Italy remains nervous to beat Austria and reach the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 | Euro2020 news


Italy hit twice in overtime to beat Austria 2-1, setting up a quarter-final against Belgium or Portugal.

Substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina attacked in overtime, while Italy won the battle against Austria 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 at Wembley on Saturday.

Both teams were held to a 0-0 lead after 90 minutes in London, with Italy enjoying the best of the first half, but Austria outraged Roberto Mancini in the second period.

Chiesa struck early in the extra time to calm Italy’s nerves and another goal from Pessina set up a quarter-final against the winners of Sunday’s draw between Belgium and the Portuguese starters, despite the late drama .

After winning Group A with a 100 percent record after playing all three games in Rome, Italy were on the road for the first time in the tournament.

Mancini made seven changes from the side he beat in Wales when Marco Verratti started in place of Manuel Locatelli in midfield, while Giorgio Chiellini failed again with a hamstring injury.

After getting another exciting rendition of their national anthem with broad support from the largely Italian crowd, the Azzurri began alive.

Leonardo Spinazzola’s fine footwork caused nothing but headaches for Italy. The keeper wasn’t fooled however, and confidently scooped up the ball.

Italian fans celebrate in Piazza del Popolo after Federico Chiesa scored the team’s first goal in extra time [Remo Casilli/Reuters]

Lorenzo Insigne was caught napping as Verratti lifted a ball over him following a free kick, but the ball hit the bar, rebounding into the keeper’s arms. Daniel Bachmann.

Nicolo Barella’s low volley from the center of Spinazzola forced Bachmann to save with his legs.

Austria got a chance to level the score as Marko Arnautovic suddenly found himself free with only the ‘keeper to beat, but the finishing shot hit the bar.

Disappointed by this fright, Italy immediately returned to the attack.

Ciro Immobile was just inches away from putting them ahead when the Lazio striker whipped a bold 20-yard attack against the woodwork with Bachmann rooted in place.

Even putting two men in Spinazzola couldn’t contain him and the enterprising defender stepped in from the left to try Bachmann with a low drive.

Despite all its possession, Italy had no vanguard to kill the Austrians.

Mancini’s men almost shot to the foot at the start of the second half when Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s unnecessary thrust granted a free kick that David Alaba finished off.

Austria competed jovially and Marcel Sabitzer’s effort took a bad deflection from Bonucci before blinking.

Arnautovic thought he had given Austria a shock lead in the 65th minute when he headed home with a header from Alaba, but the former West Ham striker was deemed to be out of action after a long revision of the VAR.

Italian Leonardo Bonucci celebrates with his teammates after the match [Carl Recine/Pool via Reuters]

Denied by VAR

VAR again denied Austria when its penalty appeal was rejected after Pessina collided with Stefan Lainer.

Substitute Locatelli ruined his effort and Domenico Berardi threw a foul on the bike hard as it increased Italy’s frustration.

The match was in overtime, but Italy soon left its mark.

The impressive Spinazzola found Chiesa, who controlled the ball and came in from close range five minutes into the extra half hour.

Italy ended the tie ten minutes later, when the ball fell to Pessina, and climbed home before running towards the corner flag and throwing themselves onto the grass.

But there was still time for the late drama, when Sasa Kalajdzic, Austrian, leaned in to finish the ball at the head of the post from a corner with just over five minutes to go, but his frantic final efforts went be in vain.

Fans in Italy celebrate the team’s victory on Saturday [Remo Casilli/Reuters]

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