Italy booked their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2016 after Eder’s late goal secured a 1-0 win over Sweden in Toulouse, Sky Sports reports. In a game of very few chances, Marco Parolo looked to have spurned the best opportunity when he headed against the bar in the 82nd minute.
However, Eder provided a moment of brilliance to snatch victory, driving across the edge of the box in the 88th minute and then firing home. Sweden did not muster a shot on target, for the second successive match, and will now probably need to beat Belgium in their final match to have any chance of qualifying from Group E.
Head coach Erik Hamren made three changes from the opening draw against Republic of Ireland, with John Guidetti starting ahead of Marcus Berg. Alessandro Florenzi came in for Matteo Darmian for Italy, who largely struggled to replicate the display that saw them beat Belgium so impressively.
The strike duo of Graziano Pelle and Eder were rarely involved in the first half, with Florenzi looking the brightest player down the left flank. Sweden enjoyed more of the possession but also failed to create anything of note, with neither goalkeeper tested before the break.
Pelle volleyed over early in the second half before his ineffective afternoon ended when he was subbed on the hour mark. Sweden continued to stifle Italy in the final third but were unable to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Guidetti into the game.
The best chance Sweden created came in the 72nd minute when Norwich’s Martin Olsson fizzed a ball across the box that Sebastian Larsson could not reach on the stretch and Ibrahimovic turned over the bar from an offside position. It seemed as though the game would be heading for a stalemate when Parolo headed against the bar from Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross.
But, in a tournament that has already seen its fair share of late goals, there was more drama in the final few minutes as Eder’s solo strike secured victory for Italy.
Italy: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Florenzi, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Candreva, Pelle, Eder.
Used subs: Sturaro, Motta, Zaza.
Sweden: Isaksson, Johansson, Lindelof, Granqvist, Olsson, Larsson, Ekdal ,Kallstrom, Forsberg, Guidetti, Ibrahimovic.
Used subs: Lewicki, Durmaz, Berg.
Man of the match: Eder.