First half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne smoothed the way for Italy’s 2-1 victory over Belgium at the Euro 2020 quarterfinals in the Football Arena Munich on Friday.

Both sides staged a fast paced and highly tactical first half in which Italy opened the scoring with 30 minutes played through Barella, who danced through Belgium’s box before smashing the ball past the goalkeeper into the far post corner.

Leonardo Bonucci of Italy celebrates his scoring which was later cancelled during a UEFA Euro 2020 Championship quarterfinal match between Belgium and Italy in Munich, Germany, July 2, 2021. Image: Xinhua

The Italians gained momentum and doubled their advantage in the 43rd minute when Insigne unleashed a hammer out of the reach of custodian Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium halved their deficit in the dying seconds of the first half as Romelu Lukaku kept his nerves from the penalty spot to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Leonardo Bonucci (5th L, bottom) of Italy celebrates his scoring which was later cancelled during a UEFA Euro 2020 Championship quarterfinal match between Belgium and Italy in Munich, Germany, July 2, 2021. Image: Xinhua

Italy remained active and dangerous in the second half whereas Belgium lacked in penetration and were unable to threaten Italy’s bulwark.

With the result, Italy advance into the semifinals where they will clash with Spain in Wembley on Tuesday. 

XINHUA | MUNICH

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