The Latest: Conte still surprised by Italy facing Spain

AP News
Posted: Jun 22, 2016 8:27 PM
The Latest: Conte still surprised by Italy facing Spain

PARIS (AP) — The Latest at the European Championship (all times local):


1:30 a.m.

A day after the fixture was lined up, Italy coach Antonio Conte still finds it strange that his side has to play two-time defending champion Spain in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 draw.

"With regards to the draw, it's definitely odd to win the group and come up against Spain," Conte said through a translator Wednesday.


11:15 p.m.

Turkey was ousted from the European Championship by Ireland's victory over Italy.

Ireland's 1-0 win gave the team four points in Group E, putting it into the round of 16 as one of the four best third-place teams.

Ireland will next play France in Lyon, while neighbor Northern Ireland now knows it will play Wales in a British derby in Paris on Saturday.

Turkey had only three points after beating the Czech Republic on Tuesday and would have advanced only if Ireland and Sweden failed to win.

Sweden lost to Group E runner-up Belgium 1-0, but Ireland scored an 85th-minute goal to beat Italy.

Belgium will next play Hungary in Toulouse on Sunday.


10:57 p.m.

The round of 16 lineup is now known at the European Championship:

Saturday: Switzerland vs. Poland (Saint-Etienne, 3 p.m.); Wales vs. Northern Ireland (Paris, 6 p.m.); Croatia vs. Portugal (Lens, 9 p.m.)

Sunday: France vs. Ireland (Lyon, 3 p.m.); Germany vs. Slovakia (Lille, 6 p.m.); Hungary vs. Belgium (Toulouse, 9 p.m.)

Monday: Italy vs. Spain (Saint-Denis, 6 p.m.); England vs. Iceland (Nice, 9 p.m.)


10:50 p.m.

Sweden was eliminated from the European Championship in Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last game for his country, losing 1-0 to Belgium on Radja Nainggolan's goal.

As Group E runner-up, Belgium will play Hungary in the round of 16.

Nainggolan hit the ball hard from outside the penalty area in the 84th minute.

Needing a win to qualify, Sweden came close when Marcus Berg's early shot was saved.

In his 116th and last game for Sweden, Ibrahimovic forced a save from Thibaut Courtois with a free kick and saw other shots go wide. He said Tuesday that he was retiring from international soccer after the tournament.


10:50 p.m.

Robbie Brady scored in the 84th minute to give Ireland a 1-0 win over Group E winner Italy and send his team to the knockout stage of the European Championship for the first time.

Brady headed in a cross from Wes Hoolahan, ending Ireland's 22-year wait for a competitive victory against Italy.

Italy had already secured first place in the group, setting up a last-16 game against defending champion Spain, and coach Antonio Conte left eight regular starters out of his lineup.

Conditions were hot and humid as the roof of the Stade Pierre Mauroy stayed closed for the entire match.

The game was the last one before the heavily damaged field will be renewed later this week.


10:46 p.m.

Radja Nainggolan collected a long pass and scored just inside the post past diving Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.


10:42 p.m.

GOAL: Robbie Brady scores for Ireland in the 85th minute. Ireland leads Italy 1-0.


10:42 p.m.

GOAL: Radja Nainggolan scores for Belgium in the 84th minute. Belgium leads Sweden 1-0.


10:29 p.m.

He calls himself Gummi Ben and his wildly enthusiastic calls of Iceland's European Championship games are finding new fans worldwide.

Gudmundur Benediktsson's commentary on national television of Iceland's late, late winning goal against Austria on Wednesday was an instant classic.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, we are winning this. We are in the round of 16," Gummi Ben shouted as Iceland earned a 2-1 win at Stade de France.

"Never, ever, ever have I felt as good," the former Iceland international player said. "We have never lost, notice that, we have never lost.

"Thanks for coming, Austria. Thanks for coming."

While 10 percent of Iceland's 333,000 population are estimated to have come to France, those back home are relying on Benediktsson.

He should be at the mic in Nice on Monday when Iceland plays England in the round of 16.


9:47 p.m.

Italy and Ireland were tied 0-0 at halftime at the European Championship.

Italy has already qualified as Group E winner, but Ireland needs to win to stay in the tournament.

Ireland tried to drag the Italians into a physical battle with some rough tackling in the opening minutes, most notably when Jeff Hendrick hit Alessandro Florenzi with a flying tackle, and Stephen Ward with a rough challenge against Federico Bernardeschi.

