Italy Open Euro 2020 With Record-Breaking Win Against Turkey
Italy came into the game against Turkey in Rome on the back off a 27-match unbeaten run.
Italy produced a statement like performance against Turkey, in front of a noisy Rome crowd, kicking off the 2020 European Championship with a resounding 3-0 win on Friday.
Interestingly, it was for the first time in 39 games in the Euros, that Italy scored 3 goals. The result also meant Italy had kept a clean sheet for the 9th consecutive game and their second longest run since the 10 games between November 1989 and June 1990.
The Italians came into the game with a 27-match unbeaten run and the reason was well and truly on display as they made light work of Turkey in their Group A match. After humiliatingly failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy came back on track with a perfect qualifying campaign of 10 wins in 10 matches.
The pattern was set early on game with Italy controlling most of the possession in Turkey’s half, who hardly troubled Gianluigi Donnaruma.
For the most part, Turkey stayed narrow in defense and kept the Italians out as they threatened an onslaught in the first half. After the water break, Italy raised their game by a few notches, producing a dominant display to mark the opening night of the tournament.
Roberto Mancini’s side, who hadn’t lost a single game in the qualifiers, got their first real sight of goal when Lorenzo Insigne found a pocket of space on the left inside the box, but was unable to curl in Domenico Berardi’s well weighted ball.
Halfway into the first period, Giorgio Chiellini almost broke the deadlock with fierce header which was saved by Ugurcan Cakir after the Italian was left unmarked for a corner. Forwards Insigne and Ciro Immobile tried to give their side the lead going into the break, but Turkey’s young and gritty unit kept shape and kept them at bay.
Both sides looked to up the intensity early in the second half with Turkey, who were thoroughly out-passed, getting their first shot on goal in through Cengiz Ünder, which was duly saved by Donnaruma.
A minute later the task became tougher for Turkey as Merih Demiral deflected Berardi’s sharp cross from the right into the back of his own net off his stomach to give Italy the lead. This was the first time in the competition’s history that the opening goal had been an own goal.
Hosts on the night, Italy, then doubled their lead a little later when Immobile was on hand to tuck home the rebound after Leonardo Spinazzola’s shot was saved by Cakir.
Insigne put the tie beyond and sealed the points for Italy in the 79th minute as he curled home a beautiful first-time shot from the left.
Turkey will face Wales next in Group A, while Italy play Switzerland, with both games slated for 16 June.
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