Italy made history on Sunday as they stretched their unbeaten record with a 1-0 win over Wales while Switzerland outclassed Turkey to keep their hopes of progressing to the round of 16 alive in Euro 2020.
Matteo Pessini’s 39th-minute goal made all the difference as the Azzurri held on to their lead against Wales, who lost defender Ethan Ampadu after he got a straight red card for his clumsy challenge on Italian forward Federico Bernardeschi in the second half.
Italy made Euro history with this win by becoming the first team to maintain successive clean sheets in the first three games of the tournament and stretched their unbeaten run to 30 matches, equalling the world record set by them in 1930. This is also their 11th win in a row.
EURO 2020 HIGHLIGHTS
“It’s important that the identity of the team remains the same, as changing three or four players shouldn’t make any difference. They all know what to do and the end product doesn’t change,” Italy manager Roberto Mancini said.
“They all proved today that everyone here is a first-choice player,” the coach added. “Winning wasn’t even necessary, which made it difficult in terms of mentality, but we fought for the win anyway and that shows so much,” the Italian added.
Wales, despite the defeat, managed to finish in second place and qualify for the knockouts with Italy, who finished on top of Group A. Chasing only its second European title, Italy will play the second-place team from Group C at Wembley Stadium in London next Saturday. Wales will play the second-place team from Group B in Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, the Swiss produced a masterclass in Baku to beat Turkey 3-1 with Xherdan Shakiri scoring a brace.
Switzerland took the lead very early in the match when Seferovic scored in the 6th minute to break the deadlock. Shakiri then hit two goals either side of the break while Steven Zuber had three assists in the game for the Swiss, equalling the record set by Turkey’s Hamit Altntop against the Czech Republic in 2008.
“We reacted after the defeat with Italy,” Shaqiri said, referring to the 3-0 loss in Rome on Wednesday. “We played like a unit and that was crucial today against this team. We knew that if we’re good, we’re going to create a lot of chances today against this team and we did.”
Turkey exit the competition after a third straight defeat while the Swiss hope to progress to the last 16 as one of the best third-placed teams after finishing level with second-placed Wales on four points but behind on goal difference.