At Seville and Saint Petersburg; Spain and Poland started off with the intention to gain momentum and advance to the next round. While Spain enjoyed a goal-fest, Poland left the event with their heads high after contesting a classic against Sweden.

Even with two goals, Robert Lewandowski still couldn’t stop Poland from an early exit the European Championship.

The FIFA World Player of the Year made amends for an astounding early triple miss by scoring twice in the second half on Wednesday, but Viktor Claesson put in the winning goal in stoppage to give Sweden a 3-2 victory.

Emil Forsberg scored twice for the Swedes, which finish in first place in Group E and will next face a third-place finisher in Glasgow on Tuesday.

For Poland and Lewandowski, it’s another early exit from a major soccer tournament.

The Bayern Munich striker leaves Euro 2020 with three goals, his best haul at a World Cup or European Championship. But even his double against Sweden – in the 61st and 84th minutes – might be overshadowed by an extraordinary sequence of events in the first half when he headed the ball against the crossbar twice in as many seconds.

After the second one, the ball landed at the striker’s feet in front of the goal but it got caught in between his legs and he still couldn’t score.

Meanwhile, at Seville, Spain were so dominant that they could even afford to miss a first-half penalty. After Jakub Hromada fouled Koke and after Bjorn Kuipers went to look at the incident on the VAR monitor, La Roja had an 11th-minute spot-kick. Yet, Martin Dubravka saved from Alvaro Morata, for Spain’s fifth consecutive penalty miss and their second at Euro 2020.

Dubravka, though, went from hero to villain as he then slapped the ball into his own net in the 30th minute for the opener. After Sarabia hit a fierce shot off the crossbar, the Slovakia goalkeeper tried to tip the bouncing and dropping ball over the bar. He didn’t. It went straight in his own net.

The floodgates opened.

Aymeric Laporte scored with a header for his first goal since switching from France to Spain.

Spain found so much space out wide and this produced the third goal, as Jordi Alba was able to pick out Sarabia for a smart finish to make it 3-0 in the 56th minute.

Just 10 minutes later, Spain had another, this time from the right as Sarabia turned provider and played a brilliant low ball that Ferran Torres was able to backheel past the suffering Dubravka.

After the lull came the dazzling display by the La Roja!

Yet another goal followed in the 71st minute, as Spain grabbed a fifth. After the ball was batted around in the air inside the Slovakia penalty area, Pau Torres looked set to score. Yet Juraj Kucka, in his attempt to clear it, turned the header into his own net.


After the lull came the dazzling display by the La Roja!

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