Lacklustre England held by Denmark at Euro 2024

Dusseldorf, Germany: Slovakia will play Ukraine on Friday in Dusseldorf in their second European Championship Group E match. Slovakia is second after Romania in terms of goal difference, and Ukraine is the last. Romania and Belgium will play on Saturday.
Ukraine suffered a shock 3-0 loss to Romania that included costly errors from Real Madrid goalkeeper Andrii Lunhin. Another defeat could mean elimination for Ukraine, which was a quarter-finalist in 2021.
The Ukrainian players apologized to their fans for the loss to Romania, and after that game they held a team meeting in the locker room without coach Serhiy Rebrov present to clarify what went wrong. That was “absolutely normal,” the coach said Thursday.
Slovakia are on a high after surprising Belgium 1-0, but needed two video reviews to cancel out Belgium’s goals. One was ruled offside and a sensor in the ball detected a handball on the other.
Slovaks know not to get too excited about their first win. At the last European Championship, they beat Poland, but then lost to Sweden and Spain and did not advance. That meant there was only “a bit of euphoria for a few short hours” when Slovakia beat Belgium this time, coach Francesco Calcona said.
Ukraine coach Rebrov hinted he would change the line-up that lost to Romania and said some unnamed players have “micro-injuries”.
Defender Vitaly Mikolenko was badly bruised in a pre-tournament friendly with Moldova and was an unused substitute against Romania but was expected to train with the team on Thursday night, Rebrov said.
One option for Rebrov could be to replace 34-year-old captain Taras Stepanenko with 22-year-old Volodymyr Brazhka in defensive midfield. Brazhko only made his debut for the team in March, as Ukraine qualified for Euro 2024 through the play-offs.
Slovakia coach Calzona says that all his players are available, but he has yet to decide on his starting line-up.
The average age of Slovakia’s starting line-up in the win over Belgium was over 30, as the team relied on the experience of two 37-year-olds, defenders Peter Pekarik and Juraj Kucka, and 35-year-old goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. The players of Ukraine against Romania were on average four and a half years younger.
The teams have a fairly even score, with three wins for Slovakia, two for Ukraine and three draws. Slovakia won the last game 4-1 in 2018.
A second win would make history for Slovakia, who have never won more than one game in any tournament they have played as an independent nation. As part of Czechoslovakia, they still won the European Championship in 1976.
“We want to turn the page and concentrate 100 percent on the game with Slovakia… (The game with Romania) is a very painful result for us, but we have to learn lessons and get ready for tomorrow’s game,” said Ukrainian left-back Oleksandr . Zinchenko.
“I think our greatest quality is humility.” “We know that we should always give 110 percent because we are a small nation and we always want to put a big smile on the faces of our fans and our people,” Calzona said.
Slovakian defender David Hancko said: “Ukraine has wonderful, young, talented players. They have a good system, they are strong on the ball. … We have to play our best to be able to beat them.”

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