Italy secured a 1-0 win over Sweden in Toulouse on Friday afternoon with Eder scoring a stunning solo goal to seal all three points.
— Corocha sport (@CorochaYT) June 17, 2016
Antonio Conte’s men were disappointing for the most part, as with the onus on them to create, they struggled before Eder stepped up late on to seal the victory to book their place in the last 16.
Having been widely praised following their display against Belgium, the Azzurri were still able to keep things tight at the back to record their second clean sheet in two games, and in turn it gave them the platform to snatch a late win.
Snatch a late win they did, and Conte will now be able to prepare for their clash with the Republic of Ireland in Lille on Wednesday night with a little less tension.
The Italy boss made one change from the side that won 2-0 against Belgium in Lyon earlier this week, but it was the Swedes who eventually had the best chance of the game in the second half.
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fortunate to see the offside flag go up after missing from a yard out, it didn’t take anything away from the delivery which should have been converted before the ball reached the back post.
Erik Hamren’s men struggled to create any other goalscoring opportunities in an otherwise drab game as they will now hope to book their place in the next round in their last group game.
Marco Parolo was guilty of missing a glorious chance just moments later, with the Lazio man sending his header crashing off the crossbar when he perhaps should have done better.
Italy were unable to find their rhythm in the game which led to frustrating spells of little to no action, but Conte will be delighted that his side found a way to secure all three points.
The Azzurri will now prepare to face the Republic of Ireland, and the future Chelsea boss may well decide to make various changes to rest key players but also to give others a chance to stay sharp and come in to do a job if required later in the tournament.