Sports

Euro 2020: Italy reach knockout stage with victory over Switzerland

*Wins for Wales, Russia

In-form Italy became the first team to reach the knockout stage of the European Championship with another impressive Group A showing in victory over Switzerland.

Roberto Mancini’s side thumped Turkey on the opening day of the tournament and made it back-to-back 3-0 wins courtesy of another sprightly performance in Rome, reports the BBC.

Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli scored twice, first by finishing off a move he started by tapping in from Domenico Berardi’s darting run and cutback.

Italy’s passing and pressing was far superior to their opponents and Locatelli’s fizzing strike from the edge of the area underlined their control of the contest.

Striker Ciro Immobile’s long-range drive, which squirmed under goalkeeper Yann Sommer, completed a comprehensive victory late on.

Switzerland barely threatened an Italian backline that has now gone 10 games without conceding in all competitions, a run approaching 1,000 minutes.

Meanwhile, Wales took a significant stride towards qualifying for the second round of Euro 2020 as they overcame Turkey after a gripping encounter in Baku.

With a crowd of more than 30,000 in Azerbaijan’s capital city effectively making this a home game for Turkey, Wales responded to the hostile atmosphere with a vibrant, attacking display in which they cut their opponents open at will.

After a host of missed chances in a breathless first half, Gareth Bale played a brilliant lofted pass through the heart of the Turkish defence for Aaron Ramsey, who brought the ball down and finished elegantly.

Although Turkey came back strongly, Wales squandered a glorious opportunity to consolidate their lead when captain Bale ballooned a penalty over the bar.

And Russia secured their first win of Euro 2020 with a hard-fought victory over Finland in St Petersburg.

Aleksey Miranchuk put the hosts ahead in first-half injury time with a fine, curling finish, despite being surrounded by defenders.

Finland would have qualified for the last 16 with a win and thought they had opened the scoring, but Joel Pohjanpalo’s header was ruled out for offside.

The result leaves both sides on three points before their final Group B matches on Monday.

Finland, competing in their first major finals, won 1-0 against Denmark on Saturday in a match overshadowed by Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsing on the pitch.

Before Wednesday’s game, all the Finnish squad wore T-shirts saying ‘Get well Christian’.

Eriksen is currently recovering in hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

RESULTS

Group A

Turkey 0 – 2 Wales

Italy 3 – 0 Switzerland

Group B

Finland 0 – 1 Russia

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