Italy secured a semi-final spot at the European Curling Championships after beating Poland 6-4 in the eighth men’s round-robin session in Tallinn today.
The Italians opened the scoring with three points in the second end at the Estonian capital's Tondiraba Ice Hall.
They led 5-4 going into the ninth end in which skip Joël Retornaz played a tap-back onto the button to score another point and secure their win early with Poland conceding.
"It was a tough game," Retornaz said.
"They played solid and we made a couple of mistakes.
"That probably wasn’t our best performance, but it feels good to be one of the top four European teams."
Victory sees Italy move up to second place in the round-robin standings with six wins and two losses.
They are sandwiched between Sweden and Scotland, who met today in a top-of-the-table clash.
With both teams already qualified, the game was about who would finish first and have the theoretically easier semi-final.
Scotland’s skip Bruce Mouat played a nose-hit and stay on the only Swedish stone in the house to score four points in the sixth end.
In the 10th end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin hit out a Scottish stone to score three points, win the game 9-8 and preserve his team’s undefeated record.
Today’s action also saw The Netherlands record their first victory of the competition when they beat Finland 12-2.
While the Dutch can no longer qualify for the semi-finals, they remain in the hunt for a place in the line-up at the World Qualification Event in January.
There were also 7-5 wins today for Germany and Norway, over Switzerland and Russia respectively, to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Having spent the week battling sickness in the team, Olympic champions Sweden grabbed an 8-2 win over Finland in this evening’s eighth session of women’s round-robin play to qualify for he semi-finals.
The Swedes have had multiple changes to their line-up because of a bug but produced a strong performance to triumph in just seven ends.
They had a 7-1 lead at the half-time break and after the teams had swapped single points in the sixth and seventh ends, Finland conceded.
It followed an 8-4 victory for Sweden over Italy in the morning session.
"We’ve played really good in the last two games and we are all back to full power after the stomach bug earlier in the week," second player Agnes Knochenhauer said.
"Some fine-tuning tomorrow in the last round-robin and then we are ready for the semi-finals."
Russia’s 8-7 win over defending champions Scotland means that they have joined Switzerland and Sweden in the semi-final line-up.
They started today by beating Finland 6-3, while Scotland defeated Germany 9-2.
Switzerland had 9-2 and 10-4 victories over Latvia and Germany respectively to maintain their unbeaten record and guarantee themselves first place in the rankings.
Latvia bounced back from that loss to overcome Czech Republic 7-4 and do their chances of qualifying directly for the World Championships no harm.
In the last game in the evening session, Italy’s beat Denmark 7-6 to stay in the hunt for a place at the World Qualification Event in January.
Denmark defeated Czech Republic 5-3 in the morning session.
Men's and women's round-robin action is due to conclude tomorrow.
It will be immediately followed by the men's semi-finals.