Nazionale U19

Italy only missing a goal: it finishes 0-0 against Switzerland in final friendly before the Elite Round of Euro qualifying

The Azzurrini dominate against the Swiss but can’t find a way through. Bollini: “An excellent performance, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Italy only missing a goal: it finishes 0-0 against Switzerland in final friendly before the Elite Round of Euro qualifying

“All that was missing was a goal.” These were Alberto Bollini’s words following the Under-19 National Team’s 0-0 draw against Switzerland. Despite the stalemate, the Head Coach was satisfied with the performance of this team in their final friendly before the Elite Round of European Championship qualifying, which will see Italy play in Abano Terme, Mogliano Veneto and Padua against Slovenia, Iceland and Norway.

At the Stadio Rigamonti Ceppi in Lecco, Italy dominated for long spells and came inches away from scoring in the 25th minute as Alessandro Cortinovis hit the bar. If it wasn’t the woodwork standing in the Azzurrini’s way, it was De Mol and Falk. The two Swiss goalkeepers produced decisive saves as Riccardi, Tongya and Okoli all came close. The 0-0 result wasn’t a fair reflection of the game, but Bollini has plenty of reasons to be confident ahead of the next Euro qualifying phase: “It was an excellent performance, the lads played with character and stamped their authority. We had two huge chances to score in the first half and the team also created three or four opportunities in the second half, with there being no danger at the other end. All that was missing was a goal. We need to work on being more ruthless and determined in front of goal.”

The Head Coach made eleven substitutions in total, also sending on Ruggeri, Belardinelli, Zuelli and Colombo for their debuts after the restart. “They performed well against a very compact Switzerland side,” underlined Bollini. After not conceding a goal during the first European Championship qualifying phase, Italy continue to look solid at the back: “When you don’t concede, it means that everyone is working well off the ball. But we’re certainly not a defensive team, quite the contrary in fact.”

Italy’s thoughts will now turn to the Elite Round, which will take place in just over a month. The Azzurrini will have to top their group to secure the only spot available to qualify for the European Championship finals, which will take place from 19 July to 1 August in Northern Ireland. “I will ask the lads to display the right mentality, assert their authority and remain united. These are three qualities that I’m increasingly seeing from this team.”