Euro 2024: Spain Beat Italy To Qualify For Knockouts

Spain was able to secure their spot in the last 16 of Euro 2024 with another top performance against defending champions Italy in Gelsenkirchen. 

Despite scoring just the solitary goal, the Spanish team was able to create countless opportunities and dominated the 90 minutes. In the end, an own goal by Riccardo Calafiori in the second half was the only score in the match as Spain were victorious, 1-0.

UEFA Euro 2024 (2024 UEFA European Football Championship) logo is seen on a smartphone
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Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma kept Italy in the match, stopping Spain from scoring for almost an hour. First he tipped over a Pedri header in the first two minutes and later denied both Fabian Ruiz and Morata. He was eventually done in by an Alvaro Morata flick-on which was pushed into the net off the knee of Calafiori.

Spain’s Nico Williams had a chance to double the lead but struck the crossbar after an impressive run by teenage sensation Lamine Yamal. The youngster didn’t seem affected at all by the magnitude of the stage, driving through the Italian defense with ease. 

In total Spain had 20 shots and 50 attacks against a team that had historically been known for their defense. They were also able to dominate time of possession 58% to 42%.

Italy didn’t have much success on the offensive side of the ball with just three touches and in the opposition box and no shots on goal in the first half. The second half wasn’t much better as Italy got just the one strike on net which didn’t pose much of a threat of scoring.

Even with the loss, Italy still has a chance of progressing to the next stage with a win against Croatia on Monday. Their narrow 1-0 win over Albania may not have been impressive but did secure them three valuable points going forward.

Spain, on the other hand, will go into their last group stage match against Albania with no pressure. They have already advanced to the round of 16 with their wins against both Croatia and Italy.

England Draws Against Denmark, 1-1

Also on Thursday, England drew 1-1 with Denmark in Frankfurt, squandering a chance to secure their place in the knockout stages as Group C winners. A draw between Slovenia and Serbia earlier in the day meant that a win would’ve seen England through but a disorganized performance left English fans wanting.

On the bright side for England, Harry Kane scored in his fourth successive major tournament to give his team an early lead in the 18th-minute. It was from that point on that the team seemed to fall back into their shell and let the Danish team dictate play. It wasn’t long before Denmark got the equalizer when Morten Hjulmand blistered one from 25-yards out after 34 minutes. 

Phil Foden had a chance to put England back in front after halftime but ended up hitting the goal post. Jude Bellingham, who had the match-winner against Serbia, wasn’t his normal self as he struggled to get deep into Denmark’s territory. 

Kane and Foden were substituted out of the game around 69th minute, which was surprising considering they had been England’s biggest threats on the field throughout the match.

England are still at the top of their group but will need to make some significant improvements ahead of their game against Slovenia if they wish to stay there. Their midfield has not lived up to expectations thus far and will need to play much better if England are to make a deep run in the tournament.

Denmark are now in a solid position to advance to the next round as well but will likely need to beat Serbia in their last group stage match on Tuesday. If England lose to Slovenia and Denmark beats Serbia, there is still a chance that England could be left out of the round of 16.