Watch: Emanuele Giaccherini gives Italy a shock lead over Belgium

Coming into the match Belgium were number two in the FIFA rankings while many people believed this would be one of the worst Italian teams to ever play at a major tournament. Therefore it’d be fair to assume this would be a pretty straightforward contest with Belgium coming out the victors.

Apparently nobody told that to the Italians. Right from the opening whistle Italy brought the game to Belgium, looking by far the better team. Eventually the ball found its way to Leonardo Bonucci all alone in the center circle. Despite the fact that he’s a center back, Bonucci is Italy’s best passer. Immediately both Bonucci and Emanuele Giaccherini realized Belgium was playing a high line and looked to take advantage.

Giaccherini made a great run and Bonucci delivered a fantastic ball to get him behind the defense. The rest was up to Giaccherini who calmly finished and gave Italy a big 1-0 lead. With the way Italy defends, that may be all they need.

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN