Italy manager Roberto Mancini said his team deserved to book their place in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals on Saturday after edging Austria 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley.
Italy had been unstoppable in the group phase - winning all three games, scoring seven goals and conceding none - but faced a much sterner challenge against an organised and committed Austria side.
After a goalless 90 minutes, Italy broke the deadlock five minutes into extra time through substitute Federico Chiesa after the Juventus forward's superb touch and finish.
Matteo Pessina, also off the bench, made sure that the Azzurri would make last eight but Austria pulled one back through Sasa Kalajdzic to keep the tie in the balance until the final whistle.
"We got the result because we deserved it. In the first half we could have scored a couple of goals and then after the break we dropped off physically," Mancini told Italy's public broadcaster RAI.
"We won thanks to the players who came on with the right mindset and resolved the situation.
"I knew it would be hard, maybe even more so than in the quarter-finals."
The win means that Mancini has guided Italy to 31 matches unbeaten, breaking a record that had been established by Vittorio Pozzo in the 1930s.
Italy will play either Belgium or Portugal in Munich on July 2, with the reigning European champions and the world's top-ranked team facing off on Sunday in Seville.
Assessing the performances at Wembley, Luke Thrower has provided his player ratings in the photo gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.