Italy have progressed to the Euro 2016 round of 16 following a 1-0 victory over Sweden in Toulouse on Friday. Eder scored right at the death for the Azzurri to make it two wins on the trot for the Antonio Conte's men in the competition.
The match didn't have a lot of moments of action, but Italy made the right use of their attacking skills to seal the game. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden are on the brink of an exit now after being unable to bag a win in two group games.
The first half wasn't memorable for any of the teams, but Sweden could still be said to have had the last laugh as they increased their pace with every passing minute, bringing continuous pressure to the three-man Italian defence. As was expected right before the start of the game, the battle between Italy veteran centre-back Giorgio Chiellini and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved to be one of the key clashes.
Ibrahimovic and his strike partner John Guidetti, however, could not make much of the few opportunities they could create in the half. Sweden's Emil Forsberg was also good down the left flank, but his penetration and crosses never really found the right target.
Conte had much to ponder on his team's first half performance as the two men up front -- Graziano Pelle and Eder -- couldn't really test Sweden custodian Andreas Isaksson. The Swedish defence also remained resolute and didn't give even an inch of space to the Italian attackers to make that crucial build up in the attacking third.
The next 45 minutes were a different story altogether.
Italy dominated the second half right from the start and Conte's men carved out plenty of chances. One of the best chances of the half fell for Italy midfielder Marco Parolo, who remained a lively character, in the 82nd minute of play. The 31-year-old Lazio midfielder's header from a wonderful cross by Emanuele Giaccherini struck the crossbar and went out.
However, with the match entering the crucial minutes, Italy had to finally deliver and it was Eder, the 29-year-old Inter Milan striker, who finally showcased some impressive skills to penetrate from the left, get past the Sweden defenders and lash a powerful shot on goal in the 88th minute that was just too difficult for Isaksson to keep out.
Highlights and the goal: