Reigning European champions Italy clinched a place in next year’s European Championship, albeit with a lot of effort and trembling until the very end.
The Squadra Azzurri held to a 0-0 draw against Ukraine in their final Qualifying Group C match to clinch second place in the final standings.
The match was a direct duel for the second position, which gives direct qualification for Euro 2024, in which the symbolic hosts Ukraine needed a win.
At the “BayArena” in Leverkusen, the spectators saw a contested clash and a lot of chances in front of both goals – therefore both teams have reason to regret not being able to sign off.
The Italians missed an early lead and settled down and Ukraine challenged Gianluigi Donnarumma to show his class.
However, the final pressure of the Ukrainians did not bring success, for which the judges also played a role.
In the 93rd minute, Mihailo Mudryk burst into the penalty area at speed and was tripped by Brian Cristante, but the head referee did not award a penalty, and the VAR did not intervene either.
Italy finished with equal points with today’s opponent, but because of the better indicators in the direct matches, they overtook him in the table and go to the European finals.
For Ukraine, this is not the end of hopes.
Sarhii Rebrov’s side can still qualify for Europe through the Nations League playoffs.