Despite the year-long wait for Euro 2020 to commence, it certainly hasn’t disappointed. We’ve seen plenty of drama and shocks – not least in the first round of knockout football.
And there’s no denying that fans believe that football’s coming home after England beat Germany!
Now, we gear up to the quarter-final stage, with a trip to Rome for Gareth Southgate’s side, who are the favourites in the Ukraine v England betting odds.
Wembley is well on the horizon.But, let’s rewind the clock and throw it back to five years ago in France – to reminisce on how the Euro 2016 quarter-finals panned out.
Portugal’s good fortune continues
Having made it through the group stages with the newly-introduced best third-place team ruling, Portugal also scraped through their round of 16 tie, beating Croatia 1-0 after extra time.
Their quarter-final match against Poland went the distance.
Having gone behind to a Robert Lewandowski goal after two minutes, Renato Sanches pulled a goal back after the half hour mark – and that’s how the scores remained after the regulatory 90 minutes and extra time.
And so, it went to penalties in Marseille.
Fernando Santos’ side failed to miss from 12 yards out, with Ricardo Quaresma converting the winning spot-kick, after Jakub Blaszczykowski’s effort was saved by Rui Patricio.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Sanches, João Moutinho and Nani also scored in the shootout.
Wales break Belgian hearts
Making their debut at a European Championship, Wales overperformed and shook off their ‘underdog’ tag with a triumphant victory over Belgium – which was enough to see Marc Wilmots fired from his position as national team coach.
In the greatest night of their football history, Chris Coleman’s side came from behind – and a 25-yard thunderbolt from Radja Nainggolan – to secure a memorable win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Ashley Williams’ power header levelled the scores on 30 minutes, in what proved to be a frantic first half.
The Red Wall were in fine voice, but in higher spirits when Hal Robson-Kanu – a free agent at the time – put Wales in front in the second half, and there was no doubt over the result, after Sam Vokes made it three, in the game’s dying stages.
Auf Wiedersehen Italia
A pulsating quarter-final in Bordeaux which saw two European heavyweights battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.
Germany had never beaten Italy at a major tournament, but when penalties are involved, never rule them out!
Joachim Löw’s side were ahead through Mesut Özil’s near-post strike, and looked good value for their lead.
But when Jerome Boateng needlessly handled the ball in a moment of madness, Leonardo Bonucci stepped up to score the first penalty of his career.
And while Germany missed more penalties in this shootout than they had in their history, they ran out 6-5 winners.
Thomas Müller, Özil and Bastian Schweinsteiger were the three to miss from 12 yards out, while Jonas Hector drove his spot-kick low under the body of Gianluigi Buffon to settle it.
At the time of writing, Italy are the third-favourites with EURO 2020 winner odds of 4/1.
Vive La France
After their shock victory over England in the round of 16, it was the end of the road for Iceland, who were well and truly humbled by the hosts at the Stade de France.
Olivier Giroud and Paul Pogba settled French nerves, putting France two goals to the good with 20 minutes on the clock – and before half time, they were in complete control.
Dimitri Payet added a third, while Antoine Griezmann ensured the hosts left the field at the break with a four-goal advantage.
Despite Kolbeinn Sigthorsson stabbing home to land a consolation for Iceland, France restored their advantage as Giroud headed in from a freekick.
And while Birkir Bjarnason pulled a second goal back, it marked the end of the Icelandic fairytale.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago