Italy 1-0 Sweden: Late Eder wonder goal sends Italians through to last 16

Italy become the second team into the knock out stages after late victory over Sweden

Italy 1-0 Sweden: Late Eder wonder goal sends Italians through to last 16
Eder reels away in celebration | Photo: GettyImages
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Italy: Buffon: Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi (Thiago Motta 74'), Giaccherini, Florenzi (Sturaro 85'); Pelle (Zaza 60'), Eder
Sweden: Isaksson; Olsson, Granqvist, Johansson, Lindelof; Forsberg (Durmaz 79'), Kallstrom, Ekdal (Lewicki 79'), Larsson; Guidetti (Berg 85'), Ibrahimovic
SCORE: 1-0, min. 88, Eder.
REFEREE: Viktor Kassai (HUN). Admonished: De Rossi (min. 69), Buffon (min. 92), Olsson (min.92).
INCIDENTS: Matchday Two of Group E in Euro 2016 contested between one time winners Italy and 1992 semi-finalists Sweden

Italy and Sweden got the second matchday of Group E underway at 15:00 local time. The Italians came into the game having made pre-tournament dark horses Belgium look like ponies with a solid 2-0 victory while Sweden arrived at the Stade de Toulouse having drawn 1-1 with Republic of Ireland. The Italians also had the knowledge that a victory would see them through to the last 16, joining hosts France as the second team to do so.

The early encounters were largely spread between the sides with the first real action coming around the quarter of an hour mark. After missing the ball completely, Sweden's Sebastian Larsson recovered on the edge of the box and as he went to lay of talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the latter was bundled over by Andrea Barzagli in the box. To the dismay of jeering Sweden fans, a free kick was awarded the other way.

Ibrahimovic expresses pain having been bundled over | Photo: GettyImages
Ibrahimovic expresses pain having been bundled over | Photo: GettyImages

Action in the remainder of the half was limited to a scarce amount of off target efforts, with Ibrahimovic's header off a deep free kick probably the best of the lot. Cheap fouls also mounted up but no cards were produced on any occassion. A tight half arguably edged just by Sweden but the second half was either's for the taking.

Italy assert dominance early in second half

Italy came out the blocks quickly and Eder cut back for Graziano Pelle a minute or so into the half but the ball bounced up and Pelle fired high and wide. Pelle would make way for Simone Zaza as Italy pushed for the all important opener having started the second half on top. Just like Italy had the first substition, they also had the first booking and the honour was all Daniele De Rossi's after a rash tackle. The resulting free kick came to nothing as both sides continued to look for an opening.

The ball was whizzed across the box and Ibrahimovic was in prime position to net into an empty net but not only did he embarassingly miss the target but was also ruled offside having cleared the bar from a few yards out. 

Ibrahimovic hits over from close | Photo: GettyImages
Ibrahimovic hits over from close | Photo: GettyImages

Marco Parolo came agonisingly close with a header as he got on the end of an Emmanuel Giaccherini and headed off the bar with ten minutes to go. As play switched up the other end Swedish veteran Anders Granqvist headed over from a corner as both sides continued to search for an opener as the game neared a close.

Italy take lead late on

Eder broke the deadlock on the eighty-eighth minute picking the ball up on the corner of the box before dribbling through a handful of tackles and curling round Andreas Isaksson to give gli azzurri the lead. Eder, often critisicsed for not being very useful in the national team certainly picked a team to be very useful, sending his adopted nation into the last 16 with a game to spare.

Gianluigi Buffon was penalised for time wasting in injury time and in one of the last actions of the game there were claims for another penalty as Leonardo Bonucci sent Granqvist to the deck but Swedish calls again came to no avail.

Viktor Kassai blew for full time and on rushed every Italian player and member of the coaching staff towards hero Eder.