brighter of the two sides and caused a majority of the problems. The pressure told in the 32nd minute when defender Bonucci lofted a superb long ball into the Belgium penalty area. It wasn't cleared and Emanuele Giaccherini took a fantastic first touch before finishing without mistake. Belgium looked like a team of star players with no cohesion and it showed as the hard working Italian defence stopped them from creating many chances. In stoppage time with most of the Belgium players pushed forward the Italians broke and when a cross was swung in to Graziano Pelle he made no mistake in volleying home from close range to seal the deal.

Belgium 0-2 Italy

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Day 4

Day 4 brings with it the completion of the first round of group stage games (everyone will have played once). I will put the current tables at the end of this post. Only two games today.

We started off with @SnowFairy's Austria taking on @BBoy's Hungary. This game had action from the very first minute as Austria's Alaba hit the post with barely 100 seconds on the clock. The rest of the half had both teams attacking each other and looking for a breakthrough but as the whistle blew after 45 minutes the score remained 0-0. Hungary started off the second half very well and took the game to Austria who seemed to have no reply to the Hungarian attack. The pressure finally worked for Hungary in the 62nd minute when, after a nice one-two pass, Kleinheisler slipped in Szalai who slid for the ball and was able to divert it into the net to give Hungary the lead.

Three minutes later and controversy started when it appeared Austria had levelled the score following Hinteregger smashing the ball home from the edge of the box but the referee spotted a foul on the edge of the area and as well as disallowing the goal he showed a second yellow card to Austria's Dragovic and sent him off.

The game continued to be ene to end as Austria pushed forward looking for an equaliser and Hungary hit them on the counter looking to kill the game off. The game was only settled in the 86th minute when an Austrian free kick fell to Priskin of Hungary who charged forward before finding Stieber. Steiber ran forward and chipped the 'keeper wonderfully to finish off the game.

Austria 0-2 Hungary

Following that match we had one of the biggest mismatches in the first round of games as @Lavender Syndrome's Iceland took on Portugal (Drawn by no one). Iceland are very much a footballing minnow and the prospect of Portugal and their star player Cristiano Ronaldo had to be a daunting one. Iceland didn't just sit back and defend though, whenever possible they tried to counter attack and put some pressure on the Portuguese. However in the 31st minute, after the Icelandic goalkeeper had already made some fine saves, a cross whipped in found Nani at the near post who flicked it home to give Portugal the lead.

The score stayed 1-0 as the second half started and Iceland came out of the traps fast. In the 50th minute a deep cross managed to take all of Portugal's defenders out of the game and the ball was swept into the net by Birkir Bjarnason to give Iceland an unlikely equaliser.

Iceland then held on as hard as they could as the ever more determined Portuguese tried to break them down. Despite a late flurry of intense pressure Iceland didn't relent and the scores remained tied giving Iceland a very unlikely but very well earned point.

Portugal 1-1 Iceland

To explain the group stages. There are four teams in a group and everyone in a group plays each other once. The top two teams in the group qualify for the knock out rounds. Joining them are the four best placed third teams. So if your team finishes third in a group, as long as they have done alright they still might have a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds.

Groups after everyone has played one game:

Group A

1. France - +1 goal difference - 3 points 2. Switzerland - +1 goal difference - 3 points 3. Albania - -1 goal difference - 0 points 4. Romania - -1 goal difference - 0 points

Group B

1. Wales - +1 - 3 points 2. England - 0 - 1 point 3. Russia - 0 - 1 point 4. Slovakia - -1 - 0 points

Group C

1. Germany - +2 - 3 points 2. Poland - +1 - 3 points 3. Northern Ireland - -1 - 0 points

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Boo Yah!!! Go Hungary. Riding you all the was to the finals...or at least the start of the playoffs. :)

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Day 5

To start the day we had @Leaf's Russia versus @minachan16's Slovakia. With Slovakia losing the first game and Russia drawing their first game both sides really needed a win here to boost their chances of qualification. It was Slovakia that started the quicker of the two teams and took the lead just after the half hour mark. A long ball from defence caught the Russian right back well out of position and the ball fell to Weiss who, after a great cut back on to the inside, fired the ball past Igor Akinfeev in the Russian net to open the scoring. The lead was doubled just before half time when Marek Hamsik, Slovakia's star player, got the ball just inside the area and thundered a shot into the net off the post.

