Euro 2016: Best XI from the Round of 16
UEFA Euro 2016 is gradually reaching its climax as the quarter-finals are nearing. The round of 16 saw some exciting encounters with some dramatic finishes which included Poland’s win over Switzerland in the first penalty shootout of the tournament and Portugal’s late winner against Croatia in one of the dullest football games ever seen. It also witnessed the likes of Spain and England being eliminated from the competition. The biggest surprise, however, was Iceland’s 2-1 win over England which is till now the biggest upset of the tournament. The Nordic nation continued their fairy tale and will now take on the hosts in the last eight.
The quarter-final has a number of exciting matchups, including Germany’s battle against Italy and two dark horse clashes between Poland and Portugal and between Wales and Belgium. With the quarter-finals not very far away, let’s take a look at the Best XI from the round of 16
#1. Goalkeeper- Lukasz Fabianski, Poland
The Swansea City custodian replaced Wojciech Szczesny in goal after the latter suffered a thigh injury in Poland’s tournament opener against Northern Ireland. He put up a brilliant goalkeeping display in Poland’s next two group games against Germany and Ukraine and kept two successive clean sheets to help Poland qualify for the knockout stages of the Euros for the first time in their history.
Fabianski and Poland finally conceded their first goal in the tournament against Switzerland in the last 16. However, despite this Fabianski was Poland’s hero of the match as he pulled off a string of brilliant saves to deny Switzerland time and again. He saved a brilliantly taken free-kick from Ricardo Rodriguez during regular time and denied Eren Derdiyok from close range during extra time. Poland won the penalty shootout and advanced to the last eight with Granit Xhaka’s missed penalty separating both teams as none of the goalkeepers were able to make a save. However, if it hadn’t been for Fabianski’s heroics, Switzerland would have been the one facing Portugal in the quarter-finals.