12 June 2023
Mission accomplished: Azzurrini beat Dominican Republic 3-0 to earn Round of 16 spotIn Mendoza, Nunziata's side qualify for the knockout stages thanks to a Casadei brace (his second of the tournament after one against Brazil) and a goal from Ambrosino. The game on Wednesday set to be played in La Plata: England are potential opponents
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Mission accomplished. With their 3-0 win over Dominican Republic, the Under 20s have reached the World Cup Round of 16 stage. At the stadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, the Azzurrini bounced back from defeat to Nigeria three days ago to keep their adventure in Argentina going. They will have to wait until Sunday, following the final matchday's results, to know who their next round opponents will be. After finishing second in Group D (behind Brazil on goal difference), Italy will next play in La Plata on Wednesday 31 May at 18:00 local time (23:00 CEST) and will face winners of Group E: after two games, England are leading with six points and a draw against Iraq in their final game would seal top spot. "We played very well, deserving of the victory," Nunziata said. "Now we wait to see who we'll get. If it were England, it would be a great chance to get payback after losing out in last year's Under-19 European Championships semi-final."
Nunziata lined up with Turicchia on the right defensively instead of Zanotti (on a yellow card), with the rest of the team that started against Nigeria the same: Baldanzi behind Pafundi and Ambrosino. After some good individual play by Pafundi ended with his left-footed attempt being tipped behind by Valdez, it was the Udinese and Cittadella players who were involved in giving Italy the lead after 19 minutes: Pafundi's corner was flicked on by Ambrosino for Casadei to knock home for the third time this tournament, after his brace against Brazil on matchday 1. Italy came close to a second through Ambrosino, found after a long ball forward from the back by Ghilardi, but the forward's left-footed attempt flew over. Soon after, Ghilardi was booked and will now miss the last-16 tie after receiving two yellow cards in the opening three group games. Before the half-time break, there was another chance for Baldanzi, but his left-foot shot was again put behind by Valdez.
Pafundi and Ambrosino were replaced by Lipani and Montevago at the break. And within five minutes the lead had been doubled by Ambrosino, who was cool to beat Valdez after Ghilardi won the ball back high up the pitch. The Azzurrini would have had their third through Montevago's superb finish, but it was chalked off for offside by the referee after a long on-field review check, as Baldanzi was deemed to be interfering with play. Nunziata put on Fontanarosa and Degli Innocenti for Guarino and Faticanti, and then Pisilli for Baldanzi. In the closing stages, Casadei grabbed his fourth goal in three games, proving to be one of Italy's main men this World Cup, which is now certain to continue for these young men.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 0-3 ITALY
SCORERS: 19' Casadei, 50' Ambrosino, 84' Casadei
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (4-2-3-1): Valdez (85' Boesl); De Pena, Martes, Jungbauer, Ciriaco; Montes De Oca, Alvarez (85' Martinez); Boatwright (78' More), Yambatis (78' Schmidhauser), Cuevas; Martin. Unused subs: Bello, Gomez, Peralta, Vazquez, Tamarez. Head Coach. Benitez
ITALY (4-3-1-2): Desplanches; Turicchia, Ghilardi, Guarino (70' Fontanarosa), Giovane; Prati (46' Lipani), Faticanti (70' Degli Innocenti), Casadei; Baldanzi (85' Pisilli); Pafundi, Ambrosino (46' Montevago). Unused subs: Zacchi, Sassi, Zanotti, Fiumanò, Esposito. Head Coach. Nunziata
REFEREE: Al Hoish (Arabia Saudita)
ASSISTANTS: Al Shammari, Al Sultan (Arabia Saudita)
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Singh (Fiji)
NOTES: booked De Pena (R), Ghilardi (I), Pafundi (I), Boatwright (R)
Group D fixtures and table
Sunday 21 May
Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic
ITALY 3-2 Brazil
Wednesday 24 May
ITALY 0-2 Nigeria
Brazil 6-0 Dominican Republic
Saturday 27 May
Brazil 2-0 Nigeria
Dominican Republic 0-3 ITALY
Tables: Brazil (g.d. +7), ITALY (g.d. +2), Nigeria (g.d. +1) 6 points, Dominican Republic 0 points
Qualified: Brazil, Italy, Nigeria (one of the best third-placed teams)
Goalkeepers: Sebastiano Desplanches (Trento); Jacopo Sassi (Giugliano Calcio), Gioele Zacchi (Sassuolo);
Defenders: Filippo Fiumanò (Aquila Montevarchi); Alessandro Fontanarosa (Inter), Daniele Ghilardi (Mantova), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (Inter);
Midfielders: Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Cesare Casadei (Reading F.C.), Duccio Degli Innocenti (Empoli), Giacomo Faticanti (Roma), Luca Lipani (Genoa), Niccolò Pisilli (Roma), Matteo Prati (SPAL);
Attackers: Giuseppe Ambrosino Di Bruttopilo (Cittadella), Francesco Pio Esposito (Inter), Daniele Montevago (Sampdoria), Simone Pafundi (Udinese).
Staff - Head of Delegation, Marcello Nicchi; Manager: Gianfranco Serioli ; Assistant Head Coach, Emanuele Filippini; Fitness Coach, Vito Azzone; Goalkeeping Coach, Fabrizio Ferron; Match Analyst, Marco Mannucci; Observer, Claudio Coppi; Doctors, Carmelo Papotto and Lorenzo Ticca; Physiotherapist, Giuseppe Galli and Tommaso Cannata; Nutritionist, Alessio Colli; Secretary, Aldo Blessich; Press Officer, Giuseppe Ingrati; Administration, Francesco Casella; Club Italia, Matteo Galdelli; Logistics, Carlo Fanano.
Groups and Cities
Group A: Argentina, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand (Santiago del Estero);
Group B: Usa, Ecuador, Fiji, Slovakia (San Juan);
Group C: Senegal, Japan, Israel, Colombia (La Plata);
Group D: ITALY, Brazil, Nigeria, Dominican Republic (Mendoza);
Group E: Uruguay, Iraq, England, Tunisia (La Plata);
Group F: France, South Korea, Gambia, Honduras (Mendoza).
(number of Under-20 World Cups won)
Argentina (six), Brazil (five), Portugal (two), Serbia (two), Ghana (one) Spain (one), Russia (one), Germany (one), England (one), France (one), Ukraine (one, current champions).