Off to a great start: Baldanzi and Volpato on the scoresheet as Italy beat Romania 2-1Carmine Nunziata’s side dominate proceedings in Dunajská Streda and run out deserved winners
Saturday, June 18, 2022
The U19s’ European Championship campaign is off to a great start with a 2-1 win over Romania. Given the quality of their play and their overall dominance, Nunziata’s lads could have won by a bigger margin, too. The Azzurrini wasted several chances in the first half as they pressed high up the pitch, with their opponents very rarely threatening. Italy took the lead in the 47th minute thanks to a brilliant goal from Empoli striker Baldanzi. Following Andronache’s equaliser shortly afterwards, Roma attacker Volpato, who had just come on for Baldanzi, bagged the winner.
The match. The Azzurrini made a bright start as they pushed high up the pitch. In the fifth minute, Baldanzi picked out Ambrosino in a great position, but the latter’s finish lacked power. Nasti fired narrowly over on the 14-minute mark, while a header from Coppola was blocked by a Romanian defender two minutes later. Nasti then had a great chance after 21 minutes, but, after combining well with Ambrosino, he failed to get the better of Popa. The Azzurrini were dominating possession, with Faticanti and Casadei knitting things together in midfield and Giovane providing a constant threat down the left flank. After efforts from Baldanzi and Nasti, Desplanches kept out Andronache’s close-range attempt to stop the Romanians from opening the scoring against the run of play.
The Azzurrini took the lead two minutes after the restart: after a feint to fool the defender, Baldanzi let fly with a fantastic right-footed strike that finished in the top corner. However, Italy’s joy was short-lived: in the 53rd minute, Andrei hit the crossbar; the ball then fell to Andronache, who made no mistake from a few yards out. Nunziata responded by sending on Volpato for Baldanzi. It turned out to be an inspired change as the substitute found the net immediately after Nasti had hit the post. 2-1 to Italy after 68 minutes. The Azzurrini continued to control matters until the end and started their Euro finals journey with a victory. Now, it’s on to the next one: Italy will face hosts Slovakia at 17:30 CEST on Tuesday in Trnava.
In the other Group A match, France recorded a thumping 5-0 victory over Slovakia.
Italy 2-1 Romania
Goalscorers: 47' Baldanzi , 53' Andronache, 68' Volpato
ITALY (4-3-1-2). Desplanches; Mulazzi, Ghilardi, Coppola [C], Giovane (C) (83' Terracciano); Fabbian, Faticanti, Casadei; Baldanzi (57' Volpato); Nasti, Ambrosino Di Bruttopilo (72' Turicchia). A disp.: Zacchi (GK), Stivanello, Fontanarosa, Fazzini, Degli Innocenti. Head Coach: Nunziata.
Romania (4-2-3-1). Popa (C); Pîrvulescu, Gergely, Dănuleasa, Pantea (69' Coubiș); Pandele, Sîrbu (77' Tănasă); Bodișteanu (46' Andrei), Rădăslăvescu (69' Popescu), Andronache (77' Sali); Chirițoiu. A disp.: Borbei (GK), Radu, Ciuciulete. Head Coach: Văsâi.
Referee: Nathan Verboomen (BEL); Linesmen: Mathias Hillaert (BEL) and Deniz Sokolov (BUL); Fourth Official: Gergo Bogár (HUN)
Booked: Mulazzi, Radaslavescu, Faticanti, Coubis
Group A. Slovakia, Romania, Italy, France
Group B. England, Israel, Serbia, Austria
Results and standings
Saturday 18 June
Slovakia 0-5 France
Standings: France and Italy 3 points, Romania, Slovakia 0
Tuesday 21 June
Slovakia vs. Italy (17:30, Trnava)
Romania vs. France (20:00, Dunajská Streda)
Friday 24 June
Group A: Romania vs. Slovakia (17:30, Trnava)
Group A: France vs. Italy (17:30, Dunajská Streda)
FIFA U-20 World Cup play-off:
Tuesday 28 June
Third place Group A vs. Third place Group B (17:00, Senec)
Tuesday 28 June
SF1: Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B (17:00 or 20:00, Trnava or Dunajská Streda)
SF2: Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A (17:00 or 20:00, Trnava or Dunajská Streda)
Friday 1 July
Winner SF1 vs. Winner SF2 (20:00, Trnava)