The Russians had it all to do in the second half and they replaced both of their central midfielders at half time to try and up the tempo of their game. They plugged away throughout the second half until the 81st minute when a cross from the byline was pulled back to Glushakov on the edge of the six yard box and he headed home superbly to get the Russians back in the game. However, the Russians were unable to create any more clear cut chances and the game ended with Slovakia winning.

Russia 1-2 Slovakia

Second match of the day was Romania taking on @Riley's Switzerland. This match was a bit of a dour affair as both teams struggled to really create any chances. The opening goal came from the penalty spot as Bogdan Stancu scored his second goal and penalty of the tournament to put the Romanians ahead as we moved into half time.

The Swiss came out for the second half much better and equalised in the 57th minute when a corner bounced to the edge of the box where it was smashed home by Admir Mehmedi. Both sides will have wanted a win but this result is better for the Swiss who now have 4 points. Romania will need to win against Albania in their final group game to have any hope of qualifying at all.

Romania 1-1 Switzerland

The final game of the day was hosts France against @titefronce's Albania. Albania have never scored a point at a tournament so they were huge under dogs coming into this match with one of the tournaments favourites.

Albania gave a great account of themselves. They battled hard and weren't afraid to attack when the opportunity arose. After a first half with no real chances Albania came closest to scoring not long into the second half when a dangerous cross hit French right back Bacary Sagna but fortunately for the Frenchman it hit the post and went out of play.

France started cranking up the pressure and as time went on it seemed increasingly likely that they would find a way through as the tired Albanian team struggled to cope with the ever increasing threat of the French. Finally, the pressure paid in the final minute of normal time when a ball whipped in from the right found substitute Antoine Griezmann's head and he glanced it expertly into the corner of the goal breaking Albanian hearts.

As the Albanians charged forward to look for an unlikely equaliser they fell prey to the French counter attack and Dmitri Payet who scored a wonder goal in the last minute of the first game at this tournament popped up to score another injury time goal and seal the deal for the French.

France 2-0 Albania

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Day 6

Today started off with a very big game for those of us in the British Isles. @Soggynappy's England played @baby_becky's Wales. This was a big match as the two countries have a rivalry with each other and in the days leading up to the match they had traded verbal jabs towards each other. Wales had won the first game of their group stage whilst England had been denied by a late equaliser for a draw.

Both teams started quite tentatively. Both teams needed a win to boost their chances of getting out of the groups although England were more desperate since they only had one point going into this game. However, it was looking bad for England when three minutes before half time Gareth Bale hit a free kick from 35 yards and it somehow evaded Joe Hart in the England goal to put the Welsh 1-0 up.

England boss Roy Hodgson decided to change things and brought on two strikers at half time with Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge coming on for Harry Kane and Adam Lallana.

England were pushing the Welsh further back by the minute as they attempted to find an equaliser. In the 56th minute the pressure finally became too much. After picking up the ball at the corner of the box Daniel Sturridge crossed back in to the far post, the ball was headed down by a Wales defender and substitute Jamie Vardy was on hand to turn the ball home.

England pushed forward and forced Wales into a near constant defence but they just could not find the breakthrough... Until the third minute of stoppage time when Daniel Sturridge played a one-two with Delle Ali that allowed him to toe poke home from close range and start huge English celebrations. It was the first time the English had ever come from a goal down to win a game in tournament history!

England 2-1 Wales

Next up was @wittle texian's Ukraine versus @baba's Northern Ireland. Both of these teams lost their opening game so both teams really needed to pick up three points to give themselves a chance with qualifying. The first half was a very even battle with neither side able to dig out an advantage. However, just after half time a free kick was whipped in and Northern Irish defender McAuley rose at the back post and fired a superb header back across the goal to score .

Ukraine came on strong after that as they knew they needed to get back into the game but they found themselves running into a very organised Northern Irish team who weren't afraid to put in the tackles and cancel out every Ukraine attack. In a bizarre few moments the weather, which had been raining, turned to hail and the referee took the players off the firld for a few minutes mid way through the half.

In fact they managed to counter attack in the last few minutes and made sure of the result when McGinn managed to double his team's lead and gift Northern Ireland their first win at a major tournament ever!

