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European Football Championship 2024: Spain and Italy advance to the round of 16

European Football Championship 2024: Spain and Italy advance to the round of 16
European Football Championship 2024: Spain and Italy advance to the round of 16

The next teams are in the round of 16 at the European Football Championship: Spain will take the lead with a win over Albania. Croatia suffered a late blow against Italy. This also has consequences for England, France and the Netherlands.

Luka Modric sat on the bench, completely dejected, burying his face in an Italian jersey. Because defending champion Italy scored a lucky 1:1 (0:0) goal in the eighth minute of injury time in this decisive Group B match on Tuesday evening, the Squadra Azzurra qualified directly for the round of 16.

World Cup third-placed Croatia and its superstar from Real Madrid, on the other hand, are in danger of being eliminated in the group stage of this European Football Championship. With only two points, the team has very little chance of advancing as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group.

Modric became the oldest goalscorer in European Championship history in the 55th minute when he scored the 1-0 goal while falling, just 31 seconds after he had been denied a handball penalty by Italy captain Gianluigi Donnarumma. But Mattia Zaccagni’s late equalizer (90th+8) spoiled his historic day. With tears in his eyes, he thanked the fans after the game. It seemed like his sad farewell from the big football tournament stage with the national team in his 178th international match.

Italy’s coach Luciano Spaletti, on the other hand, said: “You believe it until the last second. And no matter whether you play well or badly – there can always be a moment that decides everything. Things happened that were totally illogical, that you can’t understand.”

Spain already advanced in Group B

Germany’s possible quarter-final opponent Spain also completed the perfect European Championship preliminary round with a B team and eliminated outsider Albania from the tournament. On Monday, the three-time European champions also won the last group match 1-0 (1-0) despite an XXL rotation by coach Luis de la Fuente. In front of 40,586 spectators in Düsseldorf, Ferrán Torres (13th minute) from FC Barcelona scored after a dream pass from Leipzig’s Dani Olmo. Spain, which had already been confirmed as group winners before the match, finished the preliminary round without conceding a goal and with the maximum haul of nine points.

For Albania, however, their second participation in the European Championship finals after 2016 ended with a group stage exit, just like eight years ago. The team coached by national coach Sylvinho finished last in Group B with just one point. Group winners Spain, on the other hand, will play against a third-placed team in the round of 16 in Cologne on Sunday.

Impact on other EM groups

Vice World Champion France, the Netherlands and England have qualified early for the round of 16 of the European Football Championship. The three top teams benefited from the results of Group B on Monday evening. France, the Netherlands and England each have four points and can no longer be displaced from one of the top three places in their group. If they finish third, they will definitely leave Hungary (three points, 2:5 goals) and Croatia (two points, 3:6 goals) behind and make it into the four best third-placed teams.

Austria is not mathematically qualified yet. But things are looking good for Ralf Rangnick’s team. With three points and a goal difference of 3:2, Austria can afford a two-goal defeat against the Netherlands on Tuesday (6 p.m.) and would remain ahead of Hungary and Croatia.

Source: Stern

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