Euro round-up: Italy out of Euros, Germany book place in the quarter-finals

June 30, 2024 - 10:16
Switzerland's dominating performance in Berlin saw them defeat Italy 2-0 and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2024 European Championship, while the reigning champions were eliminated following a lacklustre effort.

BERLIN -- Switzerland's dominating performance in Berlin saw them beat Italy 2-0 and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2024 European Championship, while the reigning champions were eliminated following a lackluster effort.

Italy lost its Euro throne

Ruben Vargas celebrates scoring Switzerland’s second goal. AFP/VNA Photo

Coach Luciano Spalletti made six changes to the team that drew in their final group game, and they have never been so discrete.

In the 37th minute, Remo Freuler scored from inside the box after capitalising on another deft move that beat the Italian defence.

It also took Italy just 27 seconds from the restart of the second half to find themselves in even deeper difficulty. This time, Ruben Vargas, who assisted Freuler for his opening goal, turned finisher by curling a shot beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma's grasp.

The strike doubled Switzerland's lead made Italy's task almost impossible.

Italy attempted to create a comeback as the minutes passed, but they were outmatched. Their first and only shot on goal came from substitute Mateo Retegui in the 73rd minute.

It was more of a total demolition of Italy from beginning to end than it was a defeat. Switzerland finished the game with 91.8% passing accuracy while Italy managed just one attempt on goal.

"We sent out an important signal tonight with the game we played. We did not only club together and defend as a unit and sit back, we showed we could attack and dominate proceedings," Switzerland's head coach Murat Yakin told reporter after the game.

VAR ultimately defined Germany 2-0 Denmark

Kai Havertz scored a penalty to set host nation Germany on their way to a 2-0 win over Denmark that saw them march into the Euro 2024 quarter-finals. AFP/VNA Photo

Germany got off to a fast start, and within four minutes Nico Schlotterbeck leapt high to head into the net in a Toni Kroos corner. However, Joshua Kimmich's block of Andreas Christensen prevented the goal from being awarded.

The game was hit by a weather delay when thunder and lightning struck Dortmund, making referee Michael Oliver pause the match for more than 25 minutes in the 35th minute.

When play resumed, both sides continued to create danger in the penalty area but the first half ended without a goal.

In the 40th minute, midfielder Joachim Andersen quickly scored and celebrated the goal for Denmark. However, VAR appeared as a saviour for Germany, determining that midfielder Thomas Delaney was offside in the build up.

Not only that, just a few minutes later, in the 53rd minute, VAR confirmed that the ball touched Andersen's hand in the Danish penalty area in another situation. Germany received a penalty and took the lead thanks to Kai Havertz.

In the 68 minutes, Jamal Musiala skillfully curled his finish past Schmeichel low into the far corner after Nico Schlotterbeck's long pass split Denmark.

After coming off the bench, Florian Wirtz appeared to have added a third goal with a bold finish in stoppage time, but the offside flag disqualified him.

"In terms of statistics and data, it doesn't make sense. It's not how we are supposed to be using VAR. It's one centimetre," Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand complained of the offside decision.

Denmark finish Euro 2024 with a solitary draw from their three group matches.

Germany, meanwhile, are hoping to win big back home as they advance to the round of eight. -- VNS