Loudly spurred on by a legion of Irish fans, Ireland missed chances to take the lead. Hendrick sent a 20-meter shot just wide, Daryl Murphy saw his header off a corner from Robbie Brady saved by goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu in hot and humid conditions under the closed roof of the Stade Pierre Mauroy.


9:46 p.m.

Belgium and Sweden were tied 0-0 at halftime in their Group E match Wednesday, with Sweden needing a win to stay in the European Championship.

Sweden started well, with Marcus Berg forcing a good reaction save from Thibaut Courtois in the fifth minute, but Belgium soon grew into the game.

Kevin de Bruyne threatened for Belgium in the 25th with a shot from the edge of the area off a neat backheel pass from Eden Hazard, but Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson made the save.

A minute later, Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is retiring from international soccer after the tournament, shot low and wide.

Belgium will only be eliminated if it loses heavily to Sweden, or if it loses and Ireland beats already-qualified Italy.


8:50 p.m.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will start up front for Sweden in what could be his last international game.

Ibrahimovic said he will retire from international soccer after the European Championship, and Sweden will be eliminated Wednesday unless it wins. His strike partner is Marcus Berg.

Belgium will start with Yannick Ferreira Carrasco on the right wing despite a recent ankle problem. Another player with ankle issues, Mousa Dembele, is on the bench. Defenders Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen will miss Belgium's next game if they are booked.


8:45 p.m.

Here are the lineups for the Group E match between Sweden and Belgium at the Stade de Nice:

Sweden: Andreas Isaksson, Erik Johansson, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Kim Kallstrom, Emil Forsberg, Marcus Berg,Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Thomas Vermaelen, Thomas Meunier, Radja Nainggolan, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Yannick Carrasco, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku.


8:15 p.m.

Ireland will start without injured striker Jon Walters in its must-win game against Italy.

The Stoke forward has not recovered from persistent Achilles problems, which also kept him out of Ireland's previous game against Belgium.

Ireland coach Martin O'Neill made four changes to his lineup, bringing in defenders Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh, midfielder James McClean and forward Daryl Murphy. Ireland will only qualify for the round of 16 with a win.

With first place in Group E already secured, Italy coach Antonio Conte has changed his team in eight positions. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who had a fever the last few days, is among the regular starters left out.

Only defenders Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, as well as midfielder Alessandro Florenzi, started in Italy's previous game against Sweden.

The roof in Stade Pierre Mauroy will be closed for the match because rain has been forecast for later in the evening.


8:10 p.m.

Here are the lineups for the match between Italy and Ireland at Stade Pierre Mauroy:

Italy: Salvatore Sirigu, Mattia De Sciglio, Angelo Ogbonna, Simone Zaza, Alessandro Florenzi, Thiago Motta, Ciro Immobile, Stefano Sturaro, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Bernardeschi.

Ireland: Darren Randolph, Seamus Coleman, Richard Keogh, Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Shane Duffy, Daryl Murphy, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean, Stephen Ward, Shane Long.


8:05 p.m.

Albania is out of the European Championship.

Results in Group F have ensured Albania will go home as one of the third-placed teams with the two worst records.

Portugal's 3-3 draw with Hungary ensures it advances in third place in Group F with three points and a goal difference of zero. Iceland placed second in the group by beating Austria 2-1.

Albania has stayed in France since Sunday — after beating Romania 1-0 — to await the tiebreakers that separate third-placed teams.

Albania has three points but a minus-2 goal difference, and fewer goals scored than Turkey which also has three points and minus-2.

Turkey can still advance depending on results for Sweden and Ireland in Group E later.


7:57 p.m.

Iceland, the smallest nation at the European Championship, surprisingly qualified for the knockout stage after beating Austria 2-1 in Paris thanks to a stoppage-time winner by Arnor Ingvi Traustason.

Austria was eliminated after finishing in last place in Group F on one point.

Iceland's adventure in its first ever major tournament continues. After taking the lead through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the 18th minute, the tiny island country of barely 330,000 people was forced to defend for most of the second half and conceded a goal to Alessandro Schoepf in the 60th.

The Austrians dominated the final stages at the Stade de France but conceded a breakaway goal to substitute Traustason in the fourth minute of stoppage time.


7:54 p.m.

