Euro 2024 qualifiers: Berardi brace helps Italy thrash Malta; Hungary, Slovenia also win

Italy forward Domenico Berardi scored twice as the home side cruised to a 4-0 win over Malta in their Euro 2024 Group C qualifier on Saturday.

The European champion had few problems at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, despite contending with injuries, against a Malta side without a win so far in the qualifying campaign.

Italy is second in the table ahead of Ukraine on goal difference, which earlier won 2-0 against North Macedonia. Both teams have 10 points, but Italy has a match in hand on all its group rivals except England, which tops the group with 13 points.

England hosts Italy in its next qualifier on Tuesday.

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Giacomo Bonaventura opened the scoring after 23 minutes, netting his first international goal with a skilful right-foot curler into the top corner from just inside the penalty area.

Berardi increased Italy’s lead with a left-foot curler just before halftime and added his second goal in the 64th minute with a precise finish from a cut-back.

In the closing moments, Davide Frattesi scored the final goal of the night, skilfully slotting a low shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.

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Hungary remains top of Group G after beating second-placed Serbia 2-1, with all the goals coming in the first half. Hungary has 13 points, three points above Serbia, with a game in hand.

In Group H, leader Slovenia beat third-placed Finland 3-0 with a Benjamin Sesko double, including a penalty, and a late goal by Erik Janza. It is level on 16 points with second-placed Denmark, which won 3-1 at home to Kazakhstan.


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