In his latest column, the 2004 finalist says Portugal are growing into the competition and Cristiano Ronaldo is running hot but Romelu Lukaku is a big cause for concern in the last 16.
In his fourth UEFA EURO 2020 column, 2004 finalist Nuno Gomes picks out some talking points from Portugal’s entertaining draw with France and looks forward to the round of 16 duel with Belgium, where subduing Romelu Lukaku will be key.
Midfield looked stronger
Portugal played well against France. There were changes to the line-up after fielding the same side against Hungary and Germany. Against France, coach Fernando Santos tinkered with the midfield and I believe that Portugal, particularly in the first half, demonstrated that they can be a match for anybody in this tournament; they looked so comfortable with the ball.
Dalot on Portugal progressing
Avalanche of emotions
It was a very powerful game emotionally. Over the course of the 90 minutes, Portugal were heading through in first, in second, in third and even heading for an early exit at one point, when Hungary were beating Germany. It was a good game for football lovers, and must have created a lot of emotion for those who were in the stands or at home.
The draw was fair
It was a fair result in the end. Portugal deserved to go in at half-time with a lead but France started the second half much better, got their noses in front and Portugal responded well. In the end, what mattered most was that Portugal confirmed their place in the last 16.
Watch all Ronaldo's EURO 2020 goals
What can you say about Ronaldo?
It's hard to find more words to say about Cristiano Ronaldo. He continues to score, he continues adding something to the game. He has a very high scoring rate because he takes his opportunities. Against France, he scored two penalties but that's certainly not easy, under pressure at a EURO. He’s still in great shape, with a 'hot foot'. His performing like this is a good sign for Portugal.
Rui Patrício's moment
Rui Patrício's save is also worth mentioning. It was a great moment, the save of the tournament so far! It was a fantastic shot by Paul Pogba and a great save. After the first save, the keeper still had the ability to react and stop the second effort. It was another reminder of how important Rui Patrício has been to this team in recent years.
Rui Patrício pulls off a stunning save to deny Paul Pogba
Rui Patrício pulls off a stunning save to deny Paul Pogba
Beware of Lukaku
Now we are into the last 16. Any discussion about Belgium is a discussion about Lukaku – he's one of the strongest attacking players in the world. He has incredible explosive power and is very strong physically; he likes to play with his body, to outmuscle defenders. He plays well with his back to goal. Portugal will have to be extra careful of the Inter man.
De Bruyne and Hazard
All teams have their best players – and Lukaku is in that category – but Belgium also have Kevin De Bruyne, one of the best in the world in his position. He's a different player, with a lot of class and talent, who serves Lukaku well with his dangerous deep passes. Then there's Eden Hazard, an excellent player. I could go on! Belgium have a strong collective but also individual players capable of doing something special at any moment.
Sweden face Ukraine in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 – all you need to know.
Sweden take on Ukraine in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 in Glasgow on Tuesday 29 June at 21:00 CET.
What's the story?
Sweden are in buoyant mood after topping a competitive group. Their goalless draw with Spain and 1-0 win against Slovakia highlighted the team's defensive solidity, while the 3-2 success against Poland showed they can flourish on the front foot too. The Blågult have never won a knockout tie at the finals – this represents their best chance yet to break that duck.
Sweden vs Ukraine: who will reach the quarter-finals? 🤔
Ukraine have been the Jekyll and Hyde side of the competition. They were outplayed by the Netherlands yet nearly snatched a point, appeared in control against North Macedonia but came close to letting slip a two-goal lead, then were second best in their defeat by Austria. However, in Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk they have goal threats who can turn the tide once again.
Where to watch the game on TV
Fans can find their local UEFA EURO 2020 broadcast partner(s) here.
Ukraine vs Sweden: EURO 2012 flashback
Sweden: Olsen; Lustig, Lindelöf, Danielson, Augustinsson; S. Larsson, Ekdal, Olsson, Forsberg; Isak, Quaison
Misses next match if booked: Danielson, Lustig, Olsson
Ukraine: Bushchan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Matviyenko, Mykolenko; Malinovskyi, Sydorchuk, Zinchenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Tsygankov
Out: Popov (calf)
Doubtful: Zubkov (calf)
Misses next match if booked: Shaparenko, Sydorchuk
Sujay Dutt, Sweden reporter: A goal within two minutes of kick-off and one in added time book-ended the 3-2 win against Poland that gave Sweden top spot in Group E. That closing salvo owed much to substitutes Dejan Kulusevski and Viktor Claesson. One or both could start in this game and, if so, that would make for a more attacking side. However, defence remains Sweden's strongest suit.
Bogdan Buga, Ukraine reporter: On Wednesday, Sweden gained a huge new audience among Ukrainians, and not least the whole of Andriy Shevchenko's team. The Swedes' win against Poland put the Synio-Zhovti in the last 16, but they can expect no gratitude in Glasgow. Ukraine struggled against a well-organised, physical Austria side in their last game and can expect a similar approach from Sweden. Lessons must be learned if Shevchenko is to return to his beloved Italy for the quarter-finals.
View from the camps
Watch Forsberg's Sweden goals
Janne Andersson, Sweden coach: "I gathered the players and told them I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world than in that room, at that moment, with those people. Ukraine are a good team; they know how to switch from defence to attack. They looked worn out against Austria, but like us they've had some rest – even more actually."
Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine coach: "Sweden are a very organised team, and I am full of respect for them. They have a certain style of play, and they don't deviate from it. The things they do they do very well, especially their passes upfield. They have two great strikers, and are very strong physically so rarely lose one-on-one battles."
Mykola Shaparenko, Ukraine midfielder: "We have made history but we want to make new history now. Sweden are a tough team with big character; they fight for every metre of the pitch and have some great individual players."
Andriy Yarmolenko, Ukraine midfielder: "I want to thank Sweden [for the win against Poland that put Ukraine in the last 16] but now we will play against them. We'll try to play our football and show our best form. We haven't played our best football here yet."