Spain qualify for round of 16 with convincing win against Italy

Spain qualify for round of 16 with convincing win against Italy

EURO 2024 had another day to remember as three games served up plenty more drama.

Spain qualify for last 16 with convincing win against Italy

Scorers: Calafiori (OG) 55′

Spain became the second side to qualify for the round of 16 with a 1-0 victory over Italy in a game where the scoreline did not reflect their dominance.

The three-time champions almost opened the scoring inside 90 seconds when Pedri forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into a smart save from Nico Williams dangerous cross.

Williams then missed an even better headed chance minutes later when he was found in the box by Alvaro Morata. The anguish on the Athletic Club man’s face said it all.

Italy settled into the game soon after but still struggled to get a true hold of the ball, which was probably to be expected.

Spain continued to look like the side who would break the deadlock, Donnarumma tipping a fine Fabián Ruiz drive over the bar among other efforts.

The second half was more of the same as Pedri missed another huge opportunity to give his side the lead. Italy sat deep and defended in numbers, although it appeared to not be fully by choice.

Spain finally took the lead in the 55th minute and it came via an own goal from Riccardo Calafiori. Williams was at the heart of it, beating his man before smashing a ball across the box that was headed on by Morata and ended up hitting off the Italian defender and into the net.

Andrea Cambiasso then cleared one off the line as the Azzuri looked to just stay in the contest.

Italy’s push for a late equaliser saw them earn their first corner in the 85th minute of the game. A goal from open play did not seem likely.

It did not come as Spain qualified with a game to spare and left the champions facing a do-or-die clash with Croatia on Monday.

England poor once again as Danes more than earn a point

Scorers: Hjulmand 34′; Kane 18′

England struggled to a 1-1 draw with an impressive Denmark side that leaves Gareth Southgate facing serious questions about his side’s chances of going far in EURO 2024.

Denmark had the first half-chance of an even start, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg firing straight at Jordan Pickford from outside the box after being teed up by Rasmus Højlund.

Phil Foden had England’s first opening, receiving the ball off Kyle Walker and jinking past a Danish defender. Unfortunately for him, his curled shot went high and wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

England took the lead in the 18th minute through Harry Kane. Victor Kristiansen made a mess of dealing with a ball, allowing Kyle Walker to put a low cross that eventually found its way to the captain for a simple finish.

Despite falling behind, the Danes responded very well, passing the ball sharply and looking threatening whenever they pushed forward.

They got the goal their play deserved, Morten Hjulmand profiting from a Kane mispass and firing home a brilliant strike past Jordan Pickford from 25 yards out. It was the Sporting midfielder’s first goal for his country.

Denmark finished the half the stronger side with Højbjerg and Højlund again combining for the former to test the gloves of Pickford.

The pace of England’s play did not lift to start the second half bar a Trent Alexander-Arnold burst from midfield that ultimately led to nothing of note.

Foden, having moved off his left wing, nearly put England back in front in the 55th minute with a fierce low drive that hit Schmeichel’s post.

The Man City midfielder, Kane and Saka were then all substituted as Gareth Southgate rolled the dice by bringing on Eberechi Eze, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen.

Watkins almost made an instant impact, latching onto a Jude Bellingham through ball. However, he was stopped by Schmeichel.

England, though, continued to be second best in most regards with Højbjerg, again, almost hitting the back of the net with a curled effort that Pickford would not have got to.

Denmark were the better team and perhaps will be disappointed to have not won, but will now face Serbia very confident of qualifying for the knockout rounds.

Serbia keep hopes alive with late draw

Scorers: Karničnik 69′; Jović 90+5′

Serbia have kept their EURO 2024 hopes alive after a late 1-1 draw with Slovenia in Munich.

Dragan Stojković’s side started the brighter but it was Slovenia who enjoyed the first chance as Adam Čerin forced Predrag Rajković into an early stop.

The Eagles eventually rallied as Dušan Vlahović produced a diving header inside the penalty area which Jan Oblak was able to collect.

Slovenia went closest through Timi Elšnik hitting the post from distance before Benjamin Šeško turned the follow-up narrowly over the crossbar.

At the other end, Oblak’s smart goalkeeping denied Aleksandar Mitrović, who also came up short against the Atlético de Madrid stopper early in the second half.

Žan Karničnik finally broke the deadlock with little more than 20 minutes remaining by sliding home Elšnik’s delivery to the far post.

Mitrović attempted to redress the balance with a sweeping effort from inside the area but saw it cannon back off the crossbar.

But Serbia snatched a leveller in the fifth minute of added time when Luka Jović headed home to deny Matjaž Kek’s side a first-ever European Championship win.