Ukraine 1-2 Northern Ireland

To round out the day we had Poland versus @PaddedPJs's Germany. This was a dire affair. Both teams won their opening group games and it was clear both teams wanted to avoid defeat. There were few chances and what even fewer good chances. It was the first 0-0 of the tournament and not a game you would expect from the World Champions!

Germany 0-0 Poland

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As an addendum to the last post. As a result of Germany and Poland drawing @wittle texian's Ukraine are officially eliminated from the tournament.

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Day 7

Today the matches started with @BabyTau's Italy against @Alvin Spacemunk's Sweden. This match was probably the worst of the tournament so far with two teams that were having a miserable time trying to attack and almost no fluency to the match at all. There was little to note from either side until the 88th minute when Eder, the Italian striker, produced the only real quality moment of the game when he broke past three Swedish defenders on the edge of the box and expertly fired home to give the Italians the win. With the win the Italians officially qualify for the next round. An interesting stat... Sweden, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front, have failed to register a single shot on target so far in this tournament.

Italy 1-0 Sweden

We followed that boring game with one with lots of action and controversy!

@Elfy's Czech Republic took on @Musashi's Croatia. The Czech Republic were a distant second best in this match with Croatia attacking almost non-stop including 9 corners in the first half an hour. Croatia opened the scoring on the 37th minute when Ivan Perisic ran into the box and after a nice step-over he fired into the far corner to break the Czech resistance. At the start of the second half the Czech Republic were just beginning to play their way into the match when a misplaced pass between the defenders fell to Ivan Rakitic who played a lovely little chip over the onrushing Petr Cech to double the Croatian lead.

It looked like an easy win for Croatia until the 76th minute when Tomas Rosicky crossed in a lovely ball with the outside of his boot. Milan Skoda jumped highest and directed his header perfectly into the top corner of the goal to give the Czechs something to play for.

Then there were some ugly scenes as a set of Croatian fans threw 12 flares on to the pitch. The game had to be stopped and as the field was being cleared a firework exploded right next to someone about to pick it and narrowly avoiding serious injury. There was scuffling in the stands with security as well. Apparently it was a protest towards the allegedly corrupt Croatian FA but that form of protest is unforgivable.

What it did do was add a lot of injury time on to the clock and in that injury time a hopeful ball swung in by the Czechs was handled by a defender resulting in a penalty. Tomas Necid powered the ball into the roof of the net to equalise. A great fightback by a team that looked dead and buried after 70 minutes. Croatia are being investigated by UEFA and could face heavy sanctions.

Czech Republic 2-2 Croatia

We finished the day with the most one-sided game in the tournament as @Dribbles's Spain played @Dill_Pickle's Turkey. Spain totally dominated this match from start to finish. It was the 35th minute when the scoring started when Nolito swung in a cross that found Alvaro Morata who headed home without issue. They doubled the lead just two minutes later when a poor Cesc Fabregas pass was headed up into the air. Nolito ran through and although he slipped as he took the shot the ball rolled into the corner.

Turkey couldn't cope with the Spanish quality and it was no surprise when Spain scored a third in the 48th minute. A lovely flowing move all the way from the defence eventually found Jordi Alba who was possibly offside. His unselfish pass across the six-yard box allowed Alvaro Morata to roll home his second and Spain's third.

The rest of the game was a non-event. The only thing noteworthy was the Turkish fans turning on one of their own players but I'm not sure why. I believe that with this win Spain qualify for the next round.

Turkey 0-3 Spain

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Day 8

Today was the last day of the second round of group stage matches.

Firstly we had Belgium versus the Republic of Ireland. A rare game where no one has a team involved! It was a very one-sided affair, Ireland failing to register a shot on target. Two goals from Romelu Lukaku and one from Alex Witsel secured an easy first win for Belgium which goes some way to helping recover from their miserable performance against Italy in the first group game.

Belgium 3-0 Republic of Ireland

The second game of the day was more interesting as @Lavender Syndrome's Iceland played @BBoy's Hungary. The game was very open with both sides realising this was maybe the best chance for either side to really stamp their mark on the group. Iceland headed into the break in the lead thanks to a penalty from Gylfi Gigurdsson. Replays showed that the penalty call was likely a harsh one.

