Italy qualified for Euro 2024 after drawing 0-0 against Ukraine in their final Group C qualifier this morning although the Ukrainians can still secure a spot through the playoffs.
European champions Italy finished second, level on 14 points with third-placed Ukraine but with a better head-to-head record after a tense affair that could have gone either way.
The Italians ended six points behind England, who had sealed qualification after beating Italy 3-1 at Wembley in October.
Ukraine, who have never beaten Italy, had strong claims for a penalty after Bryan Cristante’s clumsy challenge on Mykhailo Mudryk in stoppage time but nothing was given.
They can still book a spot at a fourth consecutive European Championship via the playoffs in March. The playoff draw will take place on Thursday in Nyon.
“Ukraine showed that they are an equipped team and they gave us a hard time,” Italy coach Luciano Spalletti told Rai Sport.
“Today we played a good match because in the first half we had many opportunities to secure the result. Then when we didn’t manage to do so the match became dirtier and more physical.
“They brought in more physical players but at that moment they no longer played football.”