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Published: 15:10 | 17/6/16

Italy leave it late to beat Sweden

Eder struck with just three minutes on the clock to snatch victory in their Group B clash with Sweden and boost the Republic of Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of Euro 2016.

The game lacked quality with neither struggling to find a way through and it looked almost certain that they would share the spoils.

However, with the game edging towards a conclusion, Eder pounced on Chiellini's throw in and weaved his way into the box before curling a shot into the bottom corner passed Andreas Isaksson and secure their place in the knockout stages at Euro 2016.

After defeating Belgium in their opening game, Italy went into Friday’s match in the knowledge that another victory would see them safely through to the knockout stages of the competition, but they played nowhere near the level they did in their previous match.

It was Sweden who had the first real chance of the game with less than two minutes on the clock when Zlatan Ibrahimovic rose to meet Kim Kallstrom's cross, only for Giorgio Chiellini to head the ball away and prevent the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain superstar from scoring near the back post.

Despite enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, Sweden could not find a way through the Italian defence and a lacklustre opening 45 minutes ended with neither goalkeeper truly tested.

Although Italy showed more passion after the restart, the game did not spark into life as Antonio COnte's men failed to threaten the opposition defence.

Ibrahimovic proved the miss of the tournament in the 72nd minute only to be saved by the assistant referee flagging for offside before Parolo was denied by the crossbar.

With a draw looking increasingly likely, Eder found his way through to send Italy into the second round and all but end Sweden's hopes of remaining in the competition beyond the group stages. Italy looked fired up after the restart, forcing three consecutive corners, but like Sweden in the first half, they were unable to find a way through the opposition defence.

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