The game quickly became wave after wave of Hungarian attack against a stubborn Icelandic defence. The defence was getting increasingly tired and as the game went on the Icelandic team grew more and more tired. The Hungarians finally got a well earned equaliser in the 88th minute when a dangerous cross fired across the goal was turned into his own net by Birkir Mar Saevarsson. A cruel blow for the Iceland team but probably a fair result.

Iceland 1-1 Hungary

The day ended with Portugal taking on @SnowFairy's Austria. This predictably became a game of Portugal trying to break down the Austrian defence. Which isn't to say the Austrian's didn't have chances, they did but the onus was on Portugal to score since, on paper, they were the stronger team.

The talking points really started happening in the second half when Portugal won a penalty with twenty minutes to go. Cristiano Ronaldo, the tournament's star player, stepped up and sent the 'keeper the wrong way... But his shot came back off of the post and was cleared to the Portuguese dismay. Then minutes later that same player had a goal disallowed for offside and he was clearly very frustrated. But the frustration didn't help and the game ended a draw much to the Austrian fans pleasure.

Portugal 0-0 Austria

Since we have played two rounds of matches it would be a good time to look at the groups and what the permutations are as we head into the third and final group stage game for each country. Remember the top two teams in a group guarantee qualifications and the four best placed third placed teams also qualify, teams level on points get decided by head-to-head record and the goal difference so could get complicated. I may get some of this wrong but I think this is how the groups stand!

Group A

1. France - +3 goal difference - 6 points, 2. Switzerland - +1 goal difference - 4 points, 3. Romania - -1 goal difference - 1 point, 4. Albania - -3 goal difference - 0 points.

So France have definitely qualified for the first knockout round. The second placed team is very likely to be @Riley's Switzerland since they are three points clear of Romania and also have a +2 goal difference on them. Romania will need France to beat Switzerland and will themselves need to beat Albania. It could go down to who scores more goals. If Romania can outscore Switzerland by two and results go their way they will take second place. @titefronce's Albania are eliminated no matter what the outcome. Since even with a win they will likely not get a best placed third place team.

Group B

1. England - +1 - 4 points, 2. Wales - 0 - 3 points, 3. Slovakia - 0 - 3 points, 4. Russia - -1 - 1 point.

Ok... This may be a difficult one! @Soggynappy's England are through as long as they avoid defeat to Slovakia in the final game. A win will secure the top spot in the group, a draw will rely on what happens in the other game to decide who is first and second. If England lose and Wales also win England will drop down to third in the group. If @minachan16's Slovakia win they would win the group if Wales fail to beat Russia. If Slovakia draw they will and Wales lose then Slovakia will finish in the top two due to having a win over Russia. If Slovakia win then anything barring a Wales win will see Slovakia win the group. @baby_becky's Wales will qualify for sure if they beat Russia. If they draw then they will require England not to lose to Slovakia to get second in the group. If Wales lose they will definitely lose their place in the top two of the group and may not even get in third depending on the other game. @Leaf's Russia need to win to have any chance of qualification, they also require England to beat Slovakia to have any chance of finishing in the top two. No idea if anyone finishing third in this group will do enough to qualify but there is a chance it would be enough. Basically anyone in this group can finish in any position depending on result... Madness!

Group C

1. Germany - +2 - 4 points, 2. Poland - +1 - 4 points, 3. Northern Ireland - +1 - 3 points, 4. Ukraine - -4 - 0 points.

@PaddedPJs's Germany will definitely qualify if they win or draw their final game. A draw will see them top the group unless Poland win in which case they finish second. If Germany lose they will need the Ukraine to beat Poland to finish top of the group. If Germany lose and Poland beat the Ukraine it will push Germany out of the top two spots. Poland will qualify if they win against Ukraine, if they win and Germany fail to win then Poland will win the group. If Poland fail to win and Northern Ireland do win Poland will drop to third. If Poland lose and Northern Ireland draw Poland will stay second due to head-to head records. @baba's Northern Ireland need to win to get into the top two, failing to win will mean they finish third and rely on having a best third place finish. @wittle texian's Ukraine is eliminated no matter what.

Group D

1. Spain - +4 - 6 points, 2. Croatia - +1 - 4 points, 3. Czech Republic - -1 - 1 point, 4. Turkey - -4 - 0 points.

@Dribbles's Spain have definitely qualified though a win or draw in their final game will make sure they top the group. @Musashi's Croatia will win the group if they beat Spain, if they draw they will definitely finish second. If Croatia lose and the Czech Republic win by a large margin they will drop to third. @Elfy's Czech Republic need Croatia to lose and need to win by a few clear goals to finish in second. @Dill_Pickle's Turkey cannot finish in the top two and are unlikely to get enough points for a best third place finish.