Cristiano Ronaldo erupted from his scoring slump by netting his first two goals of the European Championship, helping Portugal earn a 3-3 draw with Hungary and send both teams into the round of 16.

Ronaldo scored in the 50th and 62nd minutes, making him the first player to score in four consecutive European Championships.


7:50 p.m.

GOAL: Arnor Ingvi Traustason scores for Iceland in stoppage time. Iceland beats Austria 2-1.


7:25 p.m.

Having earlier equalized with a back-heel, Cristiano Ronaldo scored again for Portugal with his head to make it 3-3 against Hungary in his team's Group F finale.

The Portugal captain soared above Roland Juhasz to meet Ricardo Quaresma's cross in the 62nd minute.


7:20 p.m.

Substitute Alessandro Schoepf scored a great solo goal on the break to put Austria level at 1-1 against Iceland.

Schoepf got past two Iceland players in front of goal with a series of dribbles and then slotted home with a low finish.


7:18 p.m.

GOAL: Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Portugal in the 62nd minute. Portugal and Hungary are tied at 3-3.


7:17 p.m.

GOAL: Alessandro Schoepf scores in the 60th minute for Austria. Austria and Iceland are tied at 1-1.


7:10 p.m.

GOAL: Balazs Dzsudzsak scores for Hungary in the 55th minute. Hungary leads Portugal 3-2.


7:08 p.m.

Cristiano Ronaldo has set a European Championship record of scoring in four different finals tournaments.

The goal was worthy of breaking a record.

Ronaldo's audacious flicked shot is his first goal at Euro 2016 after 22 failed attempts in his previous two matches.

The 31-year-old star also scored three goals at Euro 2012, once at Euro 2008 and twice at Euro 2004 held in his home country.

Ronaldo's seven career goals at European Championships ties Alan Shearer of England for second on the all-time list. Michel Platini scored nine when he captained host France to the title in 1984.

Later Wednesday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can also score at his fourth straight European tournament when Sweden plays Belgium.


7:05 p.m.

GOAL: Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Portugal in the 50th minute. Portugal is tied 2-2 with Hungary.


7:02 p.m.

GOAL: Balazs Dzsudzsak scores for Hungary in the 47th minute. Hungary leads Portugal 2-1.


7:00 p.m.

It's now a hat-trick of failures from the penalty spot in the European Championship.

Aleksandar Dragovic of Austria has followed Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Sergio Ramos of Spain in missing with the last three spot-kicks awarded.

Dragovic, like Ronaldo before him, struck the left-hand post with his kick, in the 37th minute against Iceland, which leads 1-0 at Stade de France.

Ronaldo missed against Austria last Saturday and Ramos had his penalty saved in Spain's 2-1 defeat by Croatia on Tuesday.

The last man to score from the spot at Euro 2016? Tomas Necid of the Czech Republic to salvage a 2-2 draw with Croatia last Friday.

Four penalties have been scored, including two by Bogdan Stancu of Romania.


6:55 p.m.

Nani scored an equalizer for Portugal to leave his team drawing 1-1 against Hungary in the teams' final game in Group F.

Cristiano Ronaldo, without a goal at the European Championship, provided the throughball for Nani in the 42nd minute at the Stade de Lyon.

Zoltan Gera had given Hungary a 1-0 lead with a powerful half-volley from distance in the 19th minute.

Group leader Hungary has already qualified for the knockout stages, while Portugal started the game in third place.


6:45 p.m.

Iceland is heading for the knockout stage of the European Championship after taking a 1-0 lead at halftime against Austria thanks to an 18th-minute goal by Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

The striker controlled a flicked header by Kari Arnason from a throw-in, and wrong-footed Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer with a low, angled finish.

Austria missed a chance to equalize in the 37th minute when Aleksandar Dragovic struck the outside of the post with a penalty after David Alaba was tugged back.

A win would see Iceland, the smallest ever nation at a Euros, advance either as Group F winner or runner-up. Austria would be eliminated.


6:44 p.m.

Nani equalized for Portugal against Hungary in the teams' final game in Group F which is locked at 1-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo, without a goal at the European Championship, provided the throughball for Nani in the 42nd minute at the Stade de Lyon.


6:41 p.m.

GOAL: Nani scores for Portugal in the 42nd minute. Portugal is tied 1-1 with Hungary.


6:27 p.m.

Zoltan Gera has given Hungary a 1-0 lead over Portugal with a powerful half-volley from distance in the teams' final game in Group F.

