Nepal | June 02, 2020

Italy beat Greece to secure Euro 2020 qualification

REUTERS
Share Now:

ROME: Italy secured a place at next year’s European Championship finals with three games to spare thanks to a 2-0 win over Greece at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

A second-half penalty from Chelsea midfielder Jorginho gave the hosts the lead before Federico Bernardeschi drilled in the winner 12 minutes from time.

Roberto Mancini’s side have won all seven of their qualifying matches and top Group J on 21 points, having ended fifth-placed Greece’s slim hopes of qualification.

Finland suffered a thumping 4-1 defeat away to Bosnia & Herzegovina but remain second on 12 points, two ahead of Bosnia and Armenia, who missed a golden opportunity to go joint second when they were held to a 1-1 draw away to rock-bottom Liechtenstein.

Italy, dressed in their controversial new green shirt for the first time instead of the usual blue, toiled during the first half as a well-drilled Greek side stopped the hosts from registering any shots on target despite them boasting 72% of possession.

Mancini’s side found the breakthrough when Lorenzo Insigne’s shot was blocked by the arm of defender Andreas Bouchalakis just after the hour mark, and Jorginho sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the resulting spot kick.

The result was put beyond doubt late on when substitute Bernardeschi fired a shot into the bottom corner from outside the box.

“We were too frenetic in the first half but should’ve patiently moved the ball around to open up spaces,” Mancini told Rai Sport. “Instead, we started long balls and that’s no good.

“It was a much more relaxed second half, we kept focused and achieved our objective.”

Victory assured Italy, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals, of top spot in their group and extended their winning run to eight matches in all competitions, one short of the all-time record set by Vittorio Pozzo’s side of 1938/39.

An intriguing battle for second place is developing after two goals from Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic helped Bosnia & Herzegovina to thrash Finland 4-1 in Zenica.

Izet Hajrovic and Armin Hodzic also found the net for the hosts either side of a penalty and volley from Pjanic, while Joel Pohjanpalo bagged a late consolation for the Finns.

Armenia squandered the chance to draw level with Finland on 12 points after they took the lead away to Liechtenstein through Tigran Barseghyan, only for Yanik Frick to equalise with 18 minutes remaining.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Artist Christo, known for wrapping exteriors of landmarks, dies at 84

Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist best known for his temporary installations based on wrapping the exteriors of landmark buildings, bridges and outdoor spaces, died on Sunday at age 84 of natural causes at his home in New York City. "Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming u Read More...

People opting to sanitise homes, office spaces as COVID-19 infections keep rising everyday 

Kathmandu Handsanitisers, gloves and masks were our first shield of protection against the spread of coronavirus. And now people have started sanitising their homes and offices as a precautionary measure as infections keep increasing nationwide.   Muna Thapa had never sanitised her Read More...

SpaceX's historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station

CAPE CANAVERAL: SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk’s company. With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control i Read More...

Dengue

Dengue, scrub typhus infection on the rise in Gandaki Province

POKHARA: Amid the spread of coronavirus contagion across several parts of the nation, dengue and scrub typhus cases too have become a worry some health issues with their steady rise in Gandaki province of late. According to the Health Directorate of the province, 16 persons have been infected wit Read More...

Protests over death of George Floyd turn violent again despite curfews, National Guard

MINNEAPOLIS: Looting broke out on Sunday in Southern California, a tanker truck drove into marchers in Minneapolis and demonstrators clashed with police in Boston and Washington, DC as the United States struggled to contain chaotic protests over race and policing. National Guard troops were deplo Read More...

Nepal volunteers become local heroes during virus pandemic

BHAKTAPUR: When the new mother died in the hospital last month — the first person to succumb to COVID-19 in Nepal — her days-old baby was moved to an isolation ward. But the woman's body remained. Ambulance drivers and hospital workers, fearful of the contagion, refused to move the corpse fro Read More...

 Season's 1st tropical storm drenches part of Central America

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR: The first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific season drenched parts of Central America Sunday and officials in El Salvador said at least seven people had died in flooding. President Nayib Bukele decreed a 15-day state of emergency to deal with the rains that began pou Read More...

Dailekh reels under scarcity of tests as people return to district in thousands

KATHMANDU: As thousands of people are returning home to Dailekh from India, the district faces a shortage of PCR tests, increasing the risk of widespread transmission of Covid-19 among the locals. Returnees from India, who are placed in various quarantine facilities in Dailekh district, are at a Read More...