Italy beat Wales as both teams advance to last 16

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Italy topped their group in the European Championship after a third straight win on Sunday, with a first-half goal from Matteo Pessina giving them a 1-0 victory over 10-man Wales, who also advance to the knockout stages of the competition.

The Italians had already guaranteed their progress, while Wales secured a berth too by finishing ahead of Switzerland on goal difference. The Swiss, who could still advance as one of the four best third-placed teams, beat Turkey 3-1 in Baku.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini made eight changes to rest most of his first-choice starters, but Italy still dominated and missed several chances either side of Pessina’s 42nd-minute goal, when he steered a low Marco Verratti free kick into the far corner.

Welsh centre back Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red card in the 55th minute for stamping on Federico Bernadeschi’s foot, and Wales then missed their best chance of an equaliser in the 74th when Gareth Bale volleyed over the bar from close range.

Italy will next face the runners-up of Group C, while Wales will take on the runners-up of Group B.

Reuters

Photo Matteo Pessina (R, front) of Italy scores his team’s first goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 group A preliminary round soccer match between Italy and Wales in Rome, Italy, 20 June 2021. EPA-EFE/Ryan Pierse / POOL