Football: Italy open Euro 2020 with 3-0 win over Turkey

Football: Italy open Euro 2020 with 3-0 win over Turkey

APTOPIX Italy Turkey Euro 2020 Soccer
Italy's Lorenzo Insigne scores his side's third goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group A match between Italy and Turkey at the Olympic stadium in Rome, Friday, June 11, 2021. (Alberto Lingria/Pool Photo via AP)

ROME: Italy kicked off the European Championship with a convincing 3-0 victory over Turkey in Group A at the Olympic Stadium on Friday (Jun 11) with Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne on target.

Roberto Mancini's side had been frustrated by Turkey's defensive approach in the first half but broke through in the 53rd minute when a hard-hit cross from Domenico Berardi flew in off Turkey defender Merih Demiral for an own goal.

The Azzurri, now unbeaten in 28 matches, doubled their lead in the 66th when Leonardo Spinazzola's drive was parried by Turkey goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir but Immobile reacted well to slot home the loose ball.

Insigne made it 3-0 in the 79th minute with a confident, curling finish after some sloppy defending from the disappointing Turks.

READ: Football: Italy and Turkey get ball rolling as Euro 2020 begins under COVID-19 cloud

Italy Turkey Euro 2020 Soccer
Italian fans celebrate a goal as they watch the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey on a mega screen set in downtown Rome on Jun 11, 2021. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)

The win capped an emotional night in the Italian capital which saw 16,000 fans return to the Stadio Olimpico.

A spectacular sound and light show and fireworks preceded kick-off for the month-long 24-team event, which will be played across 11 countries having been delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a performance by the Italian National Police orchestra, a parade of huge inflatable balloons on the pitch, tenor Andrea Bocelli sang 'Nessun Dorma' before a virtual performance from Martin Garrix, Bono and The Edge.

Former Italy World Cup winners Alessandro Nesta and Francesco Totti, who played for Lazio and Roma during their careers at the Stadio Olimpico, carried the ball to the centre of the pitch before kick-off.

Switzerland and Wales face each in the group's second game in Baku on Saturday.

Source: Reuters