Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Euro 2024 off to exhilarating start as records tumble


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Hamburg, June 16: Only a few games have been played at Euro 2024, but it has been an exhilarating start to the tournament.
After Germany set the tone by thrashing Scotland on Friday, records have tumbled, with a 16-year-old starring and goals going in left, right and centre.
It was no surprise, therefore, that Gary Lineker began the half-time BBC coverage of Italy’s win over Albania by praising the first two days of action.
There are three games on Sunday, including England’s opening match against Serbia at 20:00 BST, which will be shown live on BBC One.
Most goals at this point
In the opening four games, Germany cruised to a 5-1 victory against Scotland, Switzerland were 3-1 winners against Hungary, Spain saw off Croatia 3-0 and Italy came from behind to beat Albania 2-1.
The 16 goals scored is the most at this point of a European Championship or World Cup since Euro 1976.
At least three goals have been scored before half-time in three games. At Euro 2020 that happened in two matches in total.
Only at Euro 2004, when it happened in four matches, have there been more games featuring three or more first-half goals.
With 47 matches to be played, it looks like that record may well be broken.
Tournament of the ‘next generation’
Spain’s victory over Croatia was impressive in itself, but 16-year-old Lamine Yamal made history by becoming the youngest man to play at a European Championship.
He even registered an assist as Spain made an eye-catching start to the competition.
With an average age of only 26 years and 287 days, Italy named their youngest Euros starting line-up since 1988.
In Hungary’s game, Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai became the youngest man to captain a team at the Euros at the age of 23 years and 234 days.
Young talent excelling has been a key theme in Germany.
“The majority of their squads have been young players – the next generation – and it has been an easy sell,” former England defender Phil Jagielka told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It does seem that it is going to be a tournament for the young guns.” (Agencies)


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