Round of 16 Matches in Euro 2024 Completed - Time for the Quarterfinals

The Round of 16 in Euro 2024 has been completed, and we will go through all the matches played and the ones to come, while also looking at the leading contenders for the top scorer title.

Donyell Malen, Netherlands
The Dutch Donyell Malen was the first player to score a brace in the Euro 2024

Here's how the Round of 16 matches went

We start by going through the Round of 16 matches one by one, where we saw a great variation in the quality of the matches and no major surprises.

Switzerland vs Italy - 2-0

First up was Switzerland against Italy. Normally, Italy would be clear favourites in a match against Switzerland, but after performing very poorly in the group stage, there was no clear favourite in this match. And Italy continued their negative trend in the Round of 16, and in the end Switzerland won quite easily 2-0, with goals from Remo Freuler in the 37th minute and Ruben Vargas with a beautiful shot right after halftime.

It is clear that Italy has a long way to go before they can be considered a major power in international football again, and the Swiss deservedly advanced from this Round of 16.

Germany vs Denmark - 2-0

The Germans were clear favourites against the Danes but had to fight for their win. After a goalless first half, Denmark's Joachim Andersen scored 1-0 for Denmark shortly after the break, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR review because Thomas Delaney, who assisted the goal, was offside, as narrowly as possible given that the offside was barely visible on the VAR graphic.

Soon after the disallowed goal, an input brushed the hand of the same Joachim Andersen in the penalty area, and Germany got a penalty that Kai Havertz converted. Notable is that the penalty was awarded after a VAR review, and VAR was definitely not Andersen's friend that evening. A quarter of an hour after the penalty goal, Jamal Musiala extended Germany's lead, and the final result was 2-0 in this match as well.

England vs Slovakia - 2-1 after extra time

This match featured as much drama as a football match can offer. England were naturally massive favourites in this match, despite having anything but impressed in the group stage. Slovakia, however, shocked by taking the lead in the 25th minute through Ivan Schranz, his third goal of the tournament, and the result held until halftime.

In the second half, a massive offensive from England was expected, but despite all the stars in the team they failed to produce any kind of decent attacking play and failed to create chances. An incredibly tense England seemed to be on the verge of being knocked out, but in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Jude Bellingham scored a bicycle kick equalizer out of nowhere, sending the match into extra time. Already in the second minute of extra time, Harry Kane headed in 2-1 in a somewhat chaotic situation in the penalty area, and that result held throughout the extra time, meaning England managed to pull through in the end.

Spain vs Georgia - 4-1

Spain had been the most impressive in the group stage and faced the tournament's biggest sensation, Georgia. The Spaniards dominated the match as expected, but a frenetic Georgia still took the lead with 1-0 after an own goal by Robin Le Normand in the 18th minute when he accidentally deflected a cross.

Despite the lead and Georgia's continued energetic play, it somehow felt like Spain was in full control, and it would prove to be true. It took until the 39th minute for Spain to finally equalize through Rodri, and when Fabián Ruiz headed in the lead goal in the 51st minute, the match was essentially over. The Georgians ran out of energy, which was expected, and after two more goals and the potential for more, the Spaniards won the match 4-1.

France vs Belgium - 1-0

The biggest match in the Round of 16 was between France and Belgium, but those expecting to see great football were disappointed. France has a team full of stars but unfortunately plays a very slow-paced game and it sometimes feels like they are not interested in attacking. Belgium was no better, making it a very boring match. France ended up winning the match through a somewhat random own goal in the 85th minute. Randal Kolo Muani got off what looked like a rather weak shot, but it hit Jan Vertonghen's knee and the deflection fooled Koen Casteels in Belgium's goal, and that was enough to take France through.

Portugal vs Slovenia - Portugal advanced after penalties

It is not just England and France among the bigger teams that have had problems with pace and creativity in this tournament; this also applies to Portugal. Against Slovenia, this continued for Portugal as they struggled to create chances, but unlike France, at least they tried, and the Slovenes defended incredibly skilfully.

After full time, it was 0-0, but in extra time, the big chance came for Portugal when they were awarded a penalty after Diogo Jota was brought down in the penalty area. This tournament has been a great disappointment for Cristiano Ronaldo, and it continued here as well when he surprisingly missed the penalty, or perhaps more accurately, Jan Oblak made an incredibly fine penalty save.

Ronaldo would, however, have the final say as he converted his penalty in the shootout, but the real hero was Portugal's goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who saved Slovenia's first three penalties. Portugal converted their first three, and thus three penalties each were enough to take Portugal through.

