Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Italy midfielder Davide Frattesi expressed relief as the European champions clinched qualification for Euro 2024 with a 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Leverkusen on Monday. After failing to qualify for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Italy’s successful qualification spares them from another tournament miss.

Despite finishing level with Ukraine at 14 points behind Group C leaders England, Italy’s superior head-to-head record secured their spot, having won 2-1 in Milan in September. Frattesi highlighted the team’s awareness of the challenge, stating, “We knew if we were unable to break the deadlock in the first hour, it would become really tough.”

The match’s true intensity was not fully reflected in the final score, with both teams creating several chances. Ukraine’s late penalty appeal was denied, further intensifying the drama.

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti, in charge for only three months, emphasized the challenge posed by Ukraine. Despite securing qualification, Spalletti acknowledged the need to elevate their performance, saying, “Now, the level will step up. Now, the fun begins.”

Midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo expressed confidence in Italy’s ability to compete as reigning champions, despite a nervy qualification campaign. Ukraine, forced to play the fixture in Germany due to the conflict with Russia, will now look to navigate the playoffs in March 2024 for a chance at qualification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *