Azzurra struggled to overcome Austria and only made it 2-1 after extra time. Meanwhile, Denmark staged a 4-0 thrashing against Wales and are still alive in the European Championship.
At the start of the match, which took place at Wembley Stadium, the Italians dominated the action, but the strong Austrian defense prevented goals.
However, those led by Marco Foda stunned Roberto Mancini in the 64th minute. David Alaba assisted team-mate Marko Arnautovic with a header, which resolved to put the ball into Gianluigi Donnarumma’s net. He celebrated it big, savoring his passage to the quarter-finals. But it didn’t take long for referee Daniel Siebert to wipe the smiles off Austrian faces. He disallowed the goal for a slightly forward position, after a VAR review.
Thus, the 90 regulatory minutes ended without a goal, forcing extra time. But very quickly Italy showed what it was made of. Federico Chiesa, who came off the bench in the 80th minute, dressed as a hero and opened the scoring for the Azzurra in the 95th minute, just at the start of extra time.
He received a cross from Leonardo Spinazzola, controlled, feigned against Konrad Laimer and finished powerfully at the far post to shout “present” with a magnificent goal.
In the 105th minute, Francesco Acerbi fought from the ground to assist his compatriot Matteo Pessina, who fired Daniel Bachmann’s goal to extend the transalpine advantage. Pessina came on in the 67th minute.
But Austria did not fall apart and continued to fight for a place in the quarter-finals. And in the 114th minute, a goal from Sasa Kalajdzic gave his team hope. The one who replaced Arnautovic at minute 97, took advantage of a corner kick by Louis Schaub to score with a header.
And although time gave no more, it was a more than worthy death for an Austria that never stopped believing and fighting. On the other hand, the Italians showed their first weaknesses in the tournament, those that we had not seen in the group stage. They were imprecise in attack and messy in defense. However, the changes made by both coaches were successful.
Italy will face the winner of the match between Belgium and Portugal for the quarter-finals. With this victory, they add 12 in a row and their 31st game without losing.
Denmark beat Wales 4-0 in the first round of 16 European Championship games.
The team led by Robert Page went from more to less. In the first 20 minutes they dominated the game and generated up to seven dangerous situations. But they failed to take advantage of the Danish mistakes and the first goal changed the history of the game.
It was scored by Kasper Dolberg in the 27th minute, who pushed the ball through the middle, looked for space and fired a powerful shot from outside the box towards the middle of the right post which went through the net of goaltender Danny Ward.
From then on, the Danes began to dominate the field. They took advantage of the good partnership between youngsters Mikkel Damsgaard and Dolberg to extend the advantage, which came in the 48th minute of the match.
Martin Braithwaite crossed the ball into the box after making a deep run down the flank but collided with newcomer Neco Williams and then fell at Dolberg’s feet. The Nice striker does not forgive the error and signs his double. When he was replaced by Andreas Cornelius a few minutes later, he was cheered by the approximately 4,000 Nordic fans in attendance.
Then Joakim Maehle put on the third. Mathias Jensen put the ball in the opponent’s box after a throw-in, and Maehle took advantage of his lack of a mark to shoot with his left foot and celebrate his goal.
Finally, Barcelona striker Braithwaite sealed the Danish victory in the 94th minute. He received a pass from Andreas Cornelius, faked it and destroyed the Welsh side’s goal. VAR had to check that he was not offside.
Although Gareth Bale’s side tried, they failed to break through the rival defense which, unlike the opening minutes, was tight and competitive.
With this victory, Denmark sealed their place in the quarter-finals. Next Saturday they will face the winner of the duel between the Netherlands and the Czech Republic as the Welsh side withdraw from the tournament.