Wasteful Spain held in Euro opener

Euro 2020

Spain opened their 2020 European Championship campaign with a goalless draw against Sweden on Monday evening.

La Roja were without their captain Sergio Busquets after he tested positive for COVID-19, while shot-stopper Unai Simon started ahead of David de Gea and Aymeric Laporte made his competitive debut for Spain after switching his international allegiance from France.

Spain were on the front foot in the early exchanges, as Dani Olmo came close to giving them the lead in the 16th minute with a downward header from Koke's cross that was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

Koke had two chances to break the deadlock before the half-hour mark with a first-time strike from a rebound that missed just wide of the bottom post and a side-footed a shot that sailed over the bar after a through ball by Olmo.

La Roja should have been ahead seven minutes before half-time after defender Marcus Danielson was wrong-footed by a through ball from Jordi Alba that saw Alvaro Morata go clear on goal with only Olsen to beat but he curled his low strike narrowly wide.

Immediately after that the Swedes almost broke the deadlock from their first attack, as Alexander Isak found space inside the box from a counter-attack to a unleash a strike from a tight angle that was cleared off the line by Marcos Llorente, with the ball hitting the post and falling into the arms of Simon.

Spain were patient on the ball coming from the break, still keeping Sweden in their own half and they nearly conceded on the hour-mark from a counter-attack after Marcus Berg received a pass from Isak unmarked at the back post but he dragged his strike wide

Emery made a double change in the 66th minute, as Thiago Alcantara replaced a more defensive Rodri in midfield and Pablo Sarabia came on for Morata, in another tactical switch.

La Roja had the attacking momentum in the closing stages as Gerard Moreno came close to snatching the winner for Spain with a close-range header that was saved by Olsen, who also smothered an effort from Sarabia in stoppage time as the sides shared the spoils.

Poland started the 2020 European Championship on a bad note after a 2-1 loss to Slovakia in their Group E opener on Monday evening.

The Eagles's goal-scoring burden was shared by Kamil Jozwiak and Piotr Zielinski, who both flanked talisman Lewandowski as a front three while Slovakia skipper Marek Hamsik returned, playing behind Ondrej Duda upfront.

Robert Mak forced an opener for Slovakia in the 18th minute after gliding past a couple of challenges and fired a low strike that came off the bottom post and hit goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for the own goal.

Poland were chasing the game after that and Grzegorz Krychowiak came close to snatching the equaliser ten minutes before the break after finding space just outside the box but his effort sailed slightly over the bar.

Paulo Sousa's charges had the momentum in the closing phase of the first stanza and Lewandowski had a chance to level matters just before the break after finding space from a pass inside the box but he sliced his low shot wide.

The Eagles had a perfect start in the second stanza as Karol Linetty got the equaliser barely a minute from the break with a strike into the bottom corner after a cross by Maciej Rybus.

With the game opening up, Poland were reduced to ten men just after the hour-mark after Krychowiak became the first player to be sent off in the tournament after getting a second booking for a lunging tackle on Jakub Hromada.

Slokavia used their numerical advantage to good effect, as Milan Skriniar restored their lead 21 minutes before time with a cracking half-volley that foundthe bottom corner after a well cushioned header by Hamsik from a corner-kick situation.

Jan Bednarek almost made it 2-2 in stoppage time with a low strike inside the box that missed just wide while shot-stopper Martin Dubravka denied Karol Swiderski at the death, as the Slovaks desperately held on for the win.

Scroll through the gallery to see the kits that will be on display at Euro 2020