La Roja Dominate But Italy Fall Short in Tense EURO Rematch

In a thrilling rematch of the EURO 2024, Spain emerged victorious against Italy in a tense encounter that proved to be the most exciting match of Group B.

Christopher Lee – UEFA
Sursa: Christopher Lee – UEFA

Despite moments of exceptional skill on display from both sides, the decisive moment arrived in the form of an unfortunate own goal. With this victory, Spain, also known as "La Roja" (The Red Fury), secured their place as the second team to qualify for the knockout stages of EURO 2024.

Spain dominated possession throughout the match held in Gelsenkirchen, effectively controlling the ball against a resolute Italian defence. Early in the second minute, Spain threatened with promising opportunities, but they were unable to convert. Italy, nicknamed "Squadra Azzurra" (The Azure Squad), opted for a defensive strategy in the first half, relying on counterattacks to threaten Spain's goal. However, the Italian attack lacked the necessary incision, and the first half concluded scoreless.

The second half mirrored the first, with Spain maintaining their dominance. In the 55th minute, Luciano Spaletti's well-organised defence faltered as Riccardo Calafiori deflected the ball into his own net, unfortunately registering the fifth own goal of the tournament. Despite this setback, Italy responded with a long-range effort from Lamine Yamal that narrowly missed the target. In the 70th minute, Nico Williams nearly added another goal for Spain with a powerful shot that rattled the crossbar.

Spain continued to press for a decisive second goal, but Ayoze Perez squandered a golden opportunity in the dying moments of the match, failing to convert a one-on-one chance against the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Ultimately, Spain emerged victorious with a narrow 1-0 win, securing six points and qualification for the knockout stages. Italy remains in second place in Group B with three points, while Albania and Croatia share a point each. The final group stage match will see Albania face Spain, while Italy takes on the Croatian team.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

Dmitri Ciolacu

Dmitri Ciolacu


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