Nazionale U21

Italy concede stoppage-time goal against Türkiye: 1-1 in Ferrara

Nunziata: “A great performance but a shame about the equaliser”

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Italy concede stoppage-time goal against Türkiye: 1-1 in Ferrara

A late blow. At the Stadio Paolo Mazza in Ferrara, in front of National Team Head Coach Luciano Spalletti, Türkiye grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser through Kilicsoy. This goal came after Daniele Ghilardi’s opener for Carmine Nunziata’s side and a penalty save from Desplanches in the first half. The battle for a place in Slovakia, where the final tournament will be held in 2025, remains very much open: Italy sit top but with just a two-point advantage over the Republic of Ireland and a three-point lead over Norway (who beat San Marino today), both of whom have a game in hand. The Azzurrini will return to action at home to San Marino in September, after which they’ll travel to Norway and take on the Republic of Ireland in their final group game in October.

“Given how we performed, we deserved to win,” said Nunziata. “We played well, but we were sloppy for their equaliser and needed to be more attentive. However, that’s football for you. We put everything into it, producing our best display of the season. It’s a shame about those final two minutes where we were too passive. We were happy to see Spalletti, who fired up the lads.”

THE MATCH. For this evening’s match against Türkiye, Nunziata selected Coppola and Pirola as the team’s centre-back pairing, with Calafiori moving into midfield and Miretti having to make do with a place on the bench. Up front, Fabbian and Casadei lined up either side of Gnonto. Fabbian, who made his professional debut in Ferrara when Reggina faced Spal in August 2022, had the first effort at goal: his left-footed attempt was deflected over the bar by a Turkish defender. Soon after, Alemdar made a fantastic save to keep out a close-range header from Calafiori. The visitors had their first shot through Beyaz, who fired wide in the 13th minute. Ten minutes later, the two Bologna men combined: Calafiori escaped down the right and pulled the ball back for the onrushing Fabbian, who failed to hit the target. Pirola was then forced off after 26 minutes, with Ghilardi coming on in his place.

After Prati had seen his right-footed strike saved by Alemdar on the half-hour mark, Ghilardi was involved in the incident that could have changed the match: he was penalised for a foul on Yildirim in box. The same Turkish player stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but, much to the delight of the 4000-strong crowd at the Mazza, Desplanches kept it out.

Italy survived a scare at the start of the second half as Kaplan hit the bar with a header from an Elmaz free-kick. At the other end, an Italy free-kick led to the opening goal in the 50th minute: Gnonto knocked a Ruggeri cross down for Ghilardi, who was left with an easy tap-in to become the Azzurrini’s eleventh goalscorer this qualifying campaign. With just under 20 minutes gone in the second period, another defender - this time Zanotti - was thwarted by Alemdar. In the closing stages, Oristanio replaced Gnonto and Kayode came on for Zanotti. Just when it seemed like Italy were heading for victory, the Turks levelled through Kilicsoy following some good work by Yardimci on the byline. It meant that there was disappointment at the full-time whistle.


Nazionale U21

Kilicsoy gela Ferrara: Azzurrini beffati dalla Turchia

Italy: Desplanches; Zanotti (88’ Kayode), Coppola, Pirola (26' pt Ghilardi), Ruggeri; Ndour, Prati, Calafiori; Fabbian, Casadei; Gnonto (77’ Oristanio). Substitutes: Zacchi, Ambrosino, Turicchia, Bianco, Esposito, Miretti. Head Coach. Nunziata

Türkiye: Alemdar; Bayram (39' Altıkardeş), Kaplan, Tagir (77’ Yardimci), Ozcan; Yildiz, Elmaz, Beyaz (60’ Canak), Kilicsoy; Yildirim (77’ Gurluk), Destan. Substitutes: Bilgin, Baltaci, Ilkhan, Burcu, Karatas. Head Coach. Surme

Goalscorers: 50’ Ghilardi (I), 46' Kilicsoy (T)

Referee: Soto Grado (Spain). Assistants: Cebrian Devis, Alvarez Fernandez (Spain). Fourth official: Pulido Santana (Spain)

Note:  Casadei (I), Kilicsoy (T), Gnonto (I), Kaplan (T), Ozcan (T), Yildirim (T), Calafiori (I) and Prati (I) booked


Friday 22 March

San Marino 0-7 Republic of Ireland
ITALY 2-0 Latvia

Tuesday 26 March
Norway 4-0 San Marino
ITALY 1-1 Türkiye

Standings (number of games played in brackets): ITALY (7) 15 points, Republic of Ireland (6) 13, Norway (6) 12, Latvia (6) and Türkiye (6) 7, San Marino (7) 0


Thursday 5 September:
 Italy vs. San Marino
Tuesday 10 September: Norway vs. Italy
Tuesday 15 October: ​​Italy vs. Republic of Ireland