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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Italy coach Antonio Conte hails win in 'rough' Euro 2016 game vs. Sweden

Italy coach Antonio Conte said his side had come through a tough match after Eder's late goal sealed a 1-0 victory over Sweden and a place in the knockout stages.

The striker scored the only goal of a drab encounter after 88 minutes and Conte told told Rai Sport: "It was a difficult game, a rough one.

"We struggled in the first half, and Sweden did well to get into spaces and reached the ball before we did.

"Even then, we allowed Sweden practically nothing. We created all the chances, hitting the woodwork and scoring the goal.

"Who would have expected that, after two games, Italy would qualify for the round of 16?"

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Speaking at his postmatch news conference, he told reporters: "First and foremost, we need to be very pleased. The fact that we are through is a huge achievement.

"The players deserve the credit. I hope that these two wins can give us greater confidence. We started this tournament with flat tyres, but we are trying to pump them up a bit, game by game." 

He praised Eder, adding: "This player had a crucial role. He has technique, he has pace. The goal that he scored shows he has a clear head and is very clinical."

Eder told the official UEFA website that Italy had worked hard for their win and added: "When one works so hard, the joy always arrives.

"There's no such thing as an easy game. I dedicate this goal to the whole group, everybody who has worked with us this last year and a half and been here from May 18, because we've prepared well."

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