Result: Italy seal Euro 2016 ticket with Azerbaijan victory

Result: Italy seal Euro 2016 ticket
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Italy march into Euro 2016 with a 3-1 win away to Azerbaijan, courtesy of goals from Eder, Stephen El Shaarawy and Matteo Darmian.

Italy booked their ticket to Euro 2016 with a comfortable 3-1 win away to Azerbaijan in Baku tonight.

Antonio Conte's men, who sit top of Group H, came into the contest knowing that victory would see them advance into next summer's finals, and they took a big step towards France on 11 minutes.

Eder, Serie A's leading goalscorer so far this season, brought his red-hot form to the international stage when he latched on to a neat pass from Marco Verratti and tucked his effort beneath the body of Kamran Aghayev.

It was almost two on 17 minutes, and it was Eder again, but this time Aghayev came out on top as he produced a smart save to thwart the striker.

His opener did not seem enough to earn a half-time lead, as Dimitrij Nazarov ran on to Gurban Gurbanov's pass before finishing well past the rooted Gianluigi Buffon on 31 minutes.

However, AS Monaco man Stephen El Shaarawy re-established the lead in timely fashion as he tapped home Antonio Candreva's cross just before the break.

Rashad Sadygov produced an impressive off-the-line clearance to deny Eder his brace on 63 minutes, but it only delayed the inevitable as Matteo Darmian smashed home a third shortly after.

If Azerbaijan were not already beaten, then they were when Javid Huseynov was given a straight red card for hauling down Sebastian Giovinco late on.

Graziano Pelle of Italy celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the EURO 2016 Group H Qualifier match between Italy and Malta during the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier between Italy and Malta on September 3, 2015
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