Euro 2020 round-up: Italy, Denmark book their places in quarterfinals

London: Italy needed to fight until the extra time to see off their last-16 opponents Austria 2-1 at the European Championship in London.

Italy won all three group matches to advance into the last-16 round comfortably without conceding a goal. They travelled to London to take on Austria, who reached the knockout phase of the competition for the first time, reports Xinhua.

Since the start of the match on Saturday, the Azzurri launched attacks one after another. They could easily push to the front especially from the left flank with an active left defender Leonardo Spinazzola, but failed to score when facing the tough Austrian defence.

Their best chance in the first half came in the 32nd minute when Ciro Immobile’s curved long shot hit the left top corner of the woodwork.

After the interval, Austria threatened more often in the box while the Italian players showed signs of impatience.

In the 65th minute, Bayern Munich’s David Alaba headed the ball across the box and Marko Arnautovic nodded it in from close range. But a lengthy VAR check ruled out the goal for offside.

A scoreless tie in the regular time saw the game at Wembley go into extra time. Italy made the breakthrough soon as late substitute Federico Chiesa swept home an acute-angled shot near the post in the 95th minute.

Ten minutes later, Matteo Pessina added a second for Italy while Austria pulled one back with Sasa Kalajdzic’s header in the closing stages.

Italy will face the winner of the match between defending champions Portugal and Belgium in the quarterfinals.

Denmark beat Wales

Denmark thrashed Wales 4-0 to become the first team to enter quarter-finals of Euro 2020 football.

Kesper Dolberg (27th minute, 48th minute), Joakim Maehle (88th) and Martin Braithwaite (90+4th) were the scorers in a contest that became one-sided as the game progressed.

Wales, who fielded the playing XI that had beaten Turkey in the league phase, started confidently but failed to build on it.

Gareth Bale was once again the star of Welsh side. He hit a low shot early which went wide. He then teed up Aaron Ramsey but the Juventus player saw his effort get blocked by a well-drilled Danish defence.

Dolberg opened the scoring in 27th minute before he doubled the lead three minutes into the second half.

Maehle scored the third for Danes towards the end of the game off a stinging shot and it seemed 3-0 would be the final scoreline.

Braithwaite, however, got them the fourth in injury time. The goal came after a long VAR check.

(IANS)

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