Group E

1. Italy - +3 - 6 points, 2. Belgium - +1 - 3 points, 3. Sweden - -1 - 1 point,

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Thanks you elfy for your very clear

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Well you won't have to wait long. Group A play at 8pm (GMT) today and after that we will know for sure who finishes where. As Sir Alex Ferguson used to say it is squeaky bum time!

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Day 9

Today was the first day of the last round of the group stage. That means the two matches happened at the same time.

In one match we had @titefronce's Albania taking on Romania. Romania needed to win to have any chance and a draw would see them finish third with a hopeful chance of a best placed third place team. Albania did have something to play for though. In Albania's history they have never scored a goal or earned a point in a major tournament... This would be their last chance for at least two more years.

Despite Romania having a chance of getting into the top two with a win they really struggled against the much smaller Albania. Albania really seemed like they had something to prove and they kept the Romanians on the back foot for most of the match. It was three minutes before the break when the breakthrough happened. A driven cross caught out the Romanian defence and pulled the 'keeper out of position. Albanian striker Sadiku was there at the back post to head back across the goal and into the far corner. It was Albania's first ever goal in a major tournament!

Throughout the second half it seemed everyone was waiting for Romania to get back into the match but Albania maintained the front foot for most of the match and indeed created more chances. When the final whistle blew the Albanian fans celebrated wildly and the team having made history in their country and getting the countries first win in a major tournament also celebrated.

With the win Albania move into third position in the group with three points. Whether it will be enough to get a best placed third place spot will depend on the other groups but if they do go home it will be with their heads held high.

Albania 1-0 Romania

With that result it meant that no matter what happened in the other match, France versus @Riley's Switzerland both of these teams would qualify. The order of qualification would depend on the result though, if Switzerland could win they would take the top spot but a draw or a France win would mean France would top the group.

This match was a lot of effort without much end product. A much changed French side dominated the game and hit the bar three times. Twice from Pogba and once from Payet. But neither side could score and in the end they were happy to play out a draw that saw them both safely through to the round of 16.

France 0-0 Switzerland

Tomorrow is the final day of Group B and will have England Vs. Slovakia and Wales Vs. Russia... With any mixture of results producing wildly different final standings it could be a very interesting night.

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Day 10

So the very complicated Group B was settled tonight. In one game we had @Soggynappy's England taking on @minachan16's Slovakia. This was a very dull game. Slovakia were content for a point the whole match and England had no ability to break down the Slovakian defence. The closest they came was in the first half when Jamie Vardy was sent through one-on-one with the 'keeper but saw his shot saved. The match finished as a tame draw with Slovakia happy to take third and hope 4 points is enough to qualify as a best placed third place team (Much to the frustration of someone who had money on England and Wales both winning :angry: ).

England 0-0 Slovakia

In the other game @baby_becky's Wales played @Leaf's Russia. Russia were in a sad state and were dominated from start to finish by a Welsh team that should probably have been the underdog's.

Wales opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Aaron Ramsey chipped the Russian 'keeper when one-on-one. Wales doubled their lead in the 20th minute when left back Taylor found himself with as much time in the world as he needed to shoot. His first shot was saved but the rebound fell back to him and he fired it home, his first goal in six years.

Wales completed the scoring in the 67th minute when Aaron Ramsey slipped a through ball through the defence to Gareth Bale who finished it with ease. The score could have been a lot worse if not for Igor Akinfeev's heroics in the Russian goal.

Wales 3-0 Russia

Group B Final Standings

1. Wales - +3 - 6 points, 2. England - +1 - 5 points, 3. Slovakia - 0 - 4 points, 4. Russia - -4 - 1 point

With the conclusion of this group @Leaf's Russia are eliminated. @baby_becky's Wales win the gorup and @Soggynappy's England finish second and thus both qualify for the nest round. @minachan16's Slovakia finish in third with 4 points which may be enough to see them qualify for the next round but we won't find out until all the other groups have played.

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Day 11

To start off today we had the final games in Group C.

