European Championship - Group E

Italy 1-0 Sweden

By Gary RoseBBC Sport

Italy are through to the last 16 of the European Championship finals after Eder struck late on to beat Sweden.

The game looked to be heading towards a dull goalless draw before Eder raced onto Zaza's knockdown to drive home from the edge of the box.

Sweden failed to produce a shot on goal for the second successive game, with captain and star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic kept quiet throughout.

Italy are top of Group E with six points while Sweden are third on one.

Hard to beat and clinical in attack

Italy have scored three goals and conceded none in their two games so far

Prior to the tournament, Italy boss Antonio Conte had played down his side's chances of success in France, citing an ageing squad and a lack of upcoming talent as reasons for fans to temper their expectations.

In their opening group game at Euro 2016, they caught the eye as they outfoxed one of the tournament favourites in Belgium with patient and well-organised football.

They found joy in that game by getting between Belgium's lines, quickly turning defence into attack against a side that - while packed with individual talent - looked disjointed.

Italy, though, had no such luck against a conservative Sweden side, who were content to sit deep.

Italy goal against Sweden in Euro 2016
Eder's place in the team had been questioned after a record of just two international goals prior to this game, but coach Antonio Conte kept faith with the forward and was rewarded with the winner. Eder (17) had played for 88 minutes but found the energy to cover plenty of distance and pick up Zaza's knock down before racing to the edge of the box and scoring

For 88 minutes, the tactic worked but this Italy side is built upon a foundation of being defensively solid and clinical in attack.

That latter quality was illustrated when Brazilian-born striker Eder scored in the closing stages with only Italy's second shot on target, driving brilliantly into the left corner of Andreas Isaksson's net.

Zlatan struggles to make an impact

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, pictured here scoring against Italy at Euro 2004, has scored six goals in 12 games for Sweden, but failed to make much impact against Italy

Ibrahimovic is well versed in the defensive style of football Italy is famed for, having spent seven seasons in Serie A playing for Juventus, Milan and Inter.

But prior to Friday's game, Ibrahimovic had faced the Azzurri just once before - at Euro 2004.

He scored with an outrageous flick late in that game, denying Italy a victory that ultimately cost them a place in the knockout stages.

It would have taken another piece of individual brilliance for him to score against Italy again, as Sweden's lack of creativity offered him little to work with, a scenario that often saw him dropping deep in order to build an attack.

The former Paris St-Germain forward did balloon a shot over from three yards out but his blushes were spared by the offside flag.

A second game without a goal for Ibrahimovic means his wait to become the first player to score in four European Championships goes on.

If the Swedes don't show significant improvement in attack in their final group game against Belgium, it is a feat he may never achieve.

Man of the match - Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini of Italy
Eder will grab the headlines but Giorgio Chiellini's typically excellent marshalling of the Italy defence helped keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet to ensure Sweden finished the game without a shot on target

What they said

Italy coach Antonio Conte: "Many were even doubting us going through and the fact we're into the last 16 after just two games is a huge satisfaction. I'm pleased for these lads because they deserve a lot and hope these wins gain us more confidence because we started with the wheels deflated and now we're trying to pump these wheels up with every game."

Sweden boss Erik Hamren: "We defended well and we really succeeded in closing down Italy's game, but it was only towards the end of the game that we lost a bit of concentration.

"I think Zlatan did what he needed to do in the last two matches. It was tough for him today because Italy defended very well, but we had more of the ball than we did against Ireland and of course a centre forward needs the support of wingers. Zlatan is one of the greatest forwards I have ever met. He is a winner and if he's disappointed, I think everybody can accept and understand that - we all are disappointed."

The stats you need to know

  • Three players started this game who also started the last time the two sides met at the Euro finals in 2004; Buffon for Italy and Isaksson and Ibrahimovic for Sweden (Kallstrom started in 2016 and came on as a sub in 2004).
  • Eder scored with his first shot on target of the Euro 2016 finals.
  • The goal, which came on 88 minutes, was also the first shot on target in the second-half of the game.
  • Sweden are the first side not to have mustered a single shot on target in their first two games of a European Championships finals since 1980.
  • There were just 12 shots overall in this game, the fewest in a single European Championships finals game since 1980.
  • Italy are yet to concede a goal at Euro 2016 and have kept four clean sheets in their last six Euro finals games.
  • There have been more goals scored at Euro 2016 in the last five minutes (11) than in the first-half of games so far (10).
  • Six different players have been involved in Italy's three goals in the competition so far (goals from Giaccherini, Pelle and Eder, assists from Candreva, Bonucci and Zaza).

What next?

Belgium and Republic of Ireland meet in their second Group E game on Saturday afternoon. Italy will stay top regardless of the result in that game and can wrap up first place by beating Republic of Ireland in their final group game on Wednesday evening. Sweden face Belgium at the same time and will realistically need a win to progress.



Formation 3-5-2

  • 1BuffonBooked at 90mins
  • 15Barzagli
  • 19Bonucci
  • 3Chiellini
  • 6Candreva
  • 18Parolo
  • 16De RossiBooked at 69minsSubstituted forMottaat 74'minutes
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 8FlorenziSubstituted forSturaroat 85'minutes
  • 9PellèSubstituted forZazaat 60'minutes
  • 17Éder


  • 2De Sciglio
  • 4Darmian
  • 5Ogbonna
  • 7Zaza
  • 10Motta
  • 11Immobile
  • 12Sirigu
  • 13Marchetti
  • 14Sturaro
  • 20Insigne
  • 21Bernardeschi
  • 22El Shaarawy


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Isaksson
  • 14Lindelöf
  • 3Johansson
  • 4Granqvist
  • 5OlssonBooked at 90mins
  • 7Larsson
  • 8EkdalSubstituted forLewickiat 79'minutes
  • 9Källström
  • 6ForsbergSubstituted forDurmazat 79'minutes
  • 20GuidettiSubstituted forBergat 85'minutes
  • 10Ibrahimovic


  • 2Lustig
  • 11Berg
  • 12Olsen
  • 13Jansson
  • 15Hiljemark
  • 16Wernbloom
  • 17Augustinsson
  • 18Lewicki
  • 19Kujovic
  • 21Durmaz
  • 22Zengin
  • 23Carlgren
Viktor Kassai

Match Stats

Home TeamItalyAway TeamSweden
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Italy 1, Sweden 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Italy 1, Sweden 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Erik Johansson (Sweden).

  4. Post update

    Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Victor Lindelöf (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Stefano Sturaro (Italy).

  7. Booking

    Martin Olsson (Sweden) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Booking

    Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Andreas Granqvist (Sweden).

  10. Post update

    Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Andreas Granqvist (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Simone Zaza (Italy).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Andreas Granqvist.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Italy. Conceded by Andreas Isaksson.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Antonio Candreva (Italy) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Thiago Motta.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kim Källström.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Italy 1, Sweden 0. Éder (Italy) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Simone Zaza with a headed pass.

  19. Post update

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Thiago Motta (Italy).

As It Stood






3Northern Ireland21012113


3Czech Rep201123-11


2R. of Ireland10101101


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