There were big hopes attached to Belgium as they started their campaign against 2006 world cup winners Italy and they started the stronger put Italy under massive pressure but typical Italian defense saw off the early pressure and than came the moment out of nowhere really when defender Bonucci found Giaccherini with a sublime through ball and former Sunderland man made no mistake in slotting the ball home from close range. While Pelle came on as second half sub to score the second goal from Italy and finished the game off late in injury time.
Italy took the lead in first half after absorbing the early pressure from Belgium and scored when Giaccherini was sent through on goal by Bonucci in 32nd minute and he made absolutely no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the net.
Italy 2-0 Belgium Highlights
[ European Championship 2016, Monday, 13 June ]
32′ 0 – 1 Emanuele Giaccherini scored after he was put through on goal and he slotted home with ease.
90′ 0 – 2 Graziano Pelle came on second half sub and scored with a stunning volley after a classic counter attack move.
Preview: There are big expectations from this Belgium side who has some of the finest young talent in whole Europe. Players like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyn, Lukaku are at the peak of their careers and this European Championship comes at the right time for most of the players in this squad. Anything other than a semifinal berth will be considered a failure looking at home loaded Belgium are in every position on the pitch.
Italy on the other hand are no longer the force they once were but still they do have a decent enough squad and Antonio Conte has installed workmanlike mentality in the current Italia team who might not have the superstars but do have some quality players with great work ethic.
Team News & Lineups: Both Hazard and Vermaelen have knocked off their minor injuries to be fit enough for a place in the starting lineup and Belgium are likely to go with 4-2-3-1 formation where Lukaku will start upfront on his own and three attacking players of Eden Hazard, De Bruyne and Divok Origi just infront of midfield duo of Axel Witsel and Radja Nainggolan.
Italy on the other hand will start with Southampton striker Graziano Pelle and Eder to start upfront while Candreva, Marco Parolo, Darmian, Giaccherini and Captain De Rossi to start in packed midfield.
Match Predictions: Belgium are slightly favourite going into the massive game but you can never count out Italy who has the ability to grind out result event when they are not in the best of form. Slow starters usually, Italy will be looking to defend deep against a talented Belgium side. This game has draw written all over it and I am sitting on the fence with a 1-1 draw.