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Impressive in the group stage, Italy suffered on Saturday to defeat Austria in their round of 16 of Euro-2021. Chiesa and Pessina gave the advantage to the Italians during extra time (2-1).
Italy’s impressive unbeaten streak continues. Squadra Azzura went on to undefeated 31st game by beating Austria in the round of 16 of Euro-2021. A victory acquired with forceps: the Austrians held the draw until the end of regulation time before cracking during extra time (2-1).
After a first round played exclusively in its Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy made its first excursion away from home in this round of 16. Not enough to impress Marco Verrati’s teammates who quickly took control of the match thanks to his well-oiled collective.
Spinazzola quickly shoots the first arrow. He inherits a ball after an attack from Insigne and Berardi on the left side. His shot is too crossed (11th). Moments later, it was the turn of the Neapolitan striker to try his luck and force Bachmamn to fold (14th).
The Italians are now settling in the opposing camp and pushing back their opponent who very quickly loses the ball. However, they are struggling to materialize, colliding with a compact Austrian bloc that leaves few spaces. The most frank opportunity of the first period is to be attributed to a sudden inspiration from Ciro Immobile. The Lazio center forward shoots 25 meters in the axis and sends the ball to the right upright of the Austrian goalkeeper who had not moved (32nd).
Austria dangerous in the second half.
After returning from the locker room, Austria failed to surprise Italy. Arnautovic leaves alone behind the defense. He nicely feigns the strike in front of two defenders but finally misses his small curled shot from the right (47th). Then, a free kick from Alaba grazes the target (52nd).
The Italians, frustrated at not finding the fault, seem to lose the thread of the match. To the point of conceding a goal. On a long ball to the left of the Italian area, Alaba won with his head and put it back to six meters for Arnautovic who deceived Donnarumma. Fortunately for the Nazionale, the VAR detects an offside (66th).
Moments later, Italy is doing well again. Alaba charges with a long Austrian free kick to the left and sends the ball to the far post. Lainer is hooked by Pessina and collapses but the referee does not flinch because the Austrian was offside at the start of the action (73rd).
In the last moments of regulation time, the Italians regain color, in particular thanks to the impact of his replacements. They allow themselves a few fantasies, like this Berardi chisel on a center of Spinazzola who would have deserved a better fate (83rd).
Goals in overtime
The 22 players must finally play an extension to decide. Served to the right of the Austrian area, Chiesa strikes low to the ground and fails to open the entry scoring (94th). A minute later, the Turinese is at the reception of a cross from the inevitable Spinazzola. Chiesa controls the head, eliminates his vis-à-vis and cross strikes. Bachmann is crucified (1-0, 95th). Austria also when Pessina doubled the bet a few moments later (2-0, 104th).
Austria thinks to ignite the end of the match by reducing the score thanks to a diving header from Kalajdzic at the near post on the Austrian corner (114th, 2-1) but Italy will not give in twice.
After this debauchery of physical and mental energy, Roberto Mancini’s men will have five days to breathe before his quarter-final. Italy will face the winner of the clash between Belgium and Portugal, which will be played on Sunday.