Italy own goal sends Spain into Euro 2024 knockout stage

The Spaniards get another win in the “Group of death” and can think about the 1/8-finals

An own goal from Riccardo Calafiori in the 55th minute gave Spain a 1-0 victory over the defending champions, Italy, in an engaging Group B match at UEFA Euro 2024 in Gelsenkirchen. This encounter marked the 12th meeting between the two sides and the fourth consecutive time they faced each other in the European Championship, setting a Euro record.

Spain took control from the outset, with Nico Williams spearheading their offensive efforts. The Athletic Bilbao winger proved to be a constant threat on the right wing, repeatedly testing Italy’s Giovanni Di Lorenzo. In the second minute, Williams delivered a precise cross to Pedri, whose header was skillfully saved by Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Williams continued to press, narrowly missing a goal in the 11th minute when he headed an Alvaro Morata cross over the bar. Midway through the first half, Donnarumma had to make a double save to keep the match level, first blocking a sharp-angle shot from Morata and then diving to stop a long-range effort from Fabian Ruiz in the 26th minute.

The second half began with Spain maintaining their attacking momentum, forcing Italy to defend in numbers. The breakthrough came in the 55th minute when Williams once again initiated an attack, sending a cross to Morata. Donnarumma’s save from Morata’s deflection landed at Calafiori’s feet, and the Bologna defender inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

Donnarumma continued to make crucial saves, including a pair of stops against second-half substitute Ayoze Perez in stoppage time, but it was not enough to change the outcome. Spain effectively managed the remainder of the match, while Italy struggled to create significant scoring opportunities and barely tested Spain’s goalkeeper, Unai Simon.

With Croatia and Albania drawing 2-2 on Wednesday, Spain secured a spot in the Round of 16 with their victory, positioning themselves strongly ahead of Matchday 3.

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