Euro 2024: Spain overcome Croatia as Italy defeat Albania

Italy came from a goal down to defeat Albania 2-1 in their opening match of the 2024 UEFA European Championship. 

Goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella pulled the Azzurri over the line after Nedim Bejrami had put the Albanians ahead at the BVB stadium in Dortmund, Germany, on Saturday night.

All three goals were scored in the first 16 minutes of the encounter.

Bejrami put Albania ahead 23 seconds into the encounter with a long-range strike that sent their fans into dreamland. The strike broke the 20-year-old fastest goal record held by Dmitri Kirichenko of Russia when he scored against Greece after 67 seconds in Euro 2004.


The dream was, however, shortlived, with Bastoni levelling matters with a header from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner kick before Barella sealed the win with a 20-yard strike.

Italy dominated from there on, dominating possession and creating chances, but the Albanian goalkeeper, Thomas Strakosha, thwarted them.

Luciano Spalletti’s Italy are joint-top of Group B with Spain, who took Croatia to the cleaners with a 3-0 win over the the Luka Modric-led team.


Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal were all on target as La Furia Roja made a statement win in their opening Euro match. They face Italy in their next group match.

Hungary 1-3 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Croatia
Italy 2-1 Albania

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