Football

Euro 2020 | Wales qualifies despite losing to Italy

Cool finish: Matteo Pessina, bottom, turns in a low free-kick to net Italy’s winner.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Italy topped its group in the European Championship after a third straight win on Sunday, with a first-half goal from Matteo Pessina giving it a 1-0 victory over 10-man Wales, which also advanced to the knockout stages of the competition.

The Italians had already guaranteed their progress, while Wales secured a berth by finishing ahead of Switzerland on goal difference. The Swiss, who could still advance as one of the four best third-placed teams, beat Turkey 3-1 in Baku.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini made eight changes to rest most of his first-choice starters, but Italy still dominated and missed several chances either side of Pessina’s 42nd-minute goal.

Welsh centre back Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red card in the 55th minute for stamping on Federico Bernadeschi’s foot, and Wales then missed its best chance of an equaliser in the 74th when Gareth Bale volleyed over the bar from close range.

Spain was again haunted by its inability to finish off chances as it drew 1-1 with Poland on Saturday after missing a second-half penalty to leave its hopes of making the Euro 2020 knockouts hanging in the balance.

Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in the 25th minute but Poland, which had hit the woodwork twice in the first half, deservedly drew level with a towering header from Robert Lewandowski in the 54th.

Spain was given a penalty soon after but Gerard Moreno blasted his shot against the post and Morata scuffed the rebound wide, leaving Luis Enrique’s side cursing its profligacy just as in its goalless opening draw with Sweden.

The results:

Group E: Spain 1 (Morata 25) drew with Poland 1 (Lewandowski 54).

Group A: Italy 1 (Pessina 39) bt Wales 0; Switzerland 3 (Seferovic 6, Shaqiri 26, 68) bt Turkey 1 (Kahveci 62).


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 6:33:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/wales-qualifies-despite-losing-to-italy/article34875670.ece

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