Euro 2024: Spain beats defending champions Italy, England thwarted by Denmark

Spain secured a spot in the knockout stages of Euro 2024 with a 1-0 victory over Italy in their heavyweight clash on Thursday, after England struggled to show their credentials in a 1-1 draw with Denmark

Three-time winners Spain got the better of reigning champions Italy at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen as Riccardo Calafiori bundled the ball into his own net 10 minutes after half-time to decide the encounter.

A second win in as many matches for Spain is enough for them to secure top spot in Group B with a game to spare, meaning they already know they will play their last-16 tie in Cologne on June 30 against one of the best third-place finishers.

Italy, meanwhile, are not through yet but a point against Croatia in Leipzig on Monday will clinch second place in the group for Luciano Spalletti's team.

The sides were meeting at a fifth consecutive European Championship and Spain should have won by a far greater margin as they sought revenge for a defeat on penalties in the semi-finals at Wembley three years ago.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made several key saves while Lamine Yamal came close from distance in the second half for La Roja and the outstanding Nico Williams smashed a shot off the bar.

"I am delighted and proud not just with the result against a great side but with the way in which we got it," said Spain coach Luis de la Fuente.

"It's very simple, they were faster than us, compact and were right on top of us," Spalletti admitted. "We simply weren't as bright as them."

Denmark, though, were worthy of at least a point and got it thanks to a spectacular strike by Morten Hjulmand before half-time.

(AFP)


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