Italy continues to impress with their third win in Group A
Wales’ qualification was under threat because of Switzerland's win over Turkey. However, Italy proved that they’re the best in Group A with their third win against Wales in a 1-0 result. Matteo Pessina was the only goal scorer with Marco Verratti as the assist-man.
Wales proved that they’re a solid team in this group as they also secured a main stage berth. They secured an automatic berth to the main stage by defending well in this game as they only conceded one goal. They had a two-goal lead over the Swiss which cemented their spot in the top 16.
Italy showed their dominance over their past two games with a pair of 3-0 wins. This game was the closest win they had because they only scored once and they relied on their defence to help them win the match. It was tougher than usual but it was proof that Wales is a team that should not be overlooked because they forced Italy into a rough game.
Wales is back on the big stage
While Wales is always seen as a Gareth Bale-centred squad, they are one of the most overlooked teams in Europe. They have the ability to surprise other teams because of their scrappy play all around the lineup. Since they secured second place in the group, they will advance which was the silver lining behind the close 1-0 loss to Italy.
After the match, Bale talked about how this game played out and how they can improve on it in the future. He said, ‘There was a lot of defending, a lot of running and there are some very tired bodies out there. I'm proud of the boys, we wanted to try and get a result, but I guess it made no difference, we finished second anyway. We have to just recover again now’.
Bale made sure to greet Italy head coach Roberto Mancini during his presser. It was a good performance from Wales and it’s a sign that they can do even better in the future. They are an exciting team that deserves the hype they’re getting.
Italy is the titan of the event
When it comes to dominance, there was no other team better than Italy in the group stages. Other favourites like France and Spain have disappointed fans with bad results over their first few games. The only team that is comparable to Italy is Group B’s Belgium with two wins in the same amount of games so far.
Mancini should be credited for the team’s success since he brought new energy to the team. Italy’s defence broke down over the past few events but with Mancini at the helm, they look like the best team in the world. Fans should hope this Italian team can make it far because they have all of the tools to win.
Words: Cholo Martin