Italy stormed through the group with a 1-0 win against Wales with three wins and underpinned their ambitions for the first European title in 53 years.
Rome - Even eight changes could not stop the series winners from coach Roberto Mancini, who not only celebrated the eleventh success in a row.
With 30 games in a row without defeat, the four-time world champion also set his record from the 30s under the coaching legend Vittorio Pozzo.
The Welsh superstar Gareth Bale, who has been without an international goal for 20 months or 1005 minutes, also made it into the knockout round despite the defeat as second in the table.
At the EM 2016, the "dragons" made a sensational advance into the semifinals.
The Italians will face Austria or Ukraine in the round of 16 of this year's tournament * at Wembley Stadium.
EM 2021: Italy defeated Wales and made it to the round of 16 - the British can also be happy
"It couldn't have gone better," said Mancini, "we could only have scored one more goal." His changes would not have changed much, "they are all good and know what they have to do".
Bale was happy: “We are tired, but proud.
We're second, that's really great. "
Matteo Pessina (39th) scored the goal for the European champions of 1968 in Rome. Italy * has been clean for 1055 minutes - just 88 minutes away from the record set by goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff between 1972 and 1974.
The Welshman Ethan Ampadu received the red card for gross foul play (55th).
His comeback in the almost completely turned inside out Squadra Azzurra was midfield boss Marco Verratti after his knee ligament injury, which he sustained at the beginning of May.
After the break, he took over the captain's armband after replacing Leonardo Bonucci.
From the 3-0 win against Switzerland, only goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, defender Bonucci and midfielder Jorginho were in the starting line-up.
Despite the numerous changes, the hosts dominated from the start with long ball relays, Verratti took over the role of chief in midfield alongside Jorginho.
The British initially focused on the defensive.
First approaches to the goal of the Welsh were rather harmless.
Andrea Belotti's cross did not find a buyer (24th).
EM 2021: Italy defeated Wales - numerous qualifications and a red card in the last group game
The offensive efforts of Bale and Co. were very manageable, mostly they lost the ball in the build-up game. "Safety first" was the motto, one point was the clearly recognizable goal.
It took almost half an hour for Neco Williams to endanger the Italian goal for the first time with a header from a corner (27th).
On the other side, Federico Chiesa caused the first excitement in the penalty area (29th).
Ten minutes later, Pessina steered the ball into the goal after a free kick from Verratti to give it a well-deserved lead.
At halftime, Mancini also took out captain Bonucci to spare him for the knockout round.
Another free kick almost made it 2-0.
Federico Bernadeschi hit the post from 20 meters (53.).
In return, Aaron Ramsey recklessly messed up the ball in the Italian six-yard box (54th).
After an attack against Bernadeschi, Ampadu saw red - a tough decision by referee Ovidiu Hategan (Romania). The equalizer missed Bale, who knocked the ball free-standing over the goal (75.).
(SID) * tz.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA