Day 12 of Euro 2016 saw two more groups reach their dramatic climax, as Group C and D both concluded on Tuesday.
The games in Group C came first, as Germany defeated Northern Ireland and Poland won against Ukraine. Germany narrowly defeated Northern Ireland 1-0, but could have been a heavier defeat if it was not for Northern Ireland ‘keeper Michael McGovern.
The only goal of the game arrived just prior to the half hour mark, after Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller had hit the post with a header just minutes earlier. Mesut Ozil produced a moment of magic to put Muller through on goal and the Bayern star found striker Mario Gomez, who fired home via deflection.
The win ensured that Die Mannschaft won the group ahead of Poland, who recorded a 1-0 in over group whipping boys Ukraine.
Adam Nawalka’s side took the lead early in the second half. Arkadiusz Milik played a corner short before finding Jakub Blaszczykowski in the area and the winger smashed a powerful effort high beyond Andriy Pyatov.
Ukraine never really looked like equalising and Poland sealed their spot in the knockout stages as group runner-up’s and will play Switzerland in the knockout stages on Saturday in Saint-Etienne. Northern Ireland will also take their place in the last-16 as one of the four best third-place teams.
Group D produced late drama as Croatia jumped above Spain by beating La Roja and Turkey recorded a win over Czech Republic.
Croatia have won the group by beating Spain 2-1, with the European champions finishing second in the group. Spain looked set to cruise into the knockout stages with Alvaro Morata scoring from close-range on seven minutes.
Coatia's Subasic saved a Spanish penalty by Sergio Ramos adding to the Spanish misery.
However, Croatia turned the tables as on the stroke of half-time as Nikolic Kalinic equalised from close-range. With just two minutes left midfielder Ivan Perisic fired home the winner, which moved the Croats to the top of the group. This leaves Spain with a game on Monday against Italy, an early clash for two of the favourites.
Turkey produced a much improved display in the other game to defeat Czech Republic 2-0 in Lens. Fatih Terim’s side took the lead on ten minutes through a first time effort from striker Burak Yilmaz. Czech Republic came close to equalising, as Tomas Sivok’s effort hit the woodwork.
However, Turkey doubled their lead on 65 minutes, as Ozan Tufan hit a powerful effort that beat Petr Cech. The means that Turkey finished third in the group and still have an outside chance of making the knockout stages, but are relying on results going their way in Wednesday’s matches.