15 November 2021
European Elite League: Italy draw with England in ChesterfieldIn front of over 7000 spectators, Bate responds to Maldini’s opener
Thursday, October 7, 2021
In their European Elite League showdown against England in Chesterfield, Italy U20s came away with a solid draw. At a fantastic setting in front of around 7000 spectators, the Azzurrini took a first-half lead thanks to a great goal from Daniel Maldini. Seven minutes later, the hosts responded through Bate. The match continued to be played in a highly competitive spirit after the restart as both teams created dangerous situations, even if England were more aggressive in the final ten minutes. However, Italy stood firm and picked up a point from a match which Alberto Bollini described as spectacular: “We faced a great side with fantastic physical and technical qualities today,” said the Head Coach. “We fought them as a group, displaying pride for the shirt and good football.”
Bollini sent the Azzurrini out in a 4-3-3 formation consisting of the following players: Gelmi, Barbieri, Armini, Viti, Ponsi; Leone, Bove, Oristanio; Maldini Cortinovis, Sekulov. Italy took the lead in the 34th minute thanks to a piece of play that started with Oristanio winning the ball back. The same player then sent in a cross that was headed home by Maldini. England looked to respond and equalised after 41 minutes: after a ball in from the right and a scramble in the area, Lewis Bate (Chelsea) found the net.
Italy had the first major chance of the second half as Oristanio failed to hit the target on the counter. In the 70th minute, Greenwood hit the post with a free kick. “The lads had to dig in during the final ten minutes because England upped the tempo at the end,” continued Bollini. “However, they stood up well, meaning the game ended with the right scoreline. Well done to everyone: we managed to achieve an excellent result. It really was a fantastic game that was played in a brilliant atmosphere and a fair and competitive spirit.”
Next up for the Azzurrini in the European Elite League will be a home match against Portugal on Tuesday 12 October. Kick-off is scheduled for 15:00 CEST at the Stadio Benito Stirpe in Frosinone.
European Elite League participants: Poland, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Czech Republic, Germany, England, Norway.
Results and standings
Poland 0-2 Italy
Romania 2-1 Portugal
Czech Republic 0-2 Germany
Germany 1-1 Norway
England 6-1 Romania
Portugal 0-0 Poland
England 1-1 Italy
Portugal 1-2 Norway
Romania 2-1 Czech Republic
Poland 0-0 Germany
Standings: Romania 6 points; Germany 5; England, Italy, Norway 4; Poland 2; Portugal 1; Czech Republic 0