Football News Update: Euro 2024 Opener

In the highly anticipated Euro 2024 opening match, reigning champions Italy came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over a spirited Albanian side in Dortmund.

The match got off to a sensational start as Albania’s Nedim Bajrami scored the fastest goal in European Championship history, finding the net just 23 seconds into the game after taking advantage of a poor Italian throw-in.

However, Italy’s resilience soon shone through, and they were able to restore parity in the 10th minute. Defender Alessandro Bastoni lost his marker and guided a header across the goal after a cross from Lorenzo Pellegrini.

Just five minutes later, Italy had completed the turnaround. A weak clearance from Albania captain Elseid Hysaj fell to Nicolo Barella, who struck a sublime second goal from the edge of the area to put the Azzurri in front.

Italy had chances to extend their lead before the break, with goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha making impressive saves to deny Davide Frattesi and Gianluca Scamacca.

Despite Albania’s determined defensive display, they almost snatched a late equalizer, but former Watford striker Rey Manaj’s goal-bound shot was kept out by the inspired Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italy goal.

In his post-match comments, Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti praised his team’s resilience but acknowledged the need for improvement, particularly in their transition from defense to attack.

“The victory puts Italy in a strong position in Group B, as they look to defend their European Championship title won in 2021. Meanwhile, Albania will be disappointed not to have secured at least a point from their opening fixture.”

Football fans can look forward to more thrilling action as the Euro 2024 tournament continues to unfold.

๐Ÿ”— Source