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Euro 2016: Eder lifts Italy past Sweden and into round of 16

Italy's Eder celebrates after scoring the opening goal

Italy's Eder celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. Credit: AP / Andrew Medichini

TOULOUSE, France — Eder’s late goal gave Italy a 1-0 win over Sweden on Friday at the European Championship, and a spot in the round of 16.

The Brazilian-born striker curled the ball into the bottom right corner in the 88th minute after substitute Simone Zaza headed on a long throw-in from Giorgio Chiellini.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once again kept quiet. Whenever Ibrahimovic had the ball in the middle, Italian defenders swarmed around him. The striker did have a chance in the first half but he headed a free kick wide of the near post.

The Italians opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Belgium. Now with six points, Italy is assured of a spot in the next round no matter what happens in the team’s final Group E match against Ireland on Wednesday in Lille.

Sweden has one point and will next face Belgium.

The close marking of Ibrahimovic freed up space on the left for Martin Olsson, and the fullback went close with a shot that sailed over the bar.

Ibrahimovic also managed to shoot over the bar from near the goal line, but the offside flag was up.

Italy had few chances throughout the match, although it had threatened minutes before Eder’s goal when Marco Parolo headed Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross off the crossbar.

Before the Group E match, Sweden coach Erik Hamren promised a brighter start compared to the Ireland game and his players didn’t let him down. Ibrahimovic had an early chance when Kim Kallstrom whipped in a dangerous cross from the left, but Chiellini made a headed clearance.

New York Sports