Firstly we had Poland versus @wittle texian's Ukraine. The Ukraine were eliminated no matter what here but Poland had a lot to play for. A draw would confirm Poland got through the group stage for the first time in its history whilst a defeat could see them prop to third depending on results in the other game.

Poland didn't fail though and their first half goal from Blaszczykowski, curled into the top corner from just inside the box, was the only goal needed to sink a Ukraine side that really should have done better at this tournament.

Ukraine 0-1 Poland

In the other game we had world champions @PaddedPJs's Germany taking on huge underdogs @baba's Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland were almost guaranteed third if they didn't win here but it was a third that was likely to see them qualify for the next round as long as they didn't lose by a lot.

Germany needed to win to make sure they won the group, a draw would have them finishing second and a defeat would see them finish third. In the end the Germans had way too much for Northern Ireland to deal with. As well as a Mario Gomez goal early in the first half they also hit the woodwork three times and enjoyed near total domination over the Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland will be happy that they avoided a battering as they are now almost certainly going to qualify as a best placed third place team.

Germany 1-0 Northern Ireland

Group C Final Standings

1. Germany - +3 - 7 points, 2. Poland - +2 - 7 points, 3. Northern Ireland - 0 - 3 points, 4. Ukraine - -5 - 1 point

Group D

In Group D we had @Dribbles's Spain, already qualified, looking to top the group against @Musashi's Croatia. Whoever won that game would finish top. In the other game was @Elfy's Czech Republic versus @Dill_Pickle's Turkey. A win for the Czech Republic would put them third and have enough to qualify for the next round. Turkey really had nothing to play for.

It should be considered a surprise then that Turkeyy were far and away the better team against the Czech Republic. Turkey took the lead in the 10th minute when Mor crossed the ball in and Yilmaz met it at the near post to give his team the lead. The Czech's hit the post and otherwise dominated but failed to find a goal before half time. In the second half the Turkish were more in to the game and in the 64th minute Tufal, the Turkish striker, was on hand to smash the ball home following a scramble in the box to complete the scoring and play spoilers for the Czech Republic whose chances to qualify disappeared.

In the other game we had Croatia and Spain with the winner getting to finish top of the group and getting an easier second round tie. It started well for Spain when in the 7th minute a superb David Silva through ball found Cesc Fabregas. Fabregas played it across the goal line to give Alvaro Morata a tap in.

Right before half time the Croatians got themselves level when a cross from Perisic was turned into the net by Kalinic. It was the first goal Spain had conceded at the championships.

In the 72nd minute Spain got a penalty and Spain captain Sergio Ramos stepped up to take it. His penalty was tame though and easily saved by the Croatian 'keeper.

That wasn't the end of the joy for Croatia though as Ivan Perisic broke forward in the 87th minute following a Spain attack and rifled the ball home at the near post to give the Croatian team the win.

Group D

1. Croatia - +2 - 7 points, 2. Spain - +3 - 6 points, 3. Turkey - -2 - 3 points, 4. Czech Republic - -3 - 1 point

With these results @Elfy's Czech Republic are definitely eliminated and @Dill_Pickle's Turkey are very likely eliminated.

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Day 12

Yesterday was the final day of the group stages and it was the most dramatic day yet!

We started with Group F which saw a very open group with @BBoy's Hungary taking on Portugal in a match that could see Hungary top the group. Portugal could finish second or third depending on this result and the result in the other group stage game. The other game Was @Lavender Syndrome's Iceland who could qualify for the next round with a good result against @SnowFairy's Austria who needed to win to give themselves a chance to get through.

We start with the Portugal vs. Hungary game which turned into a thriller with goals galore. Firstly, after 19 minutes Hungary took an unlikely lead when Zoltan Gera fired a well struck volley from long range to give Hungary the lead. The lead lasted until one minute before the break when Nani equalised following a long through ball, he hit it first time and beat the 'keeper at his near post.

Just one minute after the half time break Hungary too the lead again. Balazs Dzsudzsak hit a free kick from about 20 yards out. The ball clipped the top of the Portuguese wall and wrong footed the 'keeper

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I actually have watched every game so far :blush:

I write most of the stuff from memory but I also use reddit and the BBC to see replays and other details I might miss. If there are two games at the same time I have one on each of two screens. Then I write them up here later in the day.

I am a big football fan especially during international tournaments!

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Then no doubt, you can call yourself a big football fan!:P

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