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Euro Cup: Italy suffered but debuted with success in a match full of emotions

Euro Cup: Italy suffered but debuted with success in a match full of emotions
Euro Cup: Italy suffered but debuted with success in a match full of emotions

Italycurrent European champion, survived on Saturday in front of 50,000 rival fans present in Dortmund and came back from a quick initial goal by Albania to start the Euro Cup with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.

Alessandro Bastoni (11) and Nicolo Barella (16) scored the goals of the ‘Nazionale’ victory, although the goal for which this match will be remembered was that of the Albanian Nedim Bajrami.

The Sassuolo attacker scored the fastest goal in the history of the tournament 23 seconds into the match, after taking advantage of a poor delivery by defender Federico Dimarco, to put modest Albania ahead in front of tens of thousands of fans present at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.

Accustomed to turning yellow every other weekend to support Borussia Dortmund, the legendary stadium was dressed in red on Saturday, creating an atmosphere similar to that of the Arena Kombetare, home of the Albanian team in the country’s capital, Tirana.

The team led by Brazilian Sylvinho, with up to five players from the Italian championship on the field, used the crowd’s push to destabilize the Italians in the early stages of the match.

As soon as the match started, Italy gave up a side near their area and Dimarco made a mistake when trying to pass the ball towards his central defender. Bajrami did not forgive, with a powerful shot at the near post that left Gianluigi Donnarumma with no options.

The clock only showed 23 seconds at the moment the ball crossed the goal line, making this conversion the fastest scored in the history of the Euro Cup.

After the goal, which fell like a bucket of cold water on a doubtful and traumatized Italy after failing to qualify for either of the last two editions of the World Cup, the ‘Azzurri’ began to impose themselves and gain meters, overcoming the momentum of the Albanians.

After a corner kick played short, Lorenzo Pellegrini placed a cross to the far post, where Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni jumped to return the score to a tie and calm the Italians.

And in a historic moment in which the European champion does not have a natural goalscorer, it was once again Nicolo Barella who, with a powerful shot from the edge of the area, put the Italians ahead with his tenth goal for the national team.

Although Italy had numerous opportunities to achieve a larger and more reassuring result, the scoreboard would not move, allowing the ‘Azzurri’ to start the tournament with victory in the complicated group B.

Luciano Spalletti’s men were on the verge of regretting their lack of success to close the match, when attacker Rey Manaj came close to equalizing in added time (90+1).

Source: Ambito

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