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Euro 2020: Belgium crash out as Italy, Spain head to semi-finals

July 02
22:53 2021

Italy qualified for the semi-final stage of the European championship following a 2-1 win over Belgium at the Olympic stadium in Munich on Friday night.

The Azzurris, in their fourth consecutive European championship quarter-final, defeated a Belgium team, presumed favourites of the tournament, thanks to goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne.

Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty that proved consolatory as Belgium missed Eden Hazard, their injured captain, and struggled with a half-fit Kevin de Bruyne.

Italy are now unbeaten in a record-extending 32 matches and have also won 13 straight games, another national record.

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The highly entertaining encounter started with chances for both sides but it was the Italians who broke the deadlock on 31 minutes.

A poor clearance from the defence saw the ball played to Barella in the box and the crafty midfielder found space between three hesitant defenders before finding the far corner with a well-placed shot.

Roberto Mancini’s men doubled their advantage two minutes before the interval with a contender for goal of the tournament from Insigne.

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The Napoli forward collected a pass in the midfield and dribbled past Youri Tielemans before fizzing a curling shot into the top corner.

Lukaku halved the deficit on the stroke of halftime from the spot, converting a penalty kick awarded for Govanni Di Lorenzo’s shove on Jeremy Doku to make it 2-1 at the interval.

The high tempo match continued in the second period but Belgium could not find the equalizer despite a gilt-edged Lukaku opportunity and near-miss from Doku.

Italy will play Spain, Euro 2008 and 2012 winners, who scrambled into the last four courtesy of victory over ten-men Switzerland on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline after extra time.

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RESULTS

  • Switzerland 1-1 Spain (Spain triumph 3-1 on penalties)
  • Belgium 1-2 Italy

1 Comment

  1. Naijagem
    Naijagem July 03, 12:35

    Before the match belgium were the favourite but when the match started everything changed Italy outplayed belgium and Italy realy deserve the win

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