Day 3 of Euro 2016 was not the most prolific day of the tournament so far, but still could prove vital in how the competition shapes-up.
The first game of the day came in Group D, as Croatia recorded a 1-0 victory over Turkey. The only goal of the game came from Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on 37 minutes.
The former-Tottenham star latched on to a clearance from Selcuk Inan’s clearance and fired home brilliantly past Turkey ‘keeper Volkan Babacan. Croatia controlled the game and hit the woodwork twice in the second period.
Early in the second half captain Darijo Srna was the first trouble the woodwork hitting the bar with a free-kick. Ante Cacic’s continued to dominate and Ivan Perisic saw a header hit the crossbar from Mario Mandzukic’s cross mid-way through the second period.
Croatia were worthy winners and move top of the group with Czech Republic and Spain clashing on Monday, which we will come on to later on.
The action then turned to Group C, as Poland defeated Northern Ireland 1-0 to record their first ever European Championship victory. Adam Nawalka’s side dominated proceedings in the first half, but the only goal of the game did not arrive until early in the second half.
Former-Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski cut the ball back to Ajax striker Arkadiusz Milik on the edge of the area and the Ajax forward fired a low effort past Michael McGovern.
Poland had chances to extend their lead through efforts from Blaszczykowski and Grzegorz Krychowiak, but in the end the one goal was enough as Northern Ireland failed to trouble Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland goal.
The win put the Poles temporarily top of the group and the win could prove vital in the race for second spot, with world champions Germany expected to win the group.
In the late kick-off Germany moved to the top of the group with a 2-0 win over Ukraine in Lille. Joachim Low’s side took just 19 minutes to open their account for the tournament, as Valencia centre-back Shkodran Mustafi headed home from a free-kick.
Ukraine did threaten the German goal just prior to the break, as Yevhen Konoplyanka saw an effort cleared off the line by Jerome Boateng and they also had a goal disallowed. However, in the end the world champions sealed a relatively comfortable win by adding a second goal in stoppage-time through substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Low’s side will now face Poland in their next match in a game that could define this group and the two teams destiny’s for the rest of the campaign.