Sports

Euro 2020: Italy edge Belgium In thriller to set up Spain semi

 

Italy set up a Euro 2020 semi-final match with Spain after edging an exhilarating tie with Belgium in Munich.
The game may not have been a goal feast like some of the last-16 ties but it was an intense battle between two excellent teams playing fantastic football.
Italy have been arguably the best team at the tournament so far, while Belgium are the world’s top-ranked team.
The Azzurri’s two goals – which took the team up to 13 consecutive wins and 32 games without defeat – were of the highest quality.
Nicolo Barella wriggled through three defenders before drilling in the opener and Lorenzo Insigne ran from the halfway line before curling in one of the goals of the tournament.
Belgium were given hope late in the first half when Giovanni di Lorenzo fouled Jeremy Doku and Romelu Lukaku scored the penalty.
Both sides had chances to score again in a breathless second half but with no goals it was the Azzurri who progressed.
Roberto Mancini’s side face Spain at Wembley on Tuesday but they may have to do so without impressive left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, who went off on a stretcher late on.
And three-time champions Spain survived another scare to beat 10-man Switzerland in a dramatic penalty shootout to reach the semi-finals of the European Championship.
Swiss substitute Ruben Vargas was in tears at full-time after he blasted his penalty over the bar, allowing Mikel Oyarzabal to score the decider for Spain, reports the BBC.
Spain, ranked sixth in the world, also needed extra time to defeat Croatia in the last 16 despite leading 3-1 with five minutes of normal time to play.
They were in front in St Petersburg against Switzerland too – midfielder Denis Zakaria deflected Jordi Alba’s shot into his own net to give Spain an early lead.
Swiss captain Xherdan Shaqiri equalised following a mistake at the back by Spain but team-mate Remo Freuler was sent off nine minutes later.
They held on to force extra time and a shootout but missed three spot kicks which ultimately proved costly.
RESULTS
Belgium 1 – 2 Italy
Switzerland 1 – 1 Spain
(AETSpain win 3-1 on penalties)

 

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