Last Updated: 24/06/17 10:44pm
Italy reached the European U21 Championship semi-finals after Federico Bernardeschi’s strike handed them a 1-0 victory over Germany, who also progress to the last four where they will face England.
Needing victory and a favour from already eliminated Denmark against Czech Republic to progress, Italy did their part, securing all three points thanks to Bernardeschi’s 30th minute strike.
And they were handed top spot in Group C and a place in the last four, where they’ll play Spain, after Denmark’s 4-2 win over the Czech Republic.
Despite defeat, Germany join Italy, Spain and England in the semi-finals as the best runners-up from the group stages and they’ll face Aidy Boothroyd’s side on Tuesday, while Italy face Spain with both games live on Sky Sports.
Germany, who were unchanged from their 3-0 win over Denmark, thought they’d taken an early lead in the 6th minute after Marc-Oliver Kempf found the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.
After the early let-off Italy soon found their stride with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bernardeschi going close, and they made the all-important breakthrough in the 30th minute.
Germany lost the ball carelessly in a dangerous area and Bernardeschi latched on to the loose ball in the penalty area before firing the Italians in front.
After the break, Italy had chances to extend their lead when Bernardeschi played in Domenico Berardi but his strike was saved well by Julian Pollersbeck.
Bernardeschi was involved again 12 minutes from time, producing the cross of the evening when his left-footed chip picked out Andrea Conti at the back post, but his effort drifted wide of the far post.
At 1-0 both sides were set to progress and that seemed to have an effect of the game as the two teams settled for what they had.
And that’s how the scores stayed with Italy booking a semi-final against Spain, while Germany set up a mouth-watering clash with England.