Spain defeated Italy 1-0 and reached the Round of 16 at the Euro Cup

Spain vs Italy, UEFA Euro 2024: Ricardo Calafiori of Italy turned one into his net in the 55th minute during this Group B match, which only spelled defeat for Italy.

Jun 21, 2024 - 18:29
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Spain defeated Italy 1-0 and reached the Round of 16 at the Euro Cup

Thursday night's 1-0 victory over Italy propelled Spain to the top of the Euro Cup Group B table and into the Round of 16. Early in the second half, Ricardo Calafiori scored an own goal, which was also of great help to Spain. Italy landed in trouble early when Nico Williams' brilliance down the left wing fashioned a header for Pedri. But there was Gianluigi Donnarumma at hand to make a fabulous save, palming the ball over the bar.

A better chance fell to Williams himself in the tenth minute, who, all unmarked in front of goal, hit a header out. Spain kept probing, and Donnarumma was called into action again, turning away an angled shot by Alvaro Morata. He then dived sharply to his left to parry a long-range effort by Fabian Ruiz. Later, another shot by Ruiz was blocked by Alessandro Bastoni.

Excluding some special attacks from the left of Federico Dimarco, Italy could not pierce into the area of Spain. In reply, Luciano Spalletti called Bryan Cristante and Andrea Cambiasso onto the pitch at half-time. That didn't prevent the waves and waves of attack launched by Spain, however. Pedri was close to breaking the deadlock once more when he hit Marc Cucurella's cross wide.

The breakthrough finally came, but it came from a somewhat unexpected source. It was no surprise that the move started with Williams on Spain's left flank, although Morata flicked on his cross; Donnarumma could only get a fingertip on the header, and the ball rebounded off Calafiori and into the goal. Spain nearly extended their lead in stoppage time, but Donnarumma twice denied Ayoze Perez. Spain booked their place in the Round of 16. According to UEFA, Fuente said, "It was our best performance since I became coach. We did well against Italy in the 2022/23 Nations League, but this was a more complete performance. Of course, I'm very proud of the result and how we played, but it's also been a very demanding tournament. We were superior throughout. I have so much respect for Italy—they have had some difficult nights tonight—but one of the reasons was that we played so well."

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer