Italy Defeated Turkey With 3-0 Goals
In the opening match of the 2020 European Championship in Rome on Friday, Italy defeated Turkey 3-0 thanks to three second-half goals.
The biggest footballing event since the coronavirus brought the world to a halt kicked off Friday at the Stadio Olimpico, a landmark both for European and world sports, after being postponed by a year.
Italy, led by Roberto Mancini, entered the match on a 27-match winning streak, and their form was evident early on as the Azzurri dominated possession and went close with a pair of headers from corner kicks just past 20 minutes in.
Italy ratcheted up the pressure as half-time approached. After some intricate build-up play, Ciro Immobile was sprung in the box only to fire right at Turkey keeper Ugurcan Cakir as the teams went into the break locked in a 0-0 draw.
“We have played many teams that have done what Turkey did this evening. They put everyone back there, give you little space and make it hard for you to score,” said Mancini. The lads, on the other hand, were patient. We waited, kept playing, and tried to score, and eventually we did. The lads performed admirably. Even if they [Turkey] put everyone back in, if you give one goal away on the break, the game changes.”
When Merih Demiral inadvertently chested the ball into his own net from a Domenico Berardi cross, the pressure on the Turkish defence finally paid off. Italy took the lead shortly after the restart. Italy’s second goal came after a goalmouth scramble, with Immobile pouncing on a loose ball in front of the Turkish goal and firing home to double Mancini’s side’s lead.
First Goal Shot By Lorenzo Insigne.
After Turkey’s Cakir hooked a goal kick right to the opposing side, Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne curled home a beautiful first-time shot in the 79th minute to put the game away for Italy.
Italy’s third goal made history by becoming the first team to score three goals in a Euros match in their 39th appearance. “It was critical to get off to a good start here in Rome, and it’s a joy for us and all Italians,” Mancini told Rai. “It was a fantastic evening, and I hope there will be many more, but we still have six games left before Wembley.”
In Group A, Turkey will face Wales, while Italy will face Switzerland, with both games taking place on Wednesday, June 16. The 16,000-strong crowd was in fine voice by kick-off after a spine-tingling performance by opera singer Andrea Bocelli, a spectacular fireworks display, and a typically raucous rendition of Italy’s national anthem.
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy was determined to make a strong start five years after their last major tournament appearance, and they did so.
Throughout the first half, the visitors were content to sit deep and invite pressure. And rarely venturing into the Italian half, but Mancini’s side were left frustrated in their efforts to break through the wall of red shirts.
Cakir made a spectacular one-handed save to tip Giorgio Chiellini’s header over, and Immobile nodded a cross wide as the hosts stretched the Turkish defence.
Italy Went Into Halftime With 14 Attempts
Italy went into halftime with 14 attempts to none for Turkey. Insigne curled a shot straight at Cakir from the edge of the box, and Immobile fired into the keeper’s arms.
Berardi sent a cross into the 6-yard box, where Demiral chested the ball into the net, marking the first time in European Championship history that the tournament’s first goal was an own goal.
Immobile doubled Italy’s lead by pouncing on Cakir’s parry from another Spinazzola effort, and Manuel Locatelli’s low effort was palmed wide before Spinazzola’s shot was beaten away.
“In the first half, we showed patience,” Immobile said. “Turkey is a strong team that has caused problems for many top teams.” We tried to tyre them out by moving the ball left and right and spreading them out. Unfortunately, we had a lot of trouble breaking through their defences.
“Turkey was tired after the break.” After the first goal, they needed to clear some space, and that’s when our quality showed.”
With 11 minutes remaining, the Azzurri’s dominance was rewarded once more when Immobile threaded a pass to Insigne, who finished precisely into the bottom corner.
Mancini told his players in the pregame press conference that they should have fun and try to entertain the crowd, and that’s exactly what they did in front of a raucous home crowd.
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