July 12th, 2024

Italy recovers to beat Albania 2-1 at Euro 2024 after conceding goal after 23 seconds

By Steve Douglas, The Associated Press on June 15, 2024.

Albania's Nedim Bajrami celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group B match between Italy and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) – Italy recovered from conceding the quickest goal in European Championship history – after just 23 seconds – to open its title defense with a 2-1 win over Albania on Saturday.

Nedim Bajrami thrilled a heavily pro-Albanian crowd inside Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion by pouncing on a throw-in by Italy left back Federico Dimarco that failed to reach teammate Alessandro Bastoni, before taking a touch and smashing a rising shot inside the near post.

Within 16 minutes, the Italians were ahead as Bastoni headed in Lorenzo Pellegrini’s cross in the 11th then Nicolo Barella struck home a first-time shot from the edge of the area.

Barella was one of five survivors from the team that started for Italy in the penalty-shootout win over England in the 2021 European Championship final.

Spain beat Croatia 3-0 in Group B’s other game on Saturday.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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