Matteo Pessina scores Italy’s second goal during extra-time at Wembley Stadium in London. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Italy struck twice late in the extra time to beat Austria 2-1 in a round of 16 match to book a berth in the quarter-final of the Euro Championship on Sunday.
After the regular time ended in a goalless draw, Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina scored a goal each in the extra time to send them into the last eight of the tournament.
Chiesa opened the scoring in the 97th minute to give 1-0 lead. He latched on to a cross and found the back of the net.
Pessina added one more eight minutes later to make it 2-0. He received a pass inside the box and put it right across inside the goal.
Austria pulled one back through Sasa Kalajdzic in the second half of the extra time to make it 2-1. But Italy went into the defending mode mode and the arathon game ended in 2-1.
Austria took the lead through Marko Arnautovic when he slotted the opener in the 65th minute.
Arnautovic intercepted a pass inside the box and found the back of the net with a header to hand Austria 1-0 lead. But their joy was short lived as the goal was disqualified as off-side by VAR.
VAR is relatively a newer technology, which is used by the on-field referee to rule out the doubts if any.
The technology was introduced by FIFA chief Gianno Infantino to minimize the refereeing errors which often changes the course of the game.
Before that Austria had come closest to scoring in the 55th minute. David Alba unleashed an attacking shot off a corner kick but the ball missed the net by a flicker and they spurned a chance to go 1-0 up.
Leonardo Spinazzola of Italy had also missed an opportunity earlier in the 45th minute.
He launched a shot into the goal but Austrian goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann parried away the ball with a two-handed diving save. And the score remained 0-0.
Austria had finished the group stage on the second spot with six points behind the leaders Netherlands, who toped the group with nine points. While Italy had finished on the top of their group with a perfect nine points.
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