Italy 1-0 Sweden: Eder late strike secures last sixteen spot

Italy 1-0 Sweden
Eder of Italy during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Italy and Sweden at Stadium Municipal on June 17, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Manuel Blondeau/Icon Sport)

By Andy Jones

  • Matteo Darmian is an unused substitute for Italy
  • Italians book last sixteen spot with second win

A late goal for Italy secured a second successive win in the group stages to book their place in the last sixteen of Euro 2016.

The winning goal came in the 88th minute through Inter Milan forward Eder. Eder raced onto Zaza’s knockdown to drive home from the edge of the area when the game looked like finishing in a goalless draw.

Darmian was an unused substitute, with Conte preferring Fiorenzi from Roma in the full back position.

Although Sweden had the lions share of possession, they couldnt make this count against an experienced and formidable italian backline.

Even with Zlatan leading the line, the Swedes failed to muster a single shot on target and now have only a slim chance of qualification going  into their final group game with the much fancied Belgium.

For the Italians, things look much brighter, having sailed through what looked on paper to be one of the toughest groups and now await to see who they will face in the knockout stage.

Unfancied at the start of the competition, they have once again proved they should never be underestimated when it comes to tournament football.

Zlatan and Sweden facing an early exit

Following the defeat to Italy, Sweden have just one point from their two games. In their final group game they will face Belgium, a game which both teams may need to win to qualify.

Zlatan Ibrahimović is Sweden’s star man but at 34 years of age, this will surely be his last European Championships, if not his last major tournament.

Should Belgium beat the Republic of Ireland in their second group game, it will leave Belgium on three points and Sweden and the Irish on one point.

 

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