Italy must beat Belgium and hope for the best from Spain, potentially having to wait until Monday, if they are to reach the European U21 Championship semi-final.
The Azzurrini beat Spain 3-1, but lost 1-0 to Poland this evening, leaving them on three points with the Spaniards, while the Polish outfit have six.
Now Italy must beat already-eliminated Belgium on Saturday, but that might not be enough.
If Spain win too, then they, Poland and Italy would all conclude on six points and it’d go down to head-to-head records and goal difference in these meetings.
As things stand, Italy have scored three and conceded two in head-to-heads with these teams, whereas Poland scored one and conceded zero.
However, wishing for a Spain victory has its limitations too, because if they win by three clear goals or more, that would put La Rojita in first place.
Only the group winners are guaranteed a spot in the semi-final, along with the best runners-up from the three groups.
Therefore Italy can finish with six points and still go out, as they’d need a better goal difference compared to other sides that finish second.
To make matters worse, Italy’s game is on Saturday, whereas Group B concludes on Sunday and Group C on Monday.
In theory, the Azzurrini could have to wait until Monday to know if they’ll get through as the best runner-up based on both points and goal difference.
As those groups stand, Germany and Austria have three points each in Group B after one game played, with Denmark and Serbia on zero.
In Group C, Romania and France have three points, England and Croatia on zero.