Nazionale U19

Elite phase. Belgium the final hurdle for the Under 19s

Tomorrow (28 March, 12:00 CEST) at the Stadion Obervieland the decisive match in the group will take place. A draw might be enough, but victory would secure qualification. The Red Devils need to win to get into the final phase of the European Championships.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Elite phase. Belgium the final hurdle for the Under 19s

Belgium are the final hurdle for qualification to the final stages of the European Championship. Tomorrow (28 March, at 12:00 CEST), at the Stadion Obervieland in Bremen, the last match of the elite phase will be played. The Azzurrini, after defeating the hosts Germany (3-2) and drawing (0-0) with Slovenia, are looking to clinch first place - the only place that secures qualification - in group 2 and fly to Malta where the final phase of the continental event will take place from July 3 to 16. Italy, with four points, are first and a victory would give them mathematical certainty of progression; a draw might be enough but Slovenia, who will face Germany (at 12 noon, Weser Stadion in Bremen), by now out of the tournament, would eliminate Bollini's lads should they win by two goals.

Bollini will have his work cut out getting a team together, without Kayode and Regonesi (for suspension, two yellow cards) and Hasa, unavailable due to a muscular problem: "The boys," said the Azzurri coach, "found their strength from the solidity of the group, their sense of the game and their adaptability. On an emotional level, they have always been good in the past at managing and overcoming very complicated spells. Tomorrow all we can think about is playing the game. But it is a shame against Slovenia we were without much of our attack (Koleosho, D'Andrea and Hasa, for different reasons) and tomorrow, when we are facing a very attacking team, with two players who play in the Belgian First Division, we will be without our two full-backs, Kayode and Regonesi. We will have to be very focused and calm."

Belgium are coming from two draws, the first with Slovenia (0-0), the second with Germany (1-1), and only a win would guarantee first place in the group. The Belgians play a 4-3-3 and their standout players are captain Mario Stroeyckens and Noah Sadiki, an Anderlecht forward and defender who have played in the Conference League, and a player from the Primavera league, Samuel Mbangula, a Juventus forward, .

Captain Giacomo Faticanti is confident: "It will be a battle: we both want to win and for them the three points are essential. The Belgian team is very gifted both physically and technically. We will have to play our game, without fear or hesitation. We have all the means to do so. We must be calm and confident in our abilities, as we have done so far. We all want this."

The squad

Goalkeepers: Davide Mastrantonio (Triestina), Lorenzo Palmisani (Frosinone);

Defenders: Fabio Christian Chiarodia (Werder Bremen), Lorenzo Dellavalle (Juventus), Michael Olabode Kayode (Fiorentina), Filippo Calixte Mane (Borussia Dortmund), Filippo Missori (Roma), Iacopo Regonesi (Atalanta), Riccardo Stivanello (Bologna);

Midfielders: Lorenzo Amatucci (Fiorentina), Giacomo Faticanti (Roma), Justin Kumi (Sassuolo), Luca Lipani (Genoa), Niccolò Pisilli (Roma);

Attackers: Luca D’andrea (Sassuolo), Francesco Esposito (Inter), Luis Hasa (Juventus), Luca Warrick Daeovie Koleosho (Espanyol), Antonio Raimondo (Bologna), Samuele Vignato (Monza).