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EURO 2020: Italy beat Wales as both teams advance to last 16

FOOTBALL By Reuters | June 20th 2021
Football - Euro 2020 - Group A - Italy v Wales - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 20, 2021. Wales' Gareth Bale shakes hands with Italy coach Roberto Mancini after the match. [REUTERS/Ryan Pierse]

Italy topped their group in the European Championship after a third straight win on Sunday, with a first-half goal from Matteo Pessina giving them a 1-0 victory over 10-man Wales, who also advance to the knockout stages of the competition.

The Italians had already guaranteed their progress, while Wales secured a berth too by finishing ahead of Switzerland on goal difference. The Swiss, who could still advance as one of the four best third-placed teams, beat Turkey 3-1 in Baku.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini made eight changes to rest most of his first-choice starters, but Italy still dominated and missed several chances either side of Pessina's 42nd-minute goal, when he steered a low Marco Verratti free kick into the far corner.

Italy celebrate after the match.  [REUTERS/Andreas Solaro]

Welsh centre back Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red card in the 55th minute for stamping on Federico Bernadeschi's foot, and Wales then missed their best chance of an equaliser in the 74th when Gareth Bale volleyed over the bar from close range.

Italy will next face the runners-up of Group C, while Wales will take on the runners-up of Group B. 

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