By Vincenzo Pugliese
TheNYExtra Soccer Reporter
With the Euro 2020 group stage play in the books, we look into the teams who have advanced into the knockout phase.
Two weeks ago, the competition kicked off with 24 nations going head to head to progress into the Round of 16.
A reminder that the knock-out rounds for the European Championships are a single game elimination match. If teams are tied after 90 minutes then two 15 minute extra periods will be played prior to a penalty shout-out should the result remain a draw.
The Round of 16 kicks off on Saturday at noon when Wales, a surprise semifinalist in Euro 2016 takes on an inspired Denmark.
Round of 16
Wales vs Denmark in Amsterdam 12pm
How they got there: Wales, a nation looking to repeat their Cinderella run from last time out, advanced out of Group A with a second place finish. The Danes on the other hand took the second place spot as well in their group in the most dramatic of ways losing their opening two matches after they overcame the sudden absence of star player Christin Eriksen. A 4-1 win against Russia on the final match day was enough to leapfrog them into the Round of 16 of the competition for the first time since Euro 2004.
Italy vs Austria in London, Saturday at 3pm
How they got there: The Italians comfortably come out of their group with a perfect record winning all three of their matches. Roberto Mancini’s side progressed with a 7-0 goal difference. Austria on the other hand needed to win its last game against Ukraine in order to progress after taking six points from Group C.
Netherlands vs Czech of Republic in Budapest, 12 pm
How they got there: The Dutch are one of three teams to win all three of their group matches with an impressive showing after missing out on Euro 2016. The Czech advanced with a third place wild card spot out of Group D with all three of their group stage goals scored by Patrik Schick.
Belgium vs Portugal in Seville, 3pm
How they got there: The Belgians won all three matches in their group out-scoring their opponents 7-1, with man of the match performances by Romelu Lukaku. Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo make it out of the Group of Death taking the third place spot as a win against the Hungarians and a 2-2 draw vs the French on the final match day of group play.
Croatia vs Spain in Copenhagen, 12pm
How they got there: Both teams needed big results on the final day to seek progression. The Croats earned four points after a big Luka Modric performance was needed against the Scottish to advance. Spain, who drew in their opening two matches, saw them thump Slovakia, 5-0, on the last match day to claim that second place spot.
France vs Switzerland in Bucharest, 3pm
How they got there: The defending world champions slithered their way to the top spot in their group after a Matt’s Hummels own goal gave them a victory over Germany. This was then followed by two underperforming draws against Hungary and Portugal. Switzerland earned a third place spot after a big final match day win against the Turks which saw them as one of two teams (joint with Ukraine) to progress with a negative goal difference.
England vs Germany in London, 12pm
How they got there: The Three Lions take the top spot of their group after only scoring two goals while also keeping three clean sheets as well. Germany battled their way out of Group F with a 1-1-1 record which saw them advance on the final day thanks to a Leon Goretzka equalizing goal in the 84’ minute to crush Hungarian hearts and put the Die Mannschaft through to the next round.
Sweden vs. Ukraine in Glasgow, 3pm
How they got there: The Swedes who surprisingly earned the top spot of Group E, take seven points after two very important wins decided by their leading goal scorer Emil Forsberg. Ukraine, the other third place team advancing with a negative goal difference, earned just three points in its group as they look to progress past the Round of 16 for the first time in their nation’s history.
France/Switzerland vs Croatia/Spain in St. Petersburg 12 pm
Belgium/Portugal vs Italy/Austria in Munich 3pm
Netherlands/Czech of Republic vs Wales/Denmark in Baku, 12pm
Sweden/Ukraine vs England/Germany in Rome, 3pm