After squeezing past Austria in extra-time to reach the Euro 2020 quarterfinals, Italy coach Roberto Mancini said he had expected Saturday’s clash to be more challenging than his side’s next tie against either Belgium or Portugal.

The game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes before goals from substitutes Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina were enough to send the Italians through, although Sasa Kalajdzic’s late goal led to a nervy ending.

Euro 2020: Italy beats Austria 2-1 with extra time goals to reach last eight


Italy was favourites to progress after winning all three group games but it was far from its free-flowing best as it edged Franco Foda’s side to book a last-eight showdown against Belgium or Portugal.

“We knew there would be some potential banana skins in this match and we thought it might even be tougher than the quarter-final,” Mancini told a news conference.


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