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Spain beat Italy to reach Euro 2024 knockouts

Spain edged past Italy 1-0 on Thursday to book a place in the knockout stages of Euro 2024, with the game settled by Riccardo Calafiori’s own goal in the second-half. 

La Roja had made a flying start to their Euro campaign by thrashing Croatia 3-0 in their opening match, and they also impressed yesterday at the Veltins-Arena. 

It was a dominating display from the 2012 champions but a series of superb saves from Gianluigi Donnarumma and poor finishing meant they couldn’t win by a bigger margin. 

Pedri forced Donnarumma to make a save within the first two minutes before Nico Williams flashed a header wide. 

The outstanding Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper then denied Fabian Ruiz by tipping over his long-range blast in the 25th minute. 

Spain kept up the pressure in the second-half as Pedri squandered a golden opportunity within minutes of the restart. 

However, their efforts were finally rewarded when Italy defender Calafiori turned Williams’ low cross into his own net. 

La Roja’s excellent wingers Williams and Yamal threatened to extend the scoreline but failed to hit the target. 

The 1-0 victory guarantees Spain will finish top of Group B regardless of what happens in their final group match against Albania. 

Meanwhile, Italy, who won 2-1 against Albania in their opening game, must avoid defeat when they face Croatia on Monday to ensure qualification to the knockouts. 

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