Italy Reach Euros Knockouts in Dramatic Fashion

The Italian national team secured their place in the knockout stage of the European Championship. This achievement came after a dramatic late equaliser in their match against Croatia.

Italy snatched the equaliser in the dying seconds of extra time.

"Squadra Azzurra" failed to convert two chances in the first half. First, Mateo Retegui's header was slightly deflected by Gvardiol and went wide of the goal. Just six minutes later, Bastoni's headed effort towards the near post was tipped over for a corner by Livakovic.

The Croatian footballers emerged from the halftime break with renewed determination, and in the 54th minute they were awarded a penalty after a handball in the box. However, Luka Modric missed the penalty from the spot, but just a minute later he atoned for his error by scoring after a lapse in concentration by the Italian defence. The 38-year-old and 289-day old Croatian captain thus became the oldest scorer in the history of the European Championship finals.

The Italian national team launched a series of attacks in search of the equaliser and eventually found it in the dying moments. Mattia Zaccagni, who came on as a substitute in the 81st minute, restored parity with a superb strike into the far corner in the 8th minute of extra time.

Italy, the reigning European champions, advanced to the knockout stage as runners-up in Group B with 4 points. Croatia, on the other hand, are virtually eliminated from the competition, with only a slim chance of progressing as third-place finishers.

Spain National Team Finishes Group Stage with Perfect Record

The Spanish national team concluded the group stage of the European Championship with a perfect record of victories. The Iberians defeated Albania in the final match of the group stage to secure top spot in Group B with maximum points. The match played in Dusseldorf saw Spain win by a score of 1-0.

Ferran Torres scored the only goal of the match in the 13th minute with a shot into the near post. The Albanians also had a chance to score in the first half, but Asllani's powerful strike from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by David Raya.

Spain began the second half strongly, and Joselu came close to scoring a spectacular goal in the 47th minute. The striker's effort went just wide of the goal. Albania pressed for an equaliser but failed to capitalise on their opportunities.

Already qualified for the knockout stage after the previous round, Spain finished top of Group B with 9 points, having not conceded a single goal throughout the group stage. Albania finished last in the group with one point and were eliminated from the competition.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

Radu Galbur

Radu Galbur


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