Spain beat Italy 1-0 and advance to knockout round at Euro 2024

June 21, 2024 in Sports

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Spain advanced to the round of 16 at Euro 2024 after a 1-0 win against defending champion Italy on Thursday.

A 55th-minute own goal by Italy’s Riccardo Calafiori handed victory to Spain in the first clash of international heavyweights at this European Championship.

Three-time winner Spain totally dominated the Group B game at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, with 16-year-old winger Lamine Yamal further enhancing his reputation as one of football’s most exciting young stars with an outstanding performance.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma kept the score down with a string of fine saves until inadvertently pushing the ball into the legs of Calafiori, who couldn’t prevent it from ricocheting into his own goal.

It was a statement performance from Spain in a meeting of two giants of international football, having won 10 major titles combined.

Having failed to dominate possession for the first time in 136 competitive games in their win against Croatia, Spain were back to their old ways in starving Italy of the ball and dictating play in a largely lopsided game.

Chances came thick and fast in the first half, with Donnarumma pulling off a string of saves to keep Spain at bay.

For all of Spain’s dominance, it took Calafiori’s own goal to break the deadlock after halftime.

Donnarumma pushed Alvaro Morata’s glancing header into the legs of Calafiori, who could only watch as the ball ricocheted into the back of the net.

Nico Williams was millimetres away from extending the lead with a curling shot that hit crossbar.

England drew 1-1 with Denmark in Group C after Harry Kane scored and then made a mistake that led to the Danes’ leveler. Kane struck a record-extending 64th goal for his country to fire England ahead in Frankfurt. But his loose pass then allowed Morten Hjulmand to equalize from long range.

In the other Group C game, Luka Jovic scored in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 for Serbia against Slovenia.

England lead the group on four points and are likely to advance to the round of 16.