Sat, 31 Jul 2021

ROME, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Italy beat Turkey 3-0 on Friday in the opening game of the UEFA Euro 2020 at the Stadio Olimpico, which was filled up to 25 percent of its capacity under current anti-pandemic rules.

In a wilful signal of a new beginning, after a long stop to international games in the country, the event got underway with a multicolor firework ceremony and a show featuring Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli singing live Puccini's Nessun Dorma, and U2 band stars Bono and The Edge performing with DJ Martin Garrix via a video link.

The Azzurri dominated the first half of the match but were unable to find the net. The home side broke the stalemate in the 53rd minute with an own goal from Turkish defender Merih Demiral, who tried to cut out Domenico Berardi's cross.

Thirteen minutes later, Italy's Berardi served Leonardo Spinazzola, who shot hard at Turkish keeper Ugurcan Cakir from a tight angle. The keeper parried but just to the feet of Immobile, who doubled the score for his team.

Finally, Turkey's Cakir made a poor clearance in the 79th minute and, after Berardi intercepted it, the ball went to Insigne who brought the score to 3-0 for Italy with a shot into the top right.

Unbeaten in 28 games now, Roberto Mancini's Azzurri benefitted from the support of some 16,000 supporters on Friday night, as fans were admitted again to an international game at the Olimpico for the first time since the pandemic began last year.

This was the first match in Group A of the European tournament, which overall features 51 games across 11 European cities.

Italy will play its next match against Switzerland on June 16 again at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome; on the same date, Turkey will face Wales at the Olympic Stadium in Baku.

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