Italy sink Belgium 2-0, Ireland draw 1-1 with Sweden in Group E matchups

Tuesday, 2016-06-14 11:24:15
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Emanuele Giaccherini scores the opener for Italy. (Photo: AP)
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NDO – Italy delivered a perfect start to their Euro 2016 campaign as the Antonio Conte side ease past Belgium with a score of 2-0 in the Group E match at Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium early on June 14. 

Emanuele Giaccherini opened the scoring for Italy in the 32nd minute. Receiving Leonardo Bonucci’s pass down the middle from the halfway line, Giaccherini patiently handled the ball before firing the ball past keeper Thibaut Courtois in a faceoff.

Graziano Pelle completed Italy’s convincing victory in stoppage time when he volleyed home Candreva’s cross from close range.

With the 2-0 win, Italy extended their unbeaten competitive run against the Belgians to 44 years, having last lost to them in a 1972 European Championship playoff.

The Monday triumph also put former European champions Italy on top of the section, with Sweden and Ireland having earlier shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, while the Belgium side, dripping with talent, now have plenty of work ahead to reach the last 16.

Italy next face Sweden on June 17, while Ireland and Belgium will meet each other in a June 18 encounter.

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