Italy 1-0 Sweden
Italy booked their place in the last 16 of Euro 2016 thanks to a superb late winner from Eder that secured victory over Sweden in Toulouse this afternoon.
Italy were expected to win, but during an uninspiring opening 45 minutes it was Sweden who played with greater intent and who justified previous concerns surrounding Italy’s quality. Manager Erik Hamren had responded to their disappointing performance against Ireland by replacing Marcus Berg with John Guidetti and Oscar Lewicki with Albin Ekdal. An injury to Mikael Lustig also meant a starting place for Erik Johansson, and overall they improved.
It did much to capture the nature of their game when Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasted what appeared their finest chance midway through the second half. A left-wing cross made its way through Italy’s penalty area but, despite space from directly in front of goal, Ibrahimovic somehow missed the target and was saved from disappointment only by being ruled offside.
Italy threatened in the 82nd minute, when Marco Parolo headed Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross against the crossbar.With a draw looking inevitable, substitute Simone Zaza then headed towards Eder, and the striker classily dribbled through Sweden’s defence before equally impressively curling the ball beyond goalkeeper Isaksson. Sweden had a stoppage-time penalty appeal dismissed, and Italy held out.
That win sees Italy move top of Group E with 6 points. Belgium play Ireland tomorrow with both sides looking for a result in Bordeaux.
Man of the Match – Eder (Italy)
- Simone Zaza replaces Graziano Pelle 60 mins
- Thiago Motta replaces Daniele De Rossi 74 mins
- Stefano Sturaro replaces Alessandro Florenzi 85 mins
- Jimmy Durmaz replaces Emil Forsberg 79 mins
- Oscar Lewicki replaces Albin Ekdal 79 mins
- Marcus Berg replaces John Gudetti 85 mins
Italy – Daniele De Rossi,Gianluigi Buffon.
Sweden – Martin Olsson.