Euro 2016: Spain, Italy through to last 16, Turkey bows out

Spain and Italy secure their places in the knockout stage of the Euro 2016 tournament with a game in hand while Turkey crashes out after failing to take any points from their first two games.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Spain's Alvaro Morata celebrates with Juanfran and Cesc Fabregas after scoring their first goal

Updated Jun 18, 2016

Italy and holders Spain have proceeded to the last 16 of the Euro 2016 football tournament that is being held in France.

In the first match to be played on Friday, a late goal by Italy’s Eder against Sweden sent the Group E favourites through to the knockout stage.

The result leaves Sweden tied on points with the Republic of Ireland, who play their second match against Belgium on Saturday.

Italy's Eder celebrates after scoring their first goal

An Irish victory would put them in the driving seat for qualification into the last 16, but a draw or a win for Belgium will give the Swedes more of a chance to snatch second spot in the group in their final game.

Spain, meanwhile, celebrated a comfortable 3-0 victory over Group D rivals Turkey, sending the Turks crashing out of the tournament in the group stages.

Two goals by Alvaro Morata and one by Andres Iniesta made Spain the first team to score more than two goals in one game so far in the tournament.

Spain's Alvaro Morata in action with Turkey's Mehmet Topal

With still one game to play, Spain tops their group with six points, having won both their opening games. Turkey, still reeling from their 1-0 defeat against Croatia, remain at the bottom of the table on zero points.

The Turks’ next game will be against Czech Republic. The Czechs will be eager to take all three points from their final game having failed to overcome Croatia on Friday. After a 2-2 draw, the Croats, on four points, have a comfortable three-point advantage over the Czechs, who have only gained one point from two matches.

But the Croats will have a tough final game against Spain, and with the Czechs breathing down their necks, will have to work hard to secure a place in the next round.

Czech Republic's Tomas Necid in action with Croatia's Danijel Subasic and Vedran Corluka

Crowd trouble

Friday’s game between Croatia and Czech Republic was plagued by crowd trouble, causing play to be suspended for a number of minutes.

Eight flares as well as other objects were thrown onto the pitch towards the end of the game while Croatia was 2-1 in the lead.

Despite a ban on flares during the Euro 2016 tournament, French authorities have been unable to prevent a number of instances in which they were snuck into stadiums. Croatian supporters had previously lit flares in their first game against Turkey.

Croatia fans clash during the game

Infighting also broke out among a group of Croat fans, prompting English referee Mark Clattenburg to call the players to the centre of the pitch while Croatian players tried to calm the fans.

After the match, Croatia’s coach Ante Cacic vented his anger at the Croatian authorities for not doing enough to crack down on hooliganism, calling those who disrupted the game “sports terrorists.”

Tournament organisers UEFA said disciplinary proceedings related to the latest incidents would be opened on Saturday once they had received the official reports about the trouble from the match delegate and the referee.

Police watch Croatia fans

In a separate incident, three Spanish fans were also arrested by French police in Nice ahead of their game with Turkey on Friday for carrying neo-Nazi banners.

French authorities have been cracking down on more radical fan groups after clashes in Marseille last week marred the start of the month-long tournament, with Russia in particular being threatened with disqualification if their fans continue to misbehave.

Dozens of Russian fans were deported from France after clashes with rival England fans before and after their first game, while some have been handed prison sentences in France for their role in the violence.

Russian supporters are detained by police in Lille, France


TRTWorld, Reuters