EURO 2020: fine starts for Ekdal and Jankto

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U.C. Sampdoria

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Samp’s representatives at EURO 2020 kicked off with one win, one draw and two defeats.

Czech Republic. Jakub Jankto and the Czech Republic kicked off the tournament in the best possible way, thanks to a 2-0 win over Scotland in Group D at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Former Samp star Patrik Schick grabbed the goals, including a stunner from near the halfway line, while Jankto produced a good performance from the start until being replaced by Adam Hlozek in the 72nd minute.

Poland. Bartosz Bereszynski and Poland did not enjoy as fruitful a start in Group E, however. The defender played the entirety of the 2-1 loss to Slovakia at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, with the first goal coming in the shape of a Wojciech Szczesny own goal in the 18th minute. Former Samp midfielder Karol Linetty early on in the second half, but it was yet another former Doria star, Milan Skriniar, who popped up with the winning goal in the 69th minute. By that point, Paulo Sousa’s charges had already been down to ten men for seven minutes after Grzegorz Krychowiak was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders.

Sweden. In the same group, despite doubts lingering over his fitness in the build-up, Albin Ekdal lasted from the first minute till the last of the six added on at the end of the goalless stalemate between Sweden and Spain at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. The Samp midfielder combined his quality and work rate to good effect, helping his team-mates stand firm against La Roja’s relentless passing and attacks.

Denmark. Mikkel Damsgaard watched on from the bench as Denmark fell to a 1-0 loss at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen at the hands of Finland in Group B. Joel Pohjanpalo grabbed the only goal of the game in the 60th minute before Pierre-Emile Hojberg spurned a chance to draw the Danes level from the penalty spot in the 74th minute. The match was suspended in the 42nd minute in order for Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen to receive urgent medical treatment after he suddenly collapsed on the pitch. The game did eventually resume on Saturday evening after it was confirmed that Eriksen was responding well in hospital.

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