UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Vibrant Italy outclass Denmark's old guard in EURO 1988 Group 1

Italy 2-0 Denmark
Denmark finished Group 1 without a point after defeat by a vibrant Italian side.

Alessandro Altobelli scores against Denmark in Cologne
Alessandro Altobelli scores against Denmark in Cologne Getty Images

Two inspired substitutions by Azeglio Vicini proved the difference as Italy defeated Denmark 2-0 to rubber-stamp their place in the semi-finals.

With a win and a draw under their belt prior to their final Group 1 fixture, Italy already looked well set to progress. They nevertheless found themselves frustrated for long periods against Denmark, with Gianluca Vialli – scorer of the only goal in the Azzurri's 1-0 win against Spain – particularly exasperated by a handful of first-half missed opportunities.

EURO 1988: All you need to know

Roberto Mancini, on the mark in Italy's opener against West Germany, also hit a brick wall in the shape of Peter Schmeichel, who made two especially fine saves to keep out the young striker. Vicini took off Mancini midway through the second half and less than 30 seconds later was rewarded. Vialli was the catalyst, bustling his way down the left before crossing for Mancini's replacement, Alessandro Altobelli, who controlled superbly with his first touch, stayed strong and finished cutely over Schmeichel.

Italy celebrate a goal against the Danes
Italy celebrate a goal against the DanesIcon Sport via Getty Images

Italy put the result beyond doubt late on when another substitute, Luigi De Agostini, slid in to poke Giuseppe Bergomi's cross past Schmeichel just two minutes after coming on. While Italy marched on in impressive fashion, it seemed that Denmark's old guard had reached the end of the road.

EURO 1988: Team of the Tournament


Italy line up ahead of the Denmark game
Italy line up ahead of the Denmark gameIcon Sport via Getty Images

Italy: Zenga; Maldini, Baresi, Ferri, Bergomi (c); Ancelotti, Giannini, De Napoli, Donadoni (De Agostini 85); Vialli, Mancini (Altobelli 66)
Substitutes: Ferrara, Tacconi, Fusi
Coach: Azeglio Vicini

Denmark: Schmeichel; Nielsen, Lars Olsen, Kristensen; Heintze, Jensen, Morten Olsen (c) (Berggreen 67), Laudrup, Frimann (Vilfort 58); Povlsen, Eriksen
Substitutes: Rasmussen, Sivebæk, Busk
Coach: Sepp Piontek

Referee: Bruno Galler (Switzerland)