Euro 2020 began on Friday with a dominant second-half performance by Italy. After a first half that contained zero goals, the Italians scored thrice in the final 45 minutes to beat Turkey 3-0 from Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The first goal scored at Euro 2020 happened to be an own goal. In the 53rd minute, Merih Demiral scored in his own net as Italy took a 1-0 lead. Then, the Italians got two more goals 13 minutes apart from each other. Ciro Immobile, considered one of the elite players in Italian soccer, scored in the 66th minute, and Lorenzo Insigne scored in the 79th minute.
Immobile, a striker from Torre Annunziata, was in the right place at the right time. After an initial save by Turkish goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir, Immobile scored on the rebound. One could make the argument that Immobile has been one of soccer’s most natural goal scorers in recent years. In Serie A action in 2019-20, Immobile, who plays for Lazio, tied the Serie A record for most goals in a single season with 36. He tied Gino Rosetti of La Spezia, Italy, who had 36 goals for Torino in 1928-29, and Gonzalo Higuain of Brest, France, who had 36 goals for Napoli in the 2015-16 Serie A season.
Insigne, who is the captain of Napoli, scored on a beautiful stretch of passing by the Azzuri. He now has nine international goals for the Italians, while Immobile now has 14 goals in 47 games.
This is a very important time for Italian soccer as they try to rebound on the international stage after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In the second round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Italy was beaten 1-0 to Sweden.
The Italians were the only team from Group A to come away with a victory and collect a full three points from their opening game of Euro 2021. Switzerland and Wales played to a 1-1 tie on Saturday.
Photo Credit:Clement Bucco-Lechat, Creative Commons