Nazionale Universitaria

Italy triumph on penalties against Russia to secure Bronze

Arrigoni's side finished third at the Universiade games thanks to a victorious penalty shoot-out

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Italy triumph on penalties against Russia to secure Bronze

Italy claimed the bronze medal after beating Russia in the third-place playoff. Daniele Arrigoni’s side made things harder for themselves in the end but came through on penalties after losing before in the semi-final to Japan in the shootout.
“With the bronze won against Russia at the Universiade, an extraordinary sporting and human experience have come to a close,” said FIGC President Gabriele Gravina. “The Azzurrini had an excellent tournament, the FIGC’s thanks go to them, Arrigoni, Lega Pro President Francesco Ghirelli for their contagious enthusiasm in this tournament.”

Match report. The Azzurrini were back to play in Salerno for a third time. Arrigoni changed the team again with all available other than Giraudo who was injured and Grieco who was suspended. In the eleventh minute, Russia goalkeeper Grigorian fouled Sbrissa and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Zonta stepped up to take it and made no mistake.

Italy were keen to secure the medal after their impressive showing at the tournament. Russia’s first chance came in the 22nd minute when a Pogorelov shot didn’t cause too many problems for Cucchietti. In the 34th minute, Serena took a free kick which Galeandro got his head too. It hit the post but fortune was on Italy’s side as it crept in to make it 2-0. In the 67th minute, Mercadante gave away a penalty with Iusupov stepping up to reduce the deficit. In the 81st minute, Galeandro saw his strike well saved by Grigorian. Galeandro was then replaced by Filippo Strada who was fouled hard by Masalskii straight after coming on and the Russian was sent off. The ten men of Russia then equalised in the 92nd minute through Pogorelov.

After the blow of conceding at the death, it seemed to be going wrong again but this time there was a happier ending for Italy with Salamatov missing the decisive spot kick.

Daniele Arrigoni was pleased after claiming bronze. “Don’t forget that this group was put together very recently and we only trained for five days in Rome before coming here. The Universiade has been a magnificent experience and one I’ll never forget. This group responded how I wanted by showing heart and courage in every situation.”

RUSSIA: Grigorian, Botaka-Ioboma, Kuftin, Stepanov (43’ Ustinov), Bolshunov (72’ Kirsanov), Pogorelov, Iusupov, Larionov (46’ Leliukhin), Nasyrov, Masalskii, Sherstnev (55’ Salamatov) Substitutes: Poletaev, Kotov, Ryzhov, Parfenov, Bakatin. Coach: Sherstnev.
ITALY: Cucchietti, Serena, Gatti, Zonta (72’ Galli), Sbrissa, Florio (65’ Mercadante), Tentardini, Collodel, Galeandro (87’ Strada), Pogliano, Cericola (73’ Ruzzittu). Substitutes: Marcantognini, Giraudo, Ungaro, Vitturini, Grieco. Coach: Arrigoni.
Referee: Ortega (Perù). Assistants: Castiglione and Gambino (Italy). Fourth official: Araki (Japan)
GOALS: 11’ Zonta (pen.), 34’ Galeandro, 67’ Salamatov (rig.), 92’ Pogorelov.
Penalties: Sbrissa (goal), Iusupov (goal), Ruzzittu (goal), Nasyrov (goal), Collodel (save), Kuftin (save), Mercadante (goal), Kirsanov (goal), Strada (goal), Salamatov (crossbar).