Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Italy, Spain meet for the fifth European C’ship in a row


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Dusseldorf , June 19: Defending champion Italy plays Spain on Thursday in one of the most anticipated games at Euro 2024.
Spain leads Group B ahead of Italy on goal difference after both teams won their opening games. Croatia and Albania are the other teams in the group.Italy survived a scare against Albania when Nedim Bajrami scored after 23 seconds – the fastest goal in Euros history. A 2-1 come-from-behind win avoided embarrassment for Luciano Spalletti’s team.There were no such concerns for Spain after a dominant 3-0 win against World Cup semi-finalist Croatia.Italy beat Spain on penalties in the semi-finals of the last Euros after a 1-1 draw through extra time at Wembley Stadium. The team, then coached by Roberto Mancini, also needed penalties to beat England in the final.
Build up to the last game in Gelsenkirchen – Serbia vs. England – had been overshadowed by concerns about fan violence. Eight people were temporarily detained following a brawl between fans. There has been less focus on potential security issues ahead of this game.Spain defender Aymeric Laporte has resumed training with the squad following a muscular issue. Kickoff at 12:30 am IST. (AP)


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