PARIS, Sporting Alert – Italy put on an impressive display to end Spain’s European Championship reign, after beating the two-time defending champions 2-0 in the Euro 2016 round of 16 on Monday.
In the day’s other game, England was shocked 1-0 by minnows Iceland, which forced manager Roy Hodgson to resign as the Three Loins manager and the English media are all over this, as expected.
ITALY IMPRESSIVE 2-0WIN OVER SPAIN
At Stade De France, Italy showed why they are being regarded as a title contender, after Antonio Conte out whizzed Vicente Del Bosque, tactically, in his team’s 2-0 victory over Spain.
Centre-back Giorgio Chiellini poked the ball from close range in the 33rd minute to give the Italians the lead, after Spain goalkeeper David De Gea parried Eder’s free kick into his path.
De Gea, who made four world-class saves to keep Spain in the game, got down low to stop the set piece and then blocked Emanuele Giaccherini’s follow up from the rebound.
However, Spain defenders were too slow to react, allowing Chiellini to pounce first to poke home into the net.
The defending champions pushed for a goal in the closing minutes, but that only opened them up for a counter-attack, which was smartly taken by Graziano Pelle, who blasted home a second for Italy in injury time.
The final score on the day could have been larger if not for De Gea, who denied Pelle and Giaccherini with super diving saves in the first half, while coming out to block Eder’s shot on a one-on-one breakaway in the 55th minute.
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was also in good form for the runner-ups from the last championships.
The Juventus veteran came up big time in the second half, including a diving save in the 89th minute off a Gerard Pique’s shot.
Italy will now face Germany in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Bordeaux.
ENGLAND STUNNED 2-1 BY ICEMEN
Meanwhile, Iceland rallied from a goal defeat England in its Euro 2016 round of 16 battle in Nice, and pulled off one the biggest shocks in European Championship history.
Wayne Rooney converted from the penalty spot in the fourth minute to give England the lead, but Iceland took no time in clawing back into the game.
A long throw in was not handled well by England and it allowed Ragnar Sigurdsson to fire home the equaliser in the sixth minute.
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson punished England again in the 18th minute, after goalkeeper Joe Hart failed to stop his driving shot from outside the area.
After the defeat, Hodgson, who was reportedly set to be fired by England, resigned from his post immediately. His assistant coach Gary Neville also left his post as well.
Iceland, which was criticized by Cristiano Ronaldo for celebrating after gaining a point against Portugal, will next play France in Saint-Denis on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
Reporting from Euro 2016 by Jeff Brod and Walter Hoyas