Gera's goal was followed by firecrackers being set off and green smoke appearing in the Hungary section at the Stade de Lyon.

Group leader Hungary has already qualified, while Portugal entered the game in third place.


6:24 p.m.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson put Iceland in front at the Stade de France after Kari Arnason flicked the ball into his path. Bodvarsson controlled the ball in the area with a fine touch and slotted a low shot past Austria keeper Robert Almer.


6:19 p.m.

GOAL: Zoltan Gera scores for Hungary in the 19th minute. Hungary leads Portugal 1-0.


6:18 p.m.

GOAL: Jon Dadi Bodvarsson scores for Iceland in the 18th minute. Iceland leads Austria 1-0.


4:40 p.m.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has made two changes for his third-place team's crucial final game in Group F at the European Championship.

Defender Raphael Guerreiro, who was a doubt with a thigh injury, has been replaced by Eliseu. The other change from the side that was held 0-0 by Austria is midfielder Joao Mario replacing Ricardo Quaresma.

Hungary, which has already qualified but is yet to secure top spot, made five changes — dropping three players on yellow cards to the bench.


5:15 p.m.

Here are the lineups for the Group F match between Hungary and Portugal at the Stade de Lyon:

Hungary: Gabor Kiraly, Adam Lang, Mihaly Korhut, Richard Guzmics, Roland Juhasz, Balazs Dzsudzsak, Zoltan Gera, Adam Pinter, Gergo Lovrencsics, Akos Elek, Adam Szalai.

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Vieirinha, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Eliseu, Andre Gomes, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Joao Mario, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.


5:05 p.m.

Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson has recovered from a groin injury and will lead his team against Austria in their final Group F game at the Stade de France.

Austria coach Marcel Koller will start right back Aleksandar Dragovic, who has completed a one-game ban following a red card against Hungary.

Austria playmaker Zlatko Junuzovic has again been left out because of an ankle injury while Bayern Munich's David Alaba is set to start in an attacking midfielder position.


5 p.m.

Here are the lineups for the Group F game between Iceland and Austria in Paris:

Iceland: Hannes Halldorsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Ari Skulason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Kari Arnason, Aron Gunnarsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Johann Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

Austria: Robert Almer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Christian Fuchs, Martin Hinteregger, Sebastien Proedl, Julian Baumgartlinger, Stefan Ilsanker, Marko Arnautovic, David Alaba, Florian Klein, Marcel Sabitzer.


4:40 p.m.

Russia is giving coach Leonid Slutsky time to change his mind before it accepts his offer to resign.

Slutsky said the 2018 World Cup host nation would be better with a new coach after it exited in the group stage of Euro 2016 with defeats to Slovakia and Wales.

Russian Football Union head Vitaly Mutko, who is also the country's sports minister, suggests he wants Slutsky to change his mind.

Mutko tells Russian media "let's give him a bit more time, everyone's still emotional," but admits Slutsky could still leave.

Slutsky, who splits his time with CSKA Moscow, took over as Russia coach last year and rescued a Euro 2016 qualifying campaign which had been in trouble under his predecessor Fabio Capello.


4:30 p.m.

Dutch referee Bjoern Kuipers has been criticized and praised in equal measure after awarding a penalty on Tuesday for Spain against Croatia, and then not ordering it to be retaken.

If the initial decision seemed harsh, after contact with Spain playmaker David Silva in the area, there was controversy soon afterward as Sergio Ramos took the spot kick.

Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic came at least two meters off his line before the ball was kicked, while three Croatia players were already well inside the penalty area at the time.

Subasic saved the shot and his team went on to win 2-1.

Refereeing blog The 3rd Team highlighted that the "Laws of the Game are actually clear" and there should be no encroachment by players or movement off the line by the keeper. However, its author also highlighted that "it is usual and nothing new that players encroach at penalty kicks" and that "nobody really cared or protested."


2:31 p.m.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has joined the criticism over the poor state of pitches at the European Championship, saying Wednesday that some "aren't suitable for the highest level" and urging French clubs to make improving them "a priority."

France coach Didier Deschamps was unhappy with the quality of the field at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille for Sunday's match against Switzerland and was scathing about the state of the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, where France played against Albania four days earlier.

Deschamps called the Velodrome pitch "a disaster" and laid the blame with officials who allowed a rock concert by AC/DC to be staged there last month.