Live Updates

Full-time: Italy 1-0 Sweden

  • Previously unfancied Italy secure progression to last 16 with one game to spare at the summit of Group E
  • Impressive late strike from Sampdoria's Inter loanee Eder lights up an otherwise desperately drab affair at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse
  • The Azzurri, who keep a fourth successive clean sheet, also hit the post in the second half through a Marco Parolo header
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andreas Granqvist both have soft penalty appeals turned down by referee Viktor Kassai
  • Uninspiring Sweden struggle to impress once again and have now failed to register a single shot on target in over 180 minutes of tournament football
  • Other matches: Czech Republic vs Croatia, Spain vs Turkey.
  • Follow all of Euro 2016 through our dedicated page.

That is all for this particular blog, but join my IBTimes UK colleague Steve Busfield for live coverage of the Czech Republic's clash with Croatia at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne.

We will also have updates from Spain vs Turkey later on tonight. Goodbye for now.

As for Sweden, the structure of this expanded tournament means they are not out yet. However, they will surely need to beat Belgium in Nice to qualify for the knockout phase.

Providing they do go home early, then Hamren can have preciously few complaints. His mediocre and stodgy team badly lack creativity, as evidenced by the fact that they still have not produced a single shot on target in 180 minutes of tournament football. Ibrahimovic has not impacted either game nearly as much as he would have liked.

Andreas Isaksson
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It was far from entertaining, but that late spark of ingenuity from Eder secures Italy's second win on the bounce and seals their place in the last 16 with a game to spare. They may not always shine going forward, but a fourth successive clean sheet means Conte's frugal side are incredibly difficult to beat.

As long as they keep defending in such an efficient manner, then the Azzurri have every chance of going very far indeed in this tournament. They finish their Group E campaign against the Republic of Ireland in Lille on Wednesday.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images


Italy 1-0 Sweden

Late controversy in the Italy box. Ibrahimovic wins a knockdown towards Granqvist, who falls rather theatrically under pressure from Bonucci. Again, the referee responds by giving a free-kick the other way.

That should do it.

Sweden are unhappy with Italy's time wasting and Buffon is promptly shown a yellow card. Olsson has also been booked for an earlier foul on Zaza.

Italy almost double their lead immediately but Isaksson stands firm to beat away Motta's strike at his near post.

Three minutes of added time signalled by the fourth official.

If anyone was going to go on and win this game, you always felt it would be Italy. Zaza has looked lively since replacing Pelle and his flick on releases Eder, who drifts across the edge of the box.

After Granqvist unsuccessfully goes to ground, the Inter forward rifles an unstoppable shot into the far corner. No chance whatsoever for Isaksson.

Surely that's the winning goal.


Goal: Italy 1-0 Sweden (Eder)

More new faces now as Guidetti makes way for Berg and Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro replaces Florenzi. Under five minutes of normal time left to play.

Is there any late drama to come in this frustrating fixture?

Ibrahimovic forces a corner that is headed comfortably over by ex-Wigan centre-back Granqvist. It would not have counted anyway as he is subsequently whistled for climbing on Barzagli.

82 minutes gone and we finally have a real opportunity to speak of. Giaccherini sends a marvellous cross to the back post, where Parolo, who has strolled in behind Olsson, heads against the crossbar.

So close.

Almost a sniff of a chance for the Swedes as Ibrahimovic does well to find Guidetti and he lays it off for Durmaz to fire wide with his left foot.

Another Italy attack goes astray and Hamren makes his double switch. Bearded Olympiacos winger Jimmy Durmaz replaces Forsberg and Lewicki is on for Ekdal.

After an Italy corner is wasted, Guidetti can't take advantage of a cute backheel and Chiellini receives treatment following a hefty knock. A double substitution from Sweden is imminent.

Conte makes his second change with just over 15 minutes plus stoppage time remaining. Rather than seeking to invigorate his stale attacking options, however, the former Juventus stalwart sends on Thiago Motta in place of the booked De Rossi.

