Italy’s Graziano Pelle celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal.


Italy took full control of Group E with a superb 2-0 victory over Belgium in their Euro 2016 opener in Lyon.

Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, finishing well after Leonardo Bonucci’s superb pass.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku capped a poor night for Marc Wilmots’ side, failing to hit the target after being player in one-on-one with Gianluigi Buffon by Eden Hazard.

And the miss proved to be costly with Southampton forward Graziano Pelle sealing all three points for Italy side with an emphatic volley in injury time as Antonio Conte’s side won a first European Championship opener in 16 years.

Italy move to the top of group E after the 1-1 draw between Republic of Ireland and Sweden earlier in the day. The Azzurri’s next game is game is against Sweden on Friday, while Belgium will look to get their campaign back on track against Martin O’Neill’s side.

Group E

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Italy Italy 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
2 Sweden Sweden 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
3 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
4 Belgium Belgium 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0