Italy 2-1 Austria
Italy were made to work extremely hard to secure their place in the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 as they were sent into extra time by Austria.
The Azzurri continued their unbeaten streak and finally conceded a goal as they overcame a determined Austrian side.
The game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes in the Round of 16 tie at Euro 2020, which meant that the match needed to head into extra time to determine the winner.
Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina seemed to have put the game to bed in the first half of extra time itself. The Italians led 2-0 with just the second half of extra time to play but the Austrians showed some fight.
They pulled one back in the 114th minute as Sasa Kalajdzic breached the strong Italian defence to give Austria hopes of sending the game to a penalty shootout.
However, Italy were not to be undone and their miserly defence proved to be strong enough to secure the win.
Masterstroke by Mancini
Italy were far from their best and having won all three of their games in the group stages, everyone expected them to breeze past Austria.
The Austrians, however, had other ideas and did enough to keep the favourites at bay in regulation time. Fatigue clearly played a vital role in extra time as Italy manager Roberto Mancini made substitutions.
It was a masterstroke by Mancini as it was the two substitutes who gave his side the victory. Chiesa scored in the 95th minute and Pessina added the second just before the break, in extra time.
This was Austria’s first appearance in the knockout stage of the European Championship and they can be proud of their performance at Euro 2020.
They looked solid in attack and were unfortunate to not take the lead through Marko Arnautovic. The striker had his goal ruled out by VAR for offside in regulation time.
Chiesa then displayed terrific ball control before beating Daniel Bachmann in Austria’s goal. Pessina made no mistake from an easy close-range finish to double Italy’s advantage.
Italy to face Belgium in Euro 2020 last 8
Mancini’s side then conceded their first goal in 12 games as Kalajdzic scored a lovely header. Italy are now unbeaten in 31 consecutive games, which is a new national record.
The Italians roll on and now face their stiffest task. The final before the final at Euro 2020. They face the world’s number-one side Belgium who will be supremely confident.
The Belgians knocked out the defending European champions Portugal in an extremely scrappy game.