Mondiale Under 20

A date with the Dominican Republic for a spot in the round of 16. Desplanches: 'Let's bring the same spirit on the field as we did against Brazil'

Tomorrow (27 May) in Mendoza the last match of the group stage for a spot in the round of 16. The match will be broadcast live on Rai Sport HD, channel 58 of the digital terrestrial network, starting at 19.50 CEST

Friday, May 26, 2023

A date with the Dominican Republic for a spot in the round of 16. Desplanches: 'Let's bring the same spirit on the field as we did against Brazil'

After the thrilling victory against Brazil (3-2) and the defeat suffered against Nigeria (2-0), it is the turn of the Dominican Republic for the last match of the first phase of the Under-20 World Cup being played in Argentina. Tomorrow at 15:00 local time (20:00 CEST, live on Rai Sport HD, channel 59 DT) at the 'Malvinas Argentinas' stadium in Mendoza, Nunziata's boys will have to make a strong final effort to go through and reach the round of 16, which a victory would mathematically guarantee. After their victory against Italy two days ago, the Africans have already secured their ticket to the next round, but tomorrow they will face Brazil, who, in turn, need three points to go ahead. In fact, the group D standings have the Africans in the lead, practically already qualified, with 6 points followed by Italy and Brazil at 3, Dominican Republic at the tail end with zero: The first two of each group go through and, theoretically, a draw could also be enough to place the Azzurrini among the best four third-place-finishes of the tournament that close the grid for the round of 16, but Carmine Nunziata does not want to take any chances: "Important match, it will not be easy because in this World Cup there are no easy matches: the team is charged up to reach the goal of the round of 16. We have to take the field with the right mentality, try to win the match, and then we will see what the other teams will do."

The Dominican Republic, who have never qualified before for this event, is coming off a heavy defeat two days ago against the Greenoro (6-0) and are now out of the competition. They will not have with them their most important player, captain Alexander Azcona, as he was sent off in the last match against Brazil. Italy is left with the task, in addition to winning, of scoring as many goals as possible to try to close in on Brazil and Nigeria in the goal difference in order to acquire top position. The goal difference is the first criteria for determining the position in the final standings of the group in the event of a tie at the top of the group (followed by goals scored and then disciplinary record): a simultaneous victory for Italy and Brazil would bring three teams to occupy first place with 6 points.

"We will have to forget the match against Nigeria," said Sebastiano Desplanches, goalkeeper for the national team, "recover mental energy and face tomorrow's match with the same determination with which we beat Brazil". Sebastiano was decisive with his many saves, between the posts but especially in the box, thanks to which he saved the Azzurri's net on numerous occasions. With the Under 19 team, in Slovakia last July, he made a great contribution to the qualification for this World Cup after having gone through the ranks of all the youth teams, starting with the Christmas Tournament, which is held every year at Coverciano to select the best Italian Under 15 talents, and ending with this World Cup: "A great feeling. Winning the opener against Brazil I will never forget: 35,000 spectators cheering for us, 3-0 at the end of the first half against Brazil, it seemed like a dream. That's the concentration we have to keep tomorrow: like that, we can beat anyone".

Group D fixtures and table

Sunday 21 May
Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic 
ITALY 3-2 Brazil 

Wednesday 24 May
ITALY 0-2 Nigeria 
Brazil 6-0 Dominican Republic

Table: Nigeria 6 points, ITALY, Brazil 3, Dominican Republic 0

Saturday 27 May
Brazil vs. Nigeria, 15:00, La Plata
Dominican Republic vs. ITALY, 15:00 (20:00 CEST), Stadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza

The Squad
Goalkeepers: Sebastiano Desplanches (Trento); Jacopo Sassi (Giugliano Calcio), Gioele Zacchi (Sassuolo);
Defenders: Filippo Fiumanò (Aquila Montevarchi); Alessandro Fontanarosa (Inter), Daniele Ghilardi (Mantova), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (Inter);
Midfielders: Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Cesare Casadei (Reading F.C.), Duccio Degli Innocenti (Empoli), Giacomo Faticanti (Roma), Luca Lipani (Genoa), Niccolò Pisilli (Roma), Matteo Prati (SPAL);
Attackers: Giuseppe Ambrosino Di Bruttopilo (Cittadella), Francesco Pio Esposito (Inter), Daniele Montevago (Sampdoria), Simone Pafundi (Udinese).


Staff - Head of Delegation, Marcello Nicchi; Manager: Gianfranco Serioli ; Assistant Head Coach, Emanuele Filippini; Fitness Coach, Vito Azzone; Goalkeeping Coach, Fabrizio Ferron; Match Analyst, Marco Mannucci; Observer, Claudio Coppi; Doctors, Carmelo Papotto and Lorenzo Ticca; Physiotherapist, Giuseppe Galli and Tommaso Cannata; Nutritionist, Alessio Colli; Secretary, Aldo Blessich; Press Officer, Giuseppe Ingrati; Administration, Francesco Casella; Club Italia, Matteo Galdelli; Logistics, Carlo Fanano.

Groups and Cities

Group A: Argentina, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand (Santiago del Estero);

Group B: Usa, Ecuador, Fiji, Slovakia (San Juan);

Group C: Senegal, Japan, Israel, Colombia (La Plata);

Group D: ITALY, Brazil, Nigeria, Dominican Republic (Mendoza);

Group E: Uruguay, Iraq, England, Tunisia (La Plata);

Group F: France, South Korea, Gambia, Honduras (Mendoza).

Albo d’oro


(number of Under-20 World Cups won)

Argentina (six), Brazil (five), Portugal (two), Serbia (two), Ghana (one) Spain (one), Russia (one), Germany (one), England (one), France (one), Ukraine (one, reigning champions).