Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio

Azzurrini overcome Morocco to pick up third win of the season

Ferrara once again turned out to be a positive location for the Under-21 National Team on Tuesday, with Luigi Di Biagio’s side picking up their third win of the season. Following previous emphatic victories over both Slovenia and Hungary, Morocco was the latest victim of the Azzurrini’s recent run of form. Played out at the Stadio Paolo Mazza, the home side scored twice in the first half through Parigini and Cutrone, while Bonazzoli and Vido then sealed the win with separate strikes after the interval. 

It was yet another convincing display from the Under-21 side, comfortably finding the back the net and also looking strong in defence. There were four new faces in regard to the friendly that was played against Hungary last Thursday: Audero started in goal, Pezzella played at left-back alongside Calabria, Mancini and Romagna, while Parigini then teamed up with Murgia, Locatelli and Chiesa in midfield. Favilli paired up with Cutrone in attack. 

In terms of action, Morocco came close to opening the scoring in the 4th minute, with El Kaouakibi forcing a good double save from Audero. However, unsettled by this early scare, Italy came straight back and had a goal disallowed just three minutes later. The opening goal of the game finally came in the 26th minute, with Parigini’s accurate strike finding the back of the net. 

With increased confidence, Italy then stretched further out into the lead in the 38th minute through Cutrone. Assisted by Calabria, the Milan starlet successfully scored his fourth goal in three matches. Di Biagio opted to make no changes at half time, although the trio of  Chiesa, Cutrone and Parigini made way for Depaoli, Orsolini and Bonazzoli in the 61st minute. 

The Italians were less energetic during the second period, subsequently allowing the away side to threaten Audero’s goal once more, although the athletic shot-stopper was on hand to produce the save. After 20 minutes of play, the Azzurrini opted to step up the pace and Bonzzoli soon scored his side’s third following some great link-up play from Locatelli and Murgia. This was cause for great celebration among the 7000 spectators present, who were delighted to see the local Spal man score. 

With the game petering out, the Azzurrini did have further chances to score, with Di Biagio particularly impressed by his side’s recent advancement: “The squad gave an important response,” he said after the match. “We have improved and we are growing. The path is still long, but we will continue to work with great commitment.”