Italy Make a 3-0 win over Turkey in Euro 2020.
Italy waited a long time for this European Championship to start and then showed on Friday how eager the team was to play the first tournament.
After humiliatingly failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy was back on track with a perfect 10-win 10-match qualifying campaign. Now Roberto Mancini’s team has started its first major international tournament in five years with a convincing 3-0 victory over Turkey.
Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne scored after an own goal by Turkish defender Merih Demiral had given Italy the lead, all in the second half.
Demiral redirected a cross from Domenico Berardi to his own net after attempting to intercept the pass. Immobile then bounced off a Leonardo Spinazzola shot on another play that began with Berardi, and Insigne then settled in after a failed punt by Turkish goalkeeper Ugurcan Çakir.
Italy dominated from the start but was denied in the first half by a superb save by Çakir and a referee’s decision not to award a penalty for an apparent handball.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021
The victory extended Italy’s unbeaten streak to 28 matches and increased Azzurri’s status as title contenders.
The tournament, which is still called Euro 2020, started a year late due to the pandemic.
The Stadio Olimpico was still only 25% full due to coronavirus measures and fans sat in small groups at a safe distance from each other. Still, the crowd of about 16,000 was the largest gathering in Italy since the pandemic took hold.
Wales and Switzerland, the other teams in Group A, will play in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Saturday.
Italy seemed energized from the start and dominated possession, while Turkey sat back and waited for rare counterattacks.
In the first half alone, Italy produced 14 attempts, and Turkey none.
Midway through the first half, Çakir made an acrobatic save to deny Giorgio Chiellini. The Italy captain went unmarked on a corner kick and headed a header towards the goal before Çakir leaped up, extended his right arm in the air, and pushed the ball over the crossbar with his fingertips.
Italy protested vehemently for two balls in the match, but Dutch referee Danny Makkelie decided to keep playing.
First, Immobile’s shot appeared to be brought down by a defender’s arm. Then Turkey defender Zeki Çelik reached out and saved across from Spinazzola.
Çelik himself appeared to feel guilty, and quickly put his arm behind his body after making contact with the ball. There was a VAR check several moments later, but the decision to continue playing was upheld.
In the next set of group matches, Italy stays in Rome to play Switzerland, while Turkey travels to Baku to play Wales.
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