Euro 2024

Euro 2024: Spain go past Italy to reach last-16

A Riccardo Calafiori own goal sent Spain into the Euro 2024 last 16 as Group B winners with a 1-0 victory over Italy. SportsRation reports.

Spain impressed again, having thrashed Croatia 3-0 in their opening game, and should have won in Gelsenkirchen by a larger margin if not for a mix of superb saves from Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and poor finishing.

They dominated from the start, with Donnarumma called into action within two minutes, spectacularly tipping over Pedri’s close-range header. Nico Williams terrorized Italy right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo and should have scored with a header from inside the six-yard box. Donnarumma saved twice more from Alvaro Morata and a long-range blast from Fabian Ruiz.

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Spain picked up from where they left off in the second half, with Pedri side-footing a golden chance wide within minutes of the restart. Italy did the hard work for them when defender Calafiori turned Williams’ low cross into his own net.

Calafiori nearly scored a second own goal, but Andrea Cambiaso hacked his teammate’s rogue header at a corner off the goal line. Sixteen-year-old Lamine Yamal and Williams continued to dazzle, with Yamal sending a shot inches wide of the top left corner and Williams hitting the crossbar with a delicious curler.

Italy mustered just one shot on target, with Donnarumma keeping them in the game until the final minute with a late save from substitute Ayoze Perez when one-on-one.

It was Spain with the victory over defending champions, Italy who now have all to play for in the last-group match.

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