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Italy Pushed Out of Euro 2024 As Switzerland Win 2-0 in Round of 16

Switzerland vs Italy (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

A pair of outstanding strikes from Remo Freuler and Ruben Vargas propelled Switzerland past defending champions Italy, knocking them out of the European Championship in the round of 16.

Italy’s performance under Luciano Spalletti was marred by a lack of direction and numerous errors.

Though the Swiss defended robustly, Italy’s lackluster passing and poor decision-making made the Swiss job easier. Italy frequently gave the ball away in central areas and failed to apply effective pressure, sealing their exit.

The match began slowly on a sweltering evening in Berlin. Switzerland had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 24th minute when Breel Embolo was through on goal, but his attempt to outwait Gianluigi Donnarumma failed, with the Italian goalkeeper easily saving his curled shot.

Switzerland looked more like the defending champions, breaking the deadlock 13 minutes later with a well-crafted goal.

The Swiss pulled Italy’s defense out of position, allowing Freuler to hammer home from a precise pass by Vargas.

Spalletti’s half-time talk didn’t spark a turnaround, and his team found themselves two goals down within a minute of the second half.

Switzerland Win Over Italy (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

Italy’s sluggish defense could only watch as Vargas curled a spectacular shot into the top corner.

Switzerland nearly gave Italy a chance to get back into the game in the 51st minute when Fabian Schar’s glancing header wrong-footed keeper Yann Sommer. Sommer could only watch as the ball hit the far post before being cleared.

As time dwindled, Italy’s players seemed unable to penetrate the Swiss defense, resorting to long-range shots that posed little threat to Sommer.

The woodwork thwarted Italy again in the 74th minute when Gianluca Scamacca’s close-range shot struck the near post. This was the closest Italy came, and fans began leaving the stands well before the final whistle, stunned by their team’s lackluster performance.

“That goal at the start of the second half cut our legs, we weren’t very incisive,” said Italy coach Spalletti after the game. “What made the difference is the pace; we had a pace that was too inferior to them in the first half. Even in the individual players there was a different pace.”

As the match concluded, Swiss fans celebrated, knowing their team would advance to face the winner of Sunday’s tie between England and Slovakia in Dusseldorf next Saturday.

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