Spain were made to wait for a place in the quarter-finals of the European Under-21 Championship as they were held to a goalless draw by nine-man Italy after Romania broke Hungary hearts.
Holders Spain had not failed to score in 26 Euro U21 matches, but the holders fired a blank at Stadion Ljudski vrt in Maribor on Saturday.
Italy had Gianluca Scamacca and Nicolo Rovella dismissed for second bookable offences in a dramatic finale, while Spain’s Oscar Mingueza was also sent off as tempers flared.
Davide Frattesi’s shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Spain goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez in a stalemate that leaves Spain two points clear of Italy and the Czech Republic in Group B.
The Czech Republic needed a late Nik Prelec own goal to secure a 1-1 draw that was a hammer blow to co-hosts Slovenia after Aljosa Matko opened the scoring in the first half.
Spain will be expected to get the job done when they face the Czech Republic on Tuesday, with battling Italy well placed to advance ahead of their encounter with Slovenia.
GROUP A RESULT
Nmecha strikes late for Germany to cancel out Kluivert’s opener.
GROUP B RESULT
— UEFA U21 EURO (@UEFAUnder21) March 27, 2021
Romania shattered Hungary’s hopes of qualifying by coming from behind to beat the co-hosts 2-1, moving up to second in Group A.
Andras Csonka put Hungary in front after 56 minutes at the Bozsik Arena despite Adrian Szoke’s first-half dismissal for two bookable offences, but Alexandru Matan and Alex Pascanu won it late on.
Germany lead the way after Lukas Nmecha salvaged a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, who took the lead through Justin Kluivert at Sostoi Stadion in Szekesfehervar.
The Netherlands are two points adrift of Germany and Romania, who meet on Tuesday when the Dutch take on Hungary.
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