Etcibasi replies to Mosconi's opener: first friendly between Italy and Germany ends 1-1.At Coverciano, it was a good test for Zoratto's lads, who went ahead after 42', thanks to the Inter forward, but were clawed back three minutes later. Head Coach: "Better after the break compared with the first 45', but lots of good signs"
Friday, March 24, 2023
After a positive opening 2023, with wins over a Lega Pro Representative side at Coverciano (3-1) and a double header with Albania in Tirana in February (5-1 and 6-0), the Under 16s drew for the first time this year after their first of two friendly games against Germany finished 1-1 at Coverciano. “We knew it ws going to be a tough game," said Head Coach Daniele Zoratto, "because we knew Germany were a strong side, muscular, athletic, and with good technical ability. As usual, they are one of the top teams in the rankings, so they're of international quality. We did better in the first half than the second. In the first, we showed more quality, while in the second our rhythm and intensity slowed, which in turn affected our ability to create chances, which were few; we had more in the opening 45 minutes. Nevertheless, it was a really good test."
THE MATCH - Italy fielded Vannucchi in goal; Colombo, Vezzosi, Garofalo and Cama in defence; Pisani, Gariani and Di Nunzio in midfield; Olivieri as trequartista behind Castaldo and Mosconi. For Michael Prus's German side, they lined up with Schlich in goal; a backline of Weber, Erlein, Meiser and Ofli; Cherny, Swider and Poller in the middle of the park; and up top Etcibasi and Otto, supported by Bleicher in behind.
The Azzurrini started off strongly and came close to opening the scoring early on; first, through Castaldo's left-footed effort (Bologna), from Cama's cross (Roma), and then with a lethal diagonal hit by Inter's Mosconi from inside the 18-yard box. After a couple of good chances through Otto after 18' and Etcibasi seven minutes later, Germany conceded to make it 1-0 to the Azzurri: Mosconi, after going close on 27 minutes, went past Erlein in the German box, shooting past Schlichat at the near post three minutes before half-time. But the lead didn't last long, with Etcibasi, in the only minute of first-half added time, firing past Vannucchi (Fiorentina), from close range, with a well-struck right-footed shot that went into the top corner.
After the break, changes were made and it was the Germans who tested the Azzurrini with substitute Onyeka stinging the hands of Vannucchi first on 63' and then after 78’. Zoratto's young lads replied through a couple of attempts by substitute Perin (AC Milan), before Germany tried unsuccessfully bringing on Swider int he closing stages. The second friendly between the two sides will be played on Monday 27 March, at 11:00 CEST, at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica in Tirrenia: “As always, we have a rule that says that in the second game we will play the eleven who didn't start from the first whistle, so we'll line up differently and see what changes we make during the game," underlined Zoratto. "These are formative games, that are vital in developing the boys' character, their intensity and competitiveness: rightly so, this is what international games bring. If you can do it here, you can be confident to do it anywhere."