Italy showed why it is one of the European Championship favorites with a 3-0 win over Turkey, matching the number of goals the Turks conceded in their entire qualifying campaign (10 games).
Friday, June 11
Italy 3 Turkey 0. Goals: Own goal 53, Immobile 66, Insigne 79.
Roma's Leonardo Spinazzola is one of many Italian players who we could be hearing a lot about over the next month. He lined up at left back for the Azzurri but showed how you beat an ultra-defensive team like Turkey. He often got into the attack, forcing Turkish keeper Ugurcan Cakir into a brilliant save that Ciro Immobile tapped home with the rebound for the second goal.
It took years for Spinazzola's career to take off -- he had seven loan spells at Juventus -- and admitted that the opening game was emotional.
“It was a perfect performance," he said in his TV interview. "We were patient, we moved the ball around well. Then afterwards I saw my son in the stands.”
9. The shutout was Italy's ninth in a row, its longest streak in more than 30 years.
Players on Spain, Sweden and Scotland have tested positive for Covid-19, but the first player to withdraw from the tournament after a positive Covid-19 test -- specifically, "an unfavorable result of PCR testing" -- is Russia's Andrey Mostovoy.
Mostovoy, a 23-year-old winger, plays for FC Zenit in St. Petersburg, where Russia opens Saturday against Belgium. He was replaced by 22-year-old Dynamo Moscow defender Roman Evgeniev.
Mostovoy, who was expected to contribute off the bench, is the tournament's first COVID casualty, the first player who has been replaced due to the virus since teams submitted their final rosters to UEFA.
Saturday, June 12
9 a.m. Group A – Wales vs. Switzerland ESPN, PrendeTV
Noon Group B – Denmark vs. Finland ESPN, PrendeTV
3 p.m. Group B – Belgium vs. Russia ABC, PrendeTV