Karim Benzema

GOAL: France’s Karim Benzema, right, scores past Portugal’s goalkeeper Rui Patricio, for his team’s second goal during their Euro 2020 Championship, Group F match, at the Puskas Arena Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.:—Photo: AP

A bizarre blunder by the goalkeeper helped Spain find its scoring touch at the European Championship. And it also helped them advance to the round of 16.

An embarrassing own-goal by goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka in the first half put Spain on its way to a 5-0 victory yesterday, coming only minutes after the hosts had missed another penalty kick and wasted more scoring chances. Dúbravka saved that early penalty from Álvaro Morata but then clumsily knocked the ball into his own net after it ricocheted high into the air off a shot by Pablo Sarabia in the 30th minute. Aymeric Laporte added to Spain’s lead before halftime, and Sarabia, Ferran Torres and another own-goal in the second half made it five for “La Roja,” which had been facing elimination. The win allowed Spain to advance in second place in Group E with five points. The team will next play Croatia in Copenhagen on Monday. The result eliminated Slovakia, who needed at least a draw.

Sweden score stoppage time winner

Sweden outfoxed a superb Poland to secure their place in the Euro 2020 knockout stages winning 3-2 in a thrilling Group E final match.

Robert Lewandowski had just headed the ball off the crossbar twice in as many seconds when it landed back at his feet. Standing right in front of Sweden’s goal, surely the world player of the year couldn’t fail to score again? Incredibly, he could. Desperate to make amends for possibly the most embarrassing misses of his career, the Poland striker then scored twice in a wild, end-to-end match at the European Championship, but it still wasn’t enough.

Viktor Claesson, not Lewandowski, had the final say at Saint Petersburg Stadium with a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give Sweden a 3-2 win and first place in Group E. For Sweden, it’s a trip to Glasgow for a last-16 match on Tuesday. For Poland, it’s another early exit from a major tournament.

Goretzka keeps Germans in Euro 2020

In Munich, Leon Goretzka scored late to keep Germany in the European Championship after a 2-2 draw against Hungary. Jamal Musiala made an immediate impact after coming on in the 82nd minute, eluding three defenders to give Timo Werner room to shoot. Werner was blocked but the rebound fell for Goretzka, who shot past goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi in the 84th.

It had looked like Ádám Szalai was going to drag his team into the round of 16. The Hungary captain scored one goal early against the run of play and set up András Schäfer to make it 2-1 right after Kai Havertz had equalized for Germany. The home team finally made a breakthrough in the 66th when the normally excellent Gulácsi failed to punch away Toni Koos’ free kick.

Mats Hummels headed the ball forward and Havertz made sure from close range. But Hungary replied immediately when Szalai played in Schäfer to head the ball past Manuel Neuer. Germany finished second in the group with four points and will next face England at Wembley on Tuesday, while Hungary finished last with two points.

Ronaldo nets brace, Portugal advance

In Budapest, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties to tie the overall men’s scoring record with 109 goals and Portugal advanced to the round of 16 at the European Championship after a 2-2 draw with France.

Ronaldo’s tournament-leading fourth and fifth goals moved him level with former Iran striker Ali Daei at 109, while also extending his overall tournament record to 14. Karim Benzema scored both of France’s goals. Defending champs Portugal finished in third place in the group, one spot behind Germany. France, which had already qualified, was first.

Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the 31st minute and then equalized from the spot in the 60th after Benzema put World Cup champion France ahead 2-1 shortly after halftime from Paul Pogba’s pass.

Benzema also scored a penalty in first-half injury time after Kylian Mbappe was fouled. Pogba almost scored a winner for France midway through the second half, but Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a superb one-handed save to tip his curling shot off the crossbar and then saved Antoine Griezmann’s follow up shot. France will face Switzerland in the next round and Portugal will take on Belgium.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Felice Aisha Chow is determined to make the most of her second Olympic outing. Chow is in her mid-40s, and knows her competitive career is coming to an end. 

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz produced a powerful late burst after six-hour slog to win gold in a thrilling Olympic men’s road race as favourite Tadej Pogacar was beaten into third place at the Fuji International Speedway yesterday.

Guyana’s Chelsea Edghill enjoyed a dream start to her Olympic career, emerging with a 4-1 victory in the opening round of Women’s singles table tennis at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym here in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

West Indies women’s batting star, Hayley Matthews, was among the runs but her effort went in vain as the Welsh Fire suffered a six-wicket defeat to Northern Superchargers in the Women’s Hundred here yesterday.