It was almost looking like Italy’s unbeaten run would end during the game as Austria gave a very good account of themselves and pushed Italy to the limit before they were knocked out.
Austria came so close that Italy managed to record 52 percent of the ball possession, made just 47 passes more than Austria throughout the 120 minutes of the thrilling encounter.
Despite how tough the defense of Italy has proven to be under coach Roberto Mancini, Austria were able to record 16 shots, three of which were on target against them. While Mancini’s men had 27 shots, 6 of which were on target.
The game was so tough that Italy were not able to score a goal in the regular 90 minutes. They had to wait until the extra time before they were able to prove their superiority over Austria. Italy’s first goal in the game came in the 95th minute through a strike from Federico Chiesa.
In the 105th minute, Italy made it two, through the boots of Matteo Pessina. But Austria did not go down without a fight as they scored in the 114th minute, thanks to Sasa Kalajdzic’s strike.
The goal became the first goal Mancini’s men conceded in 2021 after 12 matches without conceding a goal. But the goal was not enough to end Italy’s 31 games unbeaten run.
Hence, Austria were sent out of the tournament after giving a good account of themselves while Italy are left to prepare for a quarter-final meeting with either Belgium or Portugal on Friday night in Munich, Germany.
After the game, the head coach of Italy national team, Roberto Mancini said he knew that the game would be as tough as it was for Italy because of Austria’s style of play and noted that his players gave everything to win the game.
“We knew we had to suffer because Austria are the typical side who do not allow to play well”, he said. “The substitutes made the difference for us, but everybody gave their best tonight. I’m happy because the lads gave everything to win even when we were tired.”
While the head coach of the Austrian national team, Franco Foda said he and his team were disappointed that they could not get the best of Italy. He went on to stress that the attention of the team would shift to how to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We are all disappointed, of course”, he said. “But the whole of Austria can be proud of this team. At the start, we wanted to attack high, but Italy were too strong and were able to play their way through our press. I have never received so many compliments from an opponent.
“It was incredible how the team kept it alive in extra time. It was a great game. You saw over 120 minutes that it was a very mature performance. Now it’s about backing that up when we return in September. You saw that the team was hungry and had a good spirit and a good plan. From September, we need to prepare ourselves as best as possible because we want to go to the World Cup in Qatar.”