Nepal | August 12, 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:

849 passengers arrive on last day of fourth phase of repatriation

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 10 A total of 849 Nepalis were evacuated today via five flights. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) evacuated 151 passengers and Himalaya Airlines repatriated 149 passengers from Doha in Qatar. Himalaya Airlines also brought h Read More...

Dengue

Don’t let COVID-19 overshadow the risk of dengue

The human race is currently going through a scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, more than 200 countries have fallen victim to this virus. There are more than 4 million active cases acro Read More...

Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for coronavirus

NEW YORK: Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for COVID-19 and is celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine. The Spanish actor announced his positive test in a post Monday on Instagram. Banderas said he would spend his time in isolation reading, writing and “making plans to begin to g Read More...

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to b Read More...

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control. Read More...

Flooded Thopal River wreaks havoc on Dhading rural roads; settlements at risk

DHADING: Human settlements on the banks of Thopal River are at a risk of being swept away by flood triggered by incessant rainfall in Dhading district. Squatters and villagers residing on the river banks next to district headquarters Dhadingbesi have been terrorised as flow of water in the ri Read More...

Digitised interventions for social inclusion: Adapting to the unwelcomed crisis

Last year, two world-class wheelchair basketball coaches visited Nepal to conduct an intensive sports training aimed at raising the level of sports in the country. The training brought together more than 40 female and male wheelchair basketball players in Kathmandu - athletes and citizens living wit Read More...