Thursday, September 23

Pessina seals top spot for Italy as beaten Wales qualify for last 16

Italy extended their unbeaten run to 30 games — 25 wins and five draws — a feat last achieved under two-time World Cup winning coach Vittorio Pozzo between 1935 and 1939

Matteo Pessina scored as Italy made it three wins out of three at Euro 2020 by beating 10-man Wales 1-0 to finish top of Group A on Sunday with both teams advancing to the last 16.

Pessina’s goal means Italy will play the runner-up from Group C in the next round, with Wales facing the team that comes second in Group B.

In his 35th game in charge of the Azzurri who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Roberto Mancini’s side also matched an 80-year Italian record.

Italy extended their unbeaten run to 30 games — 25 wins and five draws — a feat last achieved under two-time World Cup winning coach Vittorio Pozzo between 1935 and 1939.

It was also an 11th consecutive win with a clean sheet for Italy who had already booked their ticket to the knockout rounds with a game to spare.

Italy will play Ukraine or Austria at Wembley on June 26 for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Wales, semi-finalists in 2016, suffered in a game they played a man down for most of the second half after Ethan Ampadu was sent off for a foul on Federico Bernardeschi.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Wales’ all-time leading scorer with 33 international goals, could not add to his tally missing a chance for the equaliser in the final quarter of an hour.

Wales coach Robert Page made three changes to his starting line-up, Ben Davies, Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore dropping to the bench with the trio one booking away from suspension.

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