In an absolute shock result on late Monday night going into the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the defending world cup champions and heavily favored France was eliminated in the Round of 16 of the Euro 2020.
Who were they eliminated by? Well, of course, the football powerhouse of Switzerland.
Not only did France play down to their competition, but they also were just not their true selves at all this entire tournament, including the group stages. Drawing against Hungary should have been a rude awakening for this French side as they barely squeaked past Germany and Portugal to win Group F, a group that many people expected France to win with ease.
What Went Wrong for France?
Almost everything went wrong for the world champions. Young superstar forward Kylian Mbappe was not able to score a single goal this entire tournament, which is usually a bad sign for any team that he’s on. Their defense was not great throughout the group stage except for Raphael Varane.
There were really only 3 bright spots on this team, Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kante. Karim Benzema was finally selected back to the National team after having recent disagreements with coach Didier Deschamps. Pogba and Kante are arguably the two best midfielders in the world right now, and pairing them up is an insanely deadly combination that will wreak havoc for any team.
France was in trouble early in the game against Switzerland, as they allowed an early goal to Seferovic in the 15th minute. Karim Benzema finally opened up the scoring for France at the start of the second half, scoring 2 quick goals. It seemed that France was going to run away with the game after Pogba delivered an absolute rocket from outside the 18-yard box into the top right corner.
But after substitutions and poor play, France found themselves tied with Switzerland after allowing 2 goals in the 81st and 90th minute. Kingsley Coman had a great chance to win it at the end of normal time but hit the crossbar, unfortunately.
After all 9 penalty kicks were smashed past the keepers, young superstar Kylian Mbappe was put to the task of keeping the game alive for France, and he was denied at the spot by Yann Sommer.
With this heartbreaking loss, there is now just one team left in the tournament that has the best chance to win it all, and it is the team that will host the semi-finals and the final match, England.
There are a great number of teams left in this tournament that have a good shot at winning this tournament, don’t get me wrong. If we have learned anything from these electric insanity-filled Euros is that anyone can win any given match. But realistically speaking, England right now has the best team left that is healthy and the “easiest” bracket.
They have already been making history with their incredible Euro 2020 run thus far. They have yet to concede a goal and have won 3 out of their 4 matches. Sure, they have not been scoring a ton of goals as we have expected, but that is because they are really playing a more neutral game rather than the attacking team we’re used to seeing.
Raheem Sterling has scored in each of the last 3 games, and in the win over Germany on Tuesday night, Harry Kane finally scored his first goal in a Euro tournament. Now that they have all of this confidence and energy throughout their squad, they are even more motivated to make it back to Wembley Stadium after taking a quick stop in Rome to play Ukraine on Saturday.
The rest of their bracket is fairly easy compared to all of the other teams that are left on the other side of the bracket. With Czech Republic (a team they have already beaten), Denmark, and Ukraine left on England’s side, and they are no doubt the favorites to make the Finals.
Like all English football fans say. It’s Coming Home