Italy Secures UEFA Euro 2024 Spot With Goalless Draw Against Ukraine

The UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying clash between Italy and Ukraine unfolded on November 20, 2023, at Leverkusen’s BayArena in Germany.
Reigning European champions Italy clinched their spot in Euro 2024 following a goalless draw against Ukraine in Leverkusen.
Despite the absence of goals, the match brimmed with excitement as Italy’s aggressive attack clashed with Ukraine’s counter-attacking style, creating numerous opportunities for both sides.
In the dying moments of the game, Ukraine fervently appealed for a penalty, but their request was denied, even though Italy’s Bryan Cristante seemed to make contact with Mykhailo Mudryk’s foot.
This victory holds special significance for Italy, given their previous failure to qualify for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukraine had to host their home fixture in Germany. Although they still have a chance to qualify through the playoffs in March 2024, the path ahead is challenging.
Italy entered Leverkusen with the knowledge that avoiding defeat would secure their advancement, while Ukraine understood that only a victory would suffice.
Luciano Spalletti, who assumed Italy’s coaching role three months ago after Roberto Mancini’s unexpected departure for the Saudi Arabia national team, expressed on Monday that Italy had a “duty to defend” their title and pledged to continue taking risks against Ukraine.
Mudryk posed a constant threat on the left for Ukraine, creating several half-chances early on, but poor finishing let his team down.
After thirty minutes, Italy’s possession dominance began to yield results, with Federico Chiesa delivering a smooth pass across the goal face that eluded a desperate Davide Frattesi.
Although Italy continued their offensive efforts early in the second half, as the game progressed, the increasingly nervous Italians adopted a more defensive stance, granting Ukraine additional space upfront.
Mudryk remained a persistent threat and seemed to be fouled in the box by Cristante, yet the referee dismissed his team’s desperate appeals for a penalty.
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