Italy keep the courage to beat Austria and reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 | Euro2020 News

Italy scored twice in overtime to beat Austria 2-1, preparing for a quarter-final against either Belgium or Portugal.

Substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina scored in overtime as Italy beat Austria 2-1 to reach the Euro 2020 quarter-finals at Wembley on Saturday.

Both sides were stuck 0-0 after 90 minutes in London, with Italy enjoying the best of the first half but Austria shaking Roberto Mancini’s side in the second half.

Chiesa struck early in extra time to calm Italy’s nerves and another goal from Pessina set up a quarter-final against the winners of Sunday’s clash between Belgium and Portugal, despite a late drama.

Having emerged as Group A winner with a 100% record after appearing in all three of their matches in Rome, Italy was on the road for the tournament for the first time.

Mancini made seven changes from the side that beat Wales as Marco Verratti started in place of Manuel Locatelli in midfield, while Giorgio Chiellini again missed the game with a hamstring injury -legs.

After singing another catchy rendition of their national anthem with broad support from the largely Italian crowd, the Azzurri got off to a dynamic start.

Leonardo Spinazzola’s buccaneer bursts from the left-back were a constant threat and he got the first sight of Italy’s goal with a wide blast from a sharp angle.

Italian fans celebrate in Piazza del Popolo after Federico Chiesa scores the team’s first overtime goal [Remo Casilli/Reuters]

Lorenzo Insigne was spotted by Verratti on the left side of the Austrian penalty area moments later, but his curling shot came too close to goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Nicolo Barella’s low volley over Spinazzola’s cross forced Bachmann to save with his legs.

Austria had a chance to take the lead on block when Marko Arnautovic scored on goal after passing Leonardo Bonucci, only to shoot wildly from the edge of the box.

Unperturbed in the face of this fear, Italy immediately returned to the attack.

Ciro Immobile was inches away from giving them the advantage when the Lazio striker struck a daring 20-yard strike against the woodwork with Bachmann rooted in the spot.

Even putting two men on Spinazzola couldn’t contain him and the enterprising defender cut to the left to test Bachmann with low training.

Despite all their possession, Italy did not have the point to kill the Austrians.

Mancini’s men nearly shot each other in the foot early in the second half when Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s pointless lunge conceded a free kick that David Alaba looped just over it.

Austria was fighting fiercely and Marcel Sabitzer’s effort made Bonucci deflect before taking off.

Arnautovic believed he gave Austria a shock lead in the 65th minute when he nodded with Alaba’s header, but the former West Ham striker was ruled marginally offside after a long examination of the VAR.

Italian Leonardo Bonucci celebrates with his teammates after the game [Carl Recine/Pool via Reuters]

Denied by VAR

Austria were again turned down by VAR when their penalty appeal was dismissed after Pessina clashed with Stefan Lainer.

Substitute Locatelli pumped up his chipped effort and Domenico Berardi sent a bicycle kick as Italy’s frustration increased.

The game went into extra time but it didn’t take long for Italy to win.

The impressive Spinazzola found Chiesa, who controlled the ball and hit point blank five minutes into the extra half hour.

Italy effectively ended the tie 10 minutes later when the ball fell on Pessina, and he broke through at home before rushing to the corner flag and throwing himself on the grass.

But there was still time for the late drama when Austria’s Sasa Kalajdzic leaned over to lead the ball to the near post from a corner with just over five minutes to go, but their last frantic efforts were in vain.

Italian supporters celebrate the team’s victory on Saturday [Remo Casilli/Reuters]

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