Romania vs Netherlands - 0-3

The Romanians have shown a very strong defence at times in this championship, and with that in mind, there were hopes that they could upset the Netherlands in this match, but that was not the case. The Dutch were more or less superior in this Round of 16 and did not give the Romanians much of a chance.

Romania did have some good offensive intentions in the first half, but after Cody Gakpo scored 1-0 for the Netherlands in the 20th minute, the match was essentially over. The Dutch pushed offensively without pause throughout the match, and the question was only how big the scoreline would be. The answer was 3-0 after substitute Donyell Malen became the first player in the tournament to score two goals in the same match in the second half. Whether this was a show of strength by the Dutch or that the Romanians were simply too weak this time will be shown in the quarterfinals.

Austria vs Turkey - 1-2

This was a Round of 16 match between two of the teams that have played the most entertaining football in this tournament, and we certainly got to see a wonderfully offensive football match. From the first minute, it was full throttle forward from both teams, and it paid off already in the first minute for the Turks, who scored 1-0 from a corner through defender Merih Demiral. Austria chased an equalizer, and although they came close a few times, it was still 1-0 at halftime.

In the 59th minute, Merih Demiral scored his second goal of the match from another corner, but despite a 2-0 lead for the Turks, the match felt far from decided. Austria's continued offense paid off in the 66th minute when substitute Michael Gregoritsch scored to make it 1-2. Despite further attempts from Austria in the pouring rain, they never managed to get an equalizer despite several good chances, and somewhat surprisingly, the Turks emerged victorious from this Round of 16 match.

Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, Spain
Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams, Spain - two of the players that Germany needs to look out for on Friday

Upcoming Quarterfinals

Next, we go through the upcoming quarterfinals and also try to predict the outcome of each match.

Spain vs Germany - Friday 18:00 CET

The first quarterfinal is what many are calling the "moral final," as it is a clash between two of the pre-tournament favourites who have performed the best so far.

Spain has been the best team and has impressed in every match they've played. This young team cruised through the group stage with three straight wins, despite being in a tough group with Italy and Croatia, and easily dispatched Georgia in the Round of 16. They have consistently shown a very positive and high-tempo game. Nico Williams is possibly the best player of the tournament so far, but the entire team has performed almost flawlessly, at least offensively.

Although Germany hasn't impressed as much in every match, they have felt stable throughout the tournament. They had problems with Denmark in the Round of 16 and without two VAR decisions, they might not have advanced, but they definitely deserve their quarterfinal spot. The attack with Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz has worked excellently and they have defended well.

Analysis and Prediction

This is undoubtedly the quarterfinal that everyone is most looking forward to, and it will be really interesting to see if Germany can stifle Spain's offense. If this match were played in another country, Spain would probably be clear favourites, but with the advantage of home ground, Germany's chances increase. Both teams' best players so far are young, but both teams also have plenty of experienced players, such as Álvaro Morata, Rodri, and Aymeric Laporte for Spain, and Germany's midfield anchors Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gündogan.

Our prediction is still for a Spain win in regular time. So far, no defence has managed to tame Nico Williams, Lamine Yamal, and the rest, and also the German defence will struggle to do so here. Perhaps Yamal will finally score his first championship goal, and if he doesn't, there are plenty of players in the Spanish team who can score instead of him.

Portugal vs France - Friday 21:00 CET

Normally, this would be a match to really look forward to, but given both teams' problems in creating a potent attacking game, expectations for a great football match are not too high.

France is usually a team that is always interesting to watch, and they are rarely involved in boring matches, but in this tournament, it has been something completely different. They have so much offensive and defensive talent, but so far, they have only shown their defensive strength and in several matches have seemed somewhat unwilling to go forward. However, the defence they have shown has been almost impenetrable, with the only goal conceded being a penalty against Poland. And a team that does not concede always have great chances to advance.

Portugal has also struggled to create much offensively, and here too there is plenty of offensive talent, perhaps even more than France. However, unlike France, Portugal has tried, but just hasn't succeeded very well, yet at least.

Analysis and Prediction

This is a very difficult match to predict, and even though expectations for a fine football match are low, it could still be an entertaining match, if nothing else a thrilling one. The hope is that France will ease off the brakes a bit while Portugal gets their offensive game working better, and then it should be good football and very unpredictable. The feeling is, however, that France will continue their established tactics, secure their defence, and rely on a moment of brilliance from Mbappé to score. Our prediction is therefore a 1-0 win for France. Do note that Adrien Rabiot is suspended, but they have adequate replacements for him so it shouldn't pose any major problems for France.

