Bollini's Italy start off well: three goals in the friendly win over Albania with Kumi, Ignacchiti and Raimondo on the scoresheetAt Coverciano, in their first test of the season, the Azzurrini outclass their Albanian counterparts. Two goals in the first half from the Sassuolo and Empoli players, with the Bologna striker also netting at the end of injury-time.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
The new Under-19 team started off with a win at Coverciano in their first test of the season. Led by Alberto Bollini, they beat Albania 3-0 kicking off a busy period for the Azzurrini with first round European Qualification games coming up at the end of September in Poland against the hosts, Estonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Italy found the breakthrough in the 35th minute through Kumi (Sassuolo) after an assist from Bozzolan. Three minutes later, Ignacchiti (Empoli) doubled the lead on 38 minutes, following up a save from Albanian keeper Simoni after a Vignato header. At the interval, Bollini made six substitutions with a further two being added soon after with Maressa and Stabile getting their chance to impress. Raimondo, one of those half-time subs and on the back of a terrific Mediterranean Games, hit the woodwork after 62 minutes but was eventually rewarded with a goal in injury-time, after some great individual work.
"It's been a really important camp and we've had to get down to work immediately after learning that our European qualifying games have been brought forward", said Bollini. "I've been able to get to know the group and the lads have started to understand our tactical game. It's unfortunate there's been a few aches and pains about but we're still at the start of the season. Many players are still in pre-season preparation stages, while others haven't even stopped during the Summer; I think we've managed the situation well. It was a good test today against a very competitive team, who started off with a good rhythm. But after getting through those early parts of the game, we controlled it from there on in".
Today, the teams will face each other again but it will be the turn of the Under 18 sides, with kick-off at 10:30 (CEST) at Coverciano.