Wales through to knockout stage of Euros - despite Italy loss

Wales have made it through to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 on goal difference - despite losing 1-0 to Italy. Their resistance was broken just before half-time when a smart free-kick routine from t

Wales through to knockout stage of Euros - despite Italy loss

Wales have made it through to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 on goal difference - despite losing 1-0 to Italy.

Their resistance was broken just before half-time when a smart free-kick routine from the Italians saw Matteo Pessina put the home side one up.

The pressure on Wales increased as group rivals Switzerland - playing at the same time - ended the first half 2-0 up against Turkey.

Matteo Pessina scored the opening goal in the 39th minute. Pic: AP
Image: Matteo Pessina scored the opening goal in the 39th minute. Pic: AP
Wales' Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red in the 55th minute
Image: Wales' Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red in the 55th minute

The Swiss were looking to replace Wales in second spot but knew they had to win to equal Wales' four points - and also hope for a big swing in goal difference

Wales, meanwhile, needed to draw or win to guarantee progress.

That task got tougher for Wales when Ethan Ampadu was shown a straight red card in the 55th minute for a late lunge on Federico Bernardeschi.

A small number of Wales fans were in the stadium
Image: A small number of Wales fans were in the stadium
Fans at Cardiff's Battle Bar celebrate getting to the next round
Image: Fans at Cardiff's Battle Bar celebrated getting to the next round

Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale missed good opportunities in the second half - with Bale blasting a close-range volley over the bar in the 75th minute - but the team clung on.

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Luckily for Wales, the Swiss couldn't score enough in their game in Baku - goals by Shaqiri and Kahveci made it 3-1 at the whistle.

Italy, impressive in the tournament so far, topped the group after winning all three of their games with clean sheets.

Wales' next game will be in Amsterdam on Saturday, with their opponents still to be decided.

Italy topped the group with three wins and three clean sheets
Image: Italy topped the group with three wins and three clean sheets

Meanwhile, England and Scotland both play their final group games on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate's side are in a strong position to qualify but will be looking to bounce back from their poor performance at Wembley with a win against the Czech Republic.

Scotland only have a point, however a win against Croatia could still be enough.