England vs Switzerland - Saturday 18:00 CET

Even in this match, there are low expectations for an entertaining game considering how England has looked, and although Switzerland is a good and tough team to beat, they don't always play the most entertaining football.

England, like France, has been incredibly dull offensively, but the difference is that they have tried but also failed miserably, despite all the hyped offensive players like Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, and Harry Kane. Reaching the quarterfinals is more due to luck than skill, as they were saved by a moment of brilliance from Bellingham, and in extra time, they exploited the Slovaks' fatigue. But they are here in this quarterfinal, and perhaps the turnaround against Slovakia can serve as a spark for the English.

Switzerland has flown a bit under the radar in this tournament as Austria has been seen as the smaller nation to watch out for, but the fact is that the Swiss have had an incredibly fine tournament so far. They went unbeaten through the group stage, narrowly missing the group win as Germany equalized in stoppage time, and they easily dismissed Italy in their Round of 16 match.

Analysis and Prediction

The big question is whether England can utilize the positive feeling from the turnaround against Slovakia and finally find their flow in the attacking game. If they do, they should be able to beat Switzerland without problems. However, they have had four matches to find their game without doing so, and they face a Swiss team that is in a very positive trend. Switzerland traditionally advances from the group stage only to be knocked out immediately, but this time they comfortably moved on. We believe the English will continue to struggle to find their game, and Switzerland will advance with a narrow victory, 1-0 or 2-1. It is also worth noting that English defender Marc Guéhi is suspended, and they will have to make a defensive change.

Netherlands vs Turkey - Saturday 21:00 CET

The last quarterfinal is between the Netherlands and Turkey, two teams that both made very fine performances in their respective Round of 16 matches.

It often happens that winners of championships start the tournament a bit hesitantly and then performs better and better as the knockout matches begin, and one team that seems to be doing this is the Netherlands, although only based on one knockout match. The Romanians showed a really strong defence in the group stage, but the Netherlands easily dismissed them in the Round of 16, making their defence look anything but strong, which was a clear improvement compared to what the Dutch showed in the group stage.

Turkey was really up and down in the group stage, showing both offensive skill and defensive weaknesses. However, they have shown enormous energy and fighting spirit in all matches, and in the Round of 16 against Austria, it was precisely this that saved them. Although they played far from perfectly defensively, allowing many chances for the Austrians, they were always dangerous on counterattacks and fought all the way to the final whistle.

Analysis and Prediction

The feeling in this quarterfinal is that it should be a fairly clear win for the Netherlands. They seem to be on a strong upward trend, and they didn't have to exert themselves too much against the Romanians, as they had the match under control all the way. The Turks, on the other hand, really had to fight for their victory, and honestly had a bit of luck. They also have both central midfielders Orkun Kökcü and Ismail Yüksek suspended, and both were starters in the Round of 16. The prediction is that the Netherlands will win by a couple of goals, maybe 3-1?

Jamal Musiala, Germany
The german Jamal Musiala is one of the players that have scored three goals so far

Top Scorers After the Round of 16

It took 43 matches before we saw the first player to score a brace in a match in this Euro 2024. The first one was the substitute Donyell Malen, who scored two goals in the second half for the Netherlands in their 3-0 win over Romania. In the following match, we got an unlikely second player to score a brace, Turkish centre-back Merih Demiral, who netted both of Turkey's goals.

After the group stage, the top scorer was Georgia's Georges Mikautadze with three goals. After the Round of 16, he has been joined by three other players who have also scored three goals each: the Dutchman Cody Gakpo, the German Jamal Musiala, and the Slovak Ivan Schranz. The latter one, as well as Mikautadze, are out of the tournament, making Gakpo and Musiala the current favourites to win the top scorer title.

However, there are plenty of contenders close behind with two goals each, such as Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Kai Havertz, and Niclas Füllkrug, so the race for the top scorer is far from decided. Additionally, players like Mbappé, who has scored one goal from a penalty so far, could still come to life and join the competition. One should also not count out Álvaro Morata and Nico Williams, both with one goal each, given how Spain has been performing so far.
Andrea Sugler has followed football his whole life and above all the Swedish national team. As Andrea lives in Stockholm, she sees most of the international matches on site, but has also been to most of the European Championships and World Cups in recent years when Sweden has participated, the first time already back in 1992 during the European Championship in Sweden. Andrea also likes to write about football and games, sometimes with successful results.