Mancini delights in defying expectations as Italy reach final - GulfToday

Mancini delights in defying expectations as Italy reach final


Italy’s Federico Chiesa (centre) scores against Spain during their Euro semi-final match at the Wembley Stadium in London on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse

Gulf Today Report

Luis Enrique’s dream of exacting a revenge again dashed as Italy defeated Spain 2-1 on penalties in the semi-final of the Euro on Wednesday.

Alvaro Morata suddenly became the national villain from hero as he missed the decisive penalty before Jorginho buried the ball into the goal to steer Italy into the final of the continental championship.

Earlier, Federico Chiesa fired the opener to put Italy ahead in the 60th minute. He picked up a loose ball inside the circle and slotted home the first goal, beating the Spain goalkeeper with the pace of the shot.

Italy were trying hard to restore the parity but they were not able to curtail the deficit till the 80th minute, when Morata scored an equalizer.

Morata picked up a pass from Dani Olmo and smashed the ball right into the left corner of the goal, making it 1-1. The match ended in a 1-1 stalemate in the regular time, forcing the game to go into the extra time.

Italy’s Domenico Berardi added another in the extra time but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Italy had finished on the top of their group with a perfect nine points from three games. They defeated Wales, Switzerland and Turkey before beating Austria in the round of 16 and following it up with another victory against Belgium in the last eight. 

Earlier, both the teams kept on trying hard to break the deadlock. But they failed to penetrate each other’s tight defence.

Both Spain and Italy were playing firebrand football and they created many chances but failed to convert them into goals.

Spain had come close to scoring in the 27th minute when Olmo picked up a rebound and shot the ball towards the left side of the goal but an agile goalkeeper denied him with a brilliant save.

Italy also spurned a golden chance in the 45th minute when Emerson wasted a huge opportunity as he failed to send the ball into the goal.



Related articles