Nazionale U17

European Championships, the Azzurrini lose 2-0 to Serbia: Slovenia on 24 May to get through to the quarters

Italy will have to win by three goals against the Slovenian side and hope for a win from Spain to advance to the quarters. Corradi: 'We must honour the fact that we are playing a European Championship with the national team until the very end'

Sunday, May 21, 2023

European Championships, the Azzurrini lose 2-0 to Serbia: Slovenia on 24 May to get through to the quarters

The National Under 17 team's path to the European Championships becomes more complicated: at the Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium in Budapest, the team loses 2-0 against Serbia, with goals from Maksimović in the 39th minute and Cvetković in the 59th minute, handing them their second consecutive defeat in as many matches. The Azzurrini, who will face Slovenia on Wednesday 24th May at 17:00 CEST at the Telki Training Centre in Telki in their last match of group B, must win by three goals and hope for a simultaneous defeat of Serbia by Spain at the BSC Stadium in Budaörs to qualify for the quarter-finals.

"Beyond the numbers," emphasises Bernardo Corradi, whose team produced 16 shots (twice as many as Serbia), "if you don't win even one in two matches at the European Championship, you have to ask yourself some questions. We are a team that creates a lot but, unfortunately, does not manage to score goals, and, at the same time, fails to be strong and decisive in defensive tackles. It's true, we found a team that chose to sit back, that gave up playing and that only thought about attacking on the counter. This is football: they had one strategy, we had another and, in the end, theirs proved to be the winning strategy.

"I congratulated the boys for their dedication," continued the Azzurri coach, "this will be neither their first nor their last game in their career. Now, we must have the dignity to continue working knowing that it will take a miracle. Miracles don't often happen, but sometimes they do. We must honour the fact that we are playing a European Championship with the national team jersey until the very end".

The match. Bernardo Corradi, compared to the 2-1 loss to Spain in the opening match, made five changes to the starting line-up, inserting Filippo Pagnucco (Juventus) and Giorgio Vezzosi (Sassuolo) in defence, Leonardo Mendicino (Atalanta) and Giacomo De Pieri (Inter) in midfield, and Emanuele Rao (Spal) in attack.

The Azzurrini got off on the right foot and, in the opening minutes, committed the Serbian goalkeeper, Džodić, with a venomous header from Rao before, a few minutes later, Serbia responded with a timid low shot from the edge by Cvetković which was promptly stopped by Tommaso Martinelli (Fiorentina). The Azzurri's number 1, after making a superb save on Petrović's violent right-footer from the edge of the box, could do nothing about Maksimović's close-range tap-in, which, in the 39th minute, capitalised on a fine personal move by Matija Popović down the left flank.

Corradi's men, after having wasted a great chance through Marco Romano (Genoa) in the first minutes of the second half, were then beaten by Cvetković, who, positioned in the centre of the box, made the most of Matija Popović's run down the left flank in the 59th minute. In the agitated final minutes of the match, after a couple of attempts by Tommaso Ravaglioli (Bologna) and Vittorio Magni (Milan), there was time for another fine save by Martinelli on Delibašić's close-range left-footer and Džodić's resounding save on Romano's left-footed left-footer at the last second.

Italy will play their last chance to qualify for the quarters on Wednesday 24 May at 17 CEST at the Telki Training Centre against Slovenia, who lost 3-1 to Spain at the Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium in Budapest in the afternoon.

Box score

Serbia 2-0 Italia

Serbia (3-4-2-1) : Džodić; Milosavljević, Simić, Đurić; Ćuk (85' Jocić), Mitrović, Petrović (C), Vukojević (76' Delibašić); Maksimović (85' Popović A), Popović M. (68' Subotić); Cvetković (85' Alilović).
Subs: Radulaški (GK), Avdić, Stojanović, Sremčević.
Coach: Luković.

Italy (4-3-1-2) : Martinelli; Magni, Vezzosi, Bassino, Pagnucco (66' Cocchi); Mendicino (46' Mannini), Crapisto (81' Fini), Romano (C); De Pieri; Ragnoli Galli (55' Liberali), Rao (55' Ravaglioli).
Subs: Mascardi (GK), Riccio, Sadotti, Ramaj.
Coach: Corradi.

Referee: Adam Ladebäck (Sweden).
Assistant 1: Daniel Yng (Sweden).
Assistant 2: Elshad Abdullayev (Azerbaijan).
Fourth Official: Lothar D'hondt (Belgium).

Goalscorers: 39' Maksimović (Serbia), 59' Cvetković (Serbia).

Bookings: 31' Crapisto (Italia), 53' Petrović (Serbia), 60' Milosavljević (Serbia), 71' Maksimović (Serbia).
Red cards: -

Notes: added time 3' (1st Half) & 7' (2nd Half). Corners: 3-8.

Squad list

Goalkeepers: Tommaso Martinelli (Fiorentina), Diego Mascardi (Spezia), Francesco Plaia (Spezia);
Defenders: Alessandro Bassino (Juventus), Matteo Cocchi (Inter), Alfonso De Luca (Napoli), Vittorio Magni (Milan), Filippo Pagnucco (Juventus), Gabriel Ramaj (Atalanta), Edoardo Sadotti (Fiorentina), Alessandro Ventre (Juventus), Giorgio Vezzosi (Sassuolo);
Midfielders: Lorenzo Carfora (Benevento), Francesco Crapisto (Juventus), Giacomo De Pieri (Inter), Gabriele Finocchiaro (Juventus), Cosimo Fiorini (Zurigo), Mattia Mannini (Roma), Leonardo Mendicino (Atalanta), Lorenzo Riccio (Atalanta), Marco Romano (Genoa)
Forwards: Seydou Fini (Genoa), Mattia Liberali (Milan), Federico Ragnoli Galli (Atalanta), Emanuele Rao (Spal), Tommaso Ravaglioli (Bologna), Filippo Scotti (Milan).

Staff - Coach: Bernardo Corradi; National Youth Coordinator: Maurizio Viscidi; Assistant coach: Massimiliano Favo; Goalkeeper coach: Davide Quironi; Athletic trainer: Adalberto Zamuner; Match analyst: Andrea Loiacono; Doctor: Attilio Romano; Nutritionist: Claudio Pecorella; Press: Alessandro Paoli; School tutor: Stefano Presciutti; Physiotherapist: Enrico Matera; Secretary: Massimo Petracchini.


Group B standings: Spain 6, Slovenia 3, Serbia 3, ITALY 0

1st Matchday (Thursday 18 May)
Serbia 2-4 Slovenia
ITALY 1-2 Spain

2nd Matchday (Sunday 21 May)
Spain 3-1 Slovenia
Serbia 2-0 ITALY

3rd Matchday (Wednesday 24 May)
Spain v Serbia (17 CEST, BSC Stadium in Budaörs)
Slovenia v ITALYT (17 CEST, Telki Training Centre in Telki)

Quarter finals (Saturday 27 May)

Under-17 World Cup tiebreaker (Tuesday 30 May)

Semi-finals (Tuesday 30 May)

Finals (Friday 2 June)