16 November 2023
A 2-2 draw in second friendly against RomaniaThe hosts equalise three minutes from time to deny the Azzurrini the win
Sunday, November 19, 2023
After winning 3-1 in the first match between the sides on Thursday, the Under-18 National Team drew 2-2 against Romania in the second. A completely changed Italy side took the lead twice in the second half in Chiajna thanks to goals from Matteo Spinaccé (Inter) and Andrea Bonanomi (Atalanta), but Szimionas and Tarba responded for the hosts to deny the Azzurrini their third win in three matches since the start of the new season.
“It’s never easy when you change the entire team,” said Head Coach Daniele Franceschini. “However, the lads did well. It was a very physical and intense game, but we had the right attitude and always tried to keep hold of the ball.” The team are on the right track, but there’s certainly still room for improvement: “In the future, we’ll need to raise the bar still further both physically and mentally. The lads will need to become more aware of their capabilities and learn from their mistakes.”
THE MATCH. Franceschini changed the entire line-up, with Carfora lining up behind Ravaglioli and De Pieri in a 4-3-1-2 formation that saw captain Riccio, Plaia and Bonanomi play in the middle of the park. Plaia and Bassino formed the centre-back pairing in front of Mascardi, with Ventre and Simonetto operating down the flanks. In a first half with very little goalmouth action, Italy came closest as Ravaglioli’s 20th-minute near-post effort was saved by Monteanu, who also managed to keep out an attempt by Riccio from the edge of the box.
The Azzurrini took the lead at the start of the second half: Fini was thwarted by the goalkeeper, who, however, could do nothing as Spinaccé made it 1-0 on the rebound. The home side drew level on the hour mark through Szimionas following a Romania corner, but Italy restored their advantage ten minutes later through Bonanomi, who netted from close range after an assist from the impressive Fini. However, just as it looked like the Azzurrini would come away with another victory, Tarba bagged an 87th-minute equaliser.