Forsberg combines with Guidetti down Sweden's left before Olsson flights in a cross to the back post, where Ibrahimovic inexplicably hooks over the bar from close range.

That was a really glaring miss but his blushes are spared by the linesman's flag.

The first yellow card of the afternoon is awarded to the combative De Rossi for his latest challenge on Kallstrom. Nothing malicious but he is certainly no stranger to a foul or two.

Chiellini's block wins Sweden another corner, but, as you might expect, it comes to nothing.

Candreva has another ball intercepted by Isaksson. At the other end, Sweden look to release danger man Ibrahimovic but he makes his run a fraction too early and is flagged offside.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zaza almost enjoys an immediate impact by finding Parolo in space, but the Lazio midfielder panics and declines to provide a return ball. Instead he opts for Giaccherini, who is thwarted by an excellent covering challenge from Kallstrom.

The 33-year-old looks to have hurt himself in the process.

An awkward deflection off the defender almost allows Parolo to get in behind Sweden's defence but he ends up miscontrolling the ball and it runs out of play. That rather sums up this drab match so far.

Conte has seen enough and replaces Pelle with Simone Zaza.


Parolo and Candreva link up well for Italy but the latter's final ball is underwhelming and too close to Isaksson. His next cross is also claimed by the former Manchester City goalkeeper.

We still await the first real chance of the afternoon with almost an hour gone.

Sweden burrow forward and try again in vain to threaten Buffon's goal. Hamren's men are still yet to register a single shot on target at Euro 2016.

Parolo comes forward and picks out Eder, who quickly knocks a pass inside for Pelle. The Southampton striker's poor first touch allows the ball to sit up and he ends up smashing a volley wide.

Italy then threaten with three consecutive corners but Sweden survive.

The ball is knocked back to Buffon before Guidetti goes down holding the back of his head after being cynically blocked by Chiellini. Play is briefly stopped but no free-kick given.

The Sweden fans are not happy.

The second half is off and running. No changes from either side as of yet.


Well, that certainly wasn't pretty. Chances have been at an absolute premium in what can only be described as a highly scrappy and attritional affair. Italy's shape has generally been good with two dangerous wing-backs and they are still defending well, yet there has been a real dearth of attacking quality from both sides.

Guidetti is a more lively partner for Ibrahimovic than Berg and one or two of Kallstrom's crosses have been very dangerous indeed. More quality needed after the break.

Italy vs Sweden


Italy 0-0 Sweden

Kallstrom sends in a cross that strikes Forsberg and rebounds to Ibrahimovic, who can't quite get the ball under control and allows Chiellini to clear behind to safety.

The two then engage in a physical battle at the corner, with Zlatan being held on and off before nodding an overhit delivery wide on the stretch.

Crucial defending from Johansson to repel Candreva's cross from the right. Ibrahimovic then plays a raking long ball for Sebastian Larsson, who cushions the ball down on his chest before Guidetti blazes wide.

Olsson's searing pace makes him a good overlapping outlet for Sweden on the left-hand side. However, his delivery is often found somewhat wanting and a latest cross is easily cut out by Barzagli.

The Norwich full-back then gives away a soft free-kick on the intelligent Candreva.

Nothing is quite coming off for Italy at the moment and Conte cuts a picture of frustration on the touchline as Pelle tries to thread a pass through for Eder but gets it all wrong.

Antonio Conte

Florenzi finds De Rossi and immediately accelerates into the box to receive the return pass. Fortunately for Sweden, the assistant referee's flag is raised once more.


Expert defending from Candreva to use his strength and win an unlikely free-kick from Forsberg.

De Rossi is deservedly penalised for a late lunge on Ibrahimovic, who is then flagged offside as he heads Kallstrom's latest delivery wide.

Andreas Granqvist goes down in pain after being caught by Pelle. Still goalless in Toulouse as we approach the half-hour mark, but it has been an even opening and Sweden are by no means second best.

After an initial Eder strike is blocked, Candreva dinks in an enticing cross that is punched away by Isaksson. Fellow wing-back Florenzi produces an audacious piece of skill to deceive his marker and get to the byline before eventually being muscled off the ball.

Johansson hacks the ball into touch.

Ibrahimovic orchestrates Sweden's attacking movement with speed and accuracy. Kallstrom fires wide before Martin Olsson bursts down the left and hits the stanchion with an attempted cross.

Guidetti demonstrates some nice touches on the edge of Buffon's penalty area. The ball then falls to strike partner Ibrahimovic, who plants his feet and deliberately tumbles under anticipated contact from Barzagli.

He wants a penalty but the referee gives a free-kick the other way. Good decision.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Marco Parolo feeds Florenzi down the left-hand channel. The Roma man cuts in to shoot but sees his effort blocked by impressive young Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelhof.

Eder looks to threaten from the left and Daniele de Rossi tries to pick out Candreva with a low pass that is scooped up by Andreas Isaksson.

After Italy are penalised for handball just inside their own half, Kallstrom fails in his attempt to whip in another enticing ball and his scuffed effort is cleared by Barzagli.

Florenzi looks to have a similar impact at the other end but his delivery is overhit and drifts out of play.

Sweden begin on the frontfoot as Emil Forsberg tees up Kim Kallstrom and the veteran midfielder swings in a wonderful cross from the right. Chiellini produces a quite superb defensive header under extreme pressure from Ibrahimovic and wins a free-kick after being caught with an elbow from the former Paris Saint-Germain striker.

Hungarian referee Viktor Kassal gets us underway.

Sweden contributed to a tremendous atmosphere of noise and colour against the Republic of Ireland and it looks as if both sets of supporters will follow suit in sunny Toulouse this afternoon.

Italy vs Sweden
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Italy vs Sweden
Italy vs Sweden
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Italy vs Sweden

Hamren, meanwhile, knows his team will have to take full advantage of the few chances that come their way. He's also backed his players to recover from the setback of losing Lustig.

Italy perhaps don't have the big stars they used to, but they are still very strong. They are very good in defence and in attack and they were impressive against Belgium. They are going to be a tough challenge for us, but we're looking forward to it. Anything is possible in football.

We have to get more right than we get wrong, for sure. It's wrong to focus on what you shouldn't do, you need to focus on what you can do as a team.
We need to be very effective. We probably won't get many chances so we have to take what we get. We expect Italy to have more of the possession. We are going to have to run a lot, but we need to use our heads too.

I doubt Mikael Lustig will play again in the group stage. If we go through, then maybe he will play again, but that is the way things stand right now. We've managed setbacks before, but now we must just continue and focus on the next game. Since Tuesday we've just focused on Italy. The morale was a bit down on Tuesday evening, but we were fully focused from Wednesday.

Conte, whose place will be taken by Giampiero Ventura when he departs for Stamford Bridge later this summer, has urged caution after such an impressive start to their Euro 2016 campaign.

I think I have a group of lads who are very focused and determined, and who take pride in doing things well. I'm certain that one single game will not change the attitude of these lads. I'm convinced of this. It was a good performance against Belgium and we made the best start to Euro 2016, but we've not done anything yet, nor have we already qualified for the last 16, which is our first objective. We have our feet firmly on the ground, preparing for tomorrow's game and looking for the win.

We're seeing some really, really tight games to be honest and you can see that every game is very, very difficult – look at France yesterday, they only went ahead against Albania in the 90th minute and added a second in the 96th. The games are going down to the wire and we've got to be very well prepared. We just have to concentrate on what we are doing, what we have to do, who we have to face and their strengths and weaknesses. We've got to give the best we can to reach our first objective, which is the last 16.

We've got to attack them as a team. In defence the problem is not only Ibrahimović, it could also be Forsberg or Guidetti; it could be their set pieces or various things we have to analyse. When we analyse our opponents, we look at them first as a team then break them down into individuals and try to highlight their deficiencies.

Quotes via Uefa

Italy and Sweden last met in a friendly back in November 2009, when a header from Chiellini secured victory for the hosts in Rome. That was Hamren's first game in charge of the Blagult after succeeding current Iceland coach Lars Lagerback. Like Conte, he is due to step down after the current tournament and will be replaced by IFK Norrkoping's Janne Andersson.

Their previous meeting, a 1-1 draw during the group stages of Euro 2004, was more memorable for an outrageous flicked goal from Ibrahimovic that cancelled out Antonio Cassano's header.


Sweden coach Erik Hamren swaps three, with the injured defender Mikael Lustig making way for Erik Johansson and Albin Ekdal replacing Oscar Lewicki in midfield.

A popular change up front sees former Manchester City, Stoke and Celtic striker John Guidetti, who currently plies his trade in La Liga with Celta Vigo, ousting Marcus Berg of Panathinaikos.

Sweden XI to face Italy: Isaksson, Johansson, Olsson, Granqvist, Lindelof, Kallstrom, Ekdal, Larsson, Forsberg, Ibrahimovic, Guidetti

Conte makes one change to the side that easily toppled Belgium. Manchester United right-back Matteo Darmian, who was withdrawn midway through the second half in that game, is replaced by Alessandro Florenzi of Roma.

Italy XI to face Sweden: Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Candreva, Giaccherini, De Rossi, Parolo, Florenzi, Eder, Pelle.

Due to a lack of star names in his thoroughly mediocre supporting cast, it is impossible to discuss Sweden without repeated reference to one Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The brash and endlessly confident forward may be approaching the twilight of his extraordinarily successful career, yet persistent rumours of one final big move to Manchester United and his inclusion in a provisional squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics proves that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.

He was typically pivotal to his country's fortunes in their opening clash against the Republic of Ireland in Paris earlier this week, capitalising on a nice piece of skill from substitute John Guidetti to produce a dangerous near-post cross that was inadvertently headed into his own net by Ciaran Clark.

Ciaran Clark
Getty Images

Dull and uninspired, Sweden were clearly second best for much of that match and deservedly fell behind courtesy of Wes Hoolahan's sublime strike. They will have to improve considerably if they are to pick up a positive result this afternoon.

The world of football should know better than to underestimate Italy. The four-time World Cup winners and 1968 European champions were almost entirely written off before this tournament began, with many remarking that they could not remember previously seeing such a weak Azzurri squad on paper.

Those reactions badly underestimated the talents of Chelsea-bound boss Antonio Conte, however. He was tactically flawless in Lyon on Monday evening as his side produced arguably the most impressive performance of the competition so far with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory over one of the bookies favourites in Belgium.

Emanuele Giaccherini
Getty Images

With Juventus quartet Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini utilising every ounce of their experience, the unfancied Italians were miserly- not to mention gloriously cynical - in defence and maintained their discipline throughout to record a third consecutive clean sheet.

They took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark in stunning fashion when Emanuele Giaccherini expertly controlled an inch-perfect sweeping pass from Bonucci and rifled beyond Thibaut Courtois. Thoroughly underwhelming Belgium had more shots and a greater amount of possession, yet they could not find a way through such a stubborn backline and the final blow was delivered in the 92nd minute when Antonio Candreva showed admirable composure to set up Southampton striker Graziano Pelle for a powerful volley.

Not bad for a team widely panned and that, according to the BBC, represent the oldest starting XI in European Championship history.

Good afternoon and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of day eight of an exciting Uefa Euro 2016 tournament in France. Defending champions Spain take on Turkey in our evening game and perennial dark horses Croatia also meet the Czech Republic, but before that we head to the south-western city of Toulouse where Italy are set to square off against Sweden in Group E.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gianluigi Buffon
-/AFP/Getty Images

As ever, we will endeavour to bring you confirmed line-ups and team news as it breaks as well as live updates following kick-off at 14.00 BST. Recaps and a match preview are also coming your way very shortly.