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Euro 2024: Switzerland stuns Italy, knocks out defending champions

Italy's best chance came in the first half when goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made a crucial save against Breel Embolo.

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Euro 2024: Switzerland stuns Italy, knocks out defending champions

In a shocking upset at Euro 2024, Switzerland eliminated defending champions Italy with a decisive 2-0 victory in the round of 16 on Saturday. This stunning result propels Switzerland into the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history.

Switzerland, under the astute guidance of Murat Yakin, outperformed the two-time Euro winners in a thrilling match at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The Swiss team, displaying tactical brilliance and relentless energy, capitalized on Italy’s lackluster performance.

Ruben Vargas set up Remo Freuler for Switzerland’s opening goal in the 37th minute. Just moments into the second half, Vargas himself scored with a beautifully curled shot, securing Switzerland’s lead and ultimately their victory.

Italy, missing key figures from their Euro 2020 triumph, struggled to match Switzerland’s pace and coordination. The Italian side, now under the direction of coach Luciano Spalletti, failed to produce any significant response.

Despite making six changes to the lineup, including dropping Jorginho for Nicolo Fagioli, Italy could not overcome the well-organized Swiss defense.

Granit Xhaka, who joined the Euros after an impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen, was instrumental in midfield, orchestrating play and ensuring Switzerland maintained their lead.

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Italy’s best chance came in the first half when goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made a crucial save against Breel Embolo.

However, he could not prevent Freuler’s near-post strike just before halftime. Switzerland’s domination continued into the second half with Vargas’s spectacular goal just 27 seconds after the restart.

Italy’s attempts to rally were ineffective, with substitute Mateo Retegui managing their first shot on target late in the game, and Gianluca Scamacca hitting the post. Ultimately, Italy’s efforts were in vain as Switzerland held firm to secure a historic win, marking their first victory over Italy since 1993.

With this win, Switzerland advances to face either England or Slovakia in the quarter-finals, while Italy exits the tournament, reflecting on what might have been.

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