Wales beat Italy 1-0 to secure their place in the second round of Euro 2020. Wales finished second in Group A behind Switzerland, who beat Turkey 3-1. Robert Page’s side played with 10 men after Ethan Ampadu was sent off for a lunge on Federico Bernardeschi. The result ensured they kept their destiny in their own hands as one of the four best third-placed teams.
WALES’ NERVOUS WAIT
This become a way more anxious afternoon than Wales had envisaged in Rome.
Their triumph over Turkey last Wednesday had place them inside touching distance of the knockout stages, knowing even a defeat was unlikely to halt their progress – however needing a draw to take care of it.
With their probable last-16 tie in mind, Page benched the 3 players – Kieffer Moore, mountain Davies, and Chris Mepham – who were one yellow card far from suspension.
There was conjointly a amendment of formation as Wales switched to a 3-4-3 wherever a back 3 became greatly a back 5 throughout their long spells while not possession against a formidable Italy aspect.
The Azzurri dominated from kick-off, dominant the ball and hemming Wales into their own [*fr1] for what felt just like the length of the match. Page’ side was living dangerously, with Italian shots deflecting wide or into the hands of Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward, before their luck finally ran out once Pessina flicked in from Marco Verratti’ free-kick.
There was a myriad of different chances, however; sort of a battered boxer threatening to land one decisive blow, Wales had opportunities of their own with Chris Gunter heading over and Gareth Bale prodigally clearing the bar with a left-footed volley.
Snatching a draw at Stadio Olimpico would are a heist of the best order, but those misses well-tried educational due to the goalkeeping of Ward and also the bloody-minded defensive of these ahead of him.
ITALY UNDERLINES ITS TOURNAMENT CREDENTIALS
A 3rd win from 3 cluster matches underlined Italy’ credentials as potential monetary unit 2020 champions. As four-time world champions and former winners of this competition, they’re accustomed being among the favorites – however this team is different.
Italian soccer is historically related to defensive rigidity, a perspicacity allied with occasional pessimism to bring forth slim victories. Before this summer, that they had ne’er scored over 2 goals in an exceedingly single monetary unitpean Championship game.
At Euro 2020, however, they won each their gap fixtures 3-0 against Turkey and Switzerland, wiggling with a new panache. Manager Roberto Mancini created eight changes but, with some of those recalled together with Paris St-Germain midfielder Verratti and Italy’ high scorer in qualifying Andrea Belotti, this was still a formidable line-up.
The actual fact that their goal came from a mixture of 2 of their recalled players – Verratti aiding Pessina – illustrated Italy’ desirable strength in depth.
Such was the authority of their display, there was ne’er any doubt they’d create it eleven wins in succession – and there have been seldom any moments after they gave the impression of concession a primary goal in additional than 1,000 minutes. Fortuitously for Wales, however, Italy couldn’t augment their lead.
This loss in Rome can rank aboard the 2-0 defeat in Bosnia & Herzegovina – the night Wales qualified for monetary unit 2016 – in concert of the simplest defeats